T’ai Shan, Lady Of
Princess of the Azure Clouds; Holy Mother; Green Jade Mother; Daughter of Heaven; Daughter of the Mountain
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Bixia Yuanjin, Lady of T’ai Shan, currently among the most popular Taoist goddesses, is the daughter of the Lord of T’ai Shan. She presides over conception, pregnancy, and childbirth, bestowing fertility to those who are lacking. Women and men make pilgrimages to her temples to petition for children.
The Lady of T’ai Shan is guardian of women. She shows special favour to women who wish to be grandmothers and thus seek fertility for their children.
A beautiful woman wearing a headdress formed from three birds with outstretched wings; she also manifests as a fox or a star.
She is usually accompanied by an entourage of spirits, including the Lady Who Brings Children who always carries a child, the Fecundity Lady, the Lady Who Favors the Start of Pregnancy, the Princess Who Mysteriously Nourishes and Strengthens the Shape of the Embryo, the Lady Who Activates Birth, and others. These attendants may also be petitioned for fertility independently, particularly the Fecundity Lady.
Star: The Lady of T’ai Shan is a small red star within the constellation Leo.
The Lady of T’ai Shan, Spirit of Dawn, embodies the birth of each day.
T’ai Shan, in Shantung province, highest and most sacred of China’s five sacred mountains, is covered with shrines and inscriptions. There are sacred paths with shrines and statues of the Daughter of the Mountain. The Lady of T’ai Shan has a great temple just before the summit.
Feast: The most popular pilgrimage to T’ai Shan is on the eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese calendar. Although anyone and everyone may make the pilgrimage, it is traditional for women wishing to become grandmothers to do so on behalf of their fertility-challenged daughters. This is the traditional ritual; however, the Chinese government has periodically suppressed aspects, such as the burning of spirit money:
• Devotees eat only a spartan meal in the morning: no flesh, garlic, onions, or alcohol.
• Having rinsed out the mouth, devotees enter the Temple of the Lady, prostrating before her altar.
• Burn incense and spirit money.
• Bow once again before the altar and make your personal plea. The shrine guardian traditionally strikes musical stones to draw the Lady’s attention.
• A cord is passed around the neck of her statue in supplication.
• Those desiring children may remove ex-voto offerings of baby shoes from the altar. If prayers for children are fulfilled, return these baby shoes or better ones.
Incense, flowers, baby shoes, pilgrimage to her mountain, protection of foxes, needy women, and children
Green Jade Mother; T’ai Shan, Lord of and the Glossary entry for Spirit Money
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.