There were 4 supernatural beasts that have boundless supernatural power in legend in China’s ancient times. They are Green Loong, White Tiger, Zhuque and Xuanwu.
In ancient times, the Chinese called east, west, south and north after Green Loong, White Tiger, Zhuque and Xuanwu respectively. In fact divide the sky into four parts. Green Loong is the deity in the east; White Tiger is the deity in the west; Zhuque is the deity in the south; Xuanwu is the deity in the north. This originated from ancient Chinese astrology.
China’s ancient astrology thinks Green Loong, White Tiger, Zhuque, Xuanwu is 4 supernatural beasts that guard heavenly palace. They can counteract evil force. Their images often appear on imperial palace, hall door, the city gate or grave building and implements in China’s ancient times.
East Green Loong
Loong is the most inviolable beast, and is the emperor’s symbol. It is the representatives in the East too. There are many legends about Loong in China. Loong is translated into dragon in Occident countries wrongly now. The correct translation should be “Loong”. In fact Chinese Loong is totally different from Western dragon. About the differences between Loong and dragon, you can read the article: Symbol of Chinese Culture – Chinese Loong.
West White Tiger
The tiger is the King of the beasts. It has strong appearance and can counteract evil force. It and Loong are a pair of best partner. In China’s ancient times, White Tiger has a lot supernatural power that exorcise evil spirits, exorcise calamity, prays for the bumper harvest, getting wealth, getting love…
Zhuque is known as the Phoenix too. The body of Zhuque is the red like fire and it can live again in fire. So it’s named Fire Phoenix also.
According to the ancient recording, the Phoenix is a kind of beautiful bird. It becomes the king of the birds relying on wonderful song and beautiful appearance. It can bring good luck to human world. Loong is male and the phoenix is female. Loong matches with the phoenix. There is a kind of legend that ‘It is very auspicious that Loong appears with phoenix together’ among the Chinese people.
Xuanwu is a kind of supernatural animal that made up by tortoise and snake. There was a kind of tortoise augury in China’s ancient fortunetelling skill. The so-called tortoise augury is that let tortoise go to the dark hell and ask the ancestry, and then brings the answers back. And show to common people by the divining form. Certainly, this is superstition.