Study notes: Xiwang mu and the Rabbit in the Moon / Immortality and Paradise

 

The Kunlun mountains are believed to be Taoist paradise. The first to visit this paradise was, according to the legends, King Mu (976-922 BCE) of the Zhou Dynasty. He supposedly discovered there the Jade Palace of Huang-Di, the mythical Yellow Emperor and originator of Chinese culture, and met Hsi Wang Mu (Xi Wang Mu) , the ‘Spirit Mother of the West’ usually called the ‘Queen Mother of the West’, who was the object of an ancient religious cult which reached its peak in the Han Dynasty, also had her mythical abode in these mountains. Jesuit missionaries, the noted American Sinologist Charles Hucker, and London University’s Dr Bernard Leeman (2005) have suggested that Xiwangmu and the Queen of Sheba were one and the same person. The Transcendency of Sheba, a religious group, believes that the Queen of Sheba’s pre-Deuteronomic Torah recorded in the Kebra Nagast was influential in the development of Daoism. They insist that after vacating the throne for her son Solomon the queen journeyed to the Kunlun Mountains where, known as the Queen from the West, she attained spiritual enlightenment — Source: Cultural China

Mt. Kunlun has been known as the Forefather of Mountains in China. The name of the mountain can be found in many Chinese classics, such as The Classics of Mountains and Rivers, Commentary on the Waterways Classics, and Canonization of the Gods (or Gods and Heroes). As legend has it, the goddess of Kunlun is Queen Mother of the West. The adobe of immortals in many ancient books is said to be the Heihai, or the Black Sea – the source of the Kunlun River, 4,300 meters above sea level, with an area of 60 square kilometers. The river region is an ideal home to birds and wild animals, such as wild donkeys, sheep, and brown bears. There are precious murals in Yeniugou*, or Wild Bull Ditch. Textual research shows that this is where Taoist rites were performed during the late Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).[*Yeniugou is traditionally an area a transitional grazing grounds for both the pastoral tribes of the Tibetans and Mongols, with Kazakh arrivals from Xinjiang superimposed in later times in 1950s. Source: Wildlife Status and Conservation in Yeniugou, Qinghai, China]

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Goldin, Paul R “On the Meaning of the Name Xiwangmu, Spirit Mother of the West“. The Journal of the American Oriental Society Vol. 122 Nbr. 1, January 2002

Abstract

Xi wangmu, the famous Chinese divinity, is generally rendered in English as “Queen Mother of the West.” This is misleading for two reasons. First, “Queen Mother” in normal English refers to the mother of a king, and Xi wangmu’s name is usually not understood in that manner. More importantly, the term wang in this context probably does not carry its basic meaning of “king, ruler. “Wangmu is a cultic term referring specifically to the powerful spirit of a deceased paternal grandmother. So Xi wangmu probably means “Spirit-Mother of the West.” This paper discusses occurrences of wang as “spirit” in ancient texts, and concludes with a consideration of some etymological reasons as to why wang is sometimes used in this less common sense.
See also Xi Wangmu, the shamanic great goddess of China by Max Dashu

“The name of the goddess is usually translated as Queen Mother of the West. Mu means “mother,” and Wang,“sovereign.” But Wangmu was not a title for royal women. It means “grandmother,” as in the Book of Changes, Hexagram 35: “One receives these boon blessings from one’s wangmu.” The classical glossary Erya says that wangmu was used as an honorific for female ancestors. [Goldin, 83] The ancient commentator Guo Pu explained that “one adds wang in order to honor them.” Another gloss says it was used to mean “great.” Paul Goldin points out that the Chinese commonly used wang “to denote spirits of any kind,” and numinous power. He makes a convincing case for translating the name of the goddess as “Spirit-Mother of the West.” [Goldin, 83-85]

