Mother of Dragons
It’s the stuff of fantasy: someone brings home a beautiful stone only to discover it’s really a dragon’s egg. Long Mu means “Mother of Dragons” and that’s what happened to her. Before she was a goddess, Long Mu was a young girl from a poor family in southern China, born circa 290 BCE. She went to the Xi River, a tributary of the Pearl River, daily to fish, bathe and do laundry. One day, she found an exquisite white stone, brought it home and life was never the same.
The stone turned out to be an egg: five little water snakes hatched from it. Long Mu treated them as if they were her own children. Although her family was poor, she saved the best food for the snakes and fed them by hand. They, in turn, became very devoted to her, too, traveling to the river with her and helping her fish.
The snakes kept growing and it soon became apparent that they were not snakes at all but dragons. Their devotion to their adopted mother did not diminish. When the area was hit by drought, the dragons summoned rain. Grateful villagers in awe of the familial relationship between woman and snakes began calling her Long Mu: Mother of Dragons. After death, she was deified. Long Mu remains a very popular goddess.
Long Mu is the goddess of mothers, children, family relations and loving devotion. She is invoked to instill feelings of loyalty and responsibility between those who love each other, whether related by blood or even of the same species.
Sacred day: Her festival is celebrated in the first week of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.
Long Mu is enshrined in two temples in China: the Long Mu Ancestral Temple in Yuecheng, renovated as recently as 1985 and the Baisha Temple in Zhaoqing.
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.