For improved wealth, is it better to have three, six, or nine goldfish? And where would you put the aquarium/bowl in your apartment/house?
Keith G., New York, NY
Thanks for your great question!
I remember reading my first feng shui book many years ago. It was a bit overwhelming, but one thing I got from it was that I should have a living goldfish somewhere! So, I purchased a black Betta fish (close enough, right?) and located the fish in the living room. Soon after, I went through a terrible break up with my then boyfriend and, coincidentally, the fish died at the same time. I clearly remember being really depressed at a party. I just met a new friend and was telling him about the fish, which in a way became a metaphor for the loss of my relationship. I also realized that, on some level, the fish took a hit for me. It was as if the fish helped to absorb the negative energy through this painful time in my life.
What does this have to do with improving your wealth? In feng shui, water is related to wealth and knowledge. Still water is depth of knowledge and moving water is your social network, and flow of money. First, consider what you need to improve to increase your wealth. If you need more cash flow, get an aquarium, which has moving water. If you need more knowledge, a fish bowl, which is still water, may be more appropriate. In both cases, be diligent about keeping the tank clean and change the water as required.
For the location of your tank, this really depends on your floor plan. As a general rule, for wealth it may be beneficial to place the fish near the front door of your home, especially the Path in Life/Kan/Career area. If there is a water filter on it with any sort of waterfall, it’s best to position it so the water falls into and towards the central part of the home. This represents the cash flowing towards you. You can also place it in Abundance/Xun/Wealth area of the living room. My teacher, Steven Post, suggests locating the tank at eye level, so it’s easily accessible to view and touch.
Once you have your tank location, the question is “three, six, or nine” goldfish? Goldfish are auspicious because, in Asian mythology, they are related to dragons. There is a story of a goldfish, or carp, that transformed into a dragon. Dragons represent luck and power. In turn, goldfish are very conducive to success. As for the number of fish, it depends on how much room you have. If you have a small tank, stick with three fish. Three is a complete and stable number in feng shui. But, if you can handle a larger tank, go for nine. Nine is ideal, but you need a lot more room. Check with your local aquarium store to determine what size tank you will need for nine goldfish. It defeats the purpose to squeeze nine fish into a small tank where they will not thrive. You can also do eight orange goldfish with one black goldfish.
When looking for your fish, keep in mind what kind of goldfish you purchase. The “feeder” goldfish are inexpensive and have a short lifespan. The fancy goldfish varieties are definitely more beautiful and more expensive. Consider what you can afford, and recognize that what you put into any feng shui adjustment, whether that be energy or money, will be commensurate to what you will receive. So if the feeder goldfish are what you can afford, please do the best that you can to keep them alive and treat them with great care. It is best to replace any fish that die immediately. Finally, my teachers have taught that you should replace any broken/damaged/dead object with another that is of better quality and typically more expensive.