Tag Archive: xi he


Goddess Xi Hou

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“Xi Hou’s themes are kinship, longevity, unity, divination and weather. Her symbols are sunlight and gold dragons. As the Chinese mother of the sun, this Goddess joins our festivities today to celebrate Her child’s rebirth. Each morning, Xi Hou diligently bathes one of ten suns in the lake of creation so it can shine in purity, and then She puts it on top of the trees, where it’s received by a dragon chariot that moves the sun across the sky.

Consider following Chinese custom, and rejoice in the solstice by gathering in the kitchen with your housemates and leaving offerings of chopsticks, oranges, incense, and candles for unity and long life for all those gathered. Open a curtain to let the sun light flood in, than thank Xi Hou for Her child and its warmth. Also, at some point during the day, enjoy some Oriental-style dumplings (dim sum) for kinship.

Among the favorite activities today are weather prophecies. Go outside and see what direction the wind is coming from. An east wind portends trouble, west winds indicate the ripening of an effort or a good grain crop, south winds counsel watching your money, as the harvest will be poor (don’t invest in crop shares!), and north winds foretell bounty.

Red clouds reveal that your personal energy will wane and droughts may follow, black clouds predict floods, yellow clouds precede prosperity and abundant crops, and white clouds reveal arguments or war.”

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

Hsi-Ho-large

“Hsi-Ho” by Janet Hess

The Goddess Xi Hou (pronounced SHE-hoe) is the “mother of the ten suns; this ancient Chinese heroine created the calendar by selecting the order in which She would bathe Her children – thus establishing which day came before which.  After bathing the child in the sweet waters of the Kan Yuan Gulf, She hung the day’s sun in a mulberry tree and raised it into the sky” (Monaghan, p. 156).

Also seen as Xi He and Hsi-Ho (see my February 7th entry Goddess Hsi-Ho).

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Hsi-Ho”.

 

Suggested Links:

Cnculture.org, “Ho Yi Shoots down the Suns“.

Wikipedia, “Dōngzhì 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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