What makes bamboo lucky?
The notion of bamboo bringing good luck into the home dates back to over 3000 years ago (some sources say 6000+ years) in China and to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui. Feng Shui is a very cool subject that’s worth a lifetime of study but I am only including the 3 paragraph basics so you can get an idea of why bamboo is considered lucky.
Feng Shui is a philosophical system that balances and harmonizes the surrounding environment through the use of Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is the invisible force that flows through everything. Qi is pure energy. It is the life force that binds the universe, earth, and humanity together. It flows everywhere connecting everything.
By learning to guide the powerful energy of Qi, you can promote good health and prosperity. It is said that through the practice of Feng Shui, you can direct its flow through your home (or any space for that matter) by the correct placement of objects and plants – bamboo being one of them.
Some believe that the hollow structure of the stalks of bamboo encourages the flow of positive Qi energy and generates abundance, prosperity and good health. The number of stalks you have in your plant will determine the type of energy that is brought into your home.
Another way to symbolically interpret bamboo is to observe the plant itself. Bamboo is a hearty, fast growing giant grass that can survive in very poor growing conditions and therefore it brings with it the hope of continued prosperity under the most difficult of environments.
To bring luck or more Qi into your home, there are different factors to consider depending on the variety of luck you wish to attract.
First, for best results you need to have all five of the elements represented:
Wood – Is represented by the stalk of bamboo itself. Wood is symbolic of growth and creativity. It increases the intuition and encourages the growth of the individual. Wood is a physical representation of the essence of life in motion.
Earth – is represented by the rocks or pebble inside the container. Earth is the most calming and stable of the elements. Earth represents, security, stability and protection. It grounds and stabilizes.
Metal – can be represented by tying a coin to one of the stalks or placing it on the bottom of the container. Metal represents the intellect and mental sharpness.
Fire – The color red represents fire. Red paint on the container, or by using other adornments like red ribbons will bring fire to the equation. Fire is representative of transformation and expansion.
Water – the water in the container. Water is symbolic of renewed clarity, letting go, relaxation and inspiration and renewal.
Second, the number of stalks is key to the type of luck you will receive.
The grouping of stalks together enhances the positive energy generating capacity of the bamboo. The differing number of stalks in a bamboo plant will represent different things.
One Stalk: Also known as the “Lucky Log”. This is the number that all the other numbers sprouts from. It signifies growth and is a very popular gift between business people. It is also a great gift for someone who is starting his or her life over. By placing one end of a single log in water represents the potential for new opportunities and prosperity. The new leaves that sprout from it are symbolic of the new opportunities that are present and the potential for a meaningful life.
Two Stalks: Sending a gift of two stalks of bamboo is considered an expression of love. It’s a great way to wish a new couple much luck. Two stalks are said to double your luck.
Three Stalks: When a bamboo plant has three stalks, it is one of the best combinations to have in your home.
There are three kinds of luck that each stalk brings to you:
Four Stalks: Bamboo plants with 4 stalks are almost never given as a gift. In Cantonese, the word for ‘4’ sounds likes death. According to Chinese culture, the number four could potentially draw negative energy. Giving someone a four-stalk bamboo is considered quite offensive. Interestingly, the Chinese leave out any sequence starting with the number four whenever possible such as in buildings: the fourth floor, fourteenth floor and all floors in the forties. There are some high-rise buildings that say they have with 50 floors but are really only 35 floors high.
Five Stalks: The number five represents a balance between the five elements of fire, water, earth, wood, and metal. It will enrich the 5 major areas of your life: the spiritual, the intuition, the emotional, the mental, and the physical. Health is often a benefit of the balance of five. This is really a great one to have in your home for healthy body, mind, career, finance and spirit.
Six Stalks: Six stalks bring blessings and happiness. It is believed to attract opportunities to attain prosperity and wealth. It is also a number relating to success in business.
Seven Stalks: The number seven is lucky for health, and for relationships or any group that has a common goal. Seven indicates togetherness and adds to the potential of success.
Eight Stalks: Chinese businesses like to include eight into their business as much as possible to bring luck in wealth. The number 88 is known as ‘double joy’. It is also lucky for hopeful parents, as it is believed to improve fertility.
Nine Stalks: Nine is associated with long-lasting relationships and used widely at weddings. Its sound is similar to the words for harmony and unity bringing good fortune and overall good luck.
Ten Stalks: Completion, Perfection and Satisfaction are what will come into your home or to the home that receives a gift of bamboo with 10 stalks.
Twenty-One Stalks: This is one of the most powerful of all bamboo plants. If you receive a bamboo with twenty-one stalks, it signifies that good fortune and health is yours for the asking and it will come to you in the most profound way. You are being wished incredible health, wealth and abundance.
Third, placement of the bamboo plant in your space is very important.
According to Feng Shui, there are two areas that are conducive to creating great luck:
The East: Placing a lucky bamboo plant in the east helps to attract health for family members.
Southeast: The southeast is the zone of money and wealth. If you place a bamboo plant here it will help to attract more money into your environment.
To learn more about using Feng Shui at home, at work, or anywhere really, click on the links below to see a couple of my favorite books on the subject: