The Eight Taoists Immortals
The number 8 has much significance. In addition to the Taoists 8 Trigrams.
- ·The Chinese consider it a sign of Prosperity.
- ·It combines the terrestrial square and eternal circle, the numeral eight (the octonary) is believed to be an agent of universal order.
- ·This is illustrated in the eight-spoked wheel of the Buddhist Dharma Chakra,
- ·The eight petals of the lotus,
- ·The eight symbols of good divination.
- ·It is the number of greatness in Japan.
- ·The octonary is also important in Hinduism, some of whose gods, including Vishnu, are often represented with eight arms.
- ·Indian mandalas that are based on multiples of the number. eight represent the reflection of the celestial world on earth.
- ·In the Kabbalistic sephiroth, Hod (Splendor) also represents the cosmic law.
- ·The octonary is rebirth. It is the sum of the numbers 1 (representing divinity), 3 (signifying the soul) and 4(symbolizing the body).
- ·Christian baptismal fonts are usually octagonal in shape.
- ·Eight is the number of initiate who passed through the seven stages of trial, or the seven heavens, to reach the eighth plane of perfection.
All this ‘8’ stuff is not just to enhance the significance of the HEXAGRAMS…it’s leading up to my introduction of the 8 Taoists immortals
EIGHT TAOIST IMMORTALS:
a group of legendary, semi-historical figures important in both religious Taoism and popular religion. Artistic representations of each are usually recognizable by identifying their respective attributes. Stories of the Eight Immortals were popularized in folklore, drama, novels, and woodblock prints. The Eight Immortals are extremely popular Chinese folk heroes from Taoist mythology. They travel through the ages in each other's company instructing the worthy and helping the needy.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE EIGHT IMMORTALS
The Eight Immortals (or Pa Hsien) have dominated Taoist art and literature since the beginning. They were born naturally, and achieved immortality through great effort. A popular group of deities, they represent a cross-section of the population, from rich to poor and old to the young, proving that anyone can become an immortal.
Usually depicted with each figure is a “Pa Kua” with the trigram highlighted in specific colors, which relates to that immortal. Each immortal depicts the essence of his or her Trigram, and translates the meanings of the Tao to enlighten men to the path of immortality. Cultivation of immortality means to achieve eternal life and to enjoy a world of peace, tranquility and happiness. The relationship between the Eight Immortals and the Eight Trigrams plays an important role in the Taoist Earth Magic. These trigrams when properly invoked, can be use to fight negative energy or evil spirits. The power can come from the benevolence of the Eight Immortals.
The Chinese classic I CHING, the book of divination forms the cornerstone of all forms of Feng Shui, geomancy or traditionally known as earth science. The I CHING consists of 64 possible combinations of the 8 trigrams marking the secrets of the universe. Embedded in these 64 'Hexagrams', are the readings and prophecy of the cosmic and physical world.
In Feng Shui, the importance of the Eight Main directions, is guarded by one Trigram. Combining the forces of the Eight Immortals transcends the divine power strong enough to ward off any evil spirit or negative force when invoked correctly.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE EIGHT IMMORTALS CONTAINING THEIR:
( Direction, Hexagram, Nature, BEATITUDE, Attributes, Symbol, Animal )
CHUA LI CHUA A former Han dynasty official who taught Li Tung Ping and carries a fan or "peach of immortality".
NE / HEAVEN / MERCIFUL / CHIEF OF THE 8 / MILITARY / FAN…TO REVIVE THE DEAD / CHIMERA
CHANG KUO An eccentric delighting in riding his donkey backward and carrying a bizzare musical instrument
W / WATER / MOURNERS / THE ELDERLY, LONG LIFE / QUIVER / MAGIC WAND, PHX.FEATHERS / DONKEY
HAN HSIANG TZU A gentle mountain recluse who plays a jade flute.
SW / ANIMALS / PURE / MUSICIANS, HARMONY / FLUTE / BUFFALO
LAN TSAI HO An amiable madman with a basket of flowers
S / SEASONS / POOR / FLORISTS, PLEASURE / FLOWER BASKET / ELEPHANT
LI TIEH KUAI A cripple with an iron crutch who has a bad temper and abrasive peronality
E / EARTH / SUFFERING / MAGICIAN, THE SICK / GOURD / DRAGON
TSAO KUO CHIU A ruthless imperial official who carries a rattle or an imperial tablet.
NW / LIGHT / PEACEMAKER / THEATER, COURTISANS / CASTANETS / HORSE
LU TUNG PIN A goverment officail during the Tang dynasty who received the "Scholarly and Martial Complete Talent" award
SE / MAN / RIGHTEOUS / SCHOLAR, RIDS WORLD’S EVILS / MAGIC SWORD / TIGER
HO HSIEN KU A woman of great wisdom and discipline who carries a lotus bloom.
N / PLANTS / MEEK / HOUSEWIVES, SAGE / LOTUS BLOSSOM / DEER