Chinese mythology is replete with fascinating creatures and deities, each with their own significance and symbolism. Among these mystical beings, the Vermilion Bird, also known as Zhu Que or Fenghuang, holds a prominent place. As one of the Four Symbols of Chinese mythology, the Vermilion Bird is a majestic creature with deep-rooted cultural and mythological significance. In this article, we will explore the origins, characteristics, and symbolism of the Vermilion Bird in Chinese mythology.
what are vermilion bird in Chinese mythology?
Zhu Que, also known as the Vermilion Bird, is one of the Four Spirits of the Chinese ancient mythology, originating from the worship of ancient constellations. It represents the southern direction and is associated with the Yan Emperor and the southern constellations. In the Eight Trigrams, it corresponds to the Li trigram and is aligned with the element of fire in the Five Elements theory. The Vermilion Bird symbolizes the “old yang” among the Four Symbols and the summer season among the four seasons. In ancient times, it was believed to guide the souls of the deceased to ascend to heaven, and later, it was believed to bestow longevity upon people. During the Han Dynasty, when knowledge of celestial observations flourished, its symbolic meanings expanded to include storing knowledge, the solar terms Bing and Ding, and ritual propriety and virtue. In the post-Han period, Taoism incorporated the Vermilion Bird as a protective deity, referred to as Lingguang Shengjun.
Zhu Que, the red bird, symbolizes auspiciousness and has become a pure and mystical symbol in classical mythology. In ancient Chinese mythology, Zhu Que is known as the deity of the southern direction, along with Qing Long (Azure Dragon), Bai Hu (White Tiger), and Xuan Wu (Black Tortoise), collectively known as the Four Symbols, representing the four cardinal directions. After the formation of the Twenty-Eight Mansions system, Zhu Que became the general term for the seven mansions of the southern direction. Connecting them together, the image was imagined by previous generations as Zhu Que.
In the novel “Journey to the West,” each of the Twenty-Eight Mansions has its own name. The seven mansions of the southern direction are respectively called Jingmu’an, Guijinyang, Liutuzhang, Xingrima, Zhangyuelu, Yihuo she, and Zhenshuiyin, with the last character denoting an animal. In 2000, in Qi Xinming’s book “Pan-Asia Theory,” it was mentioned that the ancient Yue State considered Zhu Que as their totem.
vermilion bird history
In the early period of the Shang Dynasty, the imagery of the Four Symbols, including the Vermilion Bird, appeared in oracle bone inscriptions. The earliest recorded instance can be found in oracle bone inscriptions unearthed in the Yin ruins, which states, “On the day of Ding Si, divination requires the emperor to offer sacrifices to the Vermilion Bird, offering three sheep, three pigs, and three dogs.”
In the early Western Zhou Dynasty, relics depicting the Vermilion Bird were unearthed. At that time, only the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, Vermilion Bird, and Divine Deer were recorded, and the Xuan Wu had not yet taken shape.
During the Spring and Autumn Period, the Book of Poetry, specifically in the section “Da Ya, Juan A,” mentions, “The crimson phoenix sings, near that high hill, the parasol tree grows, near that morning sun. The crimson phoenix’s body is engulfed in fire, never extinguishing throughout its life.” It is described as having vigorous vitality, with its form reflecting its divine nature, bringing auspiciousness and vitality to the world and embodying perfection and good fortune.
In the Warring States Period, a lacquer box unearthed in the Zeng Hou Yi Tomb in Suixian County recorded the complete names of the Twenty-Eight Mansions and the Four Symbols for the first time, including the name of the Vermilion Bird. The Chu Ci (Songs of Chu) states, “The flying Vermilion Bird acts as the precursor, driving the chariot of Taiyi.” The Chu Ci Bu Zhu (Annotations to Chu Ci) explains, “It means that by inhaling the essence of the sky, one obtains true Dao, guided by the divine Vermilion Bird.”
During the Han Dynasty, the theory of omenology and astrology flourished, and the symbolic meanings associated with the Vermilion Bird expanded to include storing knowledge, the solar terms Bing and Ding, and ritual propriety and virtue. In later Daoism during the Han Dynasty, the Vermilion Bird was absorbed as a protective deity known as Lingguang Shengjun. It was also believed that the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, Vermilion Bird, and Xuan Wu collaborated to create the world and were the masters of heaven and earth, maintaining the balance of the cosmos. However, there are also records of the Vermilion Bird alone being involved in the creation of the world. In the Western Han Dynasty, it was considered one of the Five Beasts and was also known as the Heavenly Official of the Five Beasts in the Huainanzi. In the Han Dynasty’s Lunheng, it is mentioned that “the east represents wood, with its star being the Azure Dragon. The west represents metal, with its star being the White Tiger. The south represents fire, with its star being the Vermilion Bird. The north represents water, with its star being the Xuan Wu. The essence of the four stars gives birth to the four beasts, and the insects carrying their blood represent the four beasts.”
During the Eastern Han Dynasty, it is mentioned in Ge Hong’s book “Shenxian Zhuan” that “I ride the Azure Dragon, while they ride the White Tiger. The Vermilion Bird is ahead, and the Xuan Wu is behind. This is the path to immortality.”
In the Tang Dynasty, the book “Hunyuan Ba Jing Zhen Jing,” which is included in the Orthodox Taoist Canon, contains the following record: “The northern direction represents the water element, with the hexagram corresponding to Kan, and its symbol is the Xuan Wu, the god of water. The southern direction represents the fire element, with the hexagram corresponding to Li, and its symbol is the Vermilion Bird, the god of fire. The eastern direction represents the wood element, with the hexagram corresponding to Zhen, and its symbol is the Azure Dragon, the god of wood. The western direction represents the metal element, with the hexagram corresponding to Dui, and its symbol is the White Tiger, the god of metal. These four symbols are responsible for the creation of the world and the maintenance of heaven and earth.”