The oldest reference to Xi Wangmu is an oracle bone inscription from the Shang dynasty, thirty-three centuries ago: “If we make offering to the Eastern Mother and Western Mother there will be approval.” The  inscription pairs her with another female, not the male partner invented for her by medieval writers—and this pairing with a goddess of the East persisted in folk religion. Suzanne Cahill, an authority on Xi Wangmu, places her as one of several ancient “mu divinities” of the directions, “mothers” who are connected to the sun and moon, or to their paths through the heavens. She notes that the widespread tiger images on Shang bronze offerings vessels may have been associated with the western mu deity, an association of tiger and west that goes back to the neolithic. [Cahill, 12-13]

After the oracle bones, no written records of the goddess appear for a thousand years, until the “Inner Chapters” of the Zhuang Zi, circa 300 BCE. This early Taoist text casts her as a woman who attained the Tao [Feng, 125]” http://www.suppressedhistories.net/goddess/xiwangmu.html

Wangmu a specific cultic term meaning deceased paternal grandmother

The rabbit on the Moon

goddess worshipped with fronds by animal spirit biengs
Tomb relief from Suide, Shaanxi

In an important find near Tengzhou, Shandong, an incised stone depicts Xi Wangmu with a leopard’s body, tail, claws, teeth, and whiskers—and a woman’s face, wearing the sheng headdress. Votaries make offerings to her on both sides. The inscription salutes Tian Wangmu: Queen Mother of the Fields. [Lullo, 271] This alternate title reflects her control of the harvests, a tradition attested elsewhere. [Cahill, 13]

At Suide in Shaanxi, a sheng-crowned Xi Wangmu receives leafy fronds from human and owl-headed votaries, while hares joyously pound exilir in a mortar (below). The magical fox, hare, frog, crow, and humans attend her in a tomb tile at Xinfan, Sichuan. The tomb art of this province shows the goddess of transcendence seated in majesty on a dragon and tiger throne. [Liu, 40-3] This magical pair goes back to the Banpo neolithic, circa 5000 BCE, where they flank a burial at Xishuipo,  Henan. [Rawson, 244] Tiger and dragon represented yin and yang before the familiar Tai Ji symbol came into use during the middle ages.

The Western Grandmother presides at the summit of the intricate bronze “divine trees” that are unique to Sichuan.

Their stylized tiers of branches represent the multiple shamanic planes of the world mountain. The ceramic bases for the trees also show people ascending Kunlun with its caverns. [Wu, 81-91] “Universal mountain” censers (boshanlu) also depict the sacred peak with swirling clouds, magical animals and immortals. [Little, 148]

Xi Wangmu often appears on circular bronze mirrors whose backs are filled with concentric panels swirling with cloud patterns and thunder signs. She is flanked by the tiger and dragon, or the elixir-preparing rabbit, or sits opposite the Eastern King Sire, amidst mountains, meanders, “magic squares and compass rings inscribed with the signs of time.” [Schipper 1993: 172] Some mirrors are divided into three planes, with a looped motif at the base symbolizing the world tree. At the top a pillar rests on a tortoise—a motif recalling the mythical Tortoise Mountain of Xi Wangmu. [Wu, 87]

Kunlun
The marvellous Kunlun mountain lies somewhere far in the west, beyond the desert of Flowing Sands. It was often said to be in the Tian Shan (“heaven mountain”) range of central Asia

In the Zhuang Zi, Xi Wangmu sits atop Shao Guang, which represents the western skies. Elsewhere she sits on Tortoise Mountain, the support of the world pillar, or on Dragon Mountain. In the Tang period, people said that the goddess lived on Hua, the western marchmount of the west in Shaanxi, where an ancient shrine of hers stood. [Cahill, 76, 14-20, 60]

woodcut of the nine-tailed fox

The sacred mountain is inhabited by fantastic beings and shamanistic emissaries. Among them are the three-footed crow, the nine-tailed fox, a dancing frog, and the moon-hare who pounds magical elixirs in a mortar. There are phoenixes and chimeric chi-lin, jade maidens and azure lads, and spirits riding on white stags. A third century scroll describes Xi Wangmu herself as kin to magical animals in her western wilderness: “With tigers and leopards I form a pride; Together with crows and magpies I share the same dwelling place.” [Cahill, 51-3]

