Pi Xiu (Pi Yao)

Collection: Pi Xiu (Pi Yao)

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What Is Pixiu (Pi Yao)?

Pixiu (Pi Yao), also known as Pi Xie (to avoid evil spirits in Chinese), is a mythical creature in Chinese mythology. It is usually described as a monster with a lion head, dragon body, kylin feet, and tiger claws, and sometimes even has a lion tail. Recorded as a fierce auspicious beast in ancient Chinese books and folklore, Pixiu is considered as a mascot for attracting wealth and treasures. Besides, it is also known as the Five Great Auspicious Beasts along with dragons, phoenixes, turtles, and kylin. Pixiu has a mouth but no anus, and can swallow all things without excreting. Therefore Pixiu has the meaning of attracting wealth from all directions, as well as driving away evil spirits and bringing good luck.

Pixiu plays an important role in traditional Chinese culture, with the meanings of protecting the owner and warding off evil spirits. In ancient times, many people often used Pixiu as a title for the military, which symbolized bravery and great fighting capacity. In addition to its military meanings, Pixiu is also commonly used in feng shui industry for body protection and some people would place Pixiu near the door or window to block evil spirits from entering. In addition, Pixiu can also be used as a decoration or an ornament to bring good luck and wealth to the owner.

The image of Pixiu varies in different legends and different cultures, but it is usually perceived as a guardian that is able to attract wealth and deter evil spirits.

The Origin and Legends of Pixiu

Pixiu is a mysterious and powerful beast in Chinese culture, which, like dragons and kylin, does not exist in reality. The image of Pixiu was basically formed in the Han Dynasty around 2000 years ago since the main features of Pixiu such as horns, whiskers, and wings appeared in the Han Dynasty, with a typical example of the jade Pixiu from the Western Han Dynasty unearthed in Xianyang, Shaanxi in 1966.

As a mythical beast in traditional Chinese culture, there are various legends about Pixiu, and one of the most famous ones is the story of it "eating without excreting". According to the legend, Pixiu was the third son of the Dragon King and had a great love for food since childhood. Though he had a big appetite, he was very picky about foods, only eating treasures such as gold, silver, and jewelry, and thus developed a wealthy temperament and was deeply favored by the Jade Emperor and the Dragon King. However, one day at a banquet hosted by the Jade Emperor, the Pixiu ate all the treasures and ended up defecating everywhere due to eating too much. The Jade Emperor was so angry that he slapped the buttock of the Pixiu, sealing it off. From then on, the Pixiu could no longer excrete, and treasures such as gold, silver, and jewelry were permanently kept in his body. After this legend spread, Pixiu was regarded as a lucky beast for attracting wealth and treasures and that is the reason why so many Chinese people wear Pixiu jade products.

Another famous legend is the story of King Wu of Zhou and Pixiu. It is said that Pixiu is a fierce beast of the Western Regions who lived in Xizang and Kangding, Sichuan more than three million years ago and has extremely strong fighting ability. When Jiang Ziya assisted King Wu in overthrowing King Zhou of the Shang kingdom, he came across a Pixiu during a march. However, no one knew it at that time. Jiang Ziya felt that it looked fierce in appearance, so he tried his best to subdue it and make it his mount. Afterwards, with Pixiu by his side, Jiang Ziya won every battle. King Wu of Zhou saw that Pixiu was so brave and skilled in battle, and thus gave Pixiu an office named "Yun". Later, Jiang Ziya discovered that Pixiu had an astonishing appetite but never defecated, and the only way for Pixiu to excrete is to secrete a little bit of incredibly fragrant sweat from its fur, which often attracted animals from all directions to compete for foods after smelling such strange fragrance, but eventually only to be eaten by Pixiu.

Pixiu is perceived as a symbol of strength, wealth, as well as protection and these legends reflect the importance of Pixiu in Chinese culture. As time pass, the image and story of Pixiu have also been evolved and developed in folk legends.

The Shapes of Pixiu

Pixiu have great magic power and is said to have 26 different shapes. The following would give a brief introduction of the common shapes of Pixiu.

Ruyi Pixiu

This type of Pixiu is currently quite common, mainly carved with Lingzhi or Ruyi tail on its body, and both Lingzhi and Ruyi are a symbol of auspiciousness in traditional Chinese culture. This type of Pixiu is relatively gentle and suitable for most people to wear. It not only brings good luck and wealth, but also implies safety and health.

Wallow in Money

Compared to ordinary Pixiu, this type of Pixiu has a string of copper coins on its waist, implying the ability to attract wealth, no worries about food and clothing, and always having money in your wallet.

Overnight Rich

The appearance of this kind is like a Pixiu lying on a leaf, which symbolizes attracting wealth, becoming rich overnight, and promoting good fortune.

Bawang Pixiu

This is the most domineering among all the shapes, with a head horizontal and a body straight. The horizontal head represents to attract a windfall, while the straight body symbolizes the eternal stability of one’s position and the smooth progress of one's career, as well as to become richer. To obtain a windfall in a domineering manner, to become wealthier, and to be stable in one’s position are like a kingly behavior, and therefore, the meaning of the Bawang Pixiu is to gather money and to have a prosperous future as well as a smooth career.

Ascending to the Sky with One Step

With one foot in front holding a copper coin and one foot in the back, giving people a feeling of striving upwards, this kind of Pixiu symbolizes the leap to heaven. It implies that everything will go smoothly without difficulties, and one is able to overcome all obstacles, as well as to achieve great success in career.

