Meaning and Uses of the Swallow Symbol in Feng Shui

Swallow over a cherry Sakura tree - Vector illustration ideogram 1= honor ideogram 2 = energy ideogram 3 = harmony ideogram 4 = friends ideogram 5 = life ideogram 6 = dream

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As our lives become increasingly filled with screen time and endless to-do lists, many of us are craving a deeper connection to nature and to the environments around us. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that helps us bring a deeper awareness of natural cycles and elements into our homes. Working with feng shui principles can guide us in creating spaces where we feel nurtured, supported, and successful. One way to start applying feng shui in your home is to bring in meaningful symbols with intention. 

Almost every culture considers birds of flight to be symbols of good luck. They can remind us of the cycles of nature, teach us how to harmonize with our environment, and bring levity and joy to our lives. Learn all about the meaning of the swallow and how to incorporate this symbol of good fortune, growth, transition, and community harmony into your home and life.

Adult Barn Swallow in Flight, Castilla y Leon, Spain

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Swallow Symbolism and Meaning in Feng Shui

Swallows are graceful migratory birds that are found in most parts of the world. They are small songbirds that tend to fly in large numbers. You might have seen a flock of swallows flying or hanging out on power lines. Their group mentality can remind us to be sociable, work together, and find harmony in our communities. 

Swallows are very common birds in China. These birds migrate by flying between the northern and southern hemispheres. Depending on where you are in the world, they are considered harbingers of the change of seasons. In China, the reliable migratory patterns of the swallow have been closely connected to Spring. Spring means the arrival of warmer weather, good change, flowers blooming, and all the gifts of the closing of winter. Therefore the swallow is an emblem of good fortune and positive change. For instance, it’s especially lucky if a swallow builds a nest near your home. This can indicate upcoming prosperous opportunities. 

The Chinese paired the swallow with wisteria and the fourth moon of their lunar calendar. The typical purple wisteria symbolizes prosperity and elegance, and is associated with royalty.  There are many ancient Asian art motifs with swallows and spring flowers in general, reinforcing the theme of good fortune, good weather, and good luck.

Illustration of four Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) sitting on a perch

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Using the Swallow Symbol in Your Home

Symbols are the most powerful when you feel a personal connection to their meanings as well as the imagery. There are iconic images of swallows that you may be familiar with already. They are often in flight and swooping down with grace. 

If the swallow is a symbol you resonate with, there are many ways you can use this symbol to enhance the flow of qi (life force energy) in your home. We invite you to work with the imagery through art, objects, and so forth. In general, keeping any birds captive is not recommended, especially a swallow and especially for a feng shui purpose. 

Activate New Beginnings

In China, the swallow was the harbinger of good news with the return of spring. Spring is connected to the wood element (one of the five elements) which is about growth, new beginnings, and fruitful transitions. If you’d like to have more movement and activate change in your life, the swallow symbol could be just for you. The imagery can go anywhere in your home as long as you have the intention to invite new beginnings. 

Welcome Community and Friendships

The swallow flies rather peacefully and in harmony within its community. As they fly with grace, a flock of swallows visually and energetically embodies a collective ease and flow. Sometimes we also want to invite more support, community, and friendships into our lives.

The dining table is a place in the home that also represents a gathering of kindred spirits to congregate with love and nourishment. You can further enhance your aspiration to welcome a rich community of friends into your life by including the swallow symbol in your dining room. You can bring in the imagery of the swallow in many different ways, from patterned napkins to small figurines to artwork.

Invite Success and Prosperity

You can invite the auspicious swallow symbol into your home’s feng shui in a variety of easy ways to magnetize good luck into your life. If you're specifically looking to attract more opportunities and abundance in your career and work life, try placing images of the swallow around your office or desk. Even swallow-inspired stationary could be fun.

Alternatively, if you want to invite success and prosperity in general, try wearing swallow imagery on your body. Feng shui isn't just for your home—you can also wear the imagery.  Try some swallow jewelry or swallow patterns on your clothing to bring in their good luck.