During the late Tang Dynasty and early Song Dynasty, Lingguang Shengjun was the title given by Taoism to the Vermilion Bird after anthropomorphizing the Four Symbols. In the “Tai Shang Yuan Shi Tian Zun Shuo Bei Di Fu Mo Shen Zhou Miao Jing,” it is mentioned, “On the left is the Azure Dragon, named Mengzhang, with the symbol of Mao. On the right is the White Tiger, named Jianbing, with the symbol of You. The Vermilion Bird is in front, named Lingguang, with the symbol of Wu. The Xuan Wu is behind, named Zhiming, with the symbol of Zi.” In the “Qian Jin Yi Fang,” Volume 30, it states, “Within the body’s form, the four symbols each have their own rulership. The liver represents the Azure Dragon, the lungs represent the White Tiger, the heart represents the Vermilion Bird, the kidneys represent the Xuan Wu, and the spleen represents the central residence.”
During the Five Dynasties period, in the book “Tai Shang Huang Lu Zhai Yi,” Volume 44, the seven mansions of the Southern Vermilion Bird are referred to as “the celestial realm of the three qis in the south, the palace of the Fire Official, the residence of the Red Emperor, the brilliant influence of the fire virtue, and the mansions of the well, ghost, willow, star, wings, and torches, representing the deity of the Vermilion Bird.”
In the Northern Song Dynasty, the “Yun Ji Qi Qian” records: “The Four Symbols are the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, Vermilion Bird, and Xuan Wu. The Azure Dragon represents the eastern direction with the elements of Wood represented by the characters Jia and Yi… The White Tiger represents the western direction with the element of Metal represented by the characters Geng and Xin… The Vermilion Bird represents the southern direction with the element of Fire represented by the characters Bing and Ding. The Vermilion Bird is born from the separation of liquid and takes the form of a dragon, while the solidified energy forms a bird. Its energy soars to become the heavens, while its substance descends to become the earth. It is the foundation of the Great Elixir… The Xuan Wu represents the northern direction with the elements of Water represented by the characters Ren and Gui… Those who aspire to refine the elixir in the crucible of their aspirations should understand these Four Symbols, and their reverence will be observed by celestial beings and humans in all directions. The ancient scriptures mention the ‘Elixir of the Four Deities,’ which refers to this.”
During the Ming Dynasty, in the book “Shao Gu Ji,” it is recorded: “The seven mansions of the Southern Vermilion Bird represent the southern land of heaven.” It suggests that the essence of the Vermilion Bird is the southern sky. Additionally, in the book “Gu Wen Can Tong Qi Ji Jie,” it states, “Wen Chang is the master star of the Taiwei, which refers to the six stars in the Kuizhong Dai Kuang. They are known as the united stars of the South Pole, taking the form of a human and representing the deity of the Vermilion Bird, recording the registry of human longevity.”
vermilion bird in Chinese architecture
The Zhu Que sculptures in ancient Chinese architecture have a long-standing tradition in history. Zhu Que represents the power of fire and symbolizes the courage and resilience of the Chinese people. It carries many symbolic meanings, serving not only as an artistic piece but also as a symbol of cultural tradition.
Firstly, Zhu Que sculptures symbolize courage. According to legends, Zhu Que belongs to the avian species of fire and is the guardian deity of the fire god in ancient Chinese mythology. It represents the courage and resilience of the Chinese people to withstand external threats and protect the security and prosperity of the nation.
Secondly, Zhu Que sculptures symbolize discipline. In ancient Chinese culture, Zhu Que is a unique creature that symbolizes the discipline of etiquette. The dying posture of the Zhu Que bird is also part of traditional Chinese culture, expressing the respect and adherence of the Chinese people to social order and rules.
Lastly, Zhu Que sculptures symbolize friendship. Zhu Que represents friendship and signifies the bond between the Chinese people and people from other nations. Named after its beautiful appearance, Zhu Que was regarded as a gift by ancient people to express their friendship and warm welcome to foreigners.
In summary, the Zhu Que sculptures in ancient Chinese architecture carry multiple symbolic meanings. They not only represent the courage and resilience of the Chinese people but also symbolize traditional discipline of etiquette and the continuation of friendship between the Chinese people and people from other nations. They are also a part of ancient Chinese culture, reflecting the respect and love of the Chinese people towards their cultural traditions.
vermilion bird palace
The term “Zhu Que Deep Palace” refers to the area within the imperial palace where the emperor resided in the court. In ancient China, Zhu Que is one of the Four Symbols and represents the south, so the “Zhu Que Deep Palace” became the place where the emperor resided in the south. In history, many famous imperial palaces were referred to as “Zhu Que Deep Palace,” with the most representative one being the Forbidden City in Beijing.
The history of the term “Zhu Que Deep Palace” can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty. Emperor Taizong of Tang built a palace called the “Zhu Que Deep Palace” within the Daming Palace to commemorate his consort, Lady Changsun. Since then, with the succession of different dynasties, different emperors built Zhu Que Deep Palaces in various locations, and the Forbidden City in Beijing became the last dynasty’s emperor to possess the “Zhu Que Deep Palace.”
The Zhu Que Deep Palace holds special significance in the political and cultural context of ancient China. It is not only the residence of the emperor but also a symbol of imperial power. Within the Zhu Que Deep Palace, the emperor held supreme authority and managed the affairs of the entire nation. At the same time, the Zhu Que Deep Palace was an exclusive place for the emperor, and the common people were not allowed to enter at will. Therefore, the Zhu Que Deep Palace also became a symbol of power and privacy.
