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The Dragon Has 9 Sons

Every Feng Shui World reader knows that the presence of the mighty, majestic and magnificent dragon in the home bestows the magical energy of this celestial creature, bringing courage, creativity and capabilities that spell success for residents.

The Imperial Dragon of the Chinese Emperors had 5 claws, the nobility benefited from 4 clawed dragons, lesser folk from the mercantile class settled for 3 clawed dragons, and really ordinary folk made do with 2-clawed creatures. Today, everyone can embrace the 5-clawed dragon. What’s more, we can even engage the energy of the dragon’s nine sons!

Nine is one of the most auspicious and powerful numbers. Nine multiplied by any number of times always add up to 9 again. Example; 4 X 9= 36 and 3 + 6 equals 9! 9 also has the terrible power to magnify bad luck brought on by unlucky numbers. Perhaps this is why this king of celestial creatures has 9 sons.    

According to olden texts, the 9 sons of the dragon are as auspicious as the father. At first glance, every dragon son has typical dragon features, so those not aware of his lineage wrongly mistake all 9 sons to be the same dragon.

However, each of the sons has different attributes and manifestations and their presence bring as much auspicious energy as the father dragon. In the Forbidden City in Beijing, and also in Beihei Park, there is a famous dragon screen that shows the 9 sons of the dragon and the Chinese believe that their presence brings prosperity.

During the early 80’s, it was reported the Chinese had placed a 9 dragon screen on Hong Kong Island facing the harbour and facing Kowloon (itself the place of the 9 dragons) to ensure the smooth return of Hong Kong back to the Chinese. This of course happened in 1997. Here we bring you the names and special attributes of the 9 dragon sons.

 First there is BIXI also known as ‘Baxia’, the eldest son, commonly called the Dragon Tortoise. Valiant and powerful, he has the strength to carry the heaviest of burdens. This is the dragon son usually depicted at the bottom of pillars, as his specialty is to create a solid foundation for buildings. In appearance, Bixi has the body and shell of the tortoise, so it represents longevity of one’s good fortune. Placing the dragon tortoise in one’s home activates the auspicious attributes of Bixi.
 Then there is CHIWEN the 2nd son whose short body is often seen guarding rooftops. He is usually depicted with his large mouth grasping the edges of the roof. He enjoys looking at the scenery and his expertise lies in the control of water. With him guarding both ends of the ridges of rooftops, there will never be any danger of fire. Chiwen is usually called upon by palaces and temples to prevent and protect against fires.
 PULAO is the 3rd son of the dragon whose mighty roar is reputed to be heard across the land announcing impending major upheavals. He is the dragon that is most often carved onto temple bells, drums and musical instruments that produce loud sounds.
 The fourth is BI’AN, the 4th son of the dragon, who is revered for his sense of impartiality and fairness, so those needing justice to prevail in their favour can invite his presence into the home. He will ensure that any impending lawsuits will work out fairly for you. His appearance is ferocious and it is said that he faintly resembles a tiger. Bi’an defends justice and upholds the laws of the land. For this reason, he usually appears on the entrances of law courts and inside the halls of justice to remind wrong-doers of his presence.

 The 5th dragon son is TAOTIE who loves food! He is the dragon that has the power to bring wealth into your household. He is often seen on ancient bronze food vessels and tableware. His image ensures a continuous supply of food and abundance. You can invoke his presence on your dining table by investing in a set of dragon crockery. Or use rice bowls that have his image painted on.
 The 6th son GONGFU is the dragon that brings auspicious luck to water. He is believed to reside in lakes and pools as he has a great fondness for water. When you build water features to activate for wealth luck, it is always beneficial to invoke his presence by placing his likeness near your water feature. From his watery domain, he also controls floods and ensures you are protected against water disasters. As such, dragons are usually carved on bridges, piers and dykes. Such dragons are really Gongfu whose presence ensures safety for surrounding environments.
 The 7th son YAZI is the most warlike and fearsome. He has a perpetual wrathful glare. Commonly depicted on sword or spear handles with his mouth gripping the blade, this is the dragon that signifies victory in battle and enhances the morale and strength of soldiers. Carrying Yazi into battle will assist any warrior triumph over enemy forces.
 The 8th son SUANNI resembles the resplendent lion as he is usually drawn with the mane and body of a lion. He rarely moves so he is usually shown stationary. He has a preference for sitting quietly and observing. His golden body is enhanced with flames. He is often shown sitting on top of incense burners and candle stands. His presence brings knowledge and wisdom and he also ensures that the sons and daughters of the family will all look attractive.
 The 9th son QUINIU is musically and artistically inclined. He enjoys good music, especially music played on string instruments. This dragon appears on the top of musical instruments like the Chinese violin called ‘huqin’ which becomes ‘loongtao huqin’
or dragon’s head huqin. This dragon is regarded as the protector of one’s abode, so placing his image at entrances and doorways was very popular.

The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (September/October 2006)". To subscribe, please click here.