According to folklore, the ‘good luck’ lion can influence fortune and fate. The design of the Southern lion reflects this special role. On the lion’s head can be seen designs of heavenly clouds and ru yi, a special jade charm that means good fortune.

Since the Tang Dynasty, a special type of lion called the Feng Shui Lion was sometimes requested by emperors to obtain a blessing from the gods. This was a very solemn and important event in the palace. When the dance was performed, it took into account the Five Universal Principles, including the five directions (East, South, West, North and Centre), five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water), five colours (green, red, yellow, white and black) and so on. Dancing steps were executed so that respect and attention were given to balancing the Five Principles.

This is clearly recorded in many Chinese classic texts, including The Legends of the Tang and Song Dynasties , and The Amazing World of Metaphysics by Cheng Yunsheng of the Qing Dynasty.

The Feng Shui Lion was always accompanied by a parade of drums, musicians and classical dancers. Folklore describes the addition of a second lion. Two lions portrayed the principles of Yin and Yang, representing a balance of the two universal primordial energies.

In Chinese geomancy, or Feng Shui (the study of environmental forces and how it impacts human existence, health and prosperity), every variable would be analyzed and considered. This data included the specifics of the dance, date, time, location, region, season, as well as the birth data of significant individuals whom the lion dance would benefit.

A person’s birth affected their fate and destiny. The individual requesting the lion dance and the dance itself must be matched so that the lion dance could serve to balance or harmonize various energetic influences that would affect one’s health, fortune, and so on, somewhat like an energetic jigsaw puzzle. In order for the dance to be truly effective, calculations were made by a sage or Feng Shui expert, thus empowering both performer and recipient to benefit.

From this, one can begin to comprehend the significance of the lion dance and its wisdom in the lives and history of Chinese people, and how it affects the study of metaphysics in the oriental world.

Today, there are only a small handful of master martial artists qualified to perform the Feng Shui lion dance.