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by Suzee Miller Feng Shui Master®

KOI FISH and Feng Shui

Feng Shui and Koi Fish

There are different meanings for KOI fish in the Chinese and Japanese cultures.

In the Chinese culture, Koi symbolizes aspiration and advancement. There is a very old legend in China about Koi (carp) where the fish is a mythical animal. The legend says that a Koi swam up a waterfall in the Yellow River and the fish turned into a dragon at the Dragon Gate.

The words for “abundance and fish” are pronounced the same in Chinese “YU,” and because of this - fish are considered to be the symbol of WEALTH in Chinese culture. Thus, it is customary to the Chinese to serve a whole fish last at a banquet.

The word Koi actually originated in Japan.

The Japanese believe a pool of Koi represents “living jewels.” Nishikigoi is another word for Koi in Japanese. It is the symbol of friendship and romantic love. Koi also represent courage, perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose.

Every Koi fish has its own beautiful - unique color. Color symbolizes different things like: friendship, success, luxury, wealth, luck and good fortune. The different colors also symbolize different members of a family as well.

  • Father is black color
  • Mother is red or orange color
  • Boy is white or blue color
  • Girl is red or pink color

All KOI are beautiful and exude ENERGY, representing some kind of POSITIVE meaning.

The best number of KOI to have in a pond, or number of any fish in an aquarium is eight (8) or nine (9). Eight is the prosperity number through January 2024.  Nine represents future prosperity or enrichment.

Whether you prefer gold fish, tropical fish or Koi, one fish should always be BLACK. It is believed that the black fish absorbs negativity and SHA CHI (bad energy) in the environment, allowing the other fish to collect prosperity, energy and good fortune that they pass on to their guardians.

If a pond or aquarium is not doable in your outer or inner environment, then a painting of Koi “metaphorically” sets the intention for prosperity and good fortune in your home. Fish also symbolize marital happiness, harmony and reproduction - since fish multiply rapidly and sometimes swim in pairs. 

In the Buddhist religion, fish are among the auspicious signs on the footprints of Buddha. Footprints of fish on Buddha signify freedom from all restraints.  In order to express the wish of having more happiness, fish are painted with lotus and magpie in Chinese culture. The magpie symbolizes happiness. The Chinese character (letter) for lotus means “in succession or one after another” and the character for fish represents “more”. Koi and goldfish are usually depicted in the Chinese paintings.

Chinese Proverb:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

The meaning of this quotation is that it is of more worth and longer lasting value to teach someone to be independent rather than to give them temporary support. Giving someone a fish is good for the short term, but it is better to teach them how to do it so that in the long term they can care for themselves. This signifies freedom from restraint and allows HAPPINESS to prevail.

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