FENG SHUI Money Frogs

The Money Frog / Lucky Money Frog / Money Toad / Fortune Frog / Three Legged Money Toad or, as the Chinese term them ‘Chan Chu’ or ‘Zhaocai Chan Cu’, is a belief in a mythical creature that is said to appear every full moon and will be sighted close to houses were the occupants are about to receive good news about wealth. 

In some regions the story gets more intriguing; The money frog started out as the beautiful wife of  ‘legendary figure’ Chang Heng, an inventor of arrows.  Chang Ngo, though a beauty was also greedy and stole the Elixir of Immortality from Si Wang Mu, the Royal Goddess of the West.

As punishment her beauty was taken away by the other deities of heaven and she was exiled to live in the moon, her beauty stripped, her appearance replaced by that of a 3 legged toad.

The Money Frogs come in a variety of guises - commonly as Jade, Rosewood Resin, ,Gold or Bronze, all with the ability to hold a coin in their mouth.  Many also tend to have 3 legs.  Brown wooden frogs are not feng shui frogs.  Now she protects households from misfortune and helps to bring wealth.

The carving of them is important and their characteristics all have meaning - the frogs tend to sit on piles of gold, they sometimes are accompanied by a ‘Bagua plinth’ relating to the regions of energy within the property, their backs often include 7 pronounced dots and 2 more subtle dots, that are more like diamond shaped to represent the Ursa Major in Chinese Astrology.  These relate to 9 stars from which all Feng Shui is based.


Well true in this instance, the bigger the frog’s haul of gold coins on its back the better, a good size frog is 3 x 3” and upwards.  The coins come from writings of a a 10th Century Minister of state, Lui Hai, who would use a red lie with gold coins while fishing to entice the illusive creature.


There are some rules for best placement of a lucky frog, these include:

Make sure the frog is not resting on a low cabinet or floor, the same as with Buddha statues, ideally they should be shown a level of respect and elevated within the room. 

If there is just one of them then ensure he/she is not facing outwards from the building.

Avoid putting him opposite to the main entrance - the frog should face into the home.
Place them discreetly.

He should be ideally in the main living area, not a a bathroom, kitchen or bedroom. 

The frog will prefer to be in an open environment without other items around him.

You may choose to host them in your garden - face them towards your home. 

If you conduct a lot of business from your home then place the frog on this desk.

Sounds specific but there is solid logic behind the placement; a bedroom vs an office for example has a very different energy.  Bedrooms are areas for rest and relaxation, the frog is ill suited to this environment, you want him to work effectively and his energy may actually unbalance the harmony of a resting location.

Imagine these frogs are channelling positive 'Qi' energies and you want that energy of positive fortune directed into the core of your home.


When you are considering your lucky money frog placement, there are a few other things to consider in relation to the practice of Feng Shui.  Feng Shui has its own energy map that should be applied to any location.  Each section of this map ( Bagua Map / Pakua Map ) relates to a different type of ‘Qi’ energy that you may want t attract.  For the money frog he is associated with death and prosperity - on the Bagua map this relates to the southeastern part of the home.

Wood and water are also associated with financial prosperity and increasing the number of items related to these will help strengthen the energy in that area.


To awaken / activate the luck of a lucky money frog you should tie a red ribbon around him or place him on a piece of red paper or in a bowl or coins if his is not sculpted with them.


The coin is crucial to the functionality of the frog and how you should ideally orientate the coin in the frog’s mouth will be important.

Look at the writing on the coins - one style has a ruby in the middle of the coin - if you have this coin then make sure that the ruby faces upwards.  

If you have a coin with Chinese writing on one side and symbols on the other, make sure the symbol side faces upwards.


The optimal use of the lucky frogs requires 9 of these creatures however multiples of 3 or 6 and when multiples are used, as mentioned above, try not to have them facing one another.  When using multiple frogs it is best to have them all facing into the home but from different directions.