Medieval poets and artists show the goddess riding on a phoenix or crane, or on a five colored dragon. Many sources mention three azure birds who bring berries and other foods to Xi Wangmu in her mountain pavilion, or fly before her as she descends to give audience to mortals. The poet Li Bo referred to the three wild blue birds who circle around Jade Mountain as “the essence-guarding birds.” They fulfil the will of the goddess. Several poets described these birds as “wheeling and soaring.” [Cahill, 99; 92; 51-3; 159]

The Jade Maidens (Yü Nü) are companions of the goddess on Kunlun. They are dancers and musicians who playjade maidens gather in a wilderness garden  as the goddess flies in on a phoenix

chimes, flutes, mouth organ, and jade sounding stones. In medieval murals at Yongle temple, they bear magical ling zhifungi on platters. In the “Jade Girls’ Song,” poet Wei Ying-wu describes their flight: “Flocks of transcendents wing up to the divine Mother.” [Cahill, 99-100]

Jade Maidens appear as long-sleeved dancers in the shamanic Songs of Chu and some Han poems. The Shuo wen jie zi  defines them as “invocators [zhu] …women who can perform services to the shapeless and make the spirits come down by dancing.” [Rawson, 427] Centuries later, a Qing dynasty painting shows a woman dancing before Xi Wang Mu and her court, moving vigorously and whirling her long sleeves. [Schipper, 2000: 36] Chinese art is full of these ecstatic dancing women.

goddess seated in hall, hands in sleeves, with large birds

Han dynasty people placed bronze mirrors in burials as blessings for the dead and the living, inscribed with requests for longevity, prosperity, progeny, protection, and immortality. Taoists also used these mystic mirrors in ritual and meditation and transmissions of  potency. One mirror depicting Xi Wangmu bears a poem on the transcendents:

The common people marched westward through various provinces, toward the Han capital. Many were barefoot and wild-haired (like their untamed goddess). People shouted and drummed and carried torches to the rooftops. Some crossed barrier gates and climbed over city walls by night, others rode swift carriages in relays “to pass on the message.” They gathered in village lanes and fields to make offerings. “They sang and danced in worship of the Queen Mother of the West.” [Lullo, 278-9]

People passed around written talismans believed to protect from disease and death. Some played games of chance associated with the immortals. [Cahill, 21-3] There were torches, drums, shouting. Farming and normal routines broke down. This goddess movement alarmed the gentry, and the Confucian historian presented it in a negative light. He warned the danger of rising yin: females and the peasantry stepping outside their place. The people were moving west—opposite the direction of the great rivers—“which is like revolting against the court.” The writer tried to stir alarm with a story about a girl carrying a bow who entered the capital and walked through the inner palaces. Then he drew a connection between white-haired Xi Wangmu and the dowager queen Fu who controlled the court, accusing these old females of “weak reason.” His entire account aimed to overthrow the faction in power at court. [Lullo, 279-80]

Change was in the air. Around the same time, the Taiping Jing(Scripture of Great Peace) described “a world where all would be equal.” As Kristofer Schipper observes, “a similar hope drove the masses in search of the great mother goddess.” [Schipper: 2000, 40] Their movement was put down within the year, but the dynasty fell soon afterward.

Patriarchal revisions
From the Han dynasty forward, the image of Xi Wangmu underwent marked changes. [Lullo, 259] Courtly writers tried to tame and civilize the shamanic goddess. Her wild hair and tiger features receded, and were replaced by a lady in aristocratic robes, jeweled headdresses, and courtly ways. Her mythology also shifted as new Taoist schools arose. She remains the main goddess in the oldest Taoist encyclopedia (Wu Shang Bi Yao). But some authors begin to subordinate her to great men: the goddess offers “tribute” to emperor Yu, or attends the court of Lao Zi. [Cahill, 34, 45, 121-2] They displace her with new Celestial Kings, Imperial Lords, and heavenly bureaucracies—but never entirely.

