The Eight Immortals are Taoist spirits who, though each also venerated separately, are venerated together as a group to reinforce each other and provide even greater inspiration, wisdom, healing, and protection, similar in manner to the Seven African Powers or the Shichi Fukujin (Seven Spirits of Good Fortune). The Eight Immortals are spiritual guardians, advisors, and tutors. Allegedly historic people who achieved immortality through mastery of Taoist alchemy, some are even documented.
• They offer instruction to those deemed worthy and ready to receive it.
• They offer help and protection to the needy and desperate.
There are at least one thousand Immortals, but the ones classified among the eight are the most popular and widely venerated. Symbolic of good fortune, their images are ubiquitous. Although individual members may vary, the standard group includes:
• Cao Guo-Jiu
• Chang Kuo-Lao
• Chung-li Ch’uan
• Han Hsiang-Tzu
• Ho Hsien-Ko
• Lan Ts’ai Ho
• Li Tieh-Kuai
• Lu Tong-Pin
Also known as:
Pa Hsien; Ba Xian
They are often depicted together, crossing the sea in a boat. In addition to images of the individual eight, they are sometimes represented by their attributes: sword, fan, flower basket, lotus, flute, gourd, castanets, and fish drum.
In addition to their individual shrines, they are venerated together in Taiwan’s Temple of the Eight Immortals.
- Bao Gu
- Shichi Fukujin
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.