Deities, Spirits, Creatures and Mortals
Yu Huang the Jade Emperor
Ruler of Heaven in Daoist cosmology, and the head of the heavenly bureacracy.
A massive giant whose birth heralded the creation of the world and whose death created the world as we know it.
- Cosmic Egg: Where he came from.
- Giant Corpse World: After the death of Pangu, his body was made into the earth, his blood the sea, his eyes the sun and moon, and the lice around his body was turned into the first people.
Shennong the Yan Emperor
The Flame (or "red") Emperor, translated literally "God farmer".
The Yellow Emperor, and supposed ancestor of all modern ethnic Chinese. He was something of a Science Hero
, teaching the people how to build shelters, tame wild animals and grow the five Chinese cereals. He also invented carts, boats, clothing, the guqin, the diadem, palace rooms, the bow sling, astronomy, the calendar, calculations, sound laws, football
, and wrote the Inner Canon on internal medicine that all traditional Chinese medicine was based on. He commissioned Cang Jie to create the first Chinese characters, and his main wife Leizu taught people how to weave silk from silkworms and dye clothes.
The serpent goddess who created humanity and saved mankind from many a catastrophe. Nüwa used yellow clay from a water bed to mould the first humans. These humans were very smart and successful since they were individually crafted. Nüwa then became bored of individually making every human by hand so she improved by putting a rope in the water bed. The small drops of clay that fell from it became more humans, not as smart as the first, i.e. the lower classes.
Nuwa's husband, and sometimes twin brother
. A god of agriculture and learning, he was also the First Sovereign of China who laid down laws for the new humans to live by.
The Eight Immortals
Eight people from across China's social make-up: beggars, nobles, men and women - who all became immortal and are known for celebrating raucously. They are an exception to the 'Celestial Bureaucracy' part of being deities: they hold no official positions.
The Three Pure Ones
Three kings, one of which who ruled Heaven and Earth before giving the position to the Jade Emperor. They are the oldest beings in existence. They are more closely related to Taoism and do not play too much part in rural Chinese belief.
The god of the Yellow River (Huang He), which is one of the world's major rivers and a river of great cultural importance in China. This is reflected in Chinese mythology by the tales surrounding the deity Hebo whose name translated means "Lord of the River".
He's alternatively called Zhurong. Revered personage in Chinese myths, according to the Huainanzi
and the philosophical texts of Mozi and his followers, Zhurong is a god of fire and of the south. Zhurong was said to be the son of Gaoyang who had also a second son Gun, who in turn fathered Yu the Great. Chongli is the father of Gong Gong, a sea monster and troublemaking deity.
Feng Po Po
Feng Po Po or Feng Popo is the goddess of the wind in Chinese mythology. She is referred to as "Madame Wind", and is usually depicted as a crone. Feng Po Po can be seen riding through clouds on the back of a tiger.
Leigong or Leishen who literally translated means "God of Thunder", is the god of thunder in Chinese folk religion, Chinese mythology and Taoism. In Taoism, when so ordered by heaven, Leigong punishes both earthly mortals guilty of secret crimes and evil spirits who have used their knowledge of Taoism to harm human beings. He carries a drum and mallet to produce thunder, and a chisel to punish all the evildoers.
Xi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the West
Rules from the sacred Mount Kunlun. She is a guide to all Daoists, but in particular she guides women who wish to become immortals.
The bodhisattva of mercy and compassion, originally based on the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. She is sometimes not conflated with Avalokitesvara, and Daoists also worship her as an Immortal. Her worship may be usefully compared to the veneration of the Virgin Mary in Roman Catholicism.
A goddess who lives on the moon, thanks to her eating a pill of immortality meant for her husband Houyi.
The husband of Chang'e, He was responsible for slaying the sun-birds that were scorching the Earth. He also accomplished many heroic tasks while in the World slaying monsters and demons that threaten humanity.
He's also known as Tu Di Gong and is the god of soil and land. He is traditionally venerated as a part of burial rituals, and his reputation for granting blessings has earned him the formal name of Fudegong, the lord of blessing and virtue.
She is a sea goddess also known by several other names and titles. She is the deified form of the purported historical Lin Mo or Lin Moniang, a Fujianese shamaness whose life span is traditionally dated from 960 to 987. She is venerated after her death as a tutelary deity of seafarers, including fishermen and sailors, her worship spread throughout China's coastal regions and overseas Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia. She was thought to roam the seas, protecting her believers through miraculous interventions.