In the later Han period, the spirit-trees of Sichuan show Xi Wangmu at the crest, with Buddha meditating under her, in a still-Taoist context. [Little, 154-5; Wu, 89] By the Six Dynasties, several paintings in the Dun Huang caves show the goddess flying through the heavens to worship the Buddha. [Cahill, 42]

(In time, Taoism and Buddhism found an equilibrium in China, and mixed so that borders between the two eroded.) But cultural shifts never succeeded in subjugating the goddess.

She held her ground in the Tang dynasty, when Shang Qing Taoism became the official religion. She was considered its highest deity, and royals built private shrines to her. Her sheng headdress disappears, and is replaced by a nine-star crown. Poets named her the “Divine Mother,” others affectionately called her Amah, “Nanny.” But some literati demote the goddess to human status, making her fall in love with mortals, mooning over them and despairing at their absence. In a late 8th century poem she becomes “uncertain and hesitant” as she visits the emperor Han Wudi. [Cahill, 82-3; 58-69; 159]

Others portrayed her as young and seductive. [Lullo, 276] Worse, a few misogynists disparaged the goddess. The fourth century Yü Fang Bi Jue complained about her husbandless state and invented sexual slurs. It claimed that she achieved longevity by sexually vampirizing innumerable men and even preying upon boys to build up her yin essence. But the vigor of folk tradition overcame such revisionist slurs—with an important exception.

The ancient, shamanic shapeshifter side of Xi Wangmu, and her crone aspect, were pushed aside. Chinese folklore is full of tiger-women: Old Granny Autumn Tiger, Old Tiger Auntie (or Mother), Autumn Barbarian Auntie. They retain shamanic attributes, but in modern accounts they are demonized (and slain) as devouring witches. Two vulnerable groups, old women and indigenous people, become targets. [ter Harrm, 55-76] Yet the association of Tiger and Autumn and Granny goes back to ancient attributes of Xi Wangmu that are originally divine.

A search and survey for possible prototypes of the Queen Mother of the West:

Egypt — one possible origin of Mother of the Gods, Queen of the Goddesses, Lady of Heaven(?):

Schist statuette of Mut, mother, Late Period,Dynasty XXVI, c. 664-525 BC often interpreted as representing one of the earliest mother goddesses of Egypt. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Mut, which meant mother in the ancient Egyptian language,[1] was an ancient Egyptian Some of Mut’s many titles included World-MotherEye of RaQueen of the GoddessesLady of HeavenMother of the Gods, and She Who Gives Birth, But Was Herself Not Born of Any.

Later in ancient Egyptian mythology deities of the pantheon were identified as equal pairs, female and male counterparts, having the same functions. In the later Middle Kingdom, when Thebes grew in importance, its patron, Amun also became more significant, and so Amaunet, who had been his female counterpart, was replaced with a more substantial mother-goddess, namely Mut, who became his wife. In that phase, Mut and Amun had a son, Khonsu, another moon deity.When Thebes rose to greater prominence, Mut absorbed these warrior goddesses as some of her aspects. First, Mut became Mut-Wadjet-Bast, then Mut-Sekhmet-Bast (Wadjet having merged into Bast), then Mut also assimilated Menhit, who was also a lioness goddess

