List of Chinese Gods


Description: The 4 dragon kings named Ao Ch'in, Ao Kuang, Ao Jun and Ao Shun. Each was responsible for a part of Earth and an area of sea. During droughts, the dragon kings were worshipped with noisy parades of music and dance which followed a cloth effigy of a dragon. Every stream and river had its own Ao.



Other Names: Heng-o.

Description: Goddess of the Moon and wife of I.



Description: God of walls and ditches. Each town/village had its own local Ch'eng-Huang.

Rules Over: Protection, justice.



Other Names: Chih Nu

Description: Goddess of spinners, weavers and clouds.

Rules Over: Handcrafts, rain.



Description: Guardian God. T'ang dynasty military hero elevated to the job of guarding doors.

Rules Over: Protection, privacy.



Description: Goddess of the bedroom and sexual delights.

Rules Over: Sex.



Description: God of fire and executions.

Rules Over: Justice, revenge, death.



Description: God who chases away evil spirits and shape-shifter who had up to 72 different bodily forms. Widely worshipped.

Rules Over: Protection from evil.



Description: Goddess of winds.

Rules Over: Storms, moisture.



Other Names: Fu-Hsing.

Description: God of happiness, symbolized by the bat.

Rules Over: Destiny, love, success.



Description: Ancient harvest God. Depicted as a kindly old man with millet stalks growing on his head.

Rules Over: Harvest, crops.


Hsi Wang Mu

Other Names: Wang-Mu Niang-Niang, Weiwobo.

Description: Highest Goddess of ancient China. Her palace iss in the Khun-lun mountain where she protects the herb of immortality.

Rules Over: Curing disease.



Description: Ruler of Water, God who removes evil spirits and demons.

Rules Over: Exorcism.



Other Names: Hou-T'u

Description: Female deity Earth. The Emperor offered sacrifices to her on a square marble altar in the Forbidden City each summer solstice.

Rules Over: Earth magick, fertility.



Description: God of the Sun. His wife is Ch'ang-o.

Rules over: See above.



Description: God of wine who invented winemaking.

Rules Over: Wine.


Kuan Ti

Description: God of war and fortunetelling. Shown dressed in green and had a red face.

Rules Over: Protection, valor, justice, divination, revenge, death, dark magick, prophecy.


Kuan Yin

Other Names: Kwan Yin, Kwannon.

Description: Great Mother, patroness of priestesses. Sometime depicted holding a child. It is thought this Goddess sits on her paradise island of

P'u T'o and answers every prayer to her.

Rules Over: Success, mercy, purification, fertility, children, motherhood, childbirth, healing, enlightenment.



Other Names: Chung-Kuei.

Description: Protector of travelers. God of tests and examinations, literature and students.

Rules Over: Protection during travel, tests, literature, students.



Description: The Jade Emperor. "Father Heaven."



Other Names: Lei-Kung.

Description: God of thunder and retribution, he had few shrines. Shown as an ugly man with blue skin, wings and claws, clad in a loincloth. He

punished the guilty that human law did not touch.

Rules Over: Justice, punishment.


Lo Shen

Description: Goddess of rivers.

Rules Over: Water magick.



Description: God of pay and employees. Symbol was a deer which he rode on.

Rules Over: Prosperity, success, law, employment.



Other Names: Lupan.

Description: God of carpenters and masons.

Rules Over: Artistic abilities, fame.



Description: Goddess of springtime.

Rules Over: Spring rites.


Men Shen

Description: Two deities who warded the door against evil spirits and hostile influences. One had a red or black face, the other a white face. They both wore military dress, holding a long-handled mace.

Rules Over: Protection.


Meng-Po Niang Niang

Description: Goddess who lived just inside the door to hell where those reincarnating would depart. Her sacred potion, of which she gave a few drops to each departing person, made all humans forget previous lives.

Rules Over: Passing over rites, past-lives.


Nu Kua

Description: Creator Goddess who made humankind.

Rules Over: Creation.



Description: Goddess of droughts.

Rules Over: Droughts.



Description: Goddess of prostitutes.

Rules Over: Prostitution.


Pi-Hsia Yuan Chin

Description: Goddess of childbirth and labor, she brings health and good fortune to the newborn and protection to the mother.

Rules Over: Protection, good fortune, health, childbirth, labor.


Sao-Ts'ing Niang

Description: Goddess of the clouds.

Rules Over: Ending droughts.



Other Names: Sakyamuni.

Description: Historical Buddha.

Rules Over: Virtue, enlightenment, self-realization.



Description: The Supreme God.


Shen Nung

Description: God of medicine, pharmacy, agriculture.

Rules Over: Medicine, pharmacy, agriculture.



Other Names: Shou, Lao.

Description: God of longevity and old people, keeper of the book of the life-span of men. Shown with a prominent bald head with white eyebrows and whiskers. A stag beside him, he leaned on a staff and carried a peach, symbol of immortality.

Rules Over: Life plan, date of death, reincarnation.



Description: God who defends men against all evil and forgives sins.

Rules Over: Averting evil.



Other Names: Tung-Yueh-Ta-Ti.

Description: God of the affairs of men, protector of men and animals.

Rules Over: Children, fortune, honors, fate, animals, payment of good and bad karma, prosperity, success.



Other Names: Tien Fei.

Description: Protectress of sailors and others in time of danger.

Rules Over: Protection.



Description: God who bestows happiness.

Rules Over: Happiness.



Description: Goddess of lightning.

Rules Over: Lightning.



Description: God who grants remission of sins.



