What are the legends about Xuanwu, one of the four divine beasts? How did Xuanwu evolve?

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Basaltic, one of the four spirits of heaven in ancient Chinese mythology, also known as tortoise and snake, originated from the worship of ancient stars. It refers to the northern basaltic seven constellations of the twenty-eight constellations divided into four elephants according to the southeast and northwest. In Chinese traditional culture, the four symbols refer to the green dragon, the white tiger, the rosefinch, and the basalt, representing the four directions of East, West, north, South, respectively. The northern basalt is the ridge of the eight trigrams and the main water of the five elements, which symbolizes the old Yin in the four symbols and the winter in the four seasons. The following China story network editor will bring you a detailed introduction. Let’s have a look!


In the Han Dynasty, the theory of divination rose, and its symbolic meanings were Youming, Rengui, and Zhide. After the Han Dynasty, Taoism absorbed it as a Dharma protector God, called the emperor of Zhiming God, and later as one of the four saints, the Arctic Zhenwu Emperor (also known as Dang demon Tianzun), ranking fourth and ranking first among the water gods.

One of the five beasts recorded in Huainanzi is Qinglong, Baihu, Zhuque, Xuanwu and Huanglong, also known as Tianguan five beasts.

The earliest legend about the origin of basalt came from the Xia Dynasty. It is said that the father of Yu, the founder of China’s Xia Dynasty, was called “Qian”, with the word xuanming, which can also be called Xuanwu. He helped Shun control the water before the famous Dayu. Because it only uses plugging rather than dredging, although it has the help of gods, it is still unsuccessful. Usually, he is regarded as the incarnation of the spirit turtle, and Tu Shan, a branch of the Xia nationality, believes that snakes are their ancestors.

Legend has it that Xuanwu was renamed Zhenwu to avoid the taboo of the Zhao family’s holy ancestor. Emperor Zhenzong of Song Dynasty instructed his ministers to indulge in the myth of “the book of heaven falls repeatedly”. During this period, countless zhicao, Jiahe, auspicious beast, etc. were offered all over the country, and a rare wave of worship of Taoism was set off throughout the country. After a few years, Zhenzong pretended to dream that the divine man passed the order of the Jade Emperor, saying that emperor Xuanyuan was the ancestor of Zhao family, so he created a “life preserving Heavenly Emperor” Zhao xuanlang, and announced the matter to the world. The Yellow Emperor was honored as the “holy ancestor”, and the honorary title was “the holy ancestor, the high priest of the Ninth Heaven, and the life preserving Heavenly Emperor”, and the holy grandmother was “the queen of the great sage of the Yuan Dynasty”, and the birthday of the holy ancestor on July 1 was the congenital Festival, On October 24, the day of the advent of the Holy Father is the holy day. Since then, Taoism has added another God, Zhao xuanlang, who is second only to the Jade Emperor.


In ancient Chinese mythology, the four most demonic beasts with boundless magic power are the green dragon, white tiger, rosefinch and basalt. Xuanwu is also called xuanming, the combination of turtle and snake. It is the God of water. It lives in the North Sea. Turtles live a long life. Xuanming has become a symbol of immortality. Mingjian is also in the north, so it is the God of the north. It is the God of the North who represents Zhuanxu and the northern Qisu. Xuanwu can also ask for divination through the underworld. Therefore, Xuanwu is different from other three spirits. It is called Xuantian God, “Zhenwu emperor”, and is the god worshipped by Taoism.

Xuanwu was upgraded by later Taoists to be the great emperor of the north, “Zhenwu Great emperor”. It is different from the other three spirits. Other green dragons and white tigers only became the door gods of the temple, while zhuniao became another Xuannv. Later generations often say that when Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty came into being, the Jade Emperor incarnated one of his three souls into the queen of the state of music, hated the world, gave up his position to practice on Wudang Mountain, successfully soared and guarded the north, with the name: Xuanwu. The life experience of Zhenwu emperor is often said to be that when Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty, the Jade Emperor incarnated one of his three souls into the queen of zhuanglo and became the prince after birth.


According to legend, the crown prince of King gujingle was born powerful. He traveled across the East China Sea and was awarded a sword by the gods. He entered Wudang Mountain in Hubei Province to practice. After 42 years, he achieved success. He rose in the daytime and was named Xuanwu Jun in the north of Weizhen. Disclaimer: the above content originates from the network, and the copyright belongs to the original author. Please inform us if your original copyright is infringed, and we will delete the relevant content as soon as possible.

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