The authority of Thebes waned later and Amun was assimilated into Ra. Mut, the doting mother, was assimilated into Hathor, the cow-goddess and mother of Horus who had become identified as Ra’s wife. Subsequently, when Ra assimilated Atum, the Ennead was absorbed as well, and so Mut-Hathor became identified as Isis (either as Isis-Hathor or Mut-Isis-Nekhbet), the most important of the females in the Ennead (the nine), and the patron of the queen. The Ennead proved to be a much more successful identity and the compound triad of Mut, Hathor, and Isis, became known as Isis alone—a cult that endured into the 7th century A.D. and spread to Greece, Rome, and Britain.
mother goddess with multiple aspects that changed over the thousands of years of the culture. Alternative spellings are Maut and Mout. She was considered a primal deity, associated with the waters from which everything was born through parthenogenesis. She also was depicted as a woman with the crowns of Egypt upon her head. The rulers of Egypt each supported her worship in their own way to emphasize their own authority and right to rule through an association with Mut. Mut was a title of the primordial waters of the cosmosNaunet, in the Ogdoad cosmogony during what is called the Old Kingdom, the third through sixth dynasties, dated between 2,686 to 2,134 B.C. However, the distinction between motherhood and cosmic water later diversified and lead to the separation of these identities, and Mut gained aspects of a creator goddess, since she was the mother from which the cosmos emerged.The hieroglyph for Mut’s name, and for mother itself, was that of a white vulture, which the Egyptians believed were very maternal creatures. Indeed, since Egyptian white vultures have no significant differing markings between female and male of the species, being without sexual dimorphism, the Egyptians believed they were all females, who conceived their offspring by the wind herself, another parthenogenic concept.

sculpture of Sekmet the lioness deity in the eighteenth dynasty temple to Mut

Much later new myths held that since Mut had no parents, but was created from nothing; consequently, she could not have children and so adopted one instead.

Making up a complete triad of deities for the later pantheon of Thebes, it was said that Mut had adopted Menthu, god of war. This choice of completion for the triad should have proved popular, but because the isheru, the sacred lake outside Mut’s ancient temple in Karnak at Thebes, was the shape of a crescent moonKhonsu, the moon god eventually replaced Menthu as Mut’s adopted son. — Source: Wikipedia

[Note: The Eye of Ra, crescent moon symbolism and birth or adoption of moon deity as related motifs to the Queen Mother of the West, may be significant for provenance of related creation myths of the birth of Amaterasu.

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In Anatolia (Turkey):

 Çatalhöyük is perhaps best known for the idea of the mother goddess. But our work more recently has tended to show that in fact there is very little evidence of a mother goddess and very little evidence of some sort of female-based matriarchy. That’s just one of the many myths that the modern scientific work is undermining.”[12]

Old European (especially Cucuteni-Trypillian culture):

James Frazer (The Golden Bough) and Marija Gimbutas advance the idea that goddess worship in ancient Europe and the Aegean was descended from Pre-Indo-European neolithic matriarchies… Gimbutas maintained that the “earth mother” group continues the paleolithic figural tradition discussed above, and that traces of these figural traditions may be found in goddesses of the historical period. According to Gimbutas’ Kurgan Hypothesis, Old European cultures were disrupted by expansion of Indo-European speakers from southern Siberia. — Mother Goddess (Wikipedia)

Ceramic Neolithic female figurine Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, ca. 5500-2750 BCE, Piatra Neamt Museum Photo: Wikimedia Commons

From 5500 to 2750 BC the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture flourished in the region of modern-day Romania, Moldova, and southwestern Ukraine, leaving behind ruins of settlements of up to 15,000 residents who practiced agriculture, domesticated livestock, and many ceramic remains of pottery and clay figurines. Some of these figurines appear to represent the mother goddess.

In Anatolia (Turkey):

Çatalhöyük is perhaps best known for the idea of the mother goddess. But our work more recently has tended to show that in fact there is very little evidence of a mother goddess and very little evidence of some sort of female-based matriarchy.

[New archaeological discoveries find the clay figurines associated with various ovens, figurines with animal heads leopards and bears, with missing heads and the ovens, and with burials. Thus, the

“figurine can be interpreted in a number of ways – as a woman turning into an ancestor, as a woman associated with death, or as death and life conjoined. It is possible that the lines around the body represent wrapping rather than ribs. Whatever the specific interpretation, this is a unique piece that may force us to change our views of the nature of Çatalhöyük society and imagery. Perhaps the importance of female imagery was related to some special role of the female in relation to death as much as to the roles of mother and nurturer.” — Catalhoyuk 2005 archive report

Another article, “A Journey to 9000 years ago” a report of the Turkish Daily News, Jan 17, 2008 edition’s …

findings point to ties between Çatalhöyük, Hittites and other ancient civilizations of Anatolia, since bulls and strong women icons in Çatalhöyük also carry great symbolic importance in Hittite culture.

