The flowerhorn fish is a good example of how feng shui continues to develop even in this modern age, and that it is not stuck in the past.
The flowerhorn, scientifically known as the flowerhorn cichlid, is a cross breed fish with it’s origins traced back to as recent as the early 1990s.
There is therefore not a mention of it in classical feng shui text.
Yet it took the Eastern world by storm in the nineties with a demand explosion that can rival the Dutch Tulip mania of the 1630s.
Everybody who has an interest in feng shui caught wind of it. Every superstitious homeowners talked about it. And every Chinese household member young and old learned about the lucky fish.
It’s reputation for good luck became so revered so quickly that many people at one point only heard about the amazing feng shui fish without knowing how the aquatic creature actually looked like.
Believe me that I’m not exaggerating as I was a witness to the craze during that period of time.
Remember that there was no social media in those rustic days. So the fact that it became such a household name so quickly is testament to how huge the craze was back then.
How the flower horn became a feng shui sensation
Part of the reason this fish became a viral sensation was it’s given mandarin name 花罗汉 (Hua Luo Han) or luo han in short.
The name luo han is directly phonetically sounding as 罗汉 as written in 十八罗汉 (Shi Ba Luo Han) which is the mandarin reference to the Eighteen Arhats.
The kung fu skill 十八罗汉拳 (Shi Ba Luo Han Quan) is also a very popular skill in Chinese classic novels practiced by Shaolin monks. It even made it’s way into drama series and movies.
Thus, it is very easy for the Chinese and those who understand Chinese culture to feel some affinity with the word luo han.
And given the idolized connotations with the 18 Arhats, the mere mention of the word luo han when referring to the flower horn fish is enough to grab one’s attention.
Imagine just learning about a new fish named Batman today and you will have your interest piqued.
The physical features of luohan are so shocking at that period of time that it almost looked alien or a true creature sent down to earth by the gods.
It has a fleshy nuchal hump on it’s head that almost appear to be a handicap of some sort. Like a tumor or maybe even a deformed fish.
But that is just it’s natural biological form. Coupled with a muscular looking body, this fish is no slouch at the races too.
In fact, much like the arowana, this is a predatory fish that will be the nightmare of a variety of smaller fishes.
As the Chinese love fat animals as it is a symbol of wealth and prosperity, this bulky looking fish with a distinctive forehead is deemed to be enjoying luxury as if being bestowed on it by the heavens.
As if these features are not enough, one more unique feature of the flowerhorn sent many people into utter disbelief. And maybe even euphoria or mental meltdowns for some.
This cross-breeding species is one with black markings on both sides of the body which are as amusing as they are bemusing.
So randomly designed are these natural markings that they can sometimes make out words, pictures of items, and numbers.
Much like how cloud formations can sometimes resemble animals.
The combination of all these unique and unusual characteristics of the fish contributed to it’s viral marketing nature.
Simultaneously, rumors started to spread around about how people are striking the lottery with numbers they observed on their flowerhorns!
It’s as if the flowerhorns reward their keepers with windfall luck for giving them a home and making them feel welcomed.
You can’t make this up.
While this can be mere coincidence, try telling that to the avid fans and breeders who were making a killing off the craze.
There was no doubting now as to whether this is the real feng shui fish.
In a few years, which is relatively short when put in the perspective of feng shui terms, the flowerhorn big-headed fish managed to convincingly usurp centuries of feng shui practice and become the undisputed feng shui fish.
That is quite an achievement for any animal in metaphysics that probably won’t be matched in our lifetime.
At the peak of the fad, premium flowerhorns could fetch a price running up to the thousands.
Even today, they can fetch a pretty juicy price from enthusiasts.
Breeders talk about their beautiful scales, the colors and quality of their scales, distinction and clarity of their markings, the shape and fullness of their bumps, etc.
Where to place the flowerhorn fish
While the excitement of the flowerhorn is no longer as strong as it was those years ago, the fish has earned a place in modern feng shui as one of the most potent fishes capable of bringing wealth luck.
However, only time will tell whether there is any longevity to it’s status and symbolism.
The placement of the flowerhorn fish is very much alike to the arowana.
After all, it is agreed in various circles that it is an equal, if not an upgrade, to the arowana.
This means that they can be placed at the north or southeast. Or in any sector of the house where there is a resident water star that is favorable.
Most feng shui masters also agree that the flowerhorn is connected with earth energy even thought fishes obviously spends it’s lives in water.
And since it is a fish meant to bring about wealth luck, this makes the northeast (that has earth energy) a perfect area to position the aquarium during the period of 8.
However, some feng shui practitioners feel that using the hua luo han as a wealth enhancer is an overkill. Sort of like bringing a cannon to a gun fight.
If your intuition tells you the same thing, then consider using alternatives like koi or goldfish.
What I like the most about the success of the flowerhorn in becoming an infamous feng shui symbol is that it shows that feng shui is not living in the past but actually evolving.
If something works today but is not mentioned in classical text, it does not mean that it is wrong and has no basis.
That’s why I’m sometimes appalled at how some feng shui master simply refuse to acknowledge any modern feng shui practices because there are no mentions of them in classical text.
That shows how closed minded some people can be.
That is like saying quantum physic does not exist and is pure fantasy because Einstein did not mention it when developing his masterpiece that is the theory of relativity.
New findings and discoveries about metaphysical science can always improve the way metaphysics is practiced around the world.