Chinese Symbols for a Welcoming Home

A frequent visitor at one of my websites was expecting guests from China to visit his home in California.  He asked me what kind of Chinese symbols he could put in his home to warmly welcome his guests. 

This is my response:

Dear Hesitant Host:

How very thoughtful and considerate of you to incorporate well wishes and special signals of greetings to your friends from China.

Here are some simple suggestions – items you can easily find this time of year that will symbolize your well wishes to your friends:

If they have not arrived already, I would recommend a light energy cleansing of your home with incense.  Sandalwood, lavender, lemon grass, or sage are perfect scents for cleansing and welcoming.  Simply burn one or two sticks in each of the four major corners of your home.  This is a practice that is very effective for clearing out stagnant/old energy, and welcoming new friends, family, laughter and bright energy in the home.

Yellow Chrysanthemums are wonderful to display in your home or present as a gift to your friends.  They symbolize long lasting relationships and durability.  They are also symbols of love, welcome, and good luck.

Oranges signify gold, and are seen as emblems of good fortune.  Present fresh oranges to your friends, and you will wish them good luck and fortune for the coming 12 months.  These are often given during the new year to wish luck for the whole year.

A bowl of fresh fruit in your dining room is a symbol of luck and prosperity to all those who dwell in your home.  It is a symbol that your friends and family will always be provided for by the most bountiful harvests.  Display fresh summer fruits.

As one of the eight auspicious Buddhist objects, the vase symbolizes a receptacle of blessings from the Buddha.  The vase is a symbol of peace and harmony – if you put your Chrysanthemums in a vase – this augments your message of well wishes.  Even empty – a lovely vase with happy colors will encourage happy times with your friends.

If you wish to assure complete good fortune to all your household, you may want to display all eight auspicious objects together to seal your intent for good times and good fortune for your house-guests.  They are:

  • The Lotus – A symbol of purity and perfection – In Buddhism it represents the attainment of enlightenment.
  • The Wheel –  Symbol of noble truth – and a symbol of the wheel of life, it represents the Buddha’s doctrines.
  • The Jar – a vase with a cover – typically holding ancestral relics (memories and power of our forebears).
  • The Mystic Knot – the knot that never ends – symbolizes no beginnings and no ends as well as a representation that we are all united or intertwined in our lives.
  • The Conch Shell – Symbol of prosperous voyaging – great luck in travel. Also a symbol of royalty.
  • The Double Fish – Fish are a symbol of wealth, abundance, harmony and bliss. When shown in a pair, it is a symbol of harmony between partners.
  • The Canopy (or umbrella) – is a symbol of protection from negative influence, and is a show that the highest respect is being paid to someone.
  • The Vase – whose symbolism I’ve conveyed above.

You may display each of the eight Buddhist auspicious objects together or singly.

What is most important and effective is that you are mindful and willing to be a gracious host, and you are wishing your guests to have every comfort available to them.  These attributes you have are first & foremost the MOST auspicious elements your guest will appreciate.

I hope you this information helps you.  Enjoy your guests.

Regards & blessings to you,
A. Venefica
A Guide to Symbols and Signs
A Guide to Tarot Symbolism & Interpretation for Growth

Exploring the Dragon as a Chinese Symbol for Strength

A friend of mine asked if I could confirm whether or not the dragon is a Chinese symbol for strength, and if I knew of any more animal symbols representing strength. 

I reply:

Dear Dragon Lady :-),

Absolutely – on top of the list of Chinese animals that symbolize strength is the Dragon.

The Chinese dragon is symbolic of:

  • power
  • courage
  • ferocity
  • wisdom
  • balance
  • good judgment
  • protection
  • loyalty
  • good luck

The Chinese have long honored the dragon for these attributes, and call upon various types of dragons to bolster strength when needed.

Although the dragon is a major power symbol, there are other Chinese animal symbols that represent strength are:

I hope this helps you on your journey,

Regards & blessings to you,

A. Venefica
A Guide to Symbols and Signs
A Guide to the Tarot

Message of the Sparrow – Symbolic Meaning of Sparrows

sparrowAll too often we take the sparrow for granted – small though she may be, she is certainly powerful.  It is her slightness in size that gives her advantages.  She reminds us we do not have to have the big stuff (cars, house, etc.) to be important, and we do not have to have the loudest voice in order be heard.

