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Mythical creature, sometimes considered as one of the 9 sons of the dragon

Pixiu (貔貅; píxiū; P'i-hsiu; Old Chinese (ZS) *bi-qʰu) is a Chinese mythical hybrid creature. Pixiu are considered powerful protectors of feng shui practitioners, and resemble strong, winged lions. A Pixiu is an earth and sea variation[clarification needed], particularly an influential and auspicious creature for wealth, and is said to have a voracious appetite exclusively for gold, silver, and jewels. Therefore, traditionally to the Chinese, Pixiu have always been regarded as auspicious creatures that possessed mystical powers capable of drawing cai qi (財氣 wealth) from all directions, and according to the Chinese zodiac, it is especially helpful for those who are going through a bad year.

There are two types of Pixiu that are categorised by their antlers. The one with two antlers is the female and is called a Bìxié, and the one with one antler is the male and is called a Tiānlù.

Bìxié (辟邪; bìxié; pi-hsieh; lit. "to ward off evil spirits"): The female of the species wards off evil. It is also believed that Bìxié have the ability to assist anyone who is suffering from bad feng shui from having offended Tai Sui (太歲).

Tiānlù (天祿; tiānlù; t'ien-lu): The male of the species is in charge of wealth. It is said to go out into the world to search for gold and other forms of wealth. When it returns to its master's house, the Bìxié is then said to guard the riches. Displaying Tiānlù at home or in the office is said to prevent wealth from flowing away.


A sculpture of a Chinese Pixiu "Bìxié" − a female pixiu with two antlers. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Pixiu are auspicious, winged animals, written about in ancient Chinese history and heralded through the millennia by fantastic stories of powerful and grandiose feats of victory in battle. Their legend has been passed down through 2,000 years of Chinese lore. They have the head of a Chinese dragon, the body of a lion, and historically sport on their heads either one antler (male) or two antlers (female). In modern times, this legendary creature’s historical physical appearance has been somewhat lost, and is now more commonly depicted with only one antler.


Further Resources


The legend of PIXIU


April 26, 2020


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