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The Feng Shui Of Money

Is there such a thing as the Money of a country affecting its wealth feng shui?
Is there any relationship between how a country’s paper money looks and the wealth the country generates? Surely symbols incorporated into the design of currencies must have an effect on the way the country moves forward or backward economically. Central Bankers of the world probably scoff at such an idea… and yet in the old days, coins used as mediums of exchange were always made auspicious, most notably containing the heaven and earth symbols of circle and square.

In this issue, FSW does some research into the currency designs of the Dollar, the Euro, the Pound sterling, the Russian rouble, the Chinese Yuan, the Japanese yen and the Singapore dollar... and because we live here in Malaysia, we also take a look at the Malaysian Ringgit …

Some of the stronger currencies of the world (although of course they fluctuate in value) include the United States dollar, the Euro, the British pound, the Singapore dollar, the Australian dollar, the Russian rouble, the Canadian dollar, the Chinese renminbi and before the advent of the Euro, we also had the Swiss Franc and the German mark. Every one of these currencies has a signature sign which itself has luck connotations.

In the period of 7 the US dollar was strong and this is a currency whose signature sign has an S with two vertical standing lines viz $… but the US dollar has been declining in value for several years now, from since the period changed from 7 to 8 and now other currencies that have signature signs that have either S, Y, (all cut with two horizontal lines appear to be challenging the US dollar. We saw the rise of the pound sterling, and until recently the all-powerful Euro. Now we see the rise of the Chinese Yuan, and of course the Japanese yen seems to stay strong in spite of horrible things happening to its Economy!

Feng shui experts will be quick to explain to you that the horizontal lines symbolize the powerful chien trigram. Horizontal solid lines are indications of strength, yang chi and great resilience, and it is not surprising that currencies which have this as their identifying feature tend to have greater resilience. Think of the yen, the yuan, the Euro and even the pound sterling!


Most countries have strong themes that run through the design of their currencies and these usually reflect some symbol, activity or hero strongly identified with the country. The use of beloved leaders is a popular theme. So the modern Chinese renminbi has a picture of Chairman Mao, but also take note that while all the notes have his picture, they also carry aerial shots that symbolize protection, wealth creation and strong central government. Its most popular note the 10 Yuan note is green in colour, signifying growth, but it also has an amazing aerial shot of the Lijiang River strategically photographed to show the river widening. This is an incredibly auspicious image and with the 10 Yuan note having amazingly high circulation as it passes from hand to hand, surely this note brings excellent feng shui to the Chinese Economy!

In fact, on the reverse side of all its notes, capitalist China has selected scenes of spectacular water – on the 20 renminbi note is the famed Lijiang River, on the 5 and 10 renminbi notes are its other famous rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangze, and on its 50 renminbi note is a spectacular picture of a waterfall.

As all feng shui enthusiasts know, the river is the most efficient bringer of wealth. All the great cities of the world were founded at the mouth of great rivers. That China should choose water as its major symbol to signify its money must surely be very good feng shui indeed.

To the Chinese of course, a view of a river, or of water, always signifies wealth, and when water widens and expands, it means extreme wealth.

Showing a mighty river flowing to signify money signifies the country’s wealth. It should not be surprising that since the early 80’s when these new currency notes came into widespread usage after Deng Xioa Ping declared “to be rich is glorious”, China has had double digit growth  and indeed is today the wealthiest country in the world!

But more than wealth is safety and security, which is symbolized by the Great Wall of China, an ancient heritage structure built to protect the country from overland invaders. Today, the Great Wall symbolizes China’s security. This note has a couple of young Chinese on one side and the Great Wall on the other, signifying the ordinary people of China. And the high denomination renminbi note is red in colour. This too has Chairman Mao on one side, but on the other side, we see a picture of the Great Hall of the people in Tiananmen Square. This symbolizes the strength of China’s Central Government.

By analyzing the images on its currency, we can deduce the attributes that are important to China - strong Government, strong security and strong wealth - all of which China has today! Definitely in this case, we can see symbolic feng shui at work here. But there is more of course, because there are also other 100 Yuan notes that feature the mighty Dragon and yet more notes that feature the other great river of China, the Yangtze Kiang. Water and Dragon - two of the most potent symbols of wealth and success!


