Lan Ts’ai Ho
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Lan Ts’ai Ho is one of the Eight Immortals, the Taoist adepts who never died but attained immortality. Lan Ts’ai Ho is sometimes described as a “strolling singer” which makes her sound like a modern busker but once upon a time in East Asia, traveling female priestesses and shamansincorporated songs into their rituals. Lan Ts’ai Ho wandered the streets chanting until one day, allegedly after becoming intoxicated at an inn, she ascended to the sky on a cloud.
Some people feel very strongly that there can only be one woman amongst the Eight Immortals and since Ho Hsien-Ko is undeniably female, Lan Ts’ai Ho is sometimes described as a hermaphrodite or transvestite. (And that is the argument: there can only be one woman so she must be something else even though the earliest portrayals depict her as female. There were many female Taoist adepts; they were not a rare breed. It is not unreasonable for one-quarter of the Eight Immortals to be female.)
Lan Ts’ai Ho is the matron saint of florists.
Lan Ts’ai Ho wears a blue gown with one shoe on and one shoe off.
Magic wand; basket of flowers
Amida Buddha; Bao Gu; Eight Immortals; Ho Hsien-Ko; Hsi Wang Mu
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.