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Religions in China - Taixuannü 太玄女, the Maiden of the Great Mystery


Taixuannü 太玄女, the Maiden of the Great Mystery, is a legendary Daoist immortal living at the celestial court of the Yellow Emperor 黃帝. Her worldly name was Zhuan He 顓和. She lost her parents in early childhood and was herself predicted a short lifespan, and therefore decided to contemplate on the mystical dao 道. She became a student of Master Jade 玉子 from which she learned to dive into the water without drowining and bearing the greatest coldness in winter. She was also able to walk around in palaces and houses like a spectre. Her study was deep in the mountains, where stone cliffs opened to let her inside, where she had her living quarters. She was able to control 36 different techniques, like creating fire blazes or changing the size of objects. One day she ascended to Heaven and became an immortal. According to the military treatise Huangdi wen Xuannü bingfa 黃帝問玄女兵法, the Maiden of the Great Mystery instructed the Yellow Emperor in the art of war. She is also the teacher of the Yellow Emperor instructing him in the nine coital positions in the eroticist classic Xuannüjing jiushi 玄女經九式. Another book called Xuannüjing 玄女經 is a prognostication text concerned with auspicious days for marriage.

Source: Li Jianping 李劍平 (ed. 1998), Zhongguo shenhua renwu cidian 中國神話人物辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), Vol. p. 99.

Februar 21, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail