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Mig

Ox or water buffalo

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I have noticed reading stories about the Master Lao (laozi) riding an ox or a water buffalo when he left to the Hangu pass. Some images he's riding the water buffalo facing backwards and others facing forward. I wonder why a water buffalo? Is there the position important or does it have a specific hidden meaning?

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Posted (edited)

Buffalo/Ox in general. It's an animal (one of the 12 of the Taoist zodiac) that symbolises strength, patience and perseverance; the way the Great Wall of China was built over a period of 2,000 years.

 

No idea why the positioning changes in different pictorial representations but I feel isn't relevant. The main thing is the animal's energy which also has a balance/Earth component. The other three Earth animals are the Dog (Earth-Metal), the Dragon (Earth-Wood) and the Goat/Sheep (Earth-Fire). Ox is Earth-Water.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gerard

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9 hours ago, Gerard said:

No idea why the positioning changes in different pictorial representations but I feel isn't relevant. The main thing is the animal's energy which also has a balance/Earth component. The other three Earth animals are the Dog (Earth-Metal), the Dragon (Earth-Wood) and the Goat/Sheep (Earth-Fire). Ox is Earth-Water.

 

 

It is relevant because there is another thread about whether Laozhi is a real person or not.  Indeed many old paintings show a buffalo instead of an ox.   This is curious.

 

Firstly, Laozhi was a northern Chinese, currently the northern or even central China is quite dry, unsuitable for water buffalo.  2000 years ago, that area might be more green, and become semi-arid due to climate change or centuries of Chinese deforest and overpopulated, war and so on.  So there is a question mark.

 

There are 3 types of paintings, with green ox, yellow ox and buffalo.  Colors of the animal could symbolize something too.

 

As to who was Laozhi, there were arguments as early as 2000 years ago.

 

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I wonder where that image come from? Does it have a particular meaning?

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