Over in Hong Kong, the currency notes of this city state were issued by the major banks operating there prior to 1997 and these continued to be used after China took over the colony. Then, the twenty dollar note issued by StanChart featured the Dragon Tortoise, while that issued by HSBC featured its famous lions and the star ferry. The StanChart 500 dollar bill features the awesome Phoenix, while the HSBC issued 500 dollar bill again carried the two lions and its building.

These notes were very auspicious indeed and Hong Kong in those years was very prosperous. In recent years however, its fortunes have been overshadowed by Shanghai and Beijing. China's currencies and its Economies appear to be doing as well as if not better than Hong Kong !

In recent years, the USA seems to be sliding… two unpopular wars and its fight against terrorism seem to have distracted this great country. Worse, it has also suffered severe financial meltdowns caused by scandals and major bank collapses that seem to have shaken the USA to its roots.

Things really went downhill after the attack on its twin towers in New York. To the Chinese feng shui enthusiasts, the twin towers represented the eyes of the country, and with New York being its financial capital, after the twin towers were brought down, it does seem like the US, now blinded, sort of lost its way - especially financially.

The US currency is known worldwide as the greenback because irrespective of the denominated amount, all US dollar notes are green in colour. Note that green denotes young Yang Wood element, which in turn signifies growth. The USA continues to grow and grow and it has become the world’s super power, and even with all its troubles today, it continues to be respected as a superpower, feared by others and still taking the lead as the world’s innovator. It also owns the world’s largest arsenal of weapons and bombs!

All its currencies feature its past presidents. Its most widely circulated note is the one dollar bill which features George Washington, the first president on one side. On the reverse side, we see the American eagle and the pyramid with an eye at the top of the pyramid. The eagle is like the phoenix – symbolizing untold opportunities, bravery and courage. The pyramid and the single eye above it is the ultimate symbol of protection. It reminds us of the magical eye of Horus. It is also a protection against the envy of others. Very powerful feng shui indeed!

The two dollar note (not as widely circulated) features Jefferson on one side, while the five dollar note (which is more widely used) has Abraham Lincoln. Behind is the Lincoln memorial, which of course symbolizes freedom and equality.

 The twenty dollar note features Jackson on one side and the White House on the other. The hundred dollar bill has Benjamin Franklin… so one can see that the United States places emphasis on its leaders, although this only started around the 1900s.

Does the US dollar have good feng shui? The answer has to be a resounding yes. Despite the ups and downs of its economy, the USA is still the most powerful and important country in the world. Its currency though battered continues to be the most widely used currency of the world.

What is interesting about the US dollar bills are its hidden codes and meanings.

These notes have not been redesigned since the 1900s, so much of the meanings of its symbols require research.
Nevertheless, one interesting thing some of us noticed is that the symbols on the $20 does show the twin towers of 9/11 burning when folded in a particular way. It is quite uncanny actually, and those of you curious enough to check this out might want to try!  Other symbols on each of the US dollar bills suggest hidden codes and meanings as well.

The British pound uses the Queen’s image and a variety of auspicious symbols. The Queen is herself a lucky image as she is shown in full regalia wearing her tiara and jewels, so the matriarchal energy is very strong. If we examine the ten-pound note (which is the most highly used) there is a bird image which looks like a woodpecker. The bird is a very auspicious symbol, bringing luck and new opportunities. The woodpecker is a hardworking bird that is also creative. There is also a ship sailing towards the user and this has to be incredibly lucky. There is a picture of Charles Darwin, one of their greatest scientists and the propounder of  the theory of evolution. There is also a round mirror. So you can see that Britain has some very important enhancing symbols on their pound note.

Singapore money used to be full of wonderfully auspicious images. Fish, birds, dragons and ships of all kinds used to feature on the Singapore dollar notes, but in recent years, Singapore’s paper currency notes were given a fresh new look. During the years when Singapore was toasted as the economic miracle of the world, its currency notes were amazingly brilliant and beautiful. Every denomination had a fish of some kind, as well as a ship, and its fifty-dollar note even featured a dragon looking down at the mouth of the Singapore River (see bottom picture). These are auspicious symbols.

All the previous notes used to have fish on them. Fish signify abundance and it should not come as a surprise to anyone to know that the per capita income of this small nation state is one of the highest in the world. The Dragon meanwhile is the ultimate auspicious symbol according to feng shui. And ships bring wealth from the winds and waters.

