In many cultures, including Asian traditions like feng shui, birds are powerful symbols found in palaces as well as in the simplest of adornments. At its core, feng shui is about connecting to the natural world, so animals are key. Birds are especially compelling symbols because they can fly with freedom from the earth. These animals soar through the sky, connecting us to the heavens. Birds are thought of as divine messengers to communicate our humble requests to the gods above.
Here’s a flock of birds and their feng shui symbolism. You can incorporate bird imagery into your home and life to express the qualities you want to cultivate. Some of our favorite ways to include bird symbols into the home are:
- Decorated vases
P.S. They don't need to be Asian-inspired in style, but can be—only if you like it!
01 of 07
Crane: Long Life and Grants Wishes
The graceful crane symbolizes longevity in Asian cultures. The crane is a bird that’s thought to have existed in the old world and can live for one thousand years. It is also said that, if you fold one thousand origami cranes, your wish shall be fulfilled. Cranes are often paired with the turtle, another long life symbol.
Origami cranes are a fun addition to your home. You can find fun whimsical colors and hang them from string for a playful addition to your decor.
02 of 07
Phoenix: Good Luck and Rebirth
The only mythological bird on this list, the auspicious phoenix symbolizes purification and rebirth because it is said to be reborn from its own ashes. They are also said to appear when there is noble leadership in the world. This magnificent bird is also synonymous with good fortune, opportunity, and luck in Asian cultures.
In feng shui, the phoenix is also one of the four celestial animals (also sometimes known as the red bird or red raven). The red phoenix is the symbol of the fire element and the south.
03 of 07
Rooster: Protection and Yang Energy
Roosters are the only birds included that also feature in the twelve Chinese zodiac animals. In the zodiac, their energy is bold, proud, and very yang (masculine).
In feng shui, the feathers are often used in protection adjustments. This is because the reliable rooster crows every morning to dismiss any dark energy and welcome the new day. In ancient China, it was customary to release a rooster loose in a home before moving in.
04 of 07
Mandarin Ducks: Marriage, Harmony, and Fidelity
Because they mate for life, a pair of mandarin ducks represent a happy and successful marriage. In some Asian traditions, wooden mandarin ducks are wedding gifts to promote a happy marriage. The ducks are placed in the couple’s home and positioned so they face each other. You can also place them in the Kun (partnership) area of the bagua map to reinforce the devotion of a partnership.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Peacock: Precious Beauty and Wisdom
Connected to beauty and wisdom, peacocks are symbols of status and wealth. They are looked at as the earthly version of the phoenix.
Peacocks have colorful iridescent tail feathers. This elegance is truly a rare find in the natural world. Also, the many “eyes” on the fanned tail nod to wisdom and seeing things as they are in the world, with true brilliance.
Including peacock blue or images of peacock feathers can invite the energy of beauty and wisdom to your home.
06 of 07
Swallows: New Beginnings and Yin Energy
Swallows are welcomed as the promise of spring in Asian cultures. Their migratory patterns are so reliable, in China their arrival helped to time the equinoxes. In feng shui, spring is related to the wood element, and connected to life, new beginnings, and family. It’s good luck in China to have swallows nest on your roof, for it invites good luck.
In addition, the swallow is a bird connected with femininity and beauty. It’s a common name for girls in Chinese.
07 of 07
Magpie: Joy and Inviting Romantic Partnerships
Magpies are well known in Asian cultures as a symbol of joy and good luck. Their imagery is popular and they’re even the national bird and symbol of Korea. This bird is also connected to myths and stories regarding auspicious starts to successful romantic relationships.
Images that include a pair of magpies can be placed in the Kun (partnership) area of the bagua map to attract a fruitful and happy partner.