Black Tortoise or Xuan Wu
Black Tortoise, also named Xuan Wu, is one of the Four Symbols in ancient Chinese Astrology.
It is revered as the Deity of the North, symbolizing the winter season and the water element in the Five Element Theory.
Guarding the north section of the sky, the Black Tortoise is formed by seven constellations:
Xuan Wu or Black Tortoise of the North by Artist Huahua
What does Black Tortoise of the North look like?
Black Tortoise of North looks like a giant tortoise entwined with a snake; in some versions, the image of Black Tortoise is depicted as a gigantic tortoise fighting or carrying a snake.
What powers does Black Tortoise of the North have?
Black Tortoise or Xuan Wu as Deity of Divination
Turtle shells were frequently used in divination in ancient China.
Hence, Black Tortoise, also known as Xuan Wu, is believed to be a divine entity capable of guiding people through the exchange of messages and communication with spirits in the afterworld.
Black Tortoise or Xuan Wu Fresco From A Tomb of the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907), Picture from Shaanxi History Museum.
Black Tortoise or Xuan Wu as God of Water
In ancient mythology, Black Tortoise or Xuan Wu is in charge of water on earth, including seas, lakes, rivers, springs, etc.
In some folklore and legends, the Four Symbols, including Black Tortoise or Xuan Wu, are creators of the whole universe.
Xuan Wu or Black Tortoise of the North by Artist Bozi
What does the Black Tortoise represent and symbolize?
Black Tortoise or Xuan Wu has represented or symbolized:
Water from the Five Element Theory
Safety, Stability, and Wisdom
What are other names for Black Tortoise?
Historically, Black Tortoise has had many different names, especially after being apotheosized as the Deity of the North.
Xuan Wu 玄武
Zhi Ming 执明
Xuan Ming 玄冥
Gui She 龟蛇