The architectural style of the Zhu Que Deep Palace is generally similar to other ancient imperial palaces but also has some unique features. For example, in the Imperial Garden on the southern side of the Forbidden City, there is a terrace called Wanghai Lou, built during the Ming Dynasty. This tower serves a unique purpose, allowing the emperor to overlook the sea, symbolizing the emperor’s authority to rule the world. Additionally, the architecture of the Zhu Que Deep Palace emphasizes the use of colors, with a significant use of yellow and red, symbolizing imperial power, nobility, and grandeur.
vermilion bird of the South powers
Zhu Que is a mythical creature representing the south in Chinese mythology. It is a red bird and is part of the Southern Seven Mansions, which include the constellations of Jing, Gui, Liu, Xing, Zhang, Yi, and Zhen, forming a bird shape known as the Xuan Niao. Zhu Que derives its name from its red color, as the south is associated with fire.
The guiding power of Zhu Que can be seen in the verse “Fei Zhu Niao Shi Xian Qu, Jia Tai Yi Zhi Xiang Yu” from the Chu Ci (Songs of Chu), where it refers to the bird being sent as a messenger by Zhu Que, the god of fire. The commentary in Chu Ci Bu Zhu (Annotations to Chu Ci) further states, “Speaking of oneself absorbing the vital energy of heaven and attaining true enlightenment, Zhu Que, the divine bird, serves as my guide.” This also reflects the ability of Zhu Que to assist in achieving immortality.
The Southern Seven Mansions are a combination of Chinese mythology and astronomy. Ancient Chinese astronomers divided the visible stars in the sky into four groups of seven mansions each, representing the east, west, south, and north. The Southern Seven Mansions consist of Jing, Gui, Liu, Xing, Zhang, Yi, and Zhen. Since the south is associated with Zhu Que, it is also known as the Southern Seven Mansions of Zhu Que. In ancient Chinese Feng Shui, they are referred to as Jing Mu Han, Gui Jin Yang, Liu Tu Zhang, Xing Ri Ma, Zhang Yue Lu, Yi Huo She, and Zhen Shui Yin.
Here are brief descriptions of each of the Southern Seven Mansions:
Jing: Mentioned in the “Book of the Emperor’s Officials” in the Records of the Grand Historian, it is associated with water. Jing consists of eight stars that form a shape resembling a well, hence its name. It belongs to the Gemini constellation, with Jing Three (Gemini Gamma) being the brightest, classified as a second-magnitude star.
Gui: Also known as Yu Gui, the character “Gui” means “many” in the collection of rhymes. It can be understood as a representation of many ghosts. In the “Steps to Heaven Song,” it is described as “Four stars shaped like a square, with a white one in the center, representing accumulated death energy.” Gui belongs to the Cancer constellation, with its four stars (Cancer Gamma, Delta, Eta, Theta) all being small stars of fourth and fifth magnitudes. The central star cluster, referred to as the accumulated death energy, is known as the Beehive Cluster (M44) in Western astronomy.
Liu: Originally named “Zhou,” which means bird’s beak, similar to the concept of a dragon’s horn. It is described in the Er Ya (Erya) as “Zhou means Liu, and Liu refers to quail fire,” indicating that quail is a bird name associated with fire in the south. Liu consists of eight stars that form a curved shape resembling a bird’s beak or a weeping willow. The brightest star is Liu Six (Serpens Zeta), a third-magnitude star. Liu, Xing, and Zhang all belong to the constellation of Serpens.
Xing: Also known as Qi Xing, it consists of seven stars, as mentioned in the “Book of Rites, Monthly Ordinances,” referring to the seven stars visible at dawn. In the “Book of the Emperor’s Officials,” it is described as “Seven stars, a ministerial official, overseeing urgent matters.” Xing is located in the heart of the Serpens constellation, with Xing One (Serpens Alpha) being the brightest, classified as a second-magnitude star. The “Steps to Heaven Song” describes it as “Seven stars like a hook, emerging from under the willow.”
Zhang: Derived from the term “zhang su,” which means the crop of a bird. In the “Book of the Emperor’s Officials,” it is mentioned as “Zhang means feathers or wings.” Zhang consists of six stars, forming a shape like an open bow. All stars are small, ranging from the fourth to fifth magnitude. Zhang Two (Serpens Lambda) is the brightest.
Yi: Also associated with Zhu Que, it is mentioned in the “Book of the Emperor’s Officials” as “Yi means feathers or wings.” Yi consists of twenty-two stars, resembling the spread wings of a bird. Some belong to the constellation of Serpens, while others belong to Bootes.
Zhen: Found on the lid of the Zeng Hou Yi tomb’s lacquer box, it is written as “che” (cart) in ancient Chinese. In the “Book of the Emperor’s Officials,” it is described as “Zhen means cart.” Zhen consists of four stars, with two additional stars known as the left and right yas, resembling the axles of a cart. Both Zhen and the yas belong to the constellation of Corvus. The “Steps to Heaven Song” describes it as “Four pearls of Zhen, not equal in size, with one black star in the middle of Changsha,” referring to a fifth-magnitude star known as Changsha, which is located in Corvus.
what does the vermilion bird represent?
Zhu Que is one of the four spiritual creatures in traditional Chinese culture, carrying rich symbolic meanings and implications. In Feng Shui, Zhu Que is considered an auspicious omen and represents the element of fire in nature. The symbolism and significance of Zhu Que are profound.
According to mythology and legends, Zhu Que is a divine bird capable of spewing red flames, symbolizing the power and energy of fire. Fire is seen as a purifying force in ancient culture, capable of eliminating negative energy and misfortune. Therefore, Zhu Que is also regarded as a guardian spirit that can ward off evil and bring good fortune to people.
