Wednesday, November 23, 2011



The Chinese creator goddess who created the first humans from yellow earth, after Heaven and Earth had separated. Since this process was too tedious and time-consuming she dipped a rope into mud and then swung it about her. Soon the earth around her was covered with lumps of mud. The handmade figurines became the wealthy and the noble; those that arose from the splashes of mud were the poor and the common.

Nü-gua is one of the most popular goddesses and is worshipped both as the intermediary between men and women, and as the goddess who grants children. She invented the whistle, instituted marriage and instructed mankind in the art of building dams and channels for irrigation. Nü-gua is also credited with the restoration of the universe after it had been devastated by the monster Gong Gong.

A particular myth tells that at a certain time the cardinal points where no longer in the proper place, exposing the nine realms. Nü-gua melted colored stones to mend the azure skies, cut off the lags of a turtle to support the cardinal points, and slayed a black dragon to save the land of Qi. Another myths states that beyond the northwesters ocean there live ten ghosts who were fashioned from her bowels.

Her alleged husband (and brother) is the god Fu Xi. Like her brother, the lower part of her body is portrayed as that of a dragon. When they are represented together, their tails are intertwined. She holds a compass, the symbol of Earth, and her husband holds a set square, the symbol of Heaven.

Nüwa as a repairer

The earliest literary role seems to be the upkeep and maintenance of the Wall of Heaven, whose collapse would obliterate everything.
There was a quarrel between two of the more powerful gods, and they decided to settle it with a fight. When the water god Gong Gong saw that he was losing, he smashed his head against Mount Buzhou (不周山), a pillar holding up the sky. The pillar collapsed and caused the sky to tilt towards the northwest and the earth to shift to the southeast. This caused great calamities, such as unending fires, vast floods, and the appearance of fierce man-eating beasts. Nüwa cut off the legs of a giant tortoise and used them to supplant the fallen pillar, alleviating the situation and sealing the broken sky using stones of seven different colours, but she was unable to fully correct the tilted sky. This explains the phenomenon that sun, moon, and stars move towards the northwest, and that rivers in China flow southeast into the Pacific Ocean. (this account is similar to the Huainanzi account; it was added as The Upkeep and Maintenance of Heaven.

Other versions of the story describe Nüwa going up to heaven and filling the gap with her body (half human half serpent) and thus stopping the flood. According to this legend some of the minorities in South-Western China hail Nüwa as their goddess and some festivals such as the 'Water-Splashing Festival' are in part a tribute to her sacrifices.

Nüwa as a creator

The next major role of Nüwa is of a creator deity. However, not many stories ascribe to her the creation of everything; they usually confine her to the creation of mankind. It is said that Nüwa existed in the beginning of the world. She felt lonely as there were no animals so she began the creation of animals and humans. On the first day she created chickens. On the second day she created dogs. On the third day she created sheep. On the fourth day she created pigs. On the fifth day she created cows. On the sixth day she created horses. On the seventh day she began creating men from yellow clay, sculpting each one individually, yet after she had created hundreds of figures in this way she still had more to make but had grown tired of the laborious process.

So instead of hand crafting each figure, she dipped a rope in clay and flicked it so blobs of clay landed everywhere; each of these blobs became a common person. Nüwa still laboriously crafted some people out of clay, who became nobles.

Nüwa as wife or sister

By the Han Dynasty, she is described in literature with her husband Fuxi as the first of the San Huang, and often called the "parents of humankind". However, paintings depicting them joined as half people - half snake or dragon date to the Warring States period.

Nüwa as a goddess for Miao people

Nüwa is also the traditional divine goddess of the Miao people.

From: Wiki
It is said that there were no men when the sky and the earth were separated. It was Nuwa who made men by moulding yellow clay. NThe work was so taxing that her strength was not equal to it. So she dipped a rope into the mud and then lifted it. The mud that dripped from the rope also became men. Those made by moulding yellow clay were rich and noble, while those made by lifting the rope were poor and low. In a ancient times, the four corners of the sky collapsed and the world with its nine regions split open. The sky could not cover all the things under it, nor could the earth carry all the things on it. A great fire raged and would not die out; a fierce flood raced about and could not be checked. Savage beasts devoured innocent people; vicious birds preyed on the weak and old.

Then Nuwa melted rocks of five colours and used them to mend the cracks in the sky. She supported the four corners of the sky with the legs she had cut off from a giant turtle. She killed the black dragon to save the people of J1zhou(1), and blocked the flood with the ashes of reeds.
Thus the sky was mended, its four corners lifted, the flood tamed, Jizhou pacified, and harmful birds and beasts killed, and the innocent people were able to live on the square earth under the dome of the sky. It was a time when birds, beasts, insects and snakes no longer used their claws or teeth or poisonous stings, for they did not want to catch or eat weaker things.