Some symbolic meaning of Sparrows include: 

  • creativity
  • simplicity
  • joy
  • protection
  • friendliness
  • community
  • productivity

Sparrows derive power from their numbers.  Always in a clan, they move in clusters, eat in clusters, and are always content as such.  This can be quite intimidating to some would-be predators.  Safety in numbers is a lesson the sparrow has to share with us.

The sparrow is vigilant in her goals.  She is always bustling for her food, foraging for her nests, and gathering for her young.  Fastidious and productive, the sparrow is a reminder that idle hands (and idle minds) should be avoided in order to live a full, healthy life.

She is a master of flight, and camouflage, and as such the sparrow teaches us to use our creativity to get around in life – think outside the box, and be creative in solving our problems.

As an air animal totem, the sparrow speaks of higher thoughts and ideals.  She beckons us to keep our burdens as light as we can in order to avoid a heavy heart.

I hope you enjoyed this brief summary on the symbolic meaning of sparrows.  Click here for animal symbolism. 

Or, check out my other page on Symbolic Sparrow Meaning here.

Symbolic Meaning of the Seahorse

seahorse meaningThe seahorse is quite a unique creature, and thought to have mystical significance among the Ancient Greeks, European (alchemists) and Asians.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed the seahorse was an attribute of the sea god Neptune/Poseidon and as such, the seahorse was considered a symbol of strength and power.

Further, the ancient Eurpeans believed that the seahorse carried the souls of deceased sailors to the underworld – giving them safe passage and protection until the met their soul’s destination.

Chinese cultures believed that the seahorse was a type of sea dragon, and as such they were revered for their power and thought to be symbols of good luck.

Sailors have long viewed the seahorse as a good luck charm too.

Symbolic meaning of Seahorses carry the following significances:

  • Patience
  • Friendliness
  • Protection
  • Inflexibility
  • Perspective
  • Generosity/Sharing
  • High-Perception
  • Persistence
  • Contentment

A relatively calm, and mild-mannered creature, the seahorse is seemingly content to roam the seas.  Their bodies are geared for ambling-type motion – not for speed.  Thus, they are symbolic of patience and contentment – they are happy with being where they are, and are in no hurry for advancement.

Further testimony to these attributes is the lack of evolution of the seahorse’s body style.  They have remained with this body style without change since their inception.  Content to be who they are, and not feeling the need to change – these are a few profound lessons the seahorse provides us.

However, along with a resistence to change, and a carefree approach to progress, the seahorse can be a symbol of inflexibilty or stubborness.  To wit, the seahorse wraps its tail around the nearest object in order to anchor itself in turbulent waters.  This is a lesson to be persistent in our goals, but be mindful that we are not too inflexible or stubborn in our achieving them.

A unique aspect of the seahorse is that the male is impregnated by the female and carries the offspring to term.  This is a message of sharing the load in the home, and gaining perspective of both sides (genders) of an argument or situation.

The seahorse has a boney exoskeleton which is a message of protection. Often when the seahorse comes to us it is a sign that we either need protection from our external circumstances, or we are building walls that aren’t needed.  Their armor-bodies are a sign that sometimes we might need to let our guard down – or perhaps we are leaving too open to get hurt.

Lastly among the long list of symbolic meanings of the seahorse and its lessons is the idea of perception.  The eyesight of the seahorse is incredibly sharp, and each eye moves independently.  We take this as a symbolic message of perception and awareness of those around us and our situations.  When we are lost or confused, the seahorse asks us to take a good look around – not just with our physical eyes but with our spiritual eyes in order to get a better persepective of the situations.

For more information on sign and symbol meanings of all manner, please visit the author’s website:

Spiritual Meaning of Numbers – Focus on Symbolic Meaning of Number Eleven

There are several different angles from which to view the spiritual meaning of number eleven.

The number 11 is thought of as a “master” number in numerology because it is a repeating double digit.  When this occurs – the vibrational frequency of the prime number doubles in power.  Meaning, the spiritual meanings of number one are doubled. 