How to Place Pixiu and What Should Be Paid Attention To

1. Place it in the living room. Although Pixiu has the function of attracting wealth and gathering wealth, it is indeed a fierce divine beast, so it is not suitable to place it in the bedroom. To keep it at home, it should be placed in the living room because the living room is usually the center of the house, thus placing Pixiu in it will have a good effect on expelling evil spirits and attracting wealth. However, it should be noted that the head of the Pixiu should face outward, but should not be directly facing the door, otherwise it will offend the door god.

2. Place it on the windowsill. If there is no place for Pixiu in the living room, then the second best option is to place it on the windowsill of the largest window in your room. The head of Pixiu should be facing outward and can not facing the owner, as it may have a negative effect. What’s more, its head also cannot be facing the bed either.

3. Place it in the entrance-hall. If there is no suitable place on the windowsill, Pixiu can also be laid in the entrance of the house. This is a great place that can help to ward off evil spirits and to block evil energy.

4. Place it in the office. Businessmen can also place Pixiu in the office. When placing Pixiu in the office, please make sure that its head is facing the window or the door so that it can be better able to attract external wealth. In addition, Pixiu cannot be placed facing the toilet, as the toilet is a gathering place for dirt. At the same time, Pixiu should not be placed too high, otherwise it cannot see its owner and will not attract wealth for people.

5. Pixiu needs to be kept clean. One of the biggest taboos for divine beasts is a messy and bad environment. If the surroundings are in a mess, it will seriously destory the function of Pixiu, and not only will it bring bad luck to people, but it will also have a very negative impact.

6. Pixiu cannot be played with by others. As a decorative item, Pixiu is closely related to one's luck after people wearing it for a period of time. If it is touched by others casually, it will seriously damage the wearer's luck, and also have negative impact on the owner.

7. The head of Pixiu should not be facing the owner. The head of Pixiu should be facing upwards but not directly to the owner and its tail should be facing downwards. The head facing upwards can absorb the spiritual energy of the sun and moon, as well as the wealth of all directions and if its head facing directly to the owner, it would have negative influence on the owner.

8. Avoid being stained with blood. Pixiu is a kind of auspicious beasts, and being stained with blood is a taboo. Pixiu with blood stains would be unable to gather wealth for its owner and therefore when wearing Pixiu, individuals should avoid it being stained with blood.

9. Do not put Pixiu in a place higher than you, nor place it too low. Besides, don’t place it in front of a mirror or other reflective objects to avoid affecting its wealth attraction effect.

The Implied Meanings of Pixiu

Warding off Evil Spirits

As early as the Han Dynasty, Pixiu was already considered as a divine beast that could drive away evil and eliminate evil. Pixiu is a kind of creature in ancient mythological legends, with a fierce image and great power. Even the Book of Rites states that when an army is marching, they would raise a flag painted with Pixiu if there is a fierce beast in front of them. In ancient feng shui theory, Pixiu was perceived as an auspicious beast that could turn misfortune into good fortune, dispel evil forces, and also ensure the safety of its wearer or owner. The outstanding features of Pixiu, such as big mouth and fangs, as well as its meaning of attracting wealth and bringing good fortune, make it a mascot that could ward off evil in people's hearts.

Attracting Wealth

Pixiu is described as an animal with a lion head, dragon body, tiger claws, a pair of wings, and a long tail in Chinese folklore. It is said that Pixiu is fond of money, taking treasures as its food and only eats without excreting. Moreover, it is believed that Pixiu will search for gold and silver treasures everywhere to please its owner. In addition, since Pixiu is also called Pi Xie (to avoid evil spirits in Chinese), it is regarded by people as a divine beast that could not only attract wealth but also ward off evil.

Bringing Good Fortune

Wise men in ancient times believed that fate of a person is predetermined, but the luck could be changed. In ancient China, there was a saying that "touching Pixiu once enables us to live a prosperous life; touching Pixiu twice enables us to have money in great abundance; and touching Pixiu three times enables us to success in career". Since Pixiu has the ability to ward off evil spirits, it can help us to drive away the bad luck around us, and therefore to receive good luck and better opportunities.

The Functions of Pixiu

To Suppres Evil Spirits in Houses

Pixiu was a guardian in the heavenly court who was responsible for the safety work. When we place the mythical beast Pixiu at home, it also helps us to ward off evil spirits and dispel the bad luck around us, thus bringing us good luck and improving our ability to resist diseases. Therefore, Pixiu is often perceived as the guardian of the houses that is able to ensure the safety of the family. In addition, due to its fierce appearance, Pixiu was also used to protect the peacefulness of dead people in ancient China.

To Attract Wealth

As mentioned before, Pixiu only eats without excreting, which is actually the biggest feature of it. In many gambling houses in ancient times, Pixiu was placed to ward off evil spirits and to attract wealth. In modern society, when facing fierce competition in business, more and more businessmen are placing Pixiu in companies or homes in the hope of attracting wealth.

To Help with Career Advancement

Pixiu is a powerful and fierce auspicious beast that is able to improve the spirit and the authority of its owner, making the owner become a well-respected person in the workplace or society. What’s more, Pixiu can also help the owner to improve their position and status, thus achieving career advancement and success.