Hodder said Çatalhöyük has come to be identified with the icon of a goddess, adding, “Mellart drew public attention to the female icon he found during excavation. Therefore, Çatalhöyük came to be identified with the goddess. Female icons, male icons and phallus symbols were found during excavation. When we look at what they eat and drink and at their social statues, we see that men and women had the same social status. There was a balance of power. Another example is the skulls found. If one’s social status was of high importance in Çatalhöyük, the body and head were separated after death. The number of female and male skulls found during the excavations is almost equal.”…

Hodder said this year excavations in Çatalhöyük yielded bear patterned friezes and Anatolia is one of the world’s richest archaeological sites, adding, “Anatolia has great importance when it comes to the spread of culture throughout the world. Findings show that agriculture, settlements, crockery production and various figures spread through Europe from Anatolia.”

The secret of the world lies in southeastern Anatolia

“Southeastern Turkey has great archaeological importance. If comprehensive excavations are conducted, we may come across findings that will shock the scientific world. We can even obtain data that would rewrite the science of archaeology. As a matter of fact, excavations in the 11,500 year-old Neolithic residential areas of Göbeklitepe, which lies 15 kilometers northeast of Şanlıurfa, radically changed our knowledge.”

Before the Göbeklitepe excavations it was widely believed that the area stretching from east Mediterranean Lebanon to Jordan experienced an agricultural revolution, said Hodder. Yet, the Göbeklitepe excavations tore this argument to shreds. Hodder said the agricultural revolution began much earlier in southeastern Anatolia, and recent findings show that the transition to an agricultural society began in more than just one place.

Hodder said the male icon and headless bird icon found in Göbeklitepe share similarities with those found in Çatalhöyük. Unlike Çatalhöyük, male symbolism is more prominent in Göbeklitepe. Male sexual organs were drawn on animal icons found in Göbeklitepe, which leads to the complete disposal of the idea that agriculture is related to female and goddess images, said Hodder

So what is the origin of all the Mother Earth goddess figures then?

Does it originate out of the Egyptian deity Isis, later spread by the mystery religion and the cult of Isis? Or from the Thracian-Greek grain goddess Demeter/Artemis (of Tauropoulos) ?

Thrace, Perinthos AE18. Veiled bust of Demeter right, in left hand holding poppy & ear / PERINQIWN D(IS NEWKORON), Demeter (or Artemis Tauropoulos) advancing right, holding torches in both hands

Sumerian and Mesopotamian
Ninsun is the Mother Goddess in general Mesopotamian mythology. She is Asherah in Canaan and `Ashtart in Syria. The Sumerians wrote erotic poetry about their mother goddess Ninhursag. source

Thrace, Perinthos. c350 BC. AE 23mm. Jugate heads of Osiris and Isis right / PERIN-QIWN, bull standing left, two-headed horse below source

In the AegeanAnatolian, and ancient Near Eastern culture zones, a mother goddess was worshipped in the forms of Cybele (revered in Rome as Magna Mater, the ‘Great Mother’), of Gaia, and of Rhea.

Gaia is a primordial deity in the Ancient Greek pantheon and considered a Mother Goddess or Great Goddess.

The Olympian goddesses of classical Greece had many characters with mother goddess attributes, including Hera and Demeter.[13]

The Minoan goddess represented in seals and other remains many of whose attributes were later also absorbed by Artemis, seems to have been a mother goddess type, for in some representations she suckles the animals that she holds.

The archaic local goddess worshiped at Ephesus, whose cult statue was adorned with necklaces and stomachers hung with rounded protuberances[14] who was later also identified by Hellenes with Artemis, was probably also a mother goddess.

The Anna Perenna Festival of the Greeks and Romans for the New Year, around March 15, near the Vernal Equinox, may have been a mother goddess festival. Since the Sun is considered the source of life and food, this festival was also equated with the Mother Goddess.