His name translated is "muddled confusion". Hundun is both a "legendary faceless being" in Chinese mythology as well as the "primordial and central chaos". He is one of the "Four Fiends", the others being Taotie ("gluttony"), Taowu ("ignorance") and Qiongqi ("deviousness").
Chinese guardian deity who fought against the Supreme Divinity, not giving up even after the event of his decapitation. Losing the fight for supremacy, he was beheaded and his head buried in Changyang Mountain. Nevertheless, even without a head, with a shield in one hand and a battle axe in the other, he continues the fight, using his nipples as eyes and his bellybutton as a mouth although they could not see. Due to symbolizing the indomitable spirit which maintains the will to resist no matter what tribulations one may undergo or what troubles one may encounter, Xingtian has been lauded in poetry and prose.
The God of death and the afterlife, he's the ruler of Di'yu (the Chinese underworld).
God of bureaucrats, scholars typically pray to Wenchang Wang before taking exams, and keeping the Cinnamon Record, in which all men's deeds and fates are recorded, is his responsibility.
Traditionally regarded as a vanquisher of ghosts and evil beings, and reputedly being able to command 80,000 demons, his image is often painted on household gates as a guardian spirit, as well as in places of business where high-value goods are involved.
The evil Dragon King of the East Sea in Chinese Believe. Was defeated by Nezha, which humbled him and made him end his villainous ways. He also appeared in different works including Fengshen Yanyi
and Journey to the West
, in the latter being tricked by Sun Wukong.
A Daoist deity that was born as a lump of flesh, which split open to reveal Nezha as a boy instead of an infant. He killed the third son of the Dragon King of the East Sea, who confronted Nezha and threatened to flood Chentang Pass and report Nezha to the Jade Emperor. To save his family, Nezha flayed and disemboweled himself to return his body to his parents. The Dragon King was moved by his filial piety and spared his family. Nezha was later brought back to life by his teacher, Taiyi Zhenren, who used lotus roots to construct a human body for his soul.
The daughter of Yandi who was transformed into a bird by Nüwa. She is also considered a goddess by some. After she drowned when playing in the Eastern Sea, she metamorphosed into a bird. Jingwei is determined to fill up the sea, so she continuously carries a pebble or twig in her mouth and drops it into the Eastern Sea.
- Baleful Polymorph: Got turned into a bird.
- Determinator: This is a girl whose goal is to render the seas shallow by filling it up with enough pebbles. She definitely qualifies for this trope.
Erlang Shen or just Erlang is a Chinese god with a third truth-seeing eye in the middle of his forehead. Erlang Shen may be a deified version of several semi-mythical folk heroes who helped regulate China's torrential floods dating variously from the Qin, Sui, and Jin dynasties. A later Buddhist source identifies him as the second son of the Northern Heavenly King Vaishravana. In the Ming semi-mythical novels Creation of the Gods
and Journey to the West
, Erlang Shen is the nephew of the Jade Emperor. In the former, he assists the Zhou army in defeating the Shang. In the latter, he is the second son of a mortal and the Jade Emperor's sister. In the legend, he is known as the greatest warrior god of heaven.
Da Ji was the favorite consort of King Zhou of Shang, the last king of the Shang dynasty in ancient China. She is portrayed as a malevolent fox spirit in legends as well as novels. Her identification as a fox spirit seems to have originated from at least the Tang dynasty. These accounts have been popularized in works such as the Wu Wang Fa Zhou Pinghua
, the Fengshen Yanyi
, and the Lieguo Zhi
. She is considered a classic example of how a beautiful woman can cause the downfall of a dynasty in Chinese culture.
She's a legendary or possibly fictional warrior woman from the Northern and Southern dynasties period of Chinese history, originally described in The Ballad of Mulan
. In the ballad, Hua Mulan, disguised as a man, takes her aged father's place in the army. Mulan fought for twelve years and gained high merit, but she refused any reward and retired to her hometown.
The god of war and business, originally a general from the Three Kingdoms
period. It is an interesting thing that both policemen and criminals pray to Guan Yu. Mainly because, among other things, Guan Yu is essentially the god of True Companions