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The Red Envelop Tradition




The Red Envelop Tradition is a time-honored practice of presenting red envelopes to a feng shui practitioner at the conclusion of a consultation or whenever feng shui cures are provided. Rooted in Chinese folk culture, the color red symbolizes good luck and power and the rectangular shape, resembling ancient shields, symbolizes protection and. Red envelopes are also used to exchange money on special occasions, such as Chinese New Year and weddings.


When a feng shui practitioner from the Western or Black Sect tradition shares sacred wisdom or mystical cures, one or more red envelopes with any amount of money inside are presented for their service. Some consultants request a fee plus red envelopes, others may request their fee be placed in one or more red envelopes, and others may ask for a particular number of red envelopes and leave the amount up to you. The practice varies.


As in all of life, the value you place on something is related to the value you actually receive. More red envelopes may be requested for deeply rooted issues or complex solutions. Multiples of nine are auspicious. Customarily you place one or more dollars in each envelope and give any combination of nine. Twenty seven is a strong feng shui number and 108 is very auspicious. Coins, which add weight, can also be placed in each envelope. The intent with which the envelopes are given and the weight that the money represents, strengthens the solutions. A monetary offering presented in red envelopes, according to your ability and feelings, is appropriate and appreciated at the conclusion of each consultation or exchange of information. The red envelopes energetically protect both the giver and receiver.


According to tradition, the red envelopes:

1. Show your sincere intention, appreciation and respect for the sacred knowledge shared.


2. Protect the practitioner for inappropriately or naively revealing secret information.


3. Strengthen and increase the effectiveness of the information given.


4. Acknowledge the integrity of the working relationship.


Feng shui and ancient wisdom work on a variety of levels that are not always evident. Being open to the possibility that the expert may help you is fundamental.


Prior to a feng shui consultation, take time to prepare your red envelopes in a sincere manner. Slow down, quiet your energy, and reflect on what you hope to accomplish. Then place any amount of money into each envelope, visualizing your anticipated outcome, and expressing appreciation for the right solutions to come to you easily.


Ancient wisdom is something that is learned and experienced. It is not purchased. Money is simply a carrier of energy. The red envelope ritual expresses respect and sincerity for the expert’s knowledge as well as for feng shui practices and traditions. The expert takes the red envelopes home and blesses them to strengthen and increase the effectiveness of the information shared. Some practitioners place the red envelopes on an altar for nine days before opening them. Others may sleep with them under their pillow. The blessing and nine day cycle harnesses ancient wisdom and empowers the information that was exchanged.


Red envelopes can be purchased at feng shui product websites like LuckyCat.com, card stores, office supply stores, or in any Chinatown. You can also make them. One day a client presented me with nine gorgeous red envelopes she made using her finest red paint. She expressed her sincerity and appreciation by putting a lot of thought and energy into each envelope. Another time a client sewed red envelopes for me using beautiful red fabric. I often receive homemade red envelopes in which the entire family participates, imparting their sincerity and intention. This can be an amazing family experience. Other times clients go out of their way to find beautiful red envelopes or they purchase red envelopes with a particular intent and symbol in mind. All practices work.


I am always touched by the outpouring of respect and appreciation for this tradition. Sincerity, respect, intention, and appreciation for all that we do and don’t understand are what matter most. Thank you for honoring this ancient practice. 

Read about: The Yin and Yang of Your Home


Peg Donahue, founder of Feng Shui Connections, is the author of 365 Affirmations for Prosperity, an e-book available on amazon.com and a co-author of Dorm Room Feng Shui. Please find Peg Donahue at www.fengshuidirectory.com.