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Xi Wang-mu

by Micha F. Lindemans
The Chinese goddess of immortality and the personification of the feminine element yin. The Taoist Xi Wang-mu is referred to as the 'Royal Mother of the West', and rules over the western paradise of the immortals. She is the daughter of the god Yu-huang and her husband is Mu Gong. Originally she was a terrifying tiger-woman who brought the plague, but under the influence of Taoism she became a benign goddess.

Her nine-stories palace of jade lies in the mythical Kun-lun mountains, near the Lake of Jewels. It is surrounded by a wall of over a thousand miles long and of pure gold. The male immortals reside in the right wing and the female immortals reside in the left wing of this palace. In her garden she cultivates the peach of immortality. This peach tree forms only one peach every three thousand years, which then takes another three thousand years to ripen. When it is ripe, Hsi Wang-mu invites the immortals to a feast to celebrate their birthday and to partake ot the miraculous peach which bestows another lease of immortality.

She is portrayed as a young beautiful woman wearing a royal gown, sometimes riding a peacock. He favorite animal is Feng-huang, the symbol of immortality.

The name of Xi Wang-mu in traditional Chinese format.
The name of Xi Wang-mu in traditional Chinese format.

Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Hsi Wang-mu

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