"The Mythology of Modern China."

popular deities

p. deity comparative
97 Sao-c^>in-nian (Old Woman Who Sweepeth Heaven Clear) [Aztec] besom-goddess Tlazol-teotl
Lei-kun (Sire Thunder) -- blue, beaked, winged, talonned [Etruscan & Assyrian] beaked, talonned gods
98 Tien-mu (Lightning-mother) -- holding 2 mirrors [used for entrapping evil spirits] [S^into] goddess Ame-no-uzume of the entrapping-mirrors
Yu: S^ih (Rain-Master) -- clad in yellow armor, and holding gushing water-cup "my cup runneth over"
Fen-p>o-p>o (Madame Wind) -- seated on tiger, and carrying sack containing winds wind-containing sack of demi-goddess En-arete (Odusseid- 10:1-76)
99 sedan-riding dog is laughed at [referring to ridicule of dog when he sought to marry woman] in order to procure rainfall, in western Sze-c^uan [Aztec] Ueue-coyotl
112 Kitchen-god -- white-bearded, seated on armchair [southward-wending, on sedan-chair, carrying ingots of silver -- p. 114] Kepheus
Kitchen-god's wife -- feeding the 6 domestic animals Kassi-epeia
113 Wood-gathering Youth Phoiniks
Sir Water-carrier Ogugos (flood-god) the father of Phoinks
118 C^>an-s^en T>u-ti (Long-Life Locality-God)
Jui-c^>in Fu-jen (Noble Dame of Happiness)
C^>uan-kun (Lord of the Bed) Odusseus (built his own bed - O23)
C^>uan-mu (Lady of the Bed) Penelope (spoke of that bed to him -- O23)
119 K>en-san-ku (Latrine-3rd-Dame) = Tzu-ku (Purple Dame) -- goddess of the latrine, of lantern-festival willow-branch (at ladle) Helike ("willow")
Dame Basket
Dame Broom [Aztec] Tlazol-teotl of goddess of besom
120 Ts>ai-s^en -- surrounded by children gathering gifts under Cash-Tree st. Nicolas (Santa Claus) at Christmas-tree
C^ao-pao T>ien-tsun (Treasurer-Discoverer Caelestial Venerable)
120-1 Na-c^en T>ien-tsun (Treasure-Bringer Caelestial Venerable)
121 C^ao-pao S^ih-c^e (Treasure-Discoverer Messenger)
Li-s^ih Hsien-kuan (Commercial-Profit Immortal)
Tsen-fu Ts>ai-s^en (Increasing Happiness Wealth-God)
C^u-pao C^ao-ts>ai (Gathering-Treasure Seeking Wealth)
Hsu:an-t>an C^ao Yu:an-s^uai (Dark-Mound C^ao Generalissimo)
Fu-te Ts>ai-s^en (Blessed Wealth-God) = Wu-lu Ts>ai-s^en (5-Roads Wealth-God)
125 Hen Ha Erh-c^ian (Sniffler & Snorter Generals) [Vaidik] Nasatya (nasa 'nose') & Dasra; [Aztec] Yaca-tecuhtli ("nose-lord") & Mix-coatl
127 Mo-li S^ou -- "carried ... the monstrous Striped Sable ... which, unleashed, devoured men." [= mongoose of Ku-vera son of Vis`ravas] Eurustheus, born by intervention of gale (weasel)


O23 = Odusseid- 23

p. 101 dragon-kings of the 4 Seas

dragon-king: Kuan-__ meaning of name: Releaser of __ __ Sea
te Virtue Eastern
li Goodness Southern
jun Favor Western
tse Generosity Northern

p. 102 hillocks of the soul

hillock place of the soul's __
Hao-li departure to be born
S^e-s^en return after death

p. 122 offerings at annual festivals during the 12 months

day & month festival offering
1st d. of 1st m. New Year's Day piece of cake
2nd m. C^>in-min (sweeping of tombs) apricots
5th d. of 5th m. medlars & plums
[6th m.] Summer solstice green beans
7th m. C^>en-huan new rice
8th m. Mid-autumn Moon-cake
9th d. of 9th m. chrysanthemum-bouquet
10th d. of 10th m. crab
11th m. Winter solstice blood-oranges

pp. 129-131 mandarin-deities who are identified with northern circumpolar constellations

p. deity constellation of __ stars
129 Wenc^>an Ti-c^u:n (of Tzu-t>un in northern Sze-c^uan), who underwent 17 successive lives 6
130 K>uei-hsin standing by his leg on human-headed ao-fish (which was rescuing him drowning) 4
131 C^u-yi ('Red Dress') = red-robed old man  ?

