Even though the pomegranate takes a back seat in popularity in real life behind the all time favorites like apples and watermelons, it is one of the big brothers among fruits in the world of feng shui.
On a side note, I find picking and plucking the fleshy seeds out of the fruit rather therapeutic.
The moment one cranks open the fruit, clusters of red seeds line up in a weirdly organized order that is oddly beautiful.
For this reason, the pomegranate fruit is known as a powerful symbol of fertility.
This powerful fertility symbol is also partly due to the Chinese name shi liu (石榴) with 石 sounding like 世, which is a word that is translated to mean generations.
It is also revered as a symbol of a blessed family with filial and honorable children who will bring virtue to a family’s name.
In superstition, it is also believed that women who consume the fruit during the new year can enhance the chances of conceiving sons during the course of the year.
The fruit also serves as a representation of the 7th month.
Legend of the pomegranate fruit
The story behind how pomegranate fruits came to be strongly associated with fertility goes like this.
Emperor Wenxuan of the northern Qi, who is also known as Gao Yang, had a nephew (Gao Yanzong) whom he doted to bits. So much so that he even arranged for his marriage with the breathtaking oriental beauty that is Li Zu. Li’s mother then presented the gift of two huge pomegranates to the emperor which left him bemused. She then explained that the brilliant red fruit that bears many seeds symbolizes her wish for the couple to have a lot of children soon. So impressed was the emperor with this profound metaphor that he approved it which led to the practice being adopted by the citizens.
This practice slowly became deeply embedded in Chinese culture over time.
Parents of newlyweds often stealthily hang two pomegranates in the bedrooms or above the beds of the young couple with the wish that they would have babies soon.
If they are unable to do so, maybe due to their kids being shy, then they might secretly used pillow cases or bedsheets embroidered with pomegranates for the newly weds.
As you might expect, Chinese parents are often very eager to have grandchildren. Partly due to a desire to have a little peace of mind with their legacy and having their names passed down to younger generations.
In paintings, the pomegranate is almost always depicted with it cut open to reveal it’s seeds. This can also be a few of them but only one or two being cut.
One such auspicious painting called duo zi duo fu (多子多福) has pomegranate fruits cut open revealing it’s seeds while still attached the tree branch. This represents a wish for more children and grand children.
Other times, it might be painted with it’s flower blooming in their full glory.
The flowers of pomegranate are brilliant red and is believed to be a good omen of prosperity and festivities worth celebrating.
Women would sometimes wear clothing or accessories containing the pomegranate blossom flower design to wish for a bright year ahead.
Pomegranate is also a member of another trio with finger lemon and peach. This refers to the 3 abundances of blessings, longevity and descendants.
In a boat with a hat on top and belt signifies the proper passing down of wealth and power to descendants for generations to come.
Placement of pomegranates in feng shui
As mentioned, the main purpose for people to display pomegranates in the house is for the wish of having children and a birth with little complications.
It is therefore only appropriate in living rooms only if the house is only inhabited by a couple. You don’t want just anybody to get pregnant. This also refers especially to paintings, designs or sculptures with the cut fruit.
For big families, pomegranates should only be placed in living rooms if they are portrayed as uncut.
They can also be displayed in bedrooms of couples hoping to conceive.
Because of the relation of the fruit to conceiving children, they can also be placed in the sectors of the Tui and Ken trigrams which are associated with the southeast and northwest areas of the house respectively.
However, positioning it in the Ken trigram location is generally accepted to be a more potent way to draw on the pomegranate’s power compared to the Tui location because of the fruit’s association with sons rather than daughters.
The potency of the pomegranate can be further enhanced in a room when there is a view of a lush garden on the outside filled with blooming flowers.