In Chinese traditional culture, Zhu Que is also seen as a symbol of spring and new life. Spring represents beginnings and hope, and Zhu Que is closely associated with this sense of rejuvenation. The energy of new life is important for people as it encourages them to embrace new challenges and opportunities while bringing certain luck and good fortune.
In Feng Shui, Zhu Que is also considered a spiritual creature belonging to the southern direction, representing one of the Five Elements – fire. The southern region is often associated with qualities like warmth, passion, and sunlight, and the power represented by Zhu Que reflects these characteristics of the south. Additionally, Zhu Que is seen as a bridge between heaven and earth, symbolizing a medium that connects the two worlds.
From another perspective, Zhu Que is also regarded as an animal embodying passion and creativity. It can inspire people’s inner creativity and spark their imaginations, helping them unleash their full potential. In creative endeavors, the symbolism and significance of Zhu Que become even more important.
In summary, Zhu Que carries diverse implications and symbolic meanings, representing energies such as new beginnings, warmth, sunlight, passion, and creativity. It embodies positive energy and good fortune, making it an auspicious creature. Therefore, Zhu Que is often seen as a symbol of good luck in Feng Shui, and many people like to incorporate it as a decoration to attract good fortune and provide protection.
vermilion bird in feng shui
In culture, the Vermilion Bird symbolizes power, status, and reputation. Its presence is often considered a symbol of luck and good fortune. It is believed to enhance the reputation of a family or business, attracting opportunities for wealth and prosperity. Additionally, the Vermilion Bird is seen as a protective deity, safeguarding homes, businesses, and individuals from negative energies and influences.
Feng Shui application of the Vermilion Bird involves creating a harmonious environment that brings wealth and good fortune to homes and businesses. It can elevate the status of your home or business, attract positive energy, and enhance social relationships.
In the study of Feng Shui, the Vermilion Bird is also an important concept that is believed to be closely related to people’s living environment and life. According to traditional Feng Shui teachings, the Vermilion Bird is often seen as representing the “red bird” and is associated with concepts such as the “south,” “fire,” “summer,” and “heat.”
In Feng Shui, the south is considered the most passionate and fiery direction, and the Vermilion Bird is regarded as the deity representing this direction. Therefore, in Feng Shui, the Vermilion Bird is often seen as a symbol that can bring good luck and blessings.
According to the theories of Feng Shui, one’s living environment and the arrangement of their surroundings directly impact their destiny and fortune. If a person’s living environment aligns with the Feng Shui principles associated with the Vermilion Bird, their life and career are believed to be smoother, and their fortune is expected to flourish. Consequently, in ancient times, people often considered the influence of the Vermilion Bird when determining the orientation and layout of their homes, aiming to adjust their living environment to align with the principles of Feng Shui.
Furthermore, in ancient military practices, the Vermilion Bird was also used as a pattern on military flags. Since the Vermilion Bird was regarded as the deity of the south, which represents a passionate and vibrant region, the pattern of the Vermilion Bird on military flags symbolized courage, fighting spirit, and victory. In ancient warfare, armies with Vermilion Bird flags were often considered fearless warriors with unbeatable and mysterious powers.
vermilion bird used for
The Vermilion Bird Feng Shui is an ancient Feng Shui theory that primarily focuses on the Vermilion Bird, one of the Four Divine Creatures, believed to bring auspiciousness and good fortune to humans. According to Vermilion Bird Feng Shui, the Vermilion Bird represents the element of fire, the southern direction, and the summer season, with significant influences on family and personal wealth.
The Theoretical Foundation of Vermilion Bird Feng Shui
The theoretical foundation of Vermilion Bird Feng Shui is primarily based on the principles of Yin and Yang and the Five Elements. The southern direction represented by the Vermilion Bird is associated with the fire element, characterized by enthusiasm, vitality, and creativity. It is believed to enhance yang energy and elevate personal vitality within its surroundings.
Within Vermilion Bird Feng Shui, concepts such as “Three Lives and Six Fortunes” and the interactions of the Five Elements are also involved. It suggests that the well-being of a family and personal wealth are influenced by individual destiny and the surrounding environment. As the deity of the southern direction, the Vermilion Bird plays a significant role in these factors and their impacts.
The Applications of Vermilion Bird Feng Shui
Vermilion Bird Feng Shui has wide applications, including home Feng Shui, commercial Feng Shui, urban planning, and garden design. Different applications require considerations of various issues and factors, but they all revolve around the fundamental principle of “centering on the Vermilion Bird.”
Applications of Vermilion Bird Feng Shui in Home Feng Shui
In home Feng Shui, Vermilion Bird Feng Shui primarily influences house orientation, interior layout, and furniture placement. Specifically:
House Orientation: As the Vermilion Bird represents the southern direction, south-facing houses are considered the most suitable for Vermilion Bird Feng Shui, as they enhance the yang energy and increase residents’ vitality and creativity. However, for individuals from the northern regions, south-facing houses might be excessively hot and sunny, so it is advised to choose a direction that suits their specific needs.
Interior Layout: According to Vermilion Bird Feng Shui, home interior layouts should adhere to the principle of “hiding wind and gathering qi,” allowing the flow of energy in a fresh and comfortable manner. Small items within the home should also be auspicious and bright, adding to the sense of a pleasant and fortunate life.
Furniture Placement: Vermilion Bird Feng Shui suggests that furniture placement should consider both direction and functionality. For example, the direction of the bed and the positioning of the sofa should avoid conflicts with doors, windows, or financial areas to ensure good Feng Shui and a harmonious living atmosphere.