Germanic

In the 1st century BC, Tacitus recorded rites amongst the Germanic tribes focused on the goddess Nerthus, whom he calls Terra Mater, ‘Mother Earth’. Prominent in these rites was the procession of the goddess in a wheeled vehicle through the countryside. Among the seven or eight tribes said to worship her, Tacitus lists theAnglii and the Longobardi.[16]

Vedic Mittani, India

In HinduismDurga represents the empowering and protective nature of motherhood. From her forehead sprang Kali, who defeated Durga’s enemy, Mahishasura. The divine Mother, Devi Adi parashakti, manifests herself in various forms, representing the universal creative force. She also gives rise to Maya (the illusory world) and to prakriti, the force that galvanizes the divine ground of existence into self-projection as the cosmos. The Earth itself is manifested by Parvati, Durga’s previous incarnation. Hindu worship of the divine Mother can be traced back to early Vedic culture and Mittanian empire.

Shaktism

The Tridevi – the conjoined forms of LakshmiParvati and Saraswati – considered Shaktis of the TrimurtiVishnuShiva and Brahmarespectively

The form of Hinduism known as Shaktism is strongly associated with VedantaSamkhya, and Tantra Hindu philosophies and is ultimately monist. The feminine energy, Shakti, is considered to be the motive force behind all action and existence in the phenomenal cosmos. The cosmos itself is Shiva, the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being, the “world soul”. Masculine potential is actualized by feminine dynamism, embodied in multitudinous goddesses who are ultimately reconciled in one. Mother Maya, Shakti, herself, can free the individual from demons of ego, ignorance, and desire that bind the soul in maya (illusion).

Phra Mae Thorani is recognized as the Goddess of the earth in BurmaCambodiaLaosThailand and other Southeast Asian countries.

Only in Egyptian Mythology is the reverse true – Geb is the Earth Father while Nut is the Sky Mother.

Roman

Gaia‘s equivalent in the Roman mythology was Terra Mater or Tellus Mater, sometimes worshiped in association with Demeter‘s Roman equivalent, Ceres, goddess of grain, agriculture and fertility, and mothering.[15]

Venus (Greek Aphrodite‘s equivalent), was mother of the Trojan Aeneas and ancestor of Romulus, Rome’s mythical founder. In effect, she was the mother of Rome itself, and various Romans, including Julius Caesar, claimed her favour. In this capacity she was given cult as Venus Genetrix (Ancestor Venus). She was eventually included among the many manifestations of a syncretised Magna Dea (Great Goddess), who could be manifested as any goddess at the head of a pantheon, such asJuno or Minerva, or a goddess worshipped monotheistically.

Turkic Siberians

Yer Tanrı is the mother of Umai, also known as Ymai or Mai, the mother goddess of the Turkic Siberians. She is depicted as having sixty golden tresses, that resemble the rays of the sun. She is thought to have once been identical with Ot of the Mongols.

Celtic

The Irish goddess Anu, sometimes known as Danu, has an impact as a mother goddess, judging from the Dá Chích Anann near KillarneyCounty Kerry. Irish literature names the last and most favored generation of deities as “the people of Danu” (Tuatha De Danann). The Welsh have a similar figure called Dôn who is often equated with Danu and identified as a mother goddess. Sources for this character date from the Christian period however so she is referred to simply as a mother of heroes in the Mabinogion. The character’s (assumed) origins as a goddess are obscured.

The Celts of Gaul worshipped a goddess known as Dea Matrona (“divine mother goddess”) who was associated with the Marne River. Similar figures known as the Matres (Latin for “mothers”) are found on altars in Celtic as well as Germanic areas of Europe.

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Exploring the connection between stone symbolism and Queen Mother of the West

Stone Legend

Reputed as the Ridge of Asia, the Kunlun Mountains originate at the Pamir Plateau and snake eastwards across the heart of the Asian continent. Ranging in altitude an average of 5,500 meters, the mountain range runs 1,800 kilometers through the Xinjiang Ugyur Autonomous Region and extends more than 1,200 kilometers into Qinghai Province.

