Pixiu (also called Tianlu or Bixie) is one of the five auspicious animals of traditional Chinese culture (the other four are the dragon, phoenix, turtle and kylin). The Chinese people call it “fortune beast.” This lion-looking beast has the head of dragon, the body of a horse and the legs of a kylin and is able to fly. The Pixiu is both ferocious and powerful so it works as a security guard of Heaven, resisting demons and ghosts. Just like the dragon and the kylin, the Pixiu brings happiness good luck for people and has an exorcising function. What is different from the kylin is that the Pixiu is a ferocious animal and has strong will in protecting its master. That is the very reason why many Chinese people wear jade Pixius.
The Pixiu has 26 figures and 49 incarnations. As Chinese mythology says, the Pixiu is the Dragon King’s ninth son. Gold, silver, jewels and all other treasures are the Pixiu’s staple food. That gives the Pixiu a noble temperament which helped it win the love of the Jade Emperor and the Dragon King. One day, maybe because it had eaten too much, it relieves its bowels in the Jade Emperor’s palace. The angry Emperor beat it and removed its anus. When news spread among the Chinese people, they regarded the Pixiu as an auspicious animal that can help in making fortunes.
Fengshui experts say that the Pixiu can protect homes, exorcise devils and raise fortune and power for the master. There is a saying that goes: “touch a Pixiu once and you will get a good luck, twice you and will get money and treasure, and the on third time you will get power and position.”
Usually there are three materials used in Pixiu sculpting: copper, wood and jade. Copper is a relatively cheap medal and looks like gold after polishing. Wood was used traditionally in sculpturing Pixiu figures on the joist of a big house to keep out bad luck. In recent years, various kinds of jade have been used in Pixiu sculpturing.
There are some taboos in positioning Pixius indoors. First, don’t put its head towards the front door, because the front door is the precinct of another god. Second, don’t put it towards mirrors, because the light from the mirrors will make the Pixiu feel nervous. Third, don’t put it against your bed, because that is believed to do harm to yourself.