Applications of Vermilion Bird Feng Shui in Commercial Feng Shui
In commercial Feng Shui, Vermilion Bird Feng Shui primarily influences site selection, interior design schemes, and product placement. Specifically:
Site Selection: Vermilion Bird Feng Shui suggests that commercial spaces should have abundant sunlight, natural light, and proper ventilation. It is also important to avoid unfavorable factors such as facing toilets, cemeteries, or hospitals, ensuring auspicious and stable operations.
Design Schemes: Vermilion Bird Feng Shui suggests that the design schemes for commercial spaces should adhere to the principles of the Five Elements, considering appropriate colors, materials, and decorative styles to create a favorable business atmosphere and consumer experience.
Product Placement: Vermilion Bird Feng Shui suggests that the placement of products in commercial spaces should be based on factors such as seasons, trends, and harmonious combinations to attract consumers’ attention and increase sales.
Applications of Vermilion Bird Feng Shui in Urban Planning and Garden Design
In urban planning and garden design, Vermilion Bird Feng Shui primarily influences southern buildings, public spaces, and landscape scenery. Specifically:
Southern Buildings: Vermilion Bird Feng Shui suggests that southern buildings can enhance yang energy, vitality, and creativity in people, with positive impacts on climate and environment.
Public Spaces: Vermilion Bird Feng Shui suggests that public spaces should adhere to the principle of “hiding wind and gathering qi,” creating comfortable and pleasant spaces for people.
Landscape: Vermilion Bird Feng Shui suggests that landscape designs should fully utilize natural topography and environmental resources, considering factors such as the Five Elements and color combinations to create a naturally comfortable ecological environment.
How to Enhance Personal and Family Fortune with Vermilion Bird Feng Shui?
To apply Vermilion Bird Feng Shui in personal and family growth, you can consider the following methods:
Understand your own destiny and the attributes of the Five Elements, combining them with Vermilion Bird Feng Shui theories in home layout and decoration.
Choose a house direction and surrounding environment that best suits your needs, avoiding negative factors in both living and working spaces.
Adjust daily life details, such as the position of the bed, desk, etc., based on the principles of Vermilion Bird Feng Shui.
Feng Shui Taboos for the Vermilion Bird Direction
Avoid Openings: It is considered unfavorable in Feng Shui to have openings, such as a garage entrance or air vents, in the front direction of a residence. This is known as the “Vermilion Bird opening mouth Sha” in Feng Shui, which hinders the accumulation of Qi and wealth, negatively impacting the fortune of the occupants. Similarly, if the front of a residence directly faces the entrance of another residence without adequate separation, it creates a conflicting energy pattern, leading to the decline of one party’s fortune.
Beware of Overhead Pressure: The Vermilion Bird direction corresponds to the fire element, which is associated with the eyes, heart, small intestine, head, and blood within the human body. In terms of fortune, it represents the position of authority and wealth. If there are tall buildings or mountains exerting pressure on the Vermilion Bird direction, it is considered a “Vermilion Bird raising its head” Feng Shui affliction. Such a configuration can lead to financial losses and even blood-related disasters. Additionally, having high-voltage power towers, transformers, power stations, or tall chimneys in the Vermilion Bird direction is considered particularly inauspicious.
Avoid Solid Structures: The Vermilion Bird direction is associated with the Qian Gua, representing the Yang aspect. Therefore, it should be open and unobstructed, achieving a balance between Yin and Yang energies. It is essential to avoid tall mountains or buildings blocking the Vermilion Bird direction, as it would create excessive Yang energy, resulting in adverse Feng Shui effects.
Ensure Openness: The Vermilion Bird direction, also known as the Ming Tang, is regarded as a space for gathering Qi. It should be wide and unobstructed to allow the accumulation of positive energy. If a house is surrounded closely by other buildings without leaving any space, it indicates a small or even non-existent Ming Tang. Such a configuration hampers the gathering of Qi, which is unfavorable for wealth luck. This is especially critical for commercial properties, as a narrow and oppressive Vermilion Bird direction significantly impacts financial prospects. Similarly, if there are large stones obstructing the path in the Vermilion Bird direction or if the Ming Tang is cluttered or filled with weeds, it creates negative effects on career and wealth.
Harmful to the Eyes: The Vermilion Bird is attracted to bright lights and may peck at people’s eyes. If the Vermilion Bird direction is unfavorable, it can have adverse effects on the eyes of residents. In the case of companies or offices, it can harm the eyes of both supervisors and employees.
Is Water Beneficial in the Vermilion Bird Direction?
In Feng Shui, the presence of water in the Vermilion Bird direction can be considered auspicious for wealth as water symbolizes easy accumulation of wealth. However, the specific Feng Shui implications of water in the Vermilion Bird direction depend on factors such as the form and distance of the water.
It is important to note that considering water as solely auspicious for wealth can be an oversimplification. If the form and location of the water are not favorable, it can become a negative influence known as “Sha water.” Sha water can bring about diseases and negative impacts related to relationships and romance. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the specific conditions and characteristics of water in the Vermilion Bird direction to determine its Feng Shui implications accurately.
vermilion bird in 5 elements
The Vermilion Bird, also known as the Zhu Que, is one of the Four Divine Beasts in Feng Shui. It is characterized by its red color and belongs to the element of fire. Among the Twenty-Eight Constellations, the Vermilion Bird represents the collective name for the seven constellations of the southern direction: Jing, Gui, Liu, Xing, Zhang, Yi, and Zhen. In terms of orientation, when standing at the front entrance of one’s own home or office, the Vermilion Bird is facing directly ahead. The Vermilion Bird is considered an ominous bird that is attracted to light and can peck at people. It is important for the Vermilion Bird direction to be well-lit and clean.
vermilion bird in Taoism
In Taoist beliefs, the Vermilion Bird is regarded as a divine creature with sacred power and energy, and it is considered one of the important elements in Taoist faith. The Vermilion Bird is seen as a representation of the fire element in the south and is closely associated with the Five Elements theory and the Yin-Yang principle. In Taoist beliefs, the appearance of the Vermilion Bird signifies hope and happiness, and it is revered and respected as an animal that can bring good luck and fortune.