Nuwa's deeds benefited the heavens above and the earth below. Her name was remembered by later generations and her light shone on every creation. Now she was traveling on a thunder-chariot drawn by a two-winged dragon and two green hornless dragons, with auspicious objects in her hands and a special mattress underneath, surrounded by golden clouds, a white dragon leading the way and a flying snake following behind. Floating freely over the clouds, she took ghosts and gods to the ninth heaven and had an audience with the Heavenly Emperor at Lin Men(2) where she rested in peace and dignity under the emperor. She never boasted of her achievements, nor did she try to win any renown; she wanted to conceal her virtues, in line with the ways of the universe.

From: Here
The Cosmic Egg
In the beginning, according to Chinese mythology, there was a cosmic egg filled with the darkness of chaos. A giant named P'an Ku was formed in the chaos and he slept, while developing, for eighteen thousand years. When he awakened he broke the egg and the darkness poured out, as well as the light which had been hidden by the chaos. The dark pieces fell and created the Earth, while the bright fragments joined together and floated up creating the heavens. Fearing chaos would return if the brightness above fell into the darkness below, P'an Ku made it his mission to keep the sky and Earth apart until he was certain the world was safe.

Foundation Tens of thousands of years passed until P'an Ku was sure his task was complete, with everything in place as it should be. He sunk down to the Earth in exhaustion and died. His expired breath became wind and clouds. His body and limbs formed the mountains and hills, while the blood flowed as streams and rivers. The hair took root as vegetation and his teeth fell to the Earth as precious jewels. By bringing order to chaos and sacrificing himself in the process, the giant P'an Ku created the foundation for all life.

Nu Kua Emerged from the Heavens
The dragon goddess Nü-Kua (also referenced as Nu Gua, Nu-Kua) emerged from the heavens to see the remains of P'an Ku. Described as a beautiful creature, half-woman half-dragon, she roamed the Earth and marvelled at its beauty. Lamenting the world had no one but herself to enjoy it and its offerings, she decided to create humans so P'an Ku's sacrifice was not in vain. Scooping up clay she lovingly made scores of men and women and lined them up in front of her. As perfect as her creations were, they were inanimate. Her heart reached out and she picked them up. One by one she breathed her Divine breath into their bodies, whispering the secrets of love and creation into their ears inspiring them to populate the Earth and create on their own.

Nü-Kua is also credited with teaching people art and passion, in addition to the importance of irrigation and agriculture. Her male consort Fu Xi, who was also half-dragon, later taught the skills of hunting, fishing and tending of flocks. He was a teacher of music and is credited with introducing the eight diagrams from which the I Ching was developed.

Upon realizing we have been animated by the Divine breath and given the gift of creation, we are empowered to evolve spiritually while still maintaining respect for the body of P'an Ku, our earthly home.

From: Here
Nü-kua is the Chinese divine foremother of humans who repaired the sky, and invented marriage. Some tales make her the wife of her older brother, Fu-hsi, one of the first sovereigns, whom She later succeeded. She was said to have created humans from yellow clay, but grew bored before She finished, and left some of them more blob-like. This is explained that the more finished ones represent the nobility, the blobs the poor.

Nü Kua was variously said to have the body of a serpent and the head of an ox, or ox-horns on a human head. She is also depicted as a serpent with a woman's head and may be of both sexes. Some legends seperate Her into a male named Nü and a female named Kua who were the first humans.

In a great battle, the monster Kung-Kung wreaked a lot of havoc, flattening mountains, tilting the earth and tearing a hole in the sky. Fires raged out of control, the waters overran the world, and the cardinal points became misaligned. Nü Kua restored order with five colored stones, fixed the directions on the legs of a tortoise, controlled the water and put out the fires, and repaired the sky.

Another version of the myth calls Nü Kua a goddess-Queen who defeated a powerful King; angered at being beat up by a girl, he ran to the top of a mountain and pulled down the Heavenly Bamboo, tearing the sky in the process, and letting in floods of water from the heavens beyond. Nü Kua then repaired the sky and restored order. The Heavenly Bamboo can be seen as a variant of the axis mundi, or axis or the world, representing the mythical center of the world.

She is also said to have tamed a dangerous giant called King-of-Oxen, by running a rope through his nose. She was said to have brought civilization, taming wild animals and teaching humans irrigation.

Nü Kua represents the restoral of order and innocence after chaos. She is the tempering influence that calms situations and brings level-headedness. This card is also representative of a return to innocence, the ability to adopt a new positive attitude after events threaten to make one jaded.

Alternate names: Nü-kua, Nü Kua Shih, Nü Hsi, Nü Wa, Nugua
Titles: "Mother of the Gods", "Defender of the Gods"

From: Thalia Took
Other links:
Myth Monday - Chinese Origin for Discworld?
Chapter III. The Fashioner of the Universe
Short article
Another painting

No comments:

Post a Comment