To illustrate, the very basic & primary meanings of number one are that of new beginnings & purity.  When we see this digit doubled as with the 11 – then these attributes double in strength.

In numerology, the energy of number eleven represents:

  • higher ideals
  • invention
  • refinement
  • congruency
  • balance
  • fulfillment
  • vision
  • openings 

The 11 carries a vibrational frequency of balance.  It represents male & female equality.  It contains sun and moon both – while holding them both separate.  Perfect balance.

Consequently, constant reoccurances of elevens often signal us to be aware of our balance.  Balance emotion, thought, spirit – balance of masculine, feminine, – work, play – joy, sorrow – – – Elevens are magical messages asking us if we are centered or out-of-whack.

We can also derive more understanding of the symbolic and spiritual meaning of number eleven from the Tarot.  The energy of eleven is represented in the Justice card of the Tarot.  She is a classic archetype for congruency, fairness, and balance.

It is common practice in numerology to reduce number sequences.  Reducing entails adding the seqence to one number.  For example:  add 1+1 (eleven reduced) we get the number two – which is also a balance number. 

The spiritual meaning of number two deals with:

  • equality
  • justice
  • calm
  • kindness
  • tact
  • duality

These attributes of two, intertwined with the symbolic meaning of one’s make for intense combined meanings, all dealing primarily with the balance of spectrums presented to us.

When visually observing the number eleven as two straight lines side by side,  together they serve as a full meaning – two figures forming one value – one image.  However they do not touch – they are together yet separate at once.  This is symbolic of our universal connectedness – we are each connected in this universe, yet we are each separate to conduct our own wills.  

Yet another  also represents a doorway, and the spiritual meaning of number eleven often indicates a gateway into higher understanding/spiritual evolvement.

More and more my experience with the symbolic meaning of number eleven points to this gateway concept.   

Indeed, returning to the Tarot for clarity we see the pillars of Jachin and Boaz in the High Priestess card.  The Priestess is seated inbetwix the 11; she serves as the fulcrum between to pillars.  This card is also very relevant in our study of eleven because her numerical significance is two – tying into 11 when it is reduced.

As we deal with energy in our lives it is integral for us to understand we are all at once a part of it – yet we have the option to separate.

Elevens remind us our involvement in the progression of life is essential – however we must not be a slave to our involvement.  Here again, in the symbolic realm of 11, we see the theme of balance.

Symbols for Strength

A regular reader contacted me in special need of an emblem that would bolster his confidence.  He wanted a symbol for strength, courage and self-confidence as he was going through a difficult time – to which I responded:

 Dear Down-but-not-Out:

Some strong animal totems that boost confidence and facilitate strength and belief in yourself are:

The Dragon has always served me well as a symbol of self-confidence and courage.  Dragon totems – can make the heart beat stronger – instill fire within,  and may enable you to stand taller both physically & spiritually speaking.

Warriors often tattoo themselves with their family coat of arms (crest) to quicken their blood in battle, and give them courage to fight.  I’ve heard of warriors also tattooing shields and weaponry upon their bodies to symbolize great courage, honor and stamina in battle.

A crown is a symbol of strength, calm demeanor, maintaining control, and courage.  A crown indicates strength in knowledge rather than physical strength.  It is a symbol of keeping cool under pressure, and the ability to use self-control in times of anxiety.  It also symbolizes the ability of competent rulership/leadership.

Even the symbols of the Tarot can offer some ideas to enhance your level of assurance & courage.  Specifically, the Strength card has some great imagery you can draw upon for guidance.

In the flora genre, the mighty Oak tree is a powerful symbol of self-reliance, determination, strength in the face of adversity.  It stands steady and strong in the harshest conditions – a true testimony to self-belief.  The Ash tree also speaks of strenghth, but of the silent, expansive sturdy kind.  Both the Oak, Ash, and the Holly were considered strong rulers with the sacred Ogham knowledge base.

These are just a few symbols for strength and self-confidence that will ignite your imagination. As you begin to think about these qualities, and recognize your own internal strength, I believe you will find a symbol that is perfectly unique to you.