pp. 132-135 deities in Wen-miao ('Temple of Literature')

p. deity establishment of title / group
132 K>un-tzu Model & Exemplar for 10,000 Generations [p. 136 duke (A.D. 1); king (A.D. 739); duke (A.D. 1075); emperor (A.D. 1106)
135 72 sages to the left [p. 135 modern]
72 sages to the right [p. 135 modern]
10 wiseacres (S^ih-c^e) [p. 135 A.D. 1330]

p. 136 Confucius "even kept his rank and title through a special exception when the first Ming emperor abolished all the titles of kings, dukes, and so on, which had been bestowed upon mountains or rivers, gods of the Walls and Ditches, or officials … who had been admitted into official worship. But … on 4 December 1530, the Shih-tsung emperor stripped him of his status, giving him simply the title Perfect Sage Ancient Master" (C^ih-s^en Hsien-s^ih).

pp. 141-143 farmers' deities

p. deity of __
141 Liu the Heavenly Prince The 5 cereals (wheat, barley, millet, sorghum, rice)
Hou-c^i ('Prince Millet') harvests
Huan S^ih cotton
Old Lady Huan "cotton … she is supposed only to have imported from Canton the machine for removing seeds from it" {so, the cotton-gin is older in China than Eli Whitney?}
Hu-s^en hailfall (festival on 1st d. of 7th m.)
great-king Pa-c^a (bird-beaked, bird-feeted) encloser, within gourd, of locusts [p. 142 amulets are distributed against locusts]
142 1st Harvester
1st Ploughman
1st Dike-maker
1st Canal-digger
1st Builder of Watch-huts
Spirits of cats who eat rats
Spirits of tigres who eat feral swine
143 Niu-wan ('Oxen's king') ox-stables
Lin-c^u ('Transcendent Pig') pigsties
Ma-t>ou Nian (' Horse-head Dame') silkworms, at Mulberry Avenue in Palace (of Jade Emperor)

pp. 147-149 patron-saints of occupational guilds

p. guild patron-saint saint's day
147 tradesmen God of Wealth 2nd & 16th d.s of m.
hotelkeepers God of Wealth of the 5 Roads
148 goldsmiths Hua-kuan (in chair, with feet on ingot) & Tun-fan S^uo (incarnate planet of metal)
jade-merchants Pien Ho (whose limbs were amputated)
carpenters Lu Pan (maker of wooden falcon)
makers of red & black lacquer the 2 wives, red & black, of Lu Pan 13th d. of 5th m.; 21st d. of 6th m.
butchers Fan K>uai (butcher of hound-meat); C^an Fei (butcher of pork)
weavers God of the Shuttle 16th d. of 9th m.
gardeners God of Garden-Trees
brush-makers Men T>ien (inventor of writing-brush)
paper-makers Ts>ai Lun (inventor of paper)
tailors Huan-ti (Yellow Emperor: inventor of caerimonial vestments)
cobblers Sun Pin (whose toes were amputated)
149 wine-makers Yi-ti (inventor of wine for Yu: the Great)
distillers Tu K>an (discoverer of grain-alcohol)
barbers Ancestor Lo (1st of barbers) 13th d. of 7th m.
public story-tellers Ts>an C^ieh (legendary inventor of writing)
actors Yu:eh Fei
prostitutes Kuan-yin & P>an C^in-lien (whore-widow)
thieves Brigand Sun C^ian (in the Water Margins); Brigand C^ih (visited by Confucius)

similes for sky-deities

p. the __ deity is like unto a __ comparative
153 Golden Raven thunderbolt [Bon] raven-god emitting lightning from its mouth
Jade Rabbit chariot-wheel Iksion bound onto wheel in sky
157 [in constellation Sagittarius:] goddess & god of "the entire allotted span" of life tou ("bushel") Hemi-thea & her brother Tenes arrived in a barrel: "linked the hero to his destiny." (CDCM, s.v. Tenes")


CDCM = Pierre Grimal: A Concise Dictionary of Classical Mythology. 1990.

pp. 154-155 Kuan-ti

p. feature: his __ description
154 stature 9 feet tall
beard 2 feet long
face red as jujube
eyen those of phoinix
154-5 son carrying sigil
155 squire carrying halberd

pp. 159-161 San-hsin (the 3 stars)

p. 159 __-hsin ('__ Star') Fu- (Happiness) Lu- (Dignitaries) S^ou- (Longevity) [= Canopus, p. 160]
his retinue p. 159 midgets "as buffoons and comedians" p. 161 children
symbol p. 160 fluttering bats p. 161 deer p. 161 pine-tree
food p. 160 grain p. 161 peach-fruit
description p. 161 having enormous very high bald head

pp. 160-161 the 3 gods, players of [Chinese] checkers {cf. [Irish] Lugh the chess-player

-- Charles Squire: Celtic Myth and Legend. 1905. (p. 85) }

p. 165 retinue of ladies-in-waiting for Pi-hsia Yu:an-c^u:n ("Princess of Multi-colored Clouds"), who is daughter of the Grand Emperor of T>ai-s^an ("Eastern Peak"): she is, indeed, the one who bestoweth children and praesideth over their delivery. She is repraesented with a special hair style made-up of three birds with their wings extended.

