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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Red bats for prosperity

Not many people like bats nor would anyone I know ever consider making those creatures a household pet.  As weird as it sounds, bats are symbols of serious money in feng shui.

According to the most popular feng shui author Lillian Too, “Although often associated with witches in the West, bats - especially red bats - have signified abundance n prosperity, happiness and longevity to the Chinese for many years. Bats are usually painted cinnabar red, the color for joy, and expected in fives to represent the five blessings from heaven; wealth, health, longevity, love of virtue and a natural death.”

Long before I learned about and started practicing feng shui, I had red bat symbols gracing my walls.  At that time I wasn’t aware that those were the feng shui-blessed bats that should be displayed in the home to attract good fortune.  Call me intuitive because I seem to have the knack for buying wall decors that carried auspicious significance!  Hallelujah!

After being taught the significance of red bats, I went shopping for bat decor a few years ago and found a metal bell designed with five bats encircling a prosperity symbol.  At that time I didn't realize that such a design was very auspicious in wish-fulfilling desires. Looking back, I feel confident that a mystical force drove me to find it because the item was in a most un-feng shui section of the store:  the gardening shop.

Chinese admiration for bats began thousands of years before Christ. Sometimes people view the Oriental world as an interplay between active and passive forces (male and female). Bats were thought to embody the male principle while the flowers and fruits are the female. These creatures (were) also often displayed with the peach, a popular female fertility symbol. The peaches, being one of man’s favorite fruits were first cultivated in China about 5,000 years ago. Before that, these fruits relied on bats for dispersal of their seeds.

In the Manchu period, bats were very popular and used everywhere. They were painted onto vases and walls, worn on the robes of the emperors and carved into furniture and thrones.

Bats of a thousand years old were found in caverns of the hills in China which is silverish in color and are fed on stalactites.  They attained very old age and that is believed by ancient scholars because bats lived deep in caves and also because “they swallowed their breath”. While the longevity of bat remains unsolved, researchers have confirmed that these animals far outlive other mammals of similar size. And because of this, bats have become a symbol of longevity.

In feng shui applications, bat is used as a wealth cure and considered a symbol of wealth because the word bat “fook” has the same pronounciation as “prosperity” in Chinese. Bat also came to represent longevity and happiness, so it is an auspicious symbol in Chinese culture.

Groups of five bats is said to be more powerful formula for abundance and fulfilment of dreams. Five bats have long been used by Chinese artists to represent the five blessings: prosperity, long life, love of virtue, health and a trangquil, natural death. These bats are often bright red and encircle a stylized caligraph known as the symbol of prosperity. This popular bat motif can often be found embroidered on expensive clothing, this to imply that a person’s prosperity had resulted from virtuous lifestyle.

The bat is also sometimes depicted biting a golden coin and this plaque is enhanced by a mystic knot and red tassel. It is hung normally in the front portion of your house or at the maindoor or any chi entry points in order to invite wealth, health, good fortune and natural death at a ripe age. A pair of bats brings double happiness.

The bats can be hung in the West or Northwest to activate the element of metal for a happy family and mentor luck to gain support from helpful and important people. You can also place them in your living room, library, reading room, bedroom, kitchen, dining and business premise. Hang them on the outside of your door and window to ward off disease.

After enjoying the blessings of displaying red bats in the home, I developed a brand new respect for these creatures.  Bats don't scare me anymore.  In fact, red bats are regarded with much fondness and will be in my home to stay.