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The Four Celestial Guardians

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

Animals have been highly regarded by all cultures from the beginning of time. History shows us many examples of this symbiotic relationship. Before the written word was available to everyone, animals were used as symbols to embody certain characteristics in people through astrology, a practice still widely used today. In ancient times the relationship between humans beings, and animals had no boundaries, as human beings where closer to nature and communed peacefully in cooperation with each other.

Although times have changed, the teachings from animals continue. Nowadays, the teachings are in the form of animal symbolism, meanings, totem, and spiritual guidance. This teaching, and symbolism, is also used in Feng Shui.

One of the core concepts of Feng Shui is derived from the Form School. This concept is the basis for analyzing visual formations that surrounds any land, dwelling or building. The Form school is a practice that is observed by all schools of Feng Shui. The shape of the hills, mountains, direction of waterways and streets are carefully studied.

Topographical formations are symbolized by four animals; the Green Dragon, the White Tiger, the Black Tortoise and the Red Phoenix. This concept works regardless of what the magnetic direction of the land, dwelling or building is. This concept can also be applied in your personal space; where you sit, and where you sleep. It is a very useful concept that once used, can make a difference in your life.

Each animal has a location and element associated with it.


The tortoise’s hard shell represents security and protection as well as the mountain

behind you. It is associated with the water element, and has a descending energy. In applied Feng Shui a practitioner looks for tall trees, hills, or mountains behind your land, dwelling or building. In a personal space; when sitting, a chair with a high back is the support needed, and a solid headboard, or wall behind you when sleeping. We know that the rear is the most vulnerable place because our visual field does not include the movements or space behind us. Do you have an important meeting or presentation? Do what you can to have solid protection behind you.

The Red Phoenix

This is what you see in front of your personal space, dwelling and building. The Red Phoenix is a mythical bird that represents perpetual inspiration, is associated with the Fire element, and has rising energy. As the smallest of the Celestial Guardians it provides you with an unobstructed view, and a space to see where you are headed. In dwellings this applies to the space in the front of the home. It is also called the bright hall. Make the Red Phoenix feel welcomed in the front area of a space . Observe how different residents of dwellings. and buildings are with and without this space. Are they excited to live, or are they merely existing?

Inside your front door, do you have a nice foyer? What do you see in front of your desk? In a cubicle space, you may place a painting or photograph that inspires you and change as needed. What is it that makes you go the distance?

The White Tiger

It is always located on your right side, regardless of whether you are left, or right

handed. The White Tiger symbolizes great strength, it is associated with the Metal element, and has condensing energy. This means having landscaping and objects on your right side relatively close to the ground. Strength is best in small doses, kept under control and well guarded.

The Green Dragon

It is located on the left side, a powerful creature wise and far sighted. The Green Dragon is associated with the Wood element, and has expanding energy. When I think of the Wood element the visual image is that of a big tree with deep roots, limbs radiating, and expanding outwards. This is the side where your inner desires can be supported. This side should have the tallest landscape and objects place, preferably above eye level.

Putting this concept to work on a land, dwelling or building, is as follows: 1) High trees, buildings or hills at the rear. 2) Expansive space and view at front, preferably nicely landscaped and not immediately situated adjacent to the sidewalk or street. 3) If both sides of the dwelling or building have landscape, the right side should be shorter that the left. Right side should also be peaceful or not more active or busier than the left.

Putting this concept to work at an office setting looks as follows: * Think of the “boss’” chair, it has a high back and arm support on both sides. It is located in the rear of the room, most often supported by a wall, painting, feature or photograph of a “founding father“. To the right of the boss should be the main supportive person. This placement reminds me of Christ sitting to the right hand of the Father. Therefore, the coin phrase “right hand person”. To the left side of the boss are the advisers, and idea people. To the front are the inspiration and projection of “where we want to be”.

I invite you to analyze how this concept and put it to work in your home, office or place of business. Make changes if need, and observe the subtle impact in your daily life. More information on family sitting arrangements following this will be described at a future blog. Until then, I hope you enjoy these basic Feng Shui tips on the Four Celestial Guardians.

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