For thousands of years, the Kunlun Mountains have remained well known in Chinese folklore and mythology. It is said the Royal Mother of the West is the immortal owner of the mountains, and the Black Sea, the headstream of the Kunlun River, is her abode named Jade Pond. The bamboo slips unearthed from an ancient tomb in Henan Province record such a legend: King Mu of the Zhou Dynasty (C. 11th-256B.C.) rides eight steeds#, which can run 10,000 miles a day, to meet the Royal Mother of the West in the Jade Pond. Before his departure for the return trip, the goddess presents him with eight carriages loaded with jade, and makes an appointment with the king to again meet three years later. [# SKYLLA One of the eight immortal horses which drew the chariot of Poseidon]

The Kunlun Mountains and the Himalayas are located at the junction of two continental plates. Due to ongoing collision between the two plates over billions of years, as well as the crushing force from magmata under the crust, a special sort of stone was formed – Kunlun jadeites.The Kunlun Mountains and the Himalayas are located at the junction of two continental plates. Due to ongoing collision between the two plates over billions of years, as well as the crushing force from magmata under the crust, a special sort of stone was formed – Kunlun jadeites. It is these hardworking miners who create the legend behind the renowned Kunlun jade. (web source): Jade Dreams Text by Wang Shengzhi Photographs by Yang Jiankun China Pictorial

 Jade ritual artifacts unearthed from at the Lajiacun Ruins in southern Minhe County, Qinghai. Jade carving here dates back to the Neolithic Period.

See also Jade of the Kunlun Mtns

Kunlun jade is found in the Kunlun Mountains in Qinghai Province. The type of jade is now recognized as a world-class jewel. Kunlun Mountain is the birthplace of many legendary

The Kunlun Mountains (simplified Chinese: 昆仑山; traditional Chinese: 崑崙山; pinyin: Kūnlún Shān; Mongolian: Хөндлөн Уулс) is one of the longest mountain chains in Asia, extending more than 3,000 km.

From the Pamirs of Tajikistan, it runs east along the border between Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions to the Sino-Tibetan ranges in Qinghai province.[1] It stretches along the southern edge of what is now called the Tarim Basin, the infamous Takla Makan or “sand-buried houses” desert, and the Gobi Desert. A number of important rivers flow from it including the Karakash River (‘Black Jade River’) and the Yurungkash River (‘White Jade River’), which flow through the Khotan Oasis into the Taklamakan Desert.

Altyn-Tagh or Altun Range is one of the chief northern ranges of the Kunlun. Nan Shan or its eastern extension Qilian is another main northern range of the Kunlun. In the south main extension is the Min Shan. Bayan Har Mountains, a southern branch of the Kunlun Mountains, forms the watershed between the catchment basins of China’s two longest rivers, the Yangtze River and the Huang He.

The highest mountain of the Kunlun Shan is the Kunlun Goddess (7,167 m) in the Keriya area. The Arka Tagh (Arch Mountain) is in the center of the Kunlun Shan; its highest point is Ulugh Muztagh. Some authorities claim that the Kunlun extends north westwards as far as Kongur Tagh (7,649 m) and the famous Muztagh Ata (7,546 m). But these mountains are physically much more closely linked to the Pamir group (ancient Mount Imeon).

Since ancient times, the magnificent Kunlun Mountains in northwestern China has remained a famous cradle of jade. At the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Kunlun jade added Chinese elegance to the Olympic medals.

Early in 1992, Darcy, a farmer from Golmud, Qinghai Province, came across several pieces of green stones near the Fairy Maiden Peak in the Kunlun Mountains. Never before seeing such a stone, he brought one home. It weighed dozens of kilograms. His interest growing, in hopes of finding more stones, he led his son and two of his friends to revisit the peak a couple of days later. When the group reached the top of the peak after three hours of tough trekking, they were shocked by an incredible scene: Countless rough jadeites in light green and white were growing on the ground. A jadeite mine formed billions of years ago was thus revealed. Source: Kunlun mountains China 

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