Inside the form school they constantly make alusion to a series of symbolic animals that reflect certain favorable characteristics for a natural space.Tha animals that this school refers to are called black turtle, red phoenix, green dragon, white tiger and finally the yellow snake. Each one of them represents a special caracteristics. Let us see each one for separate:
THE YELLOW SNAKE
Associated direction: Centre.
At first we will explain the snake, more than anything because it speaks of the centre, the place of reference to explain the rest of the symbolic animals. In the theory of the 5 elements the color yellow is associated with the element earth, in the centre. The snake has affinity with this concept being an extremely receptive, sensible animal that stays alert perceiving what surrounds it.
Where is the snake? Well, if you are analyzing for example your home, it will be the snake, if you are analyzing a building en reference with other locations, it will be the snake, if you observe yourself surrounded of other buildings, you will be the snake. Summarizing this animal is the virtual centre that can be surrounded by the 4 resting animals.
THE RED PHOENIX
Associated direction: South.
This mythological bird corresponds to the inverse side of the turtle, in other words the facing, the facade, the views that most buildings own. If inmovility and protection are clear caracteristics for the black turtle, the phoenix needs a certain space, an open area to receive energy. An illustrative case of not having a phoenix is a building that once constructed shows its principle facade orientaded to a mountain, or other similar buidings or structures that block the correct reception of energy or Qi.
When you read a book that recommends you to avoid putting a tree in front of your door, this reminds you to conserve the phoenix. If you feel uncomfortable with your desk looking to the wall it is exactly because of the same reason, the human eyes have not been designed to live in captivity or underground, but to enjoy the necessary extend that symbolizes this principle.
A phoenix keeps certain principles and still reflecting the broad view, it should attract the flow of Chi in a controlable way. That is why a entirely free facade open to all influences would not be very secure. The phoenix remains in front of the yellow snake similar to a couch table in front of the sofa or a gentle hill in the front.
THE WHITE TIGER
Associated direction: West.
The tiger is an animal that represents the force,the energy, the daring. In relation with the green dragon, this animal appears on the right of the yellow snake. It is a mountain,building, closet or structure that keeps a less predominant relationship than the green dragon.
Some authors explain this fact saying that the force has to be accompanied by the proper reflection and wise activity of the dragon. Generally a tiger that is less strong that the green dragon means to give preference to reflection and correct thinking before visceral decisions based on force.
We can find some divergence in between which of the animal has to be more predominant, the tiger or the dragon. In Eva Wong's texts the before exposed considerations are turned around, relating them more concretly to the Yin feng shui of the burials, in contraposition to the yang feng shui used for the dwelling of the living.
In any case it is in common accepted the protective existence of both animals on each side ot he yellow snake, something like to count with a good sofa or a comfortable armchair. In the old comments a configuration respecting the animals, similar in some form to a horseshoe, favours the the settlement of the Qi or Chi in a particular area.
THE BLACK TURTLE
Associated direction: North
This animal reflects a fundamental aspect for good feng shui that is the protection, the solidity, the stability. The turtle by its shell and apparentl stillness designates correctly this needs.If a building wants to benefit from a turtle it has to count with something solid on its back This could be a hill, a group of trees, nearby buildings or another structure that can wrap it up.A turtle has to protect the back from unexpected currents like unfavorable winds, an uncontrolable torrent of water or other types of aggressions.
A turtle has to keep a harmonic configuration since an inmense mountain behind the housing with the risk of a landslide, avalanche of snow or earth would turn the "animal" in a dangerous one. Feng Shui recommends a gentle hill that wraps up and fulfills its objectives.
If we speak of a person we look for similar elements that reflect these aspects. Therefore a situation where our back points to a door, a hallway or a window through which currents flow is not the most solid aspect. A bodyguard reflects the turtle any important politician uses. There are a lot of more examples, as this is the animal that is the most easy to understand and also the most important. The turtle remains behind the yellow snake.
THE GREEN DRAGON
Associated direction: East.
This animal is maybe one of the most representative symbols of the chinese art, as it is rare to see any celebration without its presence. The term a part from being part of the 5 celestial animals is also used to describe the energetic currents, we speak of water dragons to describe courses of this element, or of mountain dragons to symbolize the channels where the energy flows in the mountain chane.
Where appears the green dragon? It is generally situated on the left of the snake in the form of a hill, building, porch, tree, closet or any other structure that wraps.
The left side is associated with the West, in many cases with intuition or what me might call tact and feminine wisdom. In the works of Carlos Castaneda the left side was, as described by the ancient clairvoyants, the magical side and not the strictly rational side of man.
To continue speaking about the green dragon we have to relate it to its partner the white tiger, as both sides, left and right, bear a relationship that is often provided as appropiate between the two.