No.3 of the gods series. Inspired by Four Gods of Heaven and Earth.
“The Four Directions, East, South, West and North, represent the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Together with the Centre, which in Chinese is synonymous with China itself, they form the five cardinal points. The Four Directions have been represented at least since the second century BC, by four celestial animals, the Dragon for the East, the Bird for the South, the Tiger for the West, and the Tortoise for the North. Each animal has its own colour: the Dragon is the Green of Spring, the Bird the red of Fire, the Tiger of Autumn the glittering white of metal (of ploughshares or swords), and the Tortoise Black, for night, or water. The four celestial animals, which have no connection with the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, are also the names of the four divisions of the sky. The Dragon’s Heart, the Pleiades, and the Bird Star are the names of three of the lunar mansions which marked the central position of the Dragon, Tiger and Bird. As there was no identifying star at the centre of the Black Tortoise, the appropriate place (the eleventh mansion) was called Void (Walters).”
“South – the Red Bird, Summer, Fire, the Sum; Planet, Mars; heart and large intestines (Mackenzie).”
(i know this should be the Red Bird section, but since Suzaku is more like a Phoenix i’d thought i’d add this instead. also, there was nothing on the Red Bird at all.)
“Phoenix is used as a translation for Feng, or Feng Huang, the sacred bird of Chinese mythology. It has many miraculous attributes, but not self-rejuvenation, and does not posess the Arabian phoenix’s propensity for self-immolation. It is usually portrayed as a beautiful bird, virtually identical to an ornamental pheasant. Few illustrations match its verbal description, as it is said to have the front of a swan, the hinder parts of a unicorn, the throat of a swallow, the bill of a chicken, the neck of a snake, the stripes of a dragon, and the arched back of a tortoise. Its plumage is of the five mystical colours – black, white, red, green and yellow, and it has twelve tail feathers, execept in years when there is an extra month, when there are thirteen. It feeds on bamboo seeds, lives in the branches of the dryandera tree, and drinks from fountains of fresh water.
It is one of the four emblems of royalty, usually associated with the Empress. The expression Dragon and Phoenix signifies wedded bliss. In many respects its symbolism has been confused and merged with that of the Red Bird, one of the four Celestial Emblems (Walters).”