Feng Shui by Clear Englebert

Feng Shui & Mermaid Imagery

Feng Shui & Mermaid Imagery

Leighton-The Fisherman and the Syren-c. 1856-1858

You definitely get the feeling that the relationship is not going to work out… “The Fisherman and the Syren,” Frederic Leighton. Public domain.

I know many out there will hate to hear this, but mermaid imagery is disempowering for women and devastatingly so if it’s a single mermaid. Think of the phrase “like a fish out of water.” Well, that’s what a mermaid is. A mermaid tail cannot walk around on dry land, yet dry land is where the upper part of the mermaid has to be in order to breathe. So here’s this composite creature that’s at home nowhere, and powerless on land (which is where people live). If the mermaid image is female (which it almost always is, in contemporary depictions) and you’re a woman—watch out! Anytime an image (in your home, yard or office) is the same gender as you, it’s affecting you much more than an image of the opposite gender. In my opinion, that classifies as common sense.

I’ve often written about the problem of singular imagery having an adverse affect on the “relationship energy” of the home (examples are found on page 118 of Feng Shui for Hawaii, and page 14 of Feng Shui for Love & Money). Images of several merpeople are an improvement over a single merperson, in that sense. The earliest images of merpeople always showed interaction, not singularity.

John William Waterhouse A Mermaid.jpg

Well, here she is, out taking a “breather,” but she’s not going to get very far unless she holds her breath and jumps back in the water. “A Mermaid.” John William Waterhouse, 1900. Public domain.

Some of the earliest examples of merpeople can be found in mosaics on Crete. In those representations, the creatures have two scaly tails where you’d expect legs to be. They’re still not exactly land-friendly creatures, I’d say.

I recently had a client who agreed to remove her mermaid imagery, but she wondered what to do with it. I suggested letting it go, but in the meantime, storing it in a closet in such a way that if she opened the closet she wouldn’t see the images—the paintings are facing the wall. (This is my common recommendation when clients have items that are obviously unsuitable, from a feng shui standpoint, but they aren’t ready or able to part with them.)

Article Comments

  1. Allie

    March 24, 2022 1:58 pm Reply

    Hi Sir ! I was thinking about buying this gorgeous mermaid poster that I saw on etsy and thinking of putting in my room. The mermaid is resting in a big shell, the shell is above the water. Above the shell and the mermaid it says
    Rest is divine.Rest is soul care.
    Is it still bad feng shui ? I only want good energy in my space.

    • clearenglebert

      March 24, 2022 5:06 pm Reply

      Don’t get it, especially if you are a woman. I’ve never seen mermaid imagery bring good energy into people’s lives. The words on the poster are in a sense overkill—the room will actually be more conducive to real rest if there are fewer words on the walls

      • Allie

        March 25, 2022 2:22 pm Reply

        Thank you for responding ! I’ll take your advices and stay away from that kind of art.

  2. clearenglebert

    March 25, 2022 2:23 pm Reply

    Very good!

  3. Ruby

    June 3, 2023 1:21 pm Reply

    My husband is not ready to leave Mermaid and we recently shifted to another rental apartment while moving mermaid got broke. But after this also he is not ready to throw that one and its still on his desk.

  4. clearenglebert

    June 3, 2023 2:02 pm Reply

    Sigh! Glue the statue back together as best you can. Put a VERY TINY DOT of red paint (or red nail polish) at exactly the place where the break occurs. Try to put the dot is a discreet place so hopefully it doesn’t show. At the time that you put the dot on, say out loud, “This statue is one piece again. It is complete & whole.” or words to that effect.

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