The Vermilion Bird also plays a significant role in Taoist culture and is depicted in various Taoist cultural and artistic works, such as Taoist temples, sculptures, paintings, novels, and movies. Additionally, the Vermilion Bird is an important character in Taoist mythology and has close connections with Daoist ancestors, the Heavenly Emperor in Taoism, and other deities.
The Influence of the Vermilion Bird in Taoist Cultural Development:
The Vermilion Bird symbolizes Taoism:
As one of the Four Divine Creatures, the Vermilion Bird represents the south and embodies meanings related to fire, summer, and passion. In the symbolic system of Taoism, the Vermilion Bird, together with the other three divine creatures – the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise – forms a complete symbolic system representing the four seasons, four directions, and four elements. This symbolic system is widely applied in Taoist cultural arts, such as paintings, carvings, literature, and poetry, to convey the essence and symbolic significance of Taoist culture.
The Vermilion Bird as a guardian deity in Taoist beliefs:
In Taoist faith, the Vermilion Bird is regarded as a deity with the power of blessings and protection. In ancient times, people often placed statues or patterns of the Vermilion Bird at the entrances of homes and cities to seek its blessings and protection. Additionally, in Taoist rituals, the Vermilion Bird is considered a spiritual entity that can absorb and transmit people’s prayers and blessings. Therefore, the Vermilion Bird plays a significant role as a guardian deity in Taoist beliefs, and it becomes an object of worship and reverence for Taoist followers.
The application of the Vermilion Bird in Taoist architecture:
The Vermilion Bird is widely utilized in Taoist architecture. In ancient Taoist buildings, the pattern and statues of the Vermilion Bird were often used to decorate the front, walls, and roofs of the structures.
For instance, on the top of the famous ancient Chinese building, Yueyang Tower, there is a statue of the Vermilion Bird, considered to be the soul of the tower, representing its sacredness and grandeur. In Taoist temples and shrines, the pattern and statues of the Vermilion Bird are frequently seen to highlight the sanctity and loftiness of Taoist culture.
The influence of the Vermilion Bird in Taoist culture can be observed from various perspectives.
As one of the Four Divine Creatures, the Vermilion Bird is an essential figure in Taoist faith, representing the south and forming a system with the other three divine creatures, symbolizing directions and guardian gods in Chinese traditional culture.
In Taoism, the Vermilion Bird is often depicted as a red phoenix with colorful feathers and bright eyes, symbolizing a bright future and hope. Additionally, the Vermilion Bird represents fire, which is associated with vitality and energy. Consequently, the Vermilion Bird plays a vital role in Taoist beliefs, injecting unique cultural connotations into Taoist faith.
Moreover, the Vermilion Bird also symbolizes life and strength in Taoist culture. It holds a high status in Chinese traditional culture, regarded as an auspicious creature with symbolic meanings of life’s continuity and inheritance. The Vermilion Bird is often depicted as a soaring phoenix, representing power and energy. This power and energy are the goals pursued by Taoist practitioners and form one of the cornerstones of Taoist beliefs.
The Vermilion Bird has also influenced other aspects of Chinese traditional culture. As an important figure in Chinese traditional culture, the Vermilion Bird is not only significant in Taoist faith but also widely applied in other domains such as poetry, music, and painting.
For example, ancient poets often depicted the Vermilion Bird in their poems, such as Li Bai’s classic lines: “Red sleeves, yellow wine, and the green willow; Spring colors blossom within the palace wall. The east wind is harsh, affections grow thin, Accumulated sorrows for years alone. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes.”
In the realm of music, there are also numerous musical compositions with the Vermilion Bird as the theme, such as “Zhu Que” and “Zhu Que Dance.” Hence, the significance of the Vermilion Bird in Taoist beliefs extends beyond Taoist culture and has a profound influence on other domains of Chinese traditional culture.
vermilion bird story
The Vermilion Bird, also known as “Zhu Que,” is a mythological creature in ancient mythology, often depicted as a phoenix or a mystical bird. “Zhu” means red and represents fire, while the south is associated with fire, hence the name “Feng Huang,” which means phoenix. It is also characterized by the ability to be reborn from fire, similar to the immortal bird in Western mythology, hence it is also referred to as the Fire Phoenix. It is one of the Four Divine Creatures in Chinese mythology.
Among the twenty-eight lunar mansions, the Vermilion Bird is the collective term for the seven mansions of the south (Jing, Gui, Liu, Xing, Zhang, Yi, Pi). The Vermilion Bird is considered a god of the south in ancient mythology. In the south, the seven mansions, Jing, Gui, Liu, Xing, Zhang, Yi, and Qiu Lian, are all bird-shaped and collectively referred to as the “Zhu Niao” or Vermilion Bird.
Many people consider the Vermilion Bird to be synonymous with the phoenix, but they are not entirely the same. The Vermilion Bird is a specific creature representing the south. Strictly speaking, the term “Zhu Que” is limited to the “Southern Phoenix,” which is a subspecies of the phoenix. In modern times, due to the influence of mythology and Japanese popular culture, Chinese people also refer to mythical birds as either Zhu Que or phoenix in terms of translation and cognition.
According to the theory of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements, the phoenix is red and belongs to the fire element, which is the imagery of the southern seven mansions, including the Vermilion Bird. Since ancient times, there has been a saying that the phoenix belongs to fire. The ancient book “Spring and Autumn Annals – Confucius” states, “The phoenix is the essence of fire.” The “Spring and Autumn Circular Mingbao” states, “Fire is the phoenix.” The “Scorpion’s Ten Thousand Degrees – Chapter Eight” also mentions, “People who become phoenixes are birds with quails as fire and their essence is yang.”
