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4 mythological creature

In Korean geomancy, known as Pungsu (pronounced "Pung-soo" and often called Feng Shui), the Four Guardian Deities, which include the White Tiger (Baekho), Blue Dragon (Cheongryong), Red Phoenix (Bonghwang), and Black Tortoise (Heukgu), play significant roles. These four mythological creatures correspond to the four cardinal directions - east, west, south, and north, respectively - and are imbued with various attributes and elemental forces that are believed to influence the flow of Pungsu - the life energy or qi.

The principles of Pungsu dictate that the natural and architectural environment should be in harmony to ensure good fortune and positive energy flow. Each of the Four Guardians is thought to exert influence over the landscape and, as a result, the structures that humanity constructs within it.

Blue Dragon (Cheongryong) – East: The Blue Dragon represents spring, the wood element, and the virtue of propriety. In Pungsu, it is associated with gently sloping hills or a range of greenery. This naturally beneficial dragon's terrain provides protection and brings in positive qi from the east.

White Tiger (Baekho) – West: The White Tiger symbolizes autumn, the metal element, and the virtue of courage. It is typically envisaged as the right-hand guardian when one faces south (a standard orientation in Pungsu), suggesting that the right side of a property should be protected or slightly elevated, like a tiger lying down.

Red Phoenix (Bonghwang) – South: The Red Phoenix signifies summer, the fire element, and the virtue of benevolence. In terms of landscape, it corresponds to a clear, open view, such as a valley ahead of a property, allowing the phoenix's auspicious energy to enter and mix with the energy of the other guardians.

Black Tortoise (Heukgu) – North: The Black Tortoise represents winter, the water element, and the virtue of wisdom. It is associated with high ground or mountain ridges behind a property, providing support, protection from malevolent winds, and the containment of positive energy.

In Pungsu practice, harmonizing these aspects within a site's topography and layout is considered essential for ensuring the optimal flow of energy. This involves aligning buildings, entrances, and interior spaces in a way that respects these guardian spirits. The design and orientation in relationship to these cardinal protectors can determine the health, prosperity, and fortune of the inhabitants.

A Pungsu master may also recommend various enhancements or cures to address imbalances in the landscape or built environment, with a view to replicating or evoking the stability and protection that these mythical creatures symbolize. Thus, the Four Guardians hold a vital aspect within the Korean art of geomancy, shaping not only myth and tradition but also the practical aspects of Korean architecture and landscaping.

ref.Winding River Village, Poetics of a Korean Prof.Sung Kyun Kim


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