Lady of Good Vision holdeth an enormous eye in her hands, and praeserveth children from sore eyen
Lady Who Bringeth Children holdeth a new-born baby in her hands
Lady Who Promoteth the Beginning of Praegnancy Princess Who Mysteriously Nourisheth and Strengtheneth & Strengtheneth the Form of the Embryo
Lady Who Speedeth Birth Princess Who Causeth the Rule to be Followed & Protecteth Infancy
Lady Who Bestoweth Birth Princeth Who Granteth Joy & Protecteth Delivery
Lady of Smallpox Princess Who Granteth Tranqullity & Kindness for Infancy
Lady Who Guideth the Ignorant Princess Who Guideth & Directeth Infancy
Lady of Suckling Princess Who Giveth Food & Nourisheth Infancy

pp. 177-181 the 10 Hells & their kings [the 1st & 5th have been transposed from the antient sequence, p. 177]

p. Hell __-wan ('king') punishment in it for __
177-8 1st C^>in-kuan- [examination of souls at Hsieh-c^in T>ai ('Mirror-of-the-Wicked Terrace')]
178 2nd C^>u-c^ian- breach of trust (dishonest go-betweens; faithless trustees; ignorant medics)
3rd Sun-ti- betrayal of superiors by inferiors (of husbands by wives; of masters by slaves)
178-9 4th Wu-kuan- misers (swindlers; counterfeiters; makers of false weights; movers of boundary-markers)
179 5th Yen-lo- religious sin (destruction of pious books)
6th Pien-c^>en- sacrilege (cursing heaven; destroying idols)
179-80 7th T>ai-s^an c^u:n- violation of tombs
180 8th P>in-ten- lack of filial piety
9th Tu-s^ih- incendiaries & abortionists
180-1 10th C^uan-lun- (praeliminaries for re-incarnation) p. 180 "Broth of Oblivion" praepared by Men-p>o Nian-nian (Dame Men)
p. 181 K>u-c^>u-c^>iao ("Bridge of Sorrow") "over a river of vermilion-colored water"

p. 178 "… the City of Those Who Die by Accident, Wang-ssu-ch'eng, from which there is no way out to rebirth. However, … they are allowed to come back and be reborn on earth if they have found a substitute. This is why the souls of the drowned seek to drown those who pass over rivers, the souls of the hanged to persuade all those within their reach to hang themselves, and so on."

pp. 183-186 destinations of the multiple souls of each person

p. The 7 p>o The 3 hun
183 "remain with the body in the mortuary chamber, which they cannot leave because of the gate gods". "led away by the henchmen of the god of Walls and Ditches, whose summons warrant serves as a pass with the gate gods, begin their voyage to the underworld".
"When the hour of death comes, … the god of Walls and Ditches" sendeth 2 emissaries [Niu-t>ou (Go-s`iras 'Ox-head') & Ma-mien (As`va-mukha 'Horse-face')] "to seize the soul and bring it before him."
184 Niu-t>ou & Ma-mien "are obliged to get help from the soul of a living man, whose body suddenly falls into a catalepsy while the soul leaves it for some moments".
"On the thirty-fifth day after death, the dead person's soul … boards the Precious Raft which is the Ship of Benevolence … from one world to the other".
185 "On the forty-ninth day, … the soul definitely passes through the door which separates the terrestrial world from the infernal world." Then it entereth "the first of the Ten Tribunals."
186 "On the evening … of the hundredth day," there is provided "the house where the dead person must live in the infernal plains where, with other souls, it makes up cities and towns around the palaces of the" netherworld-deities.

p. 183 Niu-t>ou & Ma-mien "are portrayed with a man's body and the head and feet of an animal" {cf. Kentauros}

p. 186 In this world of the living, models of the mansions-to-be of the dead, together with "silver paper … representing ingots," are burned in order to convey them to the dead. {cf. the [Hina-yana] sermon by the Buddha alleging that "the [material] world is aflame".}

p. 186 "the soul … is not reborn before the twenty-eight months of mourning have passed".

p. 183 "Those who have lived virtuously are reborn … on earth as men and women; for them this is a reward, since the modern Chinese, far different from the [Jaina-s and even the Hina-yana Buddhists], who despaired at the idea of an indefinite series of lives and deaths, are happy with the idea."

p. 196 situated on summit of mt. K>un-lun: the 2 wings of the 9-storeyed "jade palace surrounded by a golden wall."

wing of palace right left
waterway River of Kingfishers, flowing through wing Lake of Pearls, surrounding wing
inhabitants of wing male Immortals female Immortals

Henry Maspero (translated from the French by Frank A. Kierman, Jr.): Taoism and Chinese Religion. U. of MA Pr, Amherst, 1981. pp. 75-196.