Yaoji : Princess of the Flowery Clouds
Yaoji, twenty-third and youngest Fairy daughter of Hsi Wang Mu, Queen Mother of the West, is among the primary Taoist goddesses. She has dominion over birth, sex, lust, life, death, healing, and dreams. A shaman and master herbalist, Yaoji is responsible for the presence of many medicinal herbs on Earth. She sponsors healers, heroes, and adepts and is the lover of kings. Yaoji is a protective weather goddess who raises and soothes storms. She commands dragons.
Yaoji once lived in the Celestial World where she mastered all the requisite Fairy crafts, but she was bored. Yaoji wished to see the world, so she assembled a flock of Fairy attendants and embarked on a grand tour. Flying through the air, appreciating the beauty of Earth, Yaoji was frustrated when she reached China’s Wushan Mountains and her vision was blocked by thick clouds and rain stirred up by destructive dragons. An alternative myth suggests that her vision wasn’t blocked. She saw only too well the dangers facing travelers in the perilous Wushan Gorge.
Yaoji descended to Earth with her entourage of Fairies. They tamed and dredged the gorge and formed the mountains. By the time their work was complete, Yaoji discovered that she loved the Wushan Peaks and Gorge. She decided to move in permanently along with her Fairy entourage. Eventually she transformed into one of the peaks, Goddess Mountain. (The other peaks may be transformed Fairies or dragons.)
Yaoji protects ships, sailors, and people in general. She prevents natural disasters. She reveals secrets of healing, instructs Taoist adepts, and teaches the art of seduction and sacred sexuality. Yaoji is the subject of operas, films, folktales, and literature.
The controversial Three Gorges Dam has effectively cut off Yaoji’s access to the land below, leaving her stranded at the peak. Or rather, the goddess may not be stranded: she can fly away. However, those who seek her have had their access routes destroyed.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Yaoji most commonly appears as an irresistibly beautiful woman or a beautiful blue stone, but she can take virtually any form she desires. Yaoji may appear as an apparition, a corporeal presence, and in dreams.
Cranes, phoenixes, dragons
From a distance, Goddess Peak (Shennu Peak), one of twelve Wushan mountain peaks, resembles a beautiful feminine silhouette. She has a temple at the base of a peak.
Lingzhi, the mushroom of immortality
- 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.