Red doors China

An Introduction to Moon Gate in the Garden

“Nothing ever exists entirely alone. Everything is in relation to everything else.”

– Buddha

Feng Shui emphasizes how our environments can impact our everyday lives. If one’s landscape is harmonious with their own nature, then they are able to cultivate a positive atmosphere.

One significant structure that can be incorporated in a landscape is the Moon Gate, which connects the heavens to the earth. In a garden, the Moon Gate may be the opening in a wall or a circular passageway for pedestrians to move through. Traditionally, they were only featured in the gardens of wealthy Chinese households. However, as Chinese landscaping practices become more globalized, Moon Gates can be found all across the world. In Bermuda, a freestanding Moon Gate is often included in wedding ceremonies. According to their traditions, stepping through a Moon Gate grants good luck in marriage. Doors are symbolically powerful across many cultures, but the Moon Gate serves to provide an auspicious welcome to guests and a returning point for family members.

The Moon Gate balances heavenly and earthly connection through the structure of the gate itself. Like Chinese coins, Moon Gates feature a rectangle within a circle. The circle on the outside of the gate is connected to heaven and represents yin. The yin is then balanced out by the rectangular door within the circle, which represents the earth and consequently yang. Through the gate’s shape, the landscape is able to achieve balance in yin and yang while connecting the earthly world to the heavenly world.

Anyone can access the spiritual power of a Moon Gate by visiting a traditional Chinese garden; Saratoga’s Hakone Gardens welcomes visitors with a Moon Gate at the entrance. However, the entire Bay area benefits from the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, which serves as a major Moon Gate. The bridge is aligned like a needle connecting the North and the South, carrying energy for success throughout the Bay Area. With the Golden Gate bridge’s construction came economic development, demonstrating how this unique Moon Gate contributes to the Bay Area’s success. In fact, the Chinese calligraphy for “Moon Gate” correlates with the structure of the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Source: VisitTheUSA

Overall, the Moon Gate is a structure that connects the heavens and earth to bring auspicious energy to those who pass through it. While they are traditionally structures in the garden, less conventional Moon Gates like the Golden Gate Bridge still help to balance the landscape. Consequently, individuals with Moon Gates in their gardens to the whole Bay Area benefit from these Chinese structures.

Interested in incorporating a Moon Gate into your garden? Consult Aelita Leto for developing an auspicious Feng Shui garden.

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