Description: God of mercy, he visited those in Hell and tried to arrange for a good reincarnation. Depicted as a smiling robed monk with a halo around his body and carried a pearl that gave off light.

Rules Over: Knowledge for reincarnation.



Description: Goddess of the polestar and record-keeper; scribe of the Immortals. Judge of all peoples.

Rules Over: Stars, records, writing, judgement.


Tsai Shen

Other Names: Ts'ai-Shen

Description: God of wealth, most popular chinese god. Shown dressed in exquisite silks.

Rules Over: Abundance, success.



Other Names: Tsao-Chun.

Description: Kitchen god, god of the hearth. Protector of families and recorder of the actions and words of each family. His wife recorded the

behavior of women in particular. He gave his report to the Jade Emperor who then determined the family's coming fortunes.



Other Names: Tsi Ku Niang.

Description: Goddess of the outhouse. It is said that when a woman wanted to know the future, she went to the outhouse and asked Tsi-Ku.

Rules Over: Outhouses, divination.



Other Names: Wen-Chang-Ta-Ti.

Description: God of literature and poetry.

Rules Over: Writing, publishing, artistic fame.



Description: "Master of healing."

Rules Over: Psychic abilities, healing powers.



Description: Foremost of the ten Yama Kings of Lords of Death. Ruler of hell. He decided the fate of all new arrivals, determining if they went to a special court for trial, were punished or sent straight back to the Wheel of Life.

Rules Over: Judgment, punishment, karmic justice.


The Eight Immortals:

Ho-hsien Ku

Ho-hsien Ku's immortality is due to a consistent diet of powdered mother-of-pearl and moonbeams. While swallowing it, she vowed to remain a virgin. According to a different version, Ho-hsien Ku, daughter of a 7th-century shopkeeper, ate a magic peach and became immortal. Since then she has been able to fly. She is attributed by the lotus/lotus pond, which can cultivate people through meditation. Occasionally she is attributed with a peach, the divine fruit of Gods, associated with immortality or a music instrument or a ladle to dispense wisdom, meditation and purity.

Ts'ao Kuo-chiu

Ts'ao Kuo-chiu is reputed to have been the brother of a 10th century Song Empress, the uncle to the Emperor of the Song Dynasty and the son of a military commander. His attribute, the castanets, are thought to be derived from the pass that gave him free access to the palace, a benefit of his rank. He is also attributed with a jade tablet, which can purify the air. According to another version, Ts'ao Kuo-chiu's younger brother Tsao Jingzhi was a bully, but no one dared to prosecute him because of his powerful connections, not even after he killed a person. Royal Uncle Tsao was so overwhelmed by sadness and shame on his brother that he resigned his office and left home. He is represented by wearing formal court dress, always the finest dress among all Eight Immortals, and carrying castanets. Ts'ao Kuo-chiu is the patron deity of actors.

Li Tieh-Kuai "Li of the Iron Crutch"

Because of his great skill at magic, Li Tieh-Kuai was able to free his soul from his body and aid and meet others in the celestial realm. Li Tieh-Kuai, a good looking man, used his skill frequently. Once, while his spirit was gone from his body, a disciple decided that Li Tieh-Kuai was dead and burned his body as was traditional. When Li Tieh-Kuai's soul returned from its travels, he was forced to enter the body of a beggar. He is represented as a lame beggar carrying a double gourd. The gourd, symbolising longevity and the ability to ward off evil, has a cloud emanating from it. The cloud represents the soul, depicted as a formless shape. The gourd represents also helping the needy and relieve the distressed. Sometimes Li Tieh-Kuai is pictured riding the qilin, a creature somewhat like a unicorn. Li Tieh-Kuai is the emblem of the sick.

Lan Ts'ai-ho

Lan Ts'ai-ho is said to have wandered the streets as a beggar while singing a song about the brevity of mortal life. Her/his attribute is a basket of flowers associated with longevity, which she/he carries to remind viewers of the transience of life and with which she/he can communicate with gods. She/he is variously portrayed as a youth, an aged man, or a girl; in modern pictures generally as a young boy. She/he is represented by wearing a tattered blue gown and only one shoe. Lan Ts'ai-ho is the patron deity of florists.

Lu Tung-pin

Lu Tung-pin was an 8th-century scholar, who learned the secrets of Taoism from Yun Fang. Dressed as a scholar, he is honoured as such. His attribute, the sword, which can subdue the evil, allowed him to travel the earth slaying dragons and fighting evil. He is represented with a sword on his back and a fly brush in his hand. Lu Tung-pin is also the patron deity of barbers.

Han Hsiang

Han Hsiang is said to have been the nephew of Han YŁ, a famous scholar of the 9th century. Among his special skills was the ability to make flowers bloom instantaneously and smooth wild animals. His attribute is the flute, which can cause growth. He is represented as a Happy Man. Han Hsiang is the patron saint of musicians.

Chang Kuo Lao

The Elder Chang Kuo Chang Kuo is reputed to have been a recluse of the 7th or 8th century. He travelled with a white mule that could go incredible distances and then be folded up and placed in a wallet. Chang Kuo had only to sprinkle water to the mule to reconstitute it for further use. Chang Kuo's attribute is a drum made of a bamboo tube with two rods with which to strike it. The drum can cure life. He is represented as an old man riding the mule, at times riding backwards. Chang Kuo is the emblem of old men.

Chung-li Chuan

Chung-li Chuan was reputed to have lived during the Zhou dynasty (1122-256 BC). Among his many powers were transmutation and the knowledge of the elixir of life. His attribute is a fan, which can bring the dead back to life. He is represented as a fat man with his bare belly showing, and he represents the military man.

Back to Homepage

List from,