Friday, March 16, 2007

Chung Li-ch'uan

Chung Li-ch'uan, patron saint of the military.

Han Chung Li was a historical persona, serving as a Marshall or General of the Imperial Han dynasty (207BCE - 220CE). It was said that Lao Tzu himself, shared the wisdom of the Tao with Han Chung Li. Upon embracing the teachings of the Tao , Han successfully ended the bloodshed and violence in his government life and journeyed to the wilderness, the mountains, to nature as a wanderer cultivating the Tao.

One day, whilst meditating, the adjacent stone in his mountain chamber cracked and revealed a sacred jade box. Inside this mysterious box contained an age old scroll that showed him the secrets of attaining Immortality. Studying the secret meditations, Han Chung Li finally achieved his immortality. His chamber was filled with celestial clouds, music and a magic crane appeared bringing him to the realms of the immortals.

Han Chung Li was revered for devising the pill of immortality by sacred Taoist Alchemy. This is why he is a popular deity for those in search for longevity. Once during a famine that swept China, Han Chung Li turned stones to gold and silver for the poor, saving millions of lives.

His symbol of power is his feather fan, which he uses to revive and reincarnate the souls of the departed. His magical fan can also control the forces of the 7 seas and the changes in the weather. He is often depicted as mounted on a chimera (Kei Lun), a mythical creature of the Taoist Goddess Hsi Wong Mu.

Han Chung Li is associated with the Trigram Chen of the Bagua. Chen, a yang wood trigram relates to the direction East, and is represented by the colors Green. Chen is often associated with the thundering forces of nature, and thus we may say that Han is often seen as jovial and forceful. His positive emotions embodies generosity, benevolence and graciousness while he suppresses the negative feelings of condemnation, guiltiness, frustration and violence.

Data from:

Picture from: Marla Mallett Textiles and Tribal Oriental Rugs