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Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers$
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Norman Rothschild

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169387

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169387.001.0001

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The Queen Mother of the West and Wu Zhao

The Queen Mother of the West and Wu Zhao

Chapter:
(p.149) Eight The Queen Mother of the West and Wu Zhao
Source:
Emperor Wu Zhao and Her Pantheon of Devis, Divinities, and Dynastic Mothers
Author(s):

N. Harry Rothschild

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231169387.003.0008

This chapter explores the role played by the Queen Mother of the West in amplifying Wu Zhao's political authority. From an array of different ancient directional goddesses who appear on Shang oracle bone inscriptions, the Queen Mother of the West comes into clear resolution in the Zhuangzi (a Warring States–era text) as a woman who had attained the dao. For Xunzi (312–230 BC), she was a divine teacher who instructed legendary flood-queller and Xia founder, Yu the Great. This chapter considers the repertoire of symbols and ceremonies Wu Zhao developed in connection with the Queen Mother of the West, allowing her to identify with the Daoist goddess.

Keywords:   Daoist goddess, Queen Mother of the West, Wu Zhao, political authority, symbols, ceremonies, Yu the Great, Zhuangzi

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