One of the four Sì Xiàng Holy Animals of Chinese mythology, it’s often referred to as the Red Bird of the West, and is extremely important in mystic animalism.
Are you sitting comfortably? Preferably under a woo-tung tree, aka wutong or Chinese parasol, because that’s where the Fenghuang is likely to hang out. He must hang out quite a bit because he is six cubits high. (Cubits are rather vague in terms of measurement but we estimate this is somewhere in the region of nine feet. If you want metric, go and help yourself.)
So sitting in the woo-tung tree is a fairly large creature that will take your breath away. It’s difficult to know where to start or even finish. Here are some of the components: A goose-like front with hindquarters of a stag. Neck of a snake and tail of a fish. A fowl forehead with duck-like down, but the face is like a swallow with the beak of a cock. From the back it is tortoise-like.
This beast has dragon markings and furthermore the body is inscribed with the Five Cardinal Virtues. If you think we’ve made this up, you can find examples embroidered in the gowns of certain mandarins.
The Fenghuang presides over the destinies of the Chinese Empire along with the other Sì Xiàng. It’s one of the most sacred animals, in charge of all birds and feathered critters, and represents the South point of the compass.
Not content with that, the Fenghuang is also fearsomely sexy and can fan the flames of desire like nobody’s business. Try finding a woo-tung tree or a specific type of mandarin and see where it gets you.
Fenghuang Facts and Figures
Pronunciation: Fung Hwarng
Alternative names: August Rooster, Chinese Phoenix, Feng, Feng-Huang, Fung-Wong, Honghong
Type: fabulous creature
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present
In charge of: Harmony
Area of expertise: Harmony
Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 2676
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Article last revised on April 21, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.