Click to Get More Classics about Chinese Mythology
Mythology In China — Wonder World and Mythical Animal
Around 6500 years ago, the sky was divided into four parts in Chinese astrology, namely east, west, north, and south. Each section contains seven stars, which look like images of four mythical creatures.
These four mythical animals represent each section of the sky and control the four seasons, respectively.
Qing Long (Cyan Dragon)
Qing Long is considered one of the most powerful mythical creatures in Chinese mythology. It lies in the east of the sky and is the representative of the left, spring, and the tree.
Qing Long is the representative of power, strength, and integrity. Therefore, humans respected it as the guardian of their land.
Bai Hu (White Tiger)
Bai Hu lies and in charge of the west of the sky, and is the representative of right, autumn, and metal.
The White Tiger is the symbol of loyalty, power, bravery, and justice, and is respected as God of War. So, the white tiger was widely used in the military in the history of China, such as the army flag and seal.
Zhu Que (Red Bird)
Zhu Que lies in the south of the sky and is the representative of the front, summer, and fire.
Zhu Que, which looks like a huge red bird, is believed as a mythical creature that can lead people’s souls to heaven after they die.
Xuan Wu (Black Turtle-Snake)
Xuan Wu lies in the north of the sky and is the representative of the back, winter, and water.
The black turtle was widely used in divination as a messenger, which could take questions to celestial or ancestors in another world, and then bring back the answer.
Ying Long (Yellow Dragon)
Ying Long lies in the middle of the sky and is the representative of the earth. It is superior to other mythical creatures and was in charge of wind and rain.
In Chinese legends, Ying Long had assisted two famous kings and made distinguished contributions in defeating enemies and huge floods.
Unlike other dragons in Chinese culture, Ying Long has two wings, which later were evolved into colorful clouds in handicraft masterpieces.
Images of the yellow dragon were strictly and exclusively used by emperors in the history of China.
The Most Significant and Influential Place in Chinese Mythology
In China, there are two different Mount Kunluns.
The Legendary Mount Kunlun is the most important mountain in Chinese mythology and Taoism religion, which is located somewhere in a mysterious world.
It is regarded as the origin of Chinese culture, where many influential kings used to live and hold sacrifice rites.
Legend Mount Kunlun is very steep, which has a huge pillar leading a path to heaven.
It is surrounded by four gates, nine paths, and a river, as well as five small cities and nine main buildings.
Outside those gates and the river, there is the Mountain of Fire, which could burn everything unwelcome into ashes.
On the top of Mount Kunlun, there is a magic lake named Yao Chi with lots of beautiful flowers and special plants blooming next to it.
Lu Wu — God of Mount Kunlun
Lu Wu is in charge of the plants, animals, and climates of the world. He has a human’s head, a tiger’s body with nine tails, and was as large as 99 normal tigers.
In some legends, Lu Wu is also the guard of the whole world and an open-minded administrator of heaven.
Bai Ze — Smartest Mythical Creature
Bai Ze is an extremely knowledgeable animal that can speak the human language. It has beautiful white fur, which makes it looks like a goat with one horn and two wings.
Usually, Bai Ze only lives in Mount Kunlun, and only shows up in the secular world when the society is at peace and prosperity.
Therefore, it is representative of luck, safety, and happiness in Chinese culture.
Bai Ze has knowledge with respect to all evil monsters, ghosts, and the means to defeat them.
Once, Bai Ze came to the secular world and passed on that information to the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di), who then edited that knowledge into a book and disseminated it to all civilians.
Xi Wangmu — Deity of Mount Kunlun
Xi Wangmu is a powerful celestial living in Mount Kunlun, who is in charge of all goddesses.
She is also the most paramount goddess who controls all of the elixirs of life in the world.
For many times, she had sent mythical animals, fairies, or even herself, to come to the secular world and help humans defeat destructive disasters.
Some exceptional emperors in the history of China who had achieved outstanding accomplishments also had met, or rewarded by Xi Wangmu.
San Qing — Messenger of Mount Kunlun
San Qing delivers messages for the Goddess Xi Wangmu and accompanies her wherever she goes.
According to historical documents, the famous Chinese emperor Liu Che of the Han Dynasty once saw a San Qing bird and was very excited; he then was told that the deity from Mount Kunlun will be visiting soon.
So he started preparing for her arrival. Sometime later, Xi Wangmu came, rewarded Emperor Liu Che with seven magical peaches, and promised him the prosperity of his country and the success of military activities.
Afterward, Liu Che built a fantastic building on Mount Tai, where is the place for her to live when she came into the secular world.
The Prototype of the Legend Mount Kunlun
Based on the description of Mythology and activity territory of ancient Chinese people, Mount Xicheng, which was apotheosized in Chinese culture afterward, is believed as the prototype of the mysterious Mount Kunlun.
Mount Xicheng is located in Shanxi province, where the earliest Chinese ancestors lived and built the fundamental mold of Chinese culture, where Yu the Great fought with the huge flood, and great King Tang of Shang Dynasty held big ceremonies to pray for rain.
Today, inhabitants here still could recognize four gates and nine paths of this mountain, exactly the same as how the legendary Mount Kunlun is described.
Prototype of Mountain of Fire outside the Mount Xicheng
Second Mount Kunlun
Another Mount Kunlun is the geological Kunlun Mountains that are located in the northwest of China.
It is around 500,000 square kilometers large, most of which is covered by snow. It is extraordinarily tremendous, magnificent, and mysterious; in Taoism Religion, this is the most sacred place.
Till now, only a very small part of Kunlun Mountain is open to tourists, while most of it is still shrouded in mystery.
Other Mythical Creatures in Chinese Culture
There are many mythical animals documented in the history of China, of which the most important book is The Classic of Mountains and Seas.
In Chinese mythology, animals can become human or celestial if they went through assiduous cultivation, did remarkably good things like having saved people's lives, or run into a lucky opportunity.
Many mythical animals were used in divination, worship, or other mysterious rites in ancient Chinese culture.
Images of the lucky ones are widely applied in clothes, decoration, and construction, most of which are still quite popular nowadays. Read More
You Might Also Like: