Tag Archive: heng o


Goddess Ch’ang O

Painting in the Dunhuang Series by Zeng Hao

Ch’ang O’s themes are the moon, relationships, purity, devotion, instinct, growth and manifestation. Her symbols all lunar symbols or items.  This Chinese moon Goddess is stunningly beautiful, shining on our lives with all the best energies of the moon. On this day, Her birthday, She reaches out to embrace the earth and its people, inspiring pure, devoted relationships, stirring long-forgotten insights and sharing energy for growth and manifestation in nearly any area of our lives.

Celebrating the Birthday of the Moon is in honor of the moon Goddess and is a national event in China; the traditions are easily adapted to our efforts. Begin by gathering with family or friends and exchanging moon gifts (anything that represents the moon and meets a magical need for the person to whom it’s intended).  After the gift exchange, enjoy some moon-shaped cookies or cakes, as well as other foods that invoke Ch’ango’s favor, like dumplings shaped like a crescent moon (dim sum) and grapefruit slices.

Don’t forget to go moon gazing (if the weather is poor, use a poster or book image). Hold hands with your companions and bask in the silvery glow. Moonlight is said to enliven creativity, romance, and other positive emotions today.Additionally, looking upon Ch’ango’s visage draws the Goddess’s blessing and protection.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Chang-O” by Lisa Hunt

Patricia Monaghan writes: “In ancient China, it was said that this moon Goddess originally lived on earth, where Her husband was a famous archer.  To honor the mans’s prowess, the gods gave him the drink of immortality, but Chang-O beat him to the bottle and drank it down.  Then She fled to the moon, where Shed asked the hare who lived there for protection from Her (probably righteously) furious husband.

There, some say, Chang-O gained immortality – as a toad.  Other legends say that Chang-O’s residence was one of the twelve moons, each a different shape, that cross the sky” (p. 84).

Now apparently, there are at least 3 different versions of Her story; click here to read them.

While researching Chang-O, I found this commentary particularly insightful: “I feel like She has grown beyond Her silly mistake – that perhaps that was the necessary fumble for Her, so She would be in isolation, and able to explore the mysteries of humanity and divinity in solitude.

I see Her, not as selfish or stupid, but as gentle, and grown wise from Her mistakes. I feel that She has a lot of compassion for humans, being that She once stood where we are now.” [1]

“Alternate names: Hêng Ô, Chang E, T’ai-yin Huang-chin (‘The Moon Queen’), Yuehfu Ch’ang Ô (‘Ch’ang Ô of the Lunar Palace’)”. [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Autumnsdaughter. Tarotforum.net, “Goddess Tarot: 9 ~ Contemplation: Chang O“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Chang-O”.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Ch’ang Ô“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Kuchinsky, Charlotte. Yahoo! Voices, “The Myth of Chang O, Chinese Goddess of the Moon“.

Moonbird, Maeve. Order of the White Moon,Ch’ang-O Chinese Goddess of the Moon“.

Wikipedia, “Chang’e“.

Wikipedia, “Mid-Autumn Festival“.

Goddess Hsi-Ho

“Goddess of the Sun” by Acchi Sanchez

“Hsi-Ho’s themes are spring, harvest, luck, divination, hope and weather.  Her symbols are water buffalos and bears.  Hsi-Ho is the Chinese Mother of the Sun, who stretches out Her son’s golden arms to warm and revitalize both the earth and its people. In Chinese mythology, Hsi-Ho bathes Her child each morning in the eastern-shore lake so he can shine brightly through the day, strengthening hope and discernment. Her sacred animals are the water buffalo and the bear, both of which represent spring.

Li Ch’un literally means ‘spring is here’. What better time to remember Hsi Ho and Her gift of sunlight? Take out a yellow candle, bathe it with a fragrant oil, then light it for a day filled with Hsi Ho’s clarity. Or carry a yellow-colored stone (zircon is ideal) for astuteness.

In China, people light a candle today and thank the star under which they were born. This candle can represent Hsi Ho, mother to the morning star. According to tradition, if you try this and the flame burns brightly, it indicates good luck in the coming months.

Should the flame spark, it portends important news or a visitor. A flame that smoulders or dies out is a negative omen.

Also make note of what the first person you meet today wears. A hat indicates rain, shoes reveal downpours throughout the spring and summer, warm clothing portends a cold year ahead and light clothing foretells warm weather.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Goddess of Fire” by Ronnie Biccard

Hsi-Ho (also known as Xi He) is a Chinese sun goddess. Her title is the Lady of the Ten Suns. She is the mother of these ten suns…one for each day of a ten day cycle. This sun Goddess lived far beyond the horizon of the eastern seas.  As a major figure in the oldest stratum of Chinese mythology, Hsi-Ho controls the time each sun has a turn in lighting the world.

It is said that early each morning, Hsi-Ho goes to the edge of the world in the East where it is said that the Fu-sang tree, a divine plant which represents the  East, the sun, blooms.  Here Her children, the suns, hang from the branches of this huge tree.  Every morning She takes them down and bathes them in the eastern lake, afterwards placing the one whose turn it is into a chariot drawn by dragons  so he can shine brightly throughout the day.  The others then wait their turn on the branches of the tree.

The legend of Hsi-Ho offers evidence of a matriarchal society in early China. It was a time that the mother was the central figure of the family just as the sun is the central figure for life here on earth.  Then, with the advent of patriarchy, the Goddess and women’s matriarchies were overthrown and submerged throughout  the centuries. [1]

“The Fu-Sang Tree” by Leslie Berger

In Chinese mythology, the sun is sometimes symbolized as a three-legged bird, called a Sun-bird. There were ten of these Sun-birds, all of whom are the offspring of Di-Jun, God of the Eastern Heaven. The ten Sun-birds resided in a mulberry tree in the eastern sea; each day one of the Sun-Birds would travel around the world on a carriage, driven by Xihe, the Mother of the Suns.

One day however, the ten suns grew tired of the same old routine and came out together. As one would imagine, this made life on earth unbearable.

Crops failed, people suffered heat stroke, there were fires, etc. Xi He’s husband Di-Jun (Tian Di) was ordered by the Emperor to keep the naughty suns under control, with disastrous consequences for them, but not for us.  Here is their story.

“Long, long ago in ancient China, near the East Sea, there was a magic mulberry called Fu Sang(扶桑) where ten three-legged crows inhabited. The crows, named Sanzu Wu (三足乌), or Jin Wu(金乌) in Chinese mythology, were the supreme god – Tian Di’s(天帝) sons who took turns to show up every day in the sky. When the one roamed in the sky with myriad golden rays, the other nine rested in the tree. And the one on duty was known as the sun, giving warmth and hope to the earth.

One day the ten crows got tired of the routine and broke the rule – they appeared in the sky together, causing a steep rise of temperature. The ground is burnt and plants caught fire. People had nothing to eat and finding water became more and more difficult. Things got even worse when some monsters began to chase and eat people. The whole world was filled with panic and despair.

Seeing this, Tian Di sent Ho Yi (后羿), a brave sharpshooter to kill those monsters as well as punish his indocile children. Tian Di gave Ho Yi a big bow and some magic arrows. With those divine weapons Ho Yi descended to the earth.

Ho-Yi shoots down the ten suns

Immediately he threw himself into the battle. After the death of all the monsters, Ho came to the ten suns who, facing his weapons, showed no sign of fear at all. They continued to abuse their power. Ho bursted into a fury and drew an arrow. With the sound of the bowstring, one sun was shot and fell downward. People on the earth felt less hot and began to cheer. Encouraged by that, Ho went on to shoot. One by one nine of the suns were shot dead, and with the drop in temperature people’s shouts of joy became louder and louder till they were heard by Tian Di. Though his children were disturbing, Tian Di had never meant to have them killed.

So he got angry with Ho Yi and forbad him returning to the heavens. Nevertheless, Tian Di was eventually a sober leader for he ordered the scared sun – the only survival to undertake the mission of delivering light and warmth to the earth. Thus the trouble blew over and the great Ho Yi together with his beautiful wife, Chang E had lived in the mortal world from then on.” [2]

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