Shown above are the old (top) and the new (bottom) two dollar notes. Note the difference. A sailing junk brings prosperity from the winds and waters. The new note has no such auspicious symbol.

In its newer notes, the Singapore currency features its first past president on one side and a variety of aspiration scenes on the other side. For instance, on the fifty-dollar note, the Arts are highlighted with musical instruments, on the ten-dollar note Sports are featured and on the two dollar note Education is highlighted with a picture of one of its schools.

It does appear that aspirations other than wealth acquisition are being stressed.  And believe it or not, since those new notes came into circulation, Singapore has thrived as an Arts and Cultural center to challenge the best of any place else in the world. From musicals to concerts, rock shows, ballets and even operas, Singapore has become the most sophisticated city in this part of the world.

What is interesting is that all the new notes still carry the Pa Kua symbol which is a powerful symbol of protection! So security continues to be high on the list of Singapore’s priorities.

 Many of the Commonwealth countries feature the British Queen thus replicating the powerful matriarchal energy. New Zealand money features the Queen on one side and all kinds of birds on the other. Shown here on its twenty dollar bill is the bird that is native to new Zealand, the karearea – very auspicious indeed.

Malaysian ringgit - here in Malaysia, the currency features the country’s first king in all his regalia. His majesty wears an eleven-pointed star and a moon of jewels, so this is most auspicious indeed. On the reverse side, the Malaysian currency notes feature cargo ships loaded with cargo, planes and trains on its ten dollar bill. As this is the most widely used bill, these symbols of the country’s progress are excellent feng shui. The fifty-dollar note shows a port scene, while the hundred ringgit bill features a car assembly plant. The Malaysian notes are thus down-to-earth symbols of industrial progress.

Indonesian Rupiah bills seem to be devoid of auspicious symbols.  On their 5000 rupiah note, they feature a old member of royalty on one side and an old building on the other. On their 1000 rupiah bill, we see again an old member of a royal family on one side and a building on the other. The notes seem to dwell very much on the past and are sadly lacking in yang energy. Maybe that is why the country has not progressed much. Perhaps a change in their currency appearance might help lift the country out of its many difficulties.

Canadian bills are similar to Kiwi money in that the British Queen is featured on one side and all kinds of birds on the other side. The twenty dollar note shows the Queen (alas sans crown but wearing pearls) on one side and a pair of what looks like ducks on the other side. Very romantic feng shui indeed. The five dollar note on the other hand has Laurier instead of the Queen on one side and a kingfisher on the other.

Nepal and India also do not have any auspicious symbols on their currencies.

 South Africa rands feature their wild animals, the large cats, the zebras and the rhinos. These animals however each symbolize various protective qualities according to feng shui and are thus said to be auspicious. South Africa can be said to be very blessed in that it has wise leadership and a pretty good economy compared with other African nations. It has Nelson Mandela, the wonderfully inspiring black leader who has captured the respect of the world. Its currency is protective in symbolism.

France shows its inventors and tourist spots on its currency.Austria features its leaders and buildings. Greece features Plato and its many legends which include ships and heroines. Spain features its heroes and its architectural buildings.Playing the stock market requires luck as much as financial knowledge, and it is a whole different dimension to the management of your money. We will talk about this another time but for now focus attention on steadily improving your financial situation.

Finally a word on birds
At last count, we discovered well over 30 countries whose currency notes feature the bird. Pictures of some of these currencies are shown here and it is useful to see that the countries that use the bird are not fairing badly at all. The bird brings good news and good opportunities and like the Phoenix, its symbolic king, they communicate good tidings and are excellent for fulfilling your wishes and bringing happiness to everyone. Birds also signify family harmony and goodwill, and open up opportunities for growth, progress and expansion.

In addition to Canada and New Zealand, the list of countries that feature birds on their paper currencies include Trinidad, United Arab Emirate, Tahiti, Sweden, Seychelles, Papua New Guinea, Lithuania, Kuwait, Japan, Columbia, Bermuda, Bangladesh, Cameroons, Brazil, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Germany,  Falklands Islands, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, Antilles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Denmark, Finland, Albania, Zambia, Algeria, Iceland, Lithuania and Gibraltar. Other popular and auspicious images favoured by many of the lesser known Economies include ships, airplanes and landmark buildings.

The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (July/August 2010)". To subscribe, please click here.