Symbolism of the Shi (Foo Dog) and the Mystery of the Forbidden City
These guardian lion dogs are usually depicted in pairs. When used as statuary the pair would consist of a male leaning his paw upon an embroidered ball (in imperial contexts, representing supremacy over the world) and a female restraining a playful cub that is on its back – representing nurture. Here we can see the male keeps one paw over the sphere like object that depicts the ancient Flower of Life as he stands guard in front of the imperial palace in the “Forbidden City”.
But why is the Forbidden City called so?
The Forbidden City, also known as Palace Museum, is a walled section of Beijing located right at its centre, enclosing the Imperial Palace, formerly the residence of the emperor of China. The ‘Forbidden City’ is the English equivalent of the Chinese name ‘Zijin Cheng’ — Jin meaning forbidden, with reference to the fact that no one could enter or leave the walled city or Cheng, without the emperor’s permission. Built in the early 15th century with over 1,000 buildings and a large collection of ancient wood structures, it is now a major tourist attraction and has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.— Utsav Raj, Sahibabad
Could the Fu Dogs not only be a symbol of protection to buildings and their inhabitants, but guardians of the knowledge of how universal energy works? Let us know in the comments below or feel free to discuss here