Daoism and Cct

Religious Beliefs

What about lesser or subordinate popular deities?

Associated with Ma Zu is the Great Emperor Protecting Life (Bao Sheng Da Di). A physician during medieval (Song Dynasty) times, he remains a popular healing power. Legend says that he suffered from unrequited love for Ma Zu. Shou Lao, god of longevity, appears often in Chinese art and in temple decorations. He holds a peach and a staff, walks with a crane or a deer or both, and has an exceptionally high forehead and a long white beard. Another god of longevity, Shou Xing, has the responsibility of appointing each person’s time of death. Like Shou Lao, he holds a peach, but Shou Xing’s companions are the stag and bat. He is sometimes depicted as one of a trinity of star gods of happiness. Dozens of other lesser gods fill out the popular pantheon. Dung Fang Shuo is the divine patron of metalsmiths, connected with the planet Venus and depicted standing on gold and silver ingots. Bian Ho is the patron deity of jewelers. Si Ming, a deity of Daoist origin, became the Kitchen God, or Director of Destinies, who oversees the fates of family members and submits reports annually to the Jade Emperor on how each person is progressing. Depicted as an elderly Mandarin, this household deity rules from his place above the family hearth.


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