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The Four Celestial Animals of Feng Shui

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Working as a Feng Shui Consultant....I get it. Feng Shui can be confusing. From locating your wealth corner to curing up your front door, there is a lot to learn. But Feng Shui has a built in method of understanding energy, and that is through the heavy use of symbolism and storytelling. One bit of symbolism that is useful to know is the four celestial animals.

The Four Celestial Animals are a cornerstone to Feng Shui. These are animals that are used to symbolically understand the energy of a room and how to place yourself in a space to benefit the most from Feng Shui. These animals tell a story, and also are associated with direction, element, season...all in which to help you understand the interconnections of energy.

Once you understand these, it will make looking at the energy of your home so much easier. Read on to learn about each of the celestial animals of Feng Shui!


Red Phoenix - The Energy in Front of You

The Phoenix is a mythical bird who is as large as an eagle with red and gold feathers. Legend goes that the Phoenix never dies but at the end of its life, burst into flames and is reborn from its ashes. Flying across the open lands, it searches for opportunities.

In Feng Shui, the Red Phoenix represents the energy in front of you. Like the mythical creature scans the open lands in search of opportunities, it's important to have the space in front of you open and clutter-free in order to call in positive endeavors and opportunities. Typically this means that furniture pieces like sofas and beds should have their backs to the wall and be looking out into the room.

Since the story of the Red Phoenix connects to the bird bursting into flames, this energy is connected to the element of fire. Fire is associated with your passions and desires. When fire is fueled, it grows. As such, the Red Phoenix represents expansion. This is another reason you want this energy in front of you, expanding into the room.

The Red Phoenix is also associated with the South direction. This is the direction where the sun is strongest, and if you have a south facing home or live in the South, you know how HOT it can get. The direction is also important for understanding the energy that your home calls in. If you have a home that faces south, you are calling in the Red Phoenix energy of expansion and opportunities into your home. Traditionally, this was considered a very positive direction for your home to face.

Lastly, the Red Phoenix is connected to the Season of Summer. Knowing now that the bird is also connected to the element of fire and the direction of south, it makes sense that the hottest season represents this energy as well.

An office desk space
The Red Phoenix energy likes to look out into a room and has its back to the wall

Black Tortoise - The Energy Behind You

If you look at the properties of a Tortoise, the energy it carries makes a lot of sense. These animals have a durable shell that is not only their home, but used to help protect their soft bellies. The Tortoise has a long lifespan as well, living anywhere from 80 - 150 years. In China, Tortoises stand for longevity, and prosperity in the family life. A sign of support, it helps with a steady foundation to the home.

Like a Tortoise has its house on its back, this creature represents the energy behind you. And like a tortoise feels protected, it's important to have your back protected as well. This is why it's common practice to place your seated furniture, like sofas, against a wall in order to feel more stable and secure in a space.

Another name for this energy is the Black Turtle. Being that turtles are semi-aquatic, this energy is associated with the element of Water. Water is essential to life. Similarly, this energy is healing. Opposite to its partner, the Red Phoenix, the direction of the Black Tortoise is North. Having a home face this direction, there is a focus on family life, stability, and protection.

Since the Tortoise is opposite the Red Phoenix, the season this energy represents is Winter. Winter is the coldest, darkest time of the year and like the turtle, is a time where we go inward, slowing down and finding stillness.

A sofa againsts a wall.
The Black Tortoise represents the energy behind you.

Green Dragon - The Energy to the Left

Dragons are considered very lucky in China. This is why they are often used in festivals and celebrations. Flying in the heavens, they are known as the ‘Bringer of Thunder’ as well as the first rainfall. Often times, this rainfall is associated with the Spring season.

As the Dragon is associated with the season of Spring, the energy of the Green Dragon is connected to growth and abundance. Like the season gives way to plants growing, this energy is good for calling in abundance in all forms, but typically is associated with luck and prosperity. This is why the Green Dragon is also connected to the wood element.

This energy is associated with the direction of East, as the sun rising in this direction, giving way to the abundance and fortune of a new day. In accordance to ourselves, this is the left side of our bodies. Place objects that are taller than you to represent the Green Dragon coming down from the heavens. This can look like a tall plant or floor lamp next to a chair.

A white modern living room design
The Green Dragon is often found in taller objects like plants

White Tiger - The Energy to the Right

The tiger was known as the ‘Messenger of the Gods’. Like the animal, it is associated with bravery and courage. It's a protective yang energy, but not as protective as the Black Tortoise. Opposite the Green Dragon, the White Tiger is associated with the Autumn Season.

Autumn is a season traditionally known for endings. As such, the west direction is also associated with this energy as the west is where the sun sets and the day ends. For us, this is represented by objects to the right of us. These should be lower height than the Green Dragon energy, such as a low side table or plant.

The element associated with the White Tiger is metal. Metal qi is very ambitious, focused, and controlled. Similar to a tiger hunting, this energy is about getting things done. If your home faces west, you are collecting more of the White Tiger energy for your home.

A neutral modern living room with fireplace
It's even better if you have metal objects to represent this White Tiger qi

Yellow Snake - The Center + You

This animal is not one of the Celestial four, but rather, the Yellow Snake refers to ourselves. We are the snake in Feng Shui, and the Four Celestial Animals revolve around the Snake, which is located in the center. It is associated with the Earth element, as it is the Earth and her energies we are apart of. It is also seen as the overall space/home, while the Celestial Animals refer to the energies surround the space.

Now that you have a better sense of the Celestial Animals of Feng Shui, look in your home to see how they are represented. For more Feng Shui tips and information, be sure to check out my additional posts in the blog on Feng Shui.

Your Holistic Home Helper,



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