Queen Mother of the West

THE_QUEEN_MOTHER_OF_THE_WEST_RIDING_FOO_DOG

In her earliest incarnation, in pre-Daoism fifteenth century BCE, she was depicted with tiger’s teeth and panther’s tail. As the Daoist goddess Xi Wangmu (西王母), or Queen Mother of the West, she was made feminine and beautiful, but is still sometimes depicted riding a tiger or in the company of tigers.

By second century BCE she was known to be the dispenser of prosperity, longevity, and eternal bliss.

In the garden of her palace in the mythological Mount Kunlun,  the Queen Mother of the West grew immortality peaches which ripened every three thousand years.

Some tales name her as the creator of the Daode jing (道德經). She is said to have then shared the text with Laozi (老子). Naturally, there are tales that have the Queen Mother playing second fiddle to the old man. Whatever the case may be, she is said to embody the Daoist female principle of yin and is extensively referred to in Tang Dynasty poetry about Daoist women.

Unlike the Western meaning of Queen Mother (the mother of a monarch), Xi Wangmu’s title means that she is both a Queen and a Mother.

 

 

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