Four Symbols (Chinese constellation)

Four Symbols (Chinese constellation)

) are four mythological creatures in the Chinese constellations. They also appear in Korean mythology. They are:
*Azure Dragon of the East (青龍,청룡)
*Vermillion Bird of the South (朱雀,주작)
*White Tiger of the West (白虎,백호)
*Black Tortoise of the North (玄武,현무)

Each one of them represents a direction and a season of the year, and each has its own individual characteristics and origins. They have been portrayed in many historical Chinese myths and fiction, and also appear in as well as modern Japanese comic books and animation.

These Four Symbols were given human names after Daoism became popular. Azure Dragon has the name Meng Zhang 孟章; Vermilion Bird is Ling Guang 陵光; White Tiger is Jian Bing 監兵; Black Tortoise is Zhi Ming 執明.

Correspondence with the Five Elements

Each of these mythological creatures has also been synthesized into the 5 element system:

*Azure Dragon of the East (青龍): Wood
*Vermilion Bird of the South (朱雀): Fire
*White Tiger of the West (白虎): Metal
*Black Tortoise of the North (玄武): Water

Additionally, there is a fifth legendary beast, Huáng-lóng (黃龍), or the Yellow Dragon of the Center. The cardinal direction associated with this animal is "centre," and its element is Earth. ["A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations: Third Edition.", Schirokauer, Brown, Lurie, Gay. (2006) ISBN 0-534-64307-8]

Correspondence with the Four Seasons

The four legendary beasts (excluding Huáng-lóng; see above) represent a season each. The seasons they represent are as follows:
*Azure Dragon of the East (青龍): Spring
*Vermilion Bird of the South (朱雀): Summer
*White Tiger of the West (白虎): Autumn/Fall
*Black Tortoise of the North (玄武): Winter


ee also

*Chinese constellation
*Chinese astrology
*Five elements
*Four Heavenly Kings

External links

* [ 28 Chinese Constellations]

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