Meaning and Uses of Mandarin Duck Symbols in Feng Shui

Mandarin ducks (Aix galericulata) in a meadow, pair of animals, Hesse, Germany

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Feng shui is a metaphysical system that was developed in ancient China. There are many different symbols (Chinese and otherwise) that we work with in feng shui to intentionally invite certain energies into our homes. The Chinese looked towards the natural world to inform their daily life. At its core, feng shui is really about connecting to the cycles of nature. Many of the symbols we work with are directly related to nature, like specific plants and animals. One such symbol is a mandarin duck that is from Asian culture.

Symbols often have several layers of meaning, and there is a lot that we can learn from them. They can also be incorporated into your home in many different ways. You can bring a feng shui symbol into your home through art or other decorative objects. 

The Symbolic Meaning of Mandarin Ducks

Mandarin ducks are a type of water fowl that are especially acknowledged for their exquisitely colorful plumage. Their feathers are vibrant and considered the most beautiful. In Asian culture, the motif of a pair of mandarin ducks is found in artworks such as vases, textiles, screens, and figurines. The ducks may be paired with other decorations such as the lotus for peace, the double happiness symbol for joy, or other good luck symbols.

Mandarin ducks typically come in pairs because they represent and invite wishes for marital happiness and fidelity in Asia. Mandarin ducks are said to mate for life. The two love birds become attached to each other so much that if they become separated, one may perish from sadness. 

Throughout most cultures, weddings are considered one of the most auspicious and festive events in life. In feng shui, we say that on their wedding day, the couple receives unlimited amounts of auspicious qi (life force energy). In Asia, it’s traditional for a couple to be gifted a pair of mandarin ducks on their wedding day for good luck and conjugal harmony.

a pair of mandarin ducks made of wood on a pedestal with a blurred background

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How to Use Mandarin Ducks to Activate the Partnership Area

In feng shui we use a tool called the feng shui bagua map, which is an energetic mandala that is overlaid over your home’s floor plan. The bagua map consists of eight areas around a center. One of the most popular areas is called Kun in Chinese and it's related to love and partnerships.  This area is also connected to the color pink, yin earth element, and the feminine element.

To locate this area, you stand in the front doorway of your home looking in, and the back right corner of the whole floor plan is your Partnership area. If that’s a bit complicated to figure out in your home, it’s equally as effective to use the bagua map on your bedroom. Bedrooms are typically more regular in shape and also are your most personal space in the home. You’d follow the same instructions. Stand in the doorway of your bedroom looking into the room, the far right back corner of the bedroom is your Partnership area.

This Partnership corner can be activated with a pair of mandarin ducks to support the harmony and longevity of your existing partnership. You can also use the symbol of the mandarin ducks to energize this same bagua area to attract a long-term life partner to you. 

Most commonly you'll find a pair of mandarin ducks colorfully painted and carved from wood. If you search a little more, you may be able to locate a pair that are made of semi-precious stones. Pink rose quartz has a soft and gentle energy that is connected to this bagua position and application. In addition, you can look for a pair carved from a red crystal like carnelian. The Partnership area is earth energy, and the color red is the fire element which supports earth. Either way, if possible, try to purchase a new pair because this invites new energy. You can also ceremonially clear the energy that is attached to a secondhand pair by using space clearing tools.

If you’re placing this in your home or gifting them, the pair is quite important. You only need one pair. Sometimes people think the more the better, but in feng shui, usually less is more.