Feng Shui The Celestial Animals
According to the science of Feng Shui, there are four celestial animals whose roles are to offer us protection and
support as the occupants of the properties they surround.

 The Four Celestial Animals
We have finally arrived to the stage where I can direct my focus on what this book is primarily intended to do, which is to unveil the possible factors in the external environment of a building that could influence it in a positive or in a negative way. I know that a lot of other material was covered in all previous sections, and although it was only in its basics, it was necessary that the reader learned it. I personally find it important to emphasize that learning and understanding what is being learned, must not be kept apart one from the other but must always go hand in hand. So it is my goal to do the best in keeping both things together.

Honestly speaking, I myself am not very thrilled if I am just thrown a large amount of information without even being given a chance to understand its roots.

So now that we all are ready, let’s get back to our main subject!

As it was mentioned before in previous sections of this book, the evaluation of the external environment of a building takes precedence over any other steps when assessing the Feng Shui of a home. If the quality of Qi (or energy in other words) is not desirable and most likely unchangeable like in the case of most natural features, it makes no point to go further in the assessment such as analyzing the building structure and its interior. Qi is an “outside-in” phenomenon, not the other way around. So no matter how attractive the building or its exterior landscape is, how well-elaborated its design is in terms of Feng Shui, if its surrounding environment is not favorable, then it cannot enjoy good Qi. This is the reason why living in a home with good surroundings is so important, according to the teachings of Feng Shui.

The most important factors to look for when evaluating the external environment of a property or a place are:
  • Protection
  • Non-destructive energy
  • Ability to tap into and harness good energy

Feng Shui wise, what does it mean by protection or finding protection in a home’s external environment?

Based on the Chinese mythology, there are four celestial animals also known as the guardian animals. Their primary role is to protect a place such as an area or a piece of land and also a home, by protecting its external environment. A name and character were given by the masters to each of these four celestial elements as a way to help the student gain a better understanding of the complex teachings of the Feng Shui. The names of the four guardian animals are based on actual groups of stars in the space around our planet with formations resembling those animals. The elemental association each of them possesses is based on the four primary cardinal directions in where each of those clusters of stars is located in the skies.

The ancient Feng Shui masters were very serious observers of the cosmos and it was through their deep knowledge in Astronomy that they were able to decide what type of mountain formations are found on Earth, their different qualities and the kind of influence they have over Humankind. This determination was based on the location of the stars in the skies relative to our planet Earth. This being said, you may have now a clearer understanding of the direct correlation between stars and mountains. So the four guardian animals are indeed the representation of natural mountain formations or even hills in the surroundings of a property or of a place. The way that these animals (or land formations) embracing the property offer protection, is by shielding it from the wind so that Qi is allowed to collect in the area and also, by keeping harmful (in form of destructive Qi) environmental or manmade features in the vicinity from causing harm to the occupants of the property.

Because times have advanced technologically and big cities with buildings and skyscrapers were developed, slowly replacing the once small villages in rural areas, buildings can be considered mountains. So, in a large city or even in its suburbs, the mountains and hills that are originally the Four Celestial Animals can be substituted by building structures. In such a case, identifying them is not a very difficult task. So in a large town or in a city, the surrounding building or buildings facing the front of your property, and the others facing its back, left and right sides, those are its guardian animals!

So which are the Four Celestial Animals in Feng Shui?

The Green Dragon which refers to the left side of the property or of a particular area, the White Tiger to the right, the Red Phoenix to the front and the Black Tortoise refers to the back side.

When you create the mental picture of this scenery, you can actually get the feeling such as if those celestial beings are encircling a home or a piece of land. Indeed, this feeling comes very close to how it is described by the school of Landform, the Luon Tou Feng Shui, a system that was initially developed to be used for the selection of suitable burial sites for emperors of the ancient China. The movement was known by the name of Yin House Feng Shui. It referred to both left and right mountain formations surrounding an area as “embracing” it. Ever since the Feng Shui was finally adapted for the living ones and its application no longer limited for the use with the dead, practitioners also describe it as “Left Embrace” for the Green Dragon or left side of a building or a piece of land, and “Right Embrace” for the White Tiger or the right side of a property.

The correct way to locate the Four Celestial Animals

Let’s start with the two guardian animals in the front and back side of the property.
To find the Red Phoenix which is in the front side of the property and the Black Tortoise in the back, we use as reference point the center of the property while looking outwards. So the immediate feature such as a hill, a mountain or a neighboring building in the front side is the Red Phoenix and in the back side is the Black Tortoise. I want to point out that to find the correct location of each of the guardian animals in the surroundings of a property or even to get to know if any of them is missing as it could be the case, the procedure to follow must be based on the direction that the home faces. So, knowing the facing direction of the property is important in this process. If by now you have not yet done so and need to review the instructions on how to locate the facing direction of a property, refer to the post GETTING THE FACING DIRECTION OF A PROPERTY, PART II.

The Green Dragon is in the left side and the White Tiger in the right side of a property. Looking outwards from the center of the property, whatever immediate feature is in the left side of the property is the Green Dragon, and in the right side, is the White Tiger.  See next page’s illustration for more clarity.


NOTE: This post is an excerpt from the book The Power Of Your Home (The external environment) and you can find it here.