Feng shui turtles are an essential furnishing item for those remodelling their homes based on the evergreen Chinese tradition of Feng Shui. Millions worldwide follow this ancient philosophy, which features varied motifs of nature and beyond.
One such prominent motif is the turtle. If you've ever wanted to know the importance this animal holds in this philosophy, read on!
This article is a complete guide to how you can best utilise a Feng Shui turtle and its likenesses to the greatest effect. But first, what exactly does this animal symbolise, and how can you best use it in the context of home remodelling and decorating?
Historically speaking, turtles depict several traits, the most prominent among them being tranquillity and steadfastness.
Turtles were often depicted as holding the world on their shells. You can see this so-called "world turtle" in religious arts and myths of Hindu, Chinese, and Native American peoples.
The domed shell represents the domed sky surrounding the upper surface of the Earth. Therefore, this depiction shows their strength and dependability. Moreover, the animal also represents something as unchanging and constant as the cycle of seasons.
Due to their often advanced age and long lifespans, they are also often depicted as wise, knowledgeable, and self-sufficient - often primordially so.
In China, the Feng Shui turtle is based on one of the 4 Symbols or 四象, a constellation representing 4 of the most prominent and mythologised creatures.
The Black Tortoise or 玄武 is one of them, symbolising endurance, longevity and eternity. In addition, you will often see turtles as depicted with a tail of sea kelp and plant parasites forming on them. It portrays the sheer length of time the turtle has spent underwater.
This art is awe-inspiring and cements the role of a turtle as a steadfast, unwavering guardian.
Turtles in Feng Shui are significant animals. Therefore, they are attached to many traditions and intricacies, which any aspiring Feng Shui believers should learn about!
Read on to find out how turtles in Feng Shui mythology are represented.
Meaning in Feng Shui
In Feng Shui turtles and tortoises are used interchangeably. According to this philosophy, having a turtle or tortoise in your home (a real animal or a figurine) brings untold rewards to you. However, the benefits depend on the type of figurine or turtle.
Just some of the benefits of keeping a turtle motif in your home are:
- Good luck, wealth, and good fortune
- Health benefits such as restful sleep
- Blocking negative energy and channelling positive energy
- Professional success and fame free from any pitfalls
- A life with longevity
Of course, there are certain requirements to fulfil in order to avail the benefits of having a Feng Shui turtle in your home.
Hence, it is crucial to be aware of the different types of turtles. Moreover, the placement of the turtle in your home also matters.
However, these factors also vary according to which school of Feng Shui you follow.
Form schools or landform schools are based on the ancient tradition of this philosophy. Shamans and believers would read the land and decide the best position of a house or village. These experts focus on natural features such as hills, valleys, and water bodies in this school. It is the oldest school.
Compass schools study direction as opposed to the lay of the land. They use instruments to determine the best solar and directional placement for a structure. The structures could be as small as a figurine or as large as a house.
This spiritual school developed a particular type of compass called a Luopan compass for this use.
Another important material tool believers use in this school is a directional Bagua.
A Bagua map is a map that displays how Feng Shui energy flows in an area - or more accurately, in 8 areas around a centre. A directional Bagua map aligns the energy axes with the cardinal directions.
New Age Schools
New Age schools developed very recently in the early 1990s. It places more emphasis on goods such as crystals and talismans. In addition, they also put importance on the practice of personal intuition.
It is one of the most simplified schools of Feng Shui. As a result, critics argue how it glosses over many important cultural aspects intrinsic to the practice.
There is no single centralised philosophy within this school. So, advice given in this sphere is often conflicting or inconsistent.
Feng Shui Placement
The Feng Shui turtle placement depends on your goals for the item and the material used to make the item.
You can use a Bagua map (or a directional Bagua map) to ascertain which locations will be effective for which goals.
Bagua locations and their meanings
- Back centre: This helps with fame and reputation related goals.
- Back left: This helps with prosperity and wealth-related goals.
- Back right: This helps with love and relationship related goals.
Many practitioners recommend placing the Feng Shui turtle at the back of the house, so it can afford protection to your home. Similarly, This belief is related to the Four Symbols constellation.
- Middle centre: This helps with health-related goals.
- Middle left: This helps with family-related goals.
- Middle right: This helps with children, communication, and creativity related goals.
- Front centre: This helps with career-related goals.
- Front left: This helps with knowledge and personal growth-related goals.
- Front right: This helps with travel-related goals.
- Your Kua number can help you find the most conducive and productive direction for you.
- Along with this, the direction the figurine faces is also critical. You would generally place a Feng Shui turtle figurine facing the east due to its status as a constellation. The location also signifies its use to increase masculine energy (yin).
The above applies to your homes, but also to workplaces too. Therefore, the turtle's placement direction in the office should also refer to the above benefits for the business.
Apart from its placement, the animal figurines' representative element, material and type also play a significant role.
Generally speaking, you will find the Feng Shui turtle often paired with the spiritual elements of wind and water. However, you should take certain precautions when the turtle is made of particular materials.
- Metal: You must always place these figures with their feet submerged in water. Silver turtles are especially helpful with achieving auspicious beginnings.
- Wood: Many practitioner say that they help with cleansing, removing negative energy.
- Water: Keeping any tortoise or turtle figure in water doubles its effect. Keeping it in an artificial environment like a fish tank or waterfall is also helpful in amplifying its powers.
- Earth: You can place an earthen tortoise to its best effect in the east or southeast part of your home.
Common Types of Turtle
Along with the material used to make them, a large portion of the power of the Feng Shui turtle comes from the variety of figurines used. Here are what each shape of figurine does and our top recommendations for some of these categories.
- Turtle with coins: These attract wealth and prosperity by combining the turtle with the motif of Chinese coins, a symbol of wealth in Feng Shui.
- Jade Turtles in Feng Shui: They are very auspicious and valuable. It spreads vitality, health, empowerment, and protection. Keeping one in the centre of your home, or wearing one, greatly enhances qi.
- Gold Turtle: Although purchasing a turtle made of gold may not be on the financial cards, colouring one gold may achieve a similar effect. They attract good luck and good health, especially for children.
- Dragon turtle in Feng Shui: A dragon turtle combines the dragon's fierceness and the steadfastness of the turtle in Feng Shui. The Chinese Army carried flags bearing the image of a turtle and dragon as a bastion of unparalleled power. Although these creatures fought fiercely in folklore, they both always remained unharmed. These figurines specialise in bringing power and eliminating negative energies.
- Stack of three turtles: These "triple turtles" represent three generations living together and symbolise longevity. They also bring about harmony and good health among families.
- Glass turtle: A glass Feng Shui turtle is a suitable replacement for crystal, which may be hard to find. It is best to face them in the North or East directions as a propagator of good luck and prosperity.
Things to Avoid
Avoid keeping any damaged or cracked figurines, and avoid placing a turtle in the kitchen or bathroom as they are places of high flux. If you own a live turtle, make sure you give it adequate care!
Hopefully, this article served as a gateway into the beautiful and highly regarded world of turtles in Feng Shui.
Incorporating statues and small symbolic details are a fast and easy way to redecorate your home while best harnessing its spiritual potential. Adding these small touches is also a great way to trial Feng Shui philosophy in your home without a substantial investment of time, money, or effort.
Our picks for statues and decorations maximise value and ensure top quality while offering a variety of options to match the aesthetic of your home. Give it a try!