X is for Xi Wang-mu (Chinese Pantheon) #AtoZChallenge

Xi Wang-mu is the Chinese goddess of immortality.  She personifies the “yin,” the feminine half of the yin-yang balance of the world.  The daughter, of Yu-huang, the Jade Emperor and highest ruler of the Taoist Heaven, she,  unsurprisingly, lives in a nine story jade palace.  In the palace garden, she cultivates the peaches of immortality.  If a mortal eats of it, he or she becomes immortal.

Xi Wang-mu means Queen mother of the west. She lives in the Kunluth mountains in the western part of China, where it was believed heaven and earth met.  Another figure, like the Babylonian goddess, Kishar,  that appears to be associated with the horizon. As a mother figure, and one of the oldest gods in the Chinese pantheon, she has powers of creation and destruction.

Her history seems to change over time.  While associated with Taoism, she predates it. Older history and images associate her with the tiger and even allocate tiger-like traits to her. Her association with Taoism softens those claws over time.


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