A ceramic flower vase, balanced in the Five Elements, can be used to create a harmonious atmosphere in the home or office.
Most ceramic flower vases contain the Five Elements (metal, water, wood, fire and earth). The basic colour of a vase is normally white, representing metal element. Flowers and water would be wood and water elements. Fire element can be created by putting red flowers in the vase; or it can be from the red colour of the vase. Ceramic belongs to the earth element.
Flowers are linked with the feminine gender and romance. Hence, displaying a vase with flowers in the home is believed to have some effects on the tao hua (romance) and marriage of the household members. (Note: The effects can be good or bad, depending on the position of the vase.)
The Chinese pronunciation of vase is ‘ping’ (瓶), which is a homophone of ‘ping’ (平). The latter ‘ping’ (平) is used as in ‘ping an’ (safety 平安), ‘ping jing’ (peaceful 平静), ‘ping wen’ (stable 平穩), and ‘ping bu qing yun’ (smooth sailing in career 平步青雲), etc. Thus, the vase is considered auspicious and harbinger of the state of being safe and well and having a smooth career.
Choice of flower vase
A flower vase, when used as a decorative item, can be in any colour, shape or design as long as it takes your fancy. However, if it is for feng shui purposes, then it has to be selected carefully to avoid bringing bad energy into your home.
The qing-hua vase (青花花瓶) and drunken red vase (醉紅花瓶) are good choices of vase for feng shui purposes.
(1) Qing-hua vase
The qing-hua vase (blue and white porcelain vase) is well-balanced in the Five Elements. The vase is white in colour, with blue designs on it.
Porcelain is earth element; white colour is metal; blue design is water; flowers is wood; red flowers in vase is fire; resulting in the following creation cycle of the Five Elements: Earth produces →Metal creates → Water nurtures → Wood gives rise to → Fire produces →Earth.
The designs on the qing-hua vase are usually auspicious Chinese symbols, such as ‘shou’ character 壽 (longevity), bats, dragon and phoenix, magpie, and so forth.
(2) The ‘drunken red’ vase
The ‘drunken red’ vase is red in colour, usually without any patterns on it. Depending on the craftsman and the materials used, the vase can vary slightly in its artistry and colour, although it is always in red. Its red colour is so unique that it looks like the intoxicating red wine.
During the Chinese Lunar Year festive period, tao hua (peach blossom) will be the most suitable flowers to be displayed in the vase. At other times, flowers such as gladiolus, red carnation, fire lily, cockscomb flower can be used.
A beautiful ‘drunken red’ vase in your living room or the reception room of your office will fill the place with youthful vigour and harmony.
Some vases have stories of historical or legendary figures painted on them. These stories are usually excerpts from famous literary works, such as The Three Kingdoms, Yang Jia Jiang (The Yang Clan Generals), Water Margins, etc. When buying a vase, consideration must be given to the paintings on it.
Stories such as The Duel Of Zhang Fei & Ma Chao (大战馬超), Lady General Mu Guiying Leads The Army (穆桂英挂帥), and The Three Attacks On Zhu Village (三打祝家莊) are all about display of military force. A vase with such images displayed in the living room signifies might and power but lacks peace and harmony.
Depiction of “Wu Song slaying the tiger” (武松打虎) is also commonly found on vases. If your horoscope or a family member’s horoscope is Tiger, it would be inauspicious to put such a vase in your home.
In Chinese history or legends, there are many cases of righteous officials or heroes suffering from grieve injustice with a pathetic ending. “The Flight of Lin Chong” (林沖逼上梁山) is a typical example. Having a vase with such a character on it tends to bring ill fortunes.
If you prefer a vase with designs, then go for those with flowers, birds, auspicious beasts, lucky symbols, or natural landscape with mountains and water painted on it.
Placement of flower vase
Suitable locations for display of the flower vase are as follows:
Joyous location (喜慶位) – this is where the annual No. 9 Purple Star is. This star signifies joyous and celebratory happenings (e.g. promotion, wedding, newborn, property acquisition, starting an enterprise, passing an examination, winning in a competition, striking lottery, and so forth).
Sickness location (疾病位) – this refers to the place where the annual No. 2 Sickness Star is located. This star can cause health problems, including miscarriage. (Note: Red-coloured vase and red flowers should be avoided in this location.)
Gossip location (是非位) – this is the place where the annual No. 3 Gossip Star flies to. This star is associated with quarrels, discord, slander, back-stabbing, etc.
As for the positioning of the flower vase specifically for tao hua enhancement, please refer to “How to activate love luck in feng shui”.
Taboos in the usage of flower vase
The followings are the taboos when using the flower vase:
(1) Empty vase without flowers
The vase should never be left empty without flowers. The Cantonese pronunciation for ‘empty’ is ‘hun’ (空), which is homophonous with ‘hun’(‘凶’), meaning ‘unfortunate’.
The vase on display should always be filled with flowers, even if they are artificial flowers. (Note: Artificial flowers will not have much feng shui effects.) When not using, it should be wrapped up and stored away.
Alternatively, wrap Five Emperors’ coins in a red packet and place them inside the empty vase. The Five Emperors’ coins represent North, South, East, West and Centre, as well as the Five Elements. They can be used to attract wealth from the five directions. This is the better way to deal with an unused flower vase.
(2) Withering flowers and dried flowers
The flowers in the vase must always be fresh and not withering. Avoid using dried flowers. Both withered flowers and dried flowers are likened to death.
(3) Stale water in vase
Always ensure the water in the flower vase is clean and fresh. A vase filled with dirty or stale water in the home (especially in the tao hua location) can attract rotten tao hua. This will also happen in the case of an empty vase.
(4) Damaged vase
If the vase has a small chip or crack, it must be discarded.
(5) Vase in the centre of the house
Never display any object that is hollow in the centre of the house. Therefore, the vase should not be put in that spot, especially when it is vacant without flowers. It is extremely unlucky to have two empty vases in the centre of the house, as the health, wealth and career of the household will be affected. It is a sign of loss of both life and wealth.
Guidelines on selection of flowers
Flowering blooms symbolize good fortune. Colourful, vibrant flowers in the vase can help to lift the energy of your home. Please refer to the guidelines regarding colours and types of flowers to be used for different purposes.
© 2012 pinkytoky
pinkytoky (author) from Singapore on July 13, 2012:
Hi yoginijoy - Glad you find the article interesting. I have earlier written on the Flying Stars feng shui for 2012. Just scroll up a bit and you will see the link to the hub under "More hubs by Pinkytoky". Thank you.
yoginijoy from Mid-Atlantic, USA on July 12, 2012:
Very interesting topic! I shall have to go through my home and office to see what kind of vases are holding my plants. I love the description of all 5 elements should be represented in the vase. What I am not sure of is the location? How do I know where the purple star is? Perhaps I need to do a bit more research, or you could do another hub on the stars and feng shui? Voting up and interesting!