Therefore, it is said that the Vermilion Bird is a type of phoenix, commonly referred to as the Fire Phoenix. “Meng Xi Bi Tan – Volume 7” states, “Only the Vermilion Bird knows… or it is said that birds are also phoenixes.” The ancients used different mythical creatures to represent different meanings, and the southern mythical creature was the phoenix. In the theory of the Five Elements, the south belongs to fire, which is represented by the color red, thus the southern mythical creature is called the Vermilion Bird. It is only after assigning the phoenix to the south that it is attributed the symbolism of fire, as it belongs to the southern fire, or it cannot be proven that it was assigned to the south because it belongs to fire.
The phoenix has many prototypes, such as the Golden Rooster, Peacock, Eagle, Sandpiper, and Mystical Bird. It is said to have evolved from the Great Peng, a bird in Buddhism. As the ancients said, “The image of the phoenix is also like a phoenix, hanging around the forest, it grows to the cheeks, the back of the tortoise is written by the dragon, the little chick is pecked by the swallow, and with the five colors, it can be lifted.” Because it is the length of a “feathered insect” and the dragon is the length of a “scaled insect,” they gradually became a pair in legends, one diverse and the other beautiful, becoming a complementary pair in folklore. The phoenix was once considered yang, representing males, as fire is associated with the Five Elements. The dragon belongs to water, which was considered yin and represents females. Subsequently, due to the dragon’s image being favored by emperors, it was changed to symbolize yang, while the phoenix (the male) and feng (the female) gradually became pure symbols of yin.
The concept of the Mystical Bird can be found in the “Book of Songs – Shang” and the “Mystical Bird,” which states, “The Mystical Bird’s destiny, the birth of a career, its soil and mountains are abundant.” The descendants of the Shang Dynasty said that their ancestors were born from this Mystical Bird and established a powerful Shang Dynasty. Therefore, the Mystical Bird became the ancestor of the Shang people. The “Records of the Grand Historian – Annals of Yin” also recorded this history: “Yin Qi, whose mother was Zhu Di, had a daughter named Si Rong, who was Emperor Ku’s second concubine… When these three people bathed, they saw the Mystical Bird and its eggs. Zhu Di swallowed it because she became pregnant.” In addition to the Shang Dynasty, there are legends of celestial beings swallowing the Mystical Bird’s eggs in the Qin Dynasty, the ancestors of the Manchu people, and the ancestors of the Silla Dynasty in Korea.
Of course, whether it is the Mystical Bird or the phoenix, the legend has evolved continuously with the development of religious mythology.
After the rise of Taoism, the Vermilion Bird became one of the seven stars and four symbols of the southern Taoism. It represents the southern seven mansions of the twenty-eight mansions (Jing, Gui, Liu, Xing, Zhang, Rong, Qiu) and is located in the south, with a dark image. It belongs to fire and the color red, commonly known as the Vermilion Bird or “Zhu Niao.” The 44th volume of the Taiwanese Huang Qizhai’s ritual states that the southern Vermilion Bird includes Xing Jun: “Su Jing Tian Jing Xing Jun, Gui Su Tian Kui Xing Jun, Liu Su Chu Tian Xing Jun, Su Xing Tian Libra Xing Jun, Zhang Su Tian Scales Xing Jun, Yi Su Tian Capital Xing Jun, Tan Su Tian Street Xing Jun.” As for its appearance, the “Dao Men Jiao Tong Bi Yong Ji – Volume 7” states, “The southern Vermilion Bird, the leader of hundreds of birds, the transformation of cinnabar dots, the sound of blue thunder, colorful colors, the image of six deities, which guides me before.” Additionally, Taoism also uses it in alchemical terminology. For example, the “Yun Yi Qi Sha – Volume 72” quotes an ancient scripture stating “Four Divine Elixirs,” saying, “The Vermilion Bird, the southern ice cauldron fire, is also cinnabar. Scrapings turn into dragons, gathering essence becomes birds. Its energy rises to the heavens, and its substance is of the earth. Therefore, it is the foundation of the Great Elixir. It flies when it encounters fire, so it is achieved…” when translated.
is the vermilion bird a phoenix?
The Vermilion Bird is not a phoenix; the phoenix is one of the Four Divine Creatures from ancient times, while the Vermilion Bird is one of the Four Symbols, along with the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise. It is said that the Vermilion Bird governs the south and is a sacred bird worshipped in the southern region.
The Vermilion Bird, also known as the “Zhuque” in traditional culture, is one of the Four Symbols and one of the “Four Divine Creatures of Heaven” mentioned in the “Sanfu Huangtu.” From the Yin and Shang dynasties, it has been regarded as the sacred creature representing the Flame Emperor and the seven mansions of the southern region. In the burial culture and beliefs of pre-Qin era, it was believed to guide the souls of the deceased to ascend to the heavens. With the rise of the Five Elements theory, its symbolic meanings expanded to include the element of Fire and the season of summer. It is often mentioned in conjunction with the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise, collectively known as the Four Divine Creatures of Heaven.
The phoenix, also known as the “Fenghuang,” is the king of birds in ancient legends. The male is called “Feng,” and the female is called “Huang.” Collectively, they are referred to as the phoenix. Since ancient times, the phoenix has been an important element in Chinese culture. Similar to the image of the dragon, the portrayal of the phoenix becomes increasingly complex over time. Its initial description in the “Shan Hai Jing” was simply “There is a bird, resembling a chicken in appearance, with five colors and patterns, known as the Fenghuang.” Since the Qin and Han dynasties, the dragon gradually became a symbol of emperors, and the empresses and imperial concubines began to refer to themselves as the phoenix.
