What has the head of a dragon but the body of a dog or a lion? A "pi xiu!" Pictured here is a red threaded jade stone "pi xiu" that I purchased during my travels to China. In the Chinese culture, a pi xiu is a mythical animal that is a loyal guardian and protector that is believed to absorb evil, and as it does not have a hole on its rear end, the evil cannot escape and infect the place it protects. At the same time, a pi xiu absorbs wealth (money coming in) without any of it going out. This is all based on Chinese cultural beliefs and proper placement of a pi xiu in the home or office plays a significant role in feng shui.
While I don't personally know too much about feng shui, I was directed to place the pi xiu in the Eastern part of the home (preferably) and more importantly, to have it face the door (or window) so that it can bring in wealth and stop evil. I bought this statue in Beijing because of the beautiful red color of the jade stone and, although I'm not superstitious, I thought that it would be fun to have a piece of artwork that has such an auspicious "function" and story!
Also, the myth further details that the legendary dragon has nine sons, each with distinct personalities. For example, the first son is called "bi xi" and is depicted by a giant land turtle (often carved on the base of stone tablets). He is the most powerful. The second son is "li wen" and this beast is always found on the roof since it likes to watch all directions. The pi xiu is the ninth and has a big mouth to eat fortunes and evils without letting anything that it takes in escape out!
In the home or at work, a pair of pi xiu is recommended. Well, I only have the male pi xiu because while we were in Beijing, my friend and I purchased the pair together and she owns the female pi xiu and I have the male. We wanted something that would connect our friendship and serve as a reminder of our experiences in China.
Anyhow, there are quite a few other tips for placement of a pi xiu, such as never placing it on the toilet, kitchen or bedroom, and many more. I'm sure there are many who follow these details fully, and others like me who think that stone carvings like this are just lovely to have, plus, the benefits to having a pi xiu can't hurt, right?
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