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CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF ANIMAL SYMBOLISMS

Prof. Dr. Ong Hean-Tatt 3rd September 2000


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Overview

Like other ancient cultures, the Chinese culture have a wide seemingly bewildering range of animal symbolism. Animals have been studied for long time; hence every facet of life and community living could seem to find striking resemblance with various characteristics of animals. It is natural that the Chinese civilisation, which has the longest historical continuity from as far back as B.C. 2900, has a wide range of delightful animal symbolism.

Much of the animal symbolism have persisted from ancient times and often have mystic magical roots. They are there for more than art or decorative sake. Time have misted the real original reasons for the symbolism; elucible only by those with wide knowledge, profound respect for the past, piercing analytical mind and a kinship with the past.

A profound premise is that it is possible to systematically understand the Chinese animal symbolism through the Chinese Ganzhi System, which composes of the 10 symbols of the tiangan (equivalent to the Four Cardinal Directions) and the 12 symbols of the dizhi (equivalent to the Twelve Zodiac Signs). The Ganzhi System, which is the foundation of Chinese chronology, astrology and the geomantric art of Feng-Shui, is also the fundamental basis for the Chinese animal symbolism.

Many of the animal symbolism are also anthromorphic development of legends around famous ancient figures. Hence, animal symbols usually have strong associations with some ancient heros.

It is our hope that the reader would not only enjoy knowing what the Chinese animal symbolism truly signify but also absorb the positive Chinese philosophy underlying those symbolism. For the Chinese culture is one of gentle light, refreshing positiveness and encouragement and the destined triumph of good over everything else.

The Chinese animal symbolism may be surmised in the saying:

"Good fortune in the LUNG-Phoenix."

Below is a list of some of the Chinese animal symbolism.



THE BLESSING ANIMALS
Common Name - Main Quality / Associated Quality

FOUR CARDINAL DIRECTIONS ANIMALS

  • PHOENIX - Gentle Attractive Warmth / Beauty & Grace, Prosperity, Birth of Great Men
  • PHOENIX & LUNG - Happy Fortune / Marriage
  • LUNG - Great Upright Leadership / Wisdom, Benevolence, Righteousness, Strength Spring & associated rains and productivity
  • LUNG & PHOENIX - Happy Fortune / Marriage
  • SNAKE - Adaptable Wisdom / Healing
  • TORTOISE - Longevity / Strength & Endurance
  • TIGER - Justice / Stem Dignity Courage & Military Prowness
  • UNICORN - Perfect Gentle Goodness / Longgevity, Filial Piety Luck & Grandeur , Wise Administration
  • BEAR - Strength

TWELVE ZODIAC ANIMALS
(TIGER, LUNG, SNAKE - see Four Cardinal Animals)

  • RAT - Diligent Wealth / Sharp Inteligence, Quiet Loyalty
  • OX - Productivity,Fertility / Spring Power, Strength, Diligence, Reliablity, Sincerity
  • RABBIT - Longevity / Farsighted Genius, Virtue, Gentleness
  • HORSE - Officialdom / Energy & Strength, Courage & Perseverance
  • SHEEP - Officialdom / Retired Life, Filial Piety, Care
  • MONKEY - Skill & Resourcefulness, Longevity
  • FOWL - Vigilent Honest Wisdom / Good Memory & Organisation, Warm Life, Financial Genius
  • DOG - Watchful Wisdom / Fidelity & Loyalty, Honesty
  • PIG - Wealth / Ease

THE OTHER BLESSING ANIMALS
Common Name - Main Quality / Associated Quality

  • FOX - Longevity / Crafitiness
  • LEOPARD - Bravery / Martial Ferocity
  • BAT - Fortune / Happiness
  • BAT & Symbol"Shou" - Longevity&Fortune
  • DEER - Longevity / Officialdom
  • SILKWORM - Industry / Punity
  • CAT - Wealth
  • CAT & Butterfly - Long Life of 80-90 Years
  • ELEPHANT - Strength / Sagacity
  • LION - Strength / Courage
  • SQUIRREL(with grapes) - Longevity

  • FISH - Wealth & Abundance / Perseverance
  • FROG (3legged) - Wealth
  • ANT - Hardworking / Obedience
  • BEE - Industry / Properity
  • BEETLE see CICADA
  • BUTTERFLY - Joy / Longevity
  • CICADA - Immortality
  • CRICKET - Courage / Summer
  • PRAWN - Contentment

  • SWALLOWS - Prosperity / Success
  • PHEASANT - Authority / Courage
  • CROW (Golden) - Filial Piety
  • BULBUL - Wealth / Longevity
  • DOVE - Longevity
  • DUCK - Marriage&Fidelity / Wealth
  • GOOSE - Marriage & Fidelity
  • KINGFISHER - Beauty
  • PARROT - Fidelity
  • PEACOCK - Beauty / Dignity
  • QUAIL - Courage
  • SPARROW - Productivity
  • FALCON - Nobleness / Longevity
  • STORK - Longevity

Find out more about Chinese animal symbolism in the book "Chinese Animal Symbolism"




Book Synopsis: CHINESE ANIMAL SYMBOLISMS

The book is a comprehensive collation of the numerous references on the animal symbolism scattered through several literatures. There is also an analytical approach to the seemingly confusing mass of information, including some comparisions to animal symbolism in other cultures in order to gain a better perspective of the ancient reasons for the Chinese animal symbolism.

The Chinese have a wide and bewildering range of anmal symbolisms. These symbolisms influence every facet of their life and community. Most are familiar with the twelve Chineseanimal symbols. But this book tells us more about other less familiar animal symbols and their significance in life and business.

The Chinese civilisation has the longest historical continuity dating as far back as 2900 B.C. Many of the meanings of the animal symbolisms have persisted through many battles and dynasties and are often found to have mystical roots.

CHINESE ANIMAL SYMBOLISMS is a comprehensive collation of the numerous references on animal symbolisms scattered through several literatures. It presents an analytical approach to the seemingly confusing mass of information, inclucing comparison with animal symbolisms of other cultures to gain an in-depth perspective of the reasons for their existence.

This study is done through the eye of the Chinese Ganzhi System, which is the foundation of Chinese chronology, astrology and the geomantric art of Feng Shui. It is hoped that the reader would not only enjoy knowing what Chinese animal symbolisms truly signify but absorb the positive Chinese philosophies underlying them as well.

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THE CHINESE CULTURE SYMBOLISM IS
A POTENT MANAGEMENT TOOL OF CONSTANT MOTIVATION!

They have real effects in promoting
the drive, industriousness and success of people!

to know how to apply it in modern management:
please enquire at:
Chinese Symbolism Page