It is said that the Vermilion Bird is one of the bird species in the south, but due to the influence of the Western phoenix, people have mistakenly believed that the Vermilion Bird is the phoenix. As one of the divine creatures, the phoenix has a pure and noble character, with a majestic temperament and a preference for drinking only the morning dew. Due to its refined consumption habits, various phoenix breeds with different characteristics have been bred, leading to different symbolisms associated with the phoenix. On the other hand, the Vermilion Bird is different. In essence, it is a deity and not a divine creature, thus there are significant distinctions between the two.
Because the Vermilion Bird and the phoenix bear a striking resemblance, people sometimes refer to the Vermilion Bird as the “Fire Phoenix” when they cannot differentiate between the two. As the Vermilion Bird has a golden appearance and shares similarities with the phoenix, many people mistakenly consider it to be a variety of phoenix. However, there are substantial differences between the two, and their appearances alone cannot be used to distinguish them. Each type of phoenix exhibits distinct colors. The Vermilion Bird, representing the divine creature of the south, has often been misinterpreted as a variety of phoenix. Its golden appearance and shimmering feathers have led people to believe it is a type of phoenix. However, this is not the case, and these two creatures should not be confused. As one of the divine creatures in ancient mythology, the Vermilion Bird, also known as the “Zhu Niao” in ancient times, embodies the meaning of redness and fire, which is evident in its name and appearance. It is unafraid of fire and possesses the ability to escape from it, showcasing its formidable power. It has subsequently been referred to as the “Fire Phoenix” among the Four Divine Creatures. This anthropomorphic Vermilion Bird is truly considered a deity. It exhibits noticeable differences from the phoenix, which can only be referred to as a divine creature and not a deity. This explains the relationship and distinction between the divine creature phoenix and the divine Vermilion Bird in mythical legends.
vermilion bird and azure dragon
The Vermilion Bird and the Azure Dragon are two mythical creatures deeply rooted in East Asian mythology and symbolism. Here’s a brief description of each:
Vermilion Bird (Zhuque): The Vermilion Bird, also known as Zhuque in Chinese mythology, is one of the Four Symbols and represents the southern direction. It is associated with the element of Fire, the season of summer, and the color red. The Vermilion Bird is often depicted as a mythical bird resembling a phoenix and is considered a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, and renewal. It is believed to bring positive energy and blessings to those who embrace its symbolism.
Azure Dragon (Qinglong): The Azure Dragon, known as Qinglong in Chinese mythology, is another of the Four Symbols and represents the eastern direction. It is associated with the element of Wood, the season of spring, and the color blue or green. The Azure Dragon is depicted as a powerful and benevolent dragon that embodies qualities such as nobility, wisdom, and protection. It is often considered a symbol of strength, vitality, and harmony.
In Chinese mythology and symbolism, the Vermilion Bird and the Azure Dragon are seen as complementary forces representing different directions, elements, and aspects of life. They are often depicted together to symbolize balance and harmony in nature and the cosmos.
Dream meaning of Vermilion Bird
- Dreaming of the Vermilion Bird, according to the interpretation, signifies signs of conflicts and difficulties in your career, indicating a lack of harmony and progress. It may also suggest challenges in social interactions, with the presence of negative individuals or attempts to sow discord. The dream advises you to be attentive and discerning in your dealings with others. It indicates a tendency towards impatience and a reluctance to heed advice, often resulting in confrontations with others over trivial matters. The key to improving your financial situation lies in being diligent and cautious in your actions. The interpretation also mentions that dreaming of the Vermilion Bird in winter is auspicious, while dreaming of it in spring is unfavorable.
- For individuals seeking employment, the interpretation suggests that heading south brings good luck, while heading north is inauspicious. Despite the presence of influential figures offering guidance, your strong-willed nature may hinder your financial pursuits, signifying an unfavorable omen.
- If you are currently burdened with worries, dreaming of the Vermilion Bird indicates the presence of troublesome individuals. It advises against acting recklessly in matters of wealth and warns of a sense of insecurity in your life. This is considered an inauspicious omen, indicating the influence of negative individuals causing conflicts and mutual harm.
- For single women, dreaming of the Vermilion Bird suggests the presence of influential figures aiding your career. However, it warns against having greedy intentions and indicates a sense of unrest and frustration in your life, manifesting as a dream.
- For married women, dreaming of the Vermilion Bird suggests a flourishing love life but warns against being involved in multiple relationships, indicating instability and difficulties in romantic relationships.
- Middle-aged women dreaming of the Vermilion Bird suggests conflicts with others over financial matters, leading to an unfavorable life situation. It signifies a sense of frustration and manifests as a dream.
- For men in a romantic relationship, dreaming of the Vermilion Bird indicates a happy family life and a harmonious marriage, symbolizing auspiciousness.
- For individuals experiencing heartbreak, dreaming of the Vermilion Bird indicates good physical health and virtuous descendants, suggesting the possibility of good fortune in later years.
- For individuals involved in manufacturing or crafts-related industries, dreaming of the Vermilion Bird suggests that heading east brings good luck, while heading west is unfavorable. It signifies potential financial gains but warns against getting entangled in conflicts with others. The interpretation emphasizes the importance of considering others’ perspectives in all matters.
In Chinese mythology, the Vermilion Bird holds a significant place as a divine creature embodying power, rebirth, and the fiery elements of passion and transformation. Its symbolism transcends myth and continues to inspire and influence various aspects of Chinese culture. The Vermilion Bird’s enduring presence in art, literature, and traditions serves as a testament to its timeless significance and the profound impact it has had on Chinese society.