As a Chinese man, I can tell you that people in my culture are big believers in the concept of luck. What is luck, you might ask. The word luck has its roots in Middle Low German lucke and is related the word ‘lock’.

Isn’t it funny that the word ‘luck’ is related to the word lock? So if the door of luck is locked; it means there must be a key to unlock this door. So how do we unlock it?

I don’t believe in gambling. It may surprise you to know that I have never gambled in my life. Life itself is a gamble and there is no need to take any more unnecessary risks. But what I do believe in is creating–or should I say unlocking–the gates of luck. If you want more prosperity to come into your life, you must strive to create your own luck.

Luck alone is not enough for success, of course. Lucky opportunities are only worth anything if we know how to harness and utilise those opportunities. Lady Luck is not a woman who likes to be kept waiting. If we do not unlock the door and let her in when she comes knocking, she will go and knock on someone else’s door. I think a better strategy is to invite her in and serve her her favourite dishes and a warm cup of tea. Because if not, she will surely go and knock on my neighbour’s door–or worse, my enemy’s door. Although I wish my enemy no harm, I would rather that Lady Luck visit my house and not his.

What’s important in this discussion of luck is to understand that good luck is the presence of opportunities that lead to success. So how do we increase our chances of being lucky?

I have some thoughts to share with you based on my own culture.


To the Chinese, the number 8 is a very lucky number. In Chinese, ba 八 sounds fa 發, which means “wealth”, “fortune”, and “prosperity”. Multiples of eight are considered even luckier, as 88 bears a resemblance to shuāng xǐ 囍 double happiness. Chinese people will go to great lengths to incorporate the number 8 into their lives wherever they can. During the Beijing summer Olympics, the opening ceremony began at 8:08 pm on 8/8/08.

To me, the infinity symbol \infty represents the number 8. Infinity represents something that is boundless or endless and something that is larger than human imagination. In mysticism, the infinity symbol is related to the ouroboros, an ancient image of a snake eating its own tail. The ouroboros is sometimes drawn in a figure-eight form to reflect this identification—rather than in its more traditional circular form.

What are some numbers that are lucky in your culture? How can you incorporate these numbers into your life and into your business to ensure that you give luck a helping hand?

Feng Shui

Feng shui 風水 is a traditional practice that originated in ancient China. It is a system that uses energy forces to harmonise individuals with their surrounding environment. The Chinese character feng 風 refers to the wind element and shui refers to the element of water 水.

Feng shui practise requires a belief in the unseen forces that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together. These forces come together to create a vital force known as qi 氣 which is the same vital force of every living entity. The goal of feng shui as it is practiced today is to situate the human-built environment on spots with good qi. In feng shui, the perfect spot is a physical location and an axis in time.

We have all heard the English saying, “Right person, right time, right place.” If any of those three elements is not in sync, then the feng shui is simply not in alignment. From ancient to modern times, feng shui has been used to align cities, sites, buildings, and even objects with the earth’s magnetic field.

Take a look at your own home. What is the state of its feng shui? Even if you don’t believe in things like feng shui, a neat and tidy abode can do wonders for you. Have you ever thought about keeping a plant, burning incense or even opening your windows to let some fresh air in? These practises are all elements of good feng shui.

red and gold gift boxes


In addition to arranging our living and working spaces to create a harmonious environment, the ancient Chinese would wear crystals and gemstones to achieve a healthy flow of qi. Gemstones come from the earth, just like plants and rocks. The earth is not merely a ‘physical resource’, but a living, breathing entity with its own life force.

Gemstones have embedded within them, the element of the earth where it was created; as well as the heat and pressure that led to its formation. If you are feeling an imbalance in your physical body, a gemstone can bring some much-needed qi into your life; or alternatively, can even help you to release toxic energies.

The Chinese are not the only people who have utilised the power of gemstones. Since prehistoric times, humans have been attracted to gemstones for their beauty, as well as their powers of attraction, healing and protection.

Silicon crystals are used in all the chips that run our computers, televisions, radios and numerous other appliances. Rubies are used in lasers. So before you dismiss this ancient practise, know that crystals have a practical purpose; even in the devices that we use on a daily basis.

Ruby eye pendant from an ancient civilisation in Mesopotamia. Adilnor Collection.

Unlocking the Gates of Luck

If you’re feeling unlucky, maybe it is time to invite some luck into your life. I don’t believe that luck is purely chance-based. By increasing our chances of being lucky, we can invite Lady Luck into our lives.

If you are waiting for Lady Luck to visit you, I think you will be waiting for a long time. There are many places she needs to visit. So it’s best if you invite her into your home by creating a pleasant atmosphere and making sure you are wearing some nice clothing and jewellery. I have no doubt that she will be more likely to greet you then.

And even if you don’t believe in the existence of Lady Luck; there is simply not much harm in living or working in a well-kept home and wearing a few modest pieces of jewellery.

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4 thoughts on “The Chinese Philosophy of Luck | Numerology, Feng Shui and Gemology

  1. Fantastic. I will start working on my luck right away. If nothing else, I will indeed have a well-kept home and a few modest pieces of jewellery.

  2. “Luck alone is not enough for success, of course. Lucky opportunities are only worth anything if we know how to harness and utilise those opportunities.”
    This is why so many people end up squandering away their lucky breaks. They have no idea that their run of luck will not last forever. We must know how to utilise our good fortune and extend its shelf life or it will simply run out.

  3. Wow, this article sure has a unique taste to it! We find people complaining about their luck or people who says they don’t believe in luck at all. But inviting Lady Luck instead of waiting for her… that’s something unheard of! A truly amazing perspective to look at luck, and of course, life.

    P.S.: I so love this line:
    “Life itself is a gamble and there is no need to take any more unnecessary risks.”

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