Xīwángmǔ (西 王母Chinese, Pinyin Xī wáng mǔ, Hsi Wang Mu W.-G., Queen Mother of the West ') is one of the oldest Chinese deities, celestial as immortals, teacher, symbol of transcendence and mediator between the medieval Daoism and the earthly kingdoms played a prominent role, but also in today's Daoism, especially in the sky masters it is still a high deity. In addition to the religious cults, China had also repeatedly People cults to this goddess.
On the iconography Xiwangmus include the Leopard, the Sheng - Hair (a type spindle), sun and moon, the Kunlun or the cosmic pillar, and the peaches of immortality. It is often by a servant or a maid, but especially accompanied by various animals, such as a - also standing for long life - deer, a white tiger, the three-legged blue bird, the nine-tailed fox or the hare, the elixir immortality prepares. On her throne Store Tiger and Dragon, which are also available for Yin and Yang. Your companion is Dongwangfu, the King Father of the East, in the faith and cult never played the same important role as Xiwangmu.
Your place of residence was the Kunlun, a sacred mountain in the west, where the legend is to be found by a perfect and harmonious paradise, which, as a microcosm of an ideal image of the macrocosm and the seat of the gods in the mundane world. According to some stories the goddess is accompanied on the Kunlun by Xian ( Immortal ) and has celestial maidens as servants. Your palace and gardens were often portrayed in art and literature as unimaginably beautiful. In the gardens magic sources are to be found there and grow the coveted peaches of immortality, which are all only three thousand years mature. If it's that time again, she invites the immortals to a great feast, so that they can refresh their life energy. In a native of the Ming dynasty classic novel Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en is said that the Monkey King Sun Wukong has almost completely drunk the barrels with the nectar wine from the peaches empty, and the feast could not take place.
The Birthday of the Goddess is celebrated on the third day of the third month, arriving many gods with offerings to a feast to the example the Dragon King Long Wang, the god of happiness and Cai Shen, the god of wealth.
Despite the positive representation as a teacher and guardian of the cosmic balance Xiwangmu also has a destructive side. As the highest Yin is also a goddess of death and destroyer.
Development of Xiwangmu cult
Your tracks can be as early as the Shang dynasty (about 1600-1028 BC), before the emergence of Daoism, demonstrate, but later takes its shape concrete shape to.
During the period of Warring States ( 403-221 BC) it appears as teacher, goddess of the West, goddess of sacred mountains, divine weaver, Shaman and star goddess. In Shanhaijing she is described as being leopard tail, tiger teeth and whistling like the wind. In the works of Zhuangzi Xiwangmu is finally mentioned as the goddess of the West and of the sky, the Dao has realized and thus possesses immortality and divine power.
From the Eastern Han period Xiwangmu then played a very important role in the religious ideas and it also emerged soteriological folk cults to the goddess.
The end of the 4th century AD, resulting Shangqing - Daoism led his authority back to them, they appeared here as a teacher, who revealed the essential works of transcendence and as guardian of the secrets of immortality, Taoist adepts on the way to this taught. Your place of residence, the Kunlun was considered library from which came the sacred works of Daoism. In the Taoist practice, it was an addressee of prayers, rituals, invocations, visualizations and imagination in which the adept eg Kunlun visited to develop his magical powers here.
In Daoism the Tang period (618-907), the Queen Mother of the West was regarded as supreme female deity who symbolized the highest Yin, had contributed to the creation of the cosmos and the cosmic harmony maintained. Many hundreds of poems were about her.
In the Chinese middle ages many stories have been told and written down by the meeting Xiwangmus with people, especially rulers negotiated. The most famous legend that has been told in several versions, is the traveling King Mu of Zhou to the Queen Mother of the West. It is, for example, told in Liezi. In Chinese art, it was also shown frequently. Also found in many tombs representations of the goddess, as it was hoped they would escort after the death of the soul in the paradise of the immortals.