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Jiu Tian Xuan Nu - Mysterious Lady of the Nine Heavens

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九天玄女 Jiu Tian Xuan Nu


Mysterious/Dark Lady of the Nine Heavens





[The goddess Jiutian Xuannü was known to ride the phoenix (creature depicted), holding phosphors and clouds as reins]




In Chinese mythology, Jiutian Xuannü is the goddess of war, sexuality, and longevity.


The Record of the Assembled Transcendents of the Fortified Walled City, written by the Daoist master Du Guangting (850–933), mentions that she is the teacher of Huangdi and the disciple of Xi Wangmu. Du Guangting's work also tells about the appearance of the goddess Jiutian Xuannü before Huangdi. At the time, Huangdi was in conflict with Chiyou, who had caused a great mist. Huangdi dwelt for several day in the mist, which was so impenetrable that it obscured day and night.[2] Jiutian Xuannü rode a cinnabar phoenix into the great mist, holding phosphors and clouds as reins. She wore variegated kingfisher-feather garments, which had nine different colors. Huangdi greeted her and received her command. Du Guangting's text also noted the following interaction:


Jiutian Xuannü: "I base myself on the teachings of the Grand Supreme. If you have any doubts, you may question me."

Huangdi: "[Chiyou] is cruelly crossing us. His poison is harming all the black-haired people. The four seas are sobbing. No one can protect his own nature or life. I want the art of winning a myriad victories in a myriad battles. Can I cut the harm facing my people?"


Jiutian Xuannü appears at least three times in the Classic of the Yellow Courtyard. In the work, the adept is instructed to send down his breath to enter the goddess' mouth.


The Central Classic of Lord Lao from the Supreme Realm (probably dating to the 5th century) mentions her once: "[...] located between the kidneys, dressed only in the white of Venus and the brilliant stars. Her pearl of Great Brilliance shines to illuminate the inside of the adept's whole body, so that he can extend his years and not die."


In the Central Classic of Lao tzu, Jiutian Xuannü is described as one of the three deities who are sitting on divine tortoises. The author comments: "The Mysterious Woman is the mother of the Way of the void and nothingness." The text gives instructions to adepts: "Close your eyes and meditate on a white breath between your shoulders. In its centre is a white tortoise. On top of the tortoise is the Mysterious Woman." There are two governors beside her, which adepts are instructed to summon by saying: "Governor of Destiny and Governor of the Registers, pare so-and-so's name from the death list and inscribe it on the Life List of the Jade Calendar." This ritual therefore points to a procedure in which a long life is promised.


Since the 3rd century AD, Jiutian Xuannü has been associated with alchemy. In Ge Hong's Master of the Uncarved Block, it is noted that the goddess Jiutian Xuannü helps prepare elixirs with other deities, that adepts erected altars to the goddess when they create elixirs of metal, and that she had discussed calisthenics and diet with Huangdi. During the Song dynasty, the goddess was closely associated with neidan (inner alchemy).


The Mysterious Woman Classic and the Natural Woman Classic—both dating to the Han dynasty—were illustrated handbooks in dialogue form about sex. Texts from the Mysterious Woman Classic have been partly incorporated into the Sui dynasty edition of the Natural Woman Classic. Furthermore, the Bedchamber Arts of the Master of the Grotto Mysteries, which was likely written by the 7th-century poet Liu Zongyuan, contain explicit descriptions of the sexual arts that was supposedly transmitted from Jiutian Xuannü. In Ge Hong's Master of the Uncarved Block, there's a passage in which Jiutian Xuannü tells Huangdi that sexual techniques are "like the intermingling of water and fire—it can kill or bring new life depending upon whether or not one uses the correct methods.





During the period of spring and autumn, the Mysterious Lady of the Ninth Heaven transformed herself into the Jade Lady of Nan Shan. She helped the Yueh State send a punitive expedition against the Wu State, and taught the army to be equipped with six thousand highly qualified soldiers. Afterwards, she departed without bidding farewell, and soared to the sky. On the Nan Shan mountain, the king of the Yueh State built a temple in commemoration of her. The temple is named the Mysterious Lady of the Ninth Heaven. 


The Mysterious Lady of the Ninth Heaven has a disciple whose name was Pai-Yun Tong-chun. He received all the dharma-methods from the Mysterious Lady, and later was able to be elevated to heaven to be in charge of the Taoist books that belong to the Mysterious Lady of the Ninth Heaven.





The celebration day of Jiu Tian Xuan is the 15th of the 3rd lunar month


“The Mysterious Lady holds both a sword and a gourd–that symbol of healing and immortality. The warrior goddess takes life and gives life. That is sometimes necessary, and none of us should shirk when we must–perhaps when there’s no other choice–go into battle”





Mysterious Girl Nourishing Methods is a specific Daoist Daoyin method especially for female practitioners. It encompasses both calisthenics and internal alchemical transformations. It is designed to maintain youth, enhance health, nourish the mind, body and spirit and help increase longevity. It is one of the very rare methods that were practiced by Madam Yu (alongside other arts such as Dayan Gong, Hunyun Da Fa and Taijiquan). This was in the past held only within the female community and taught to a select few. Through exercising this set of Qigong, you can renew the mentality and enhance the physical constitution. You will look fresh and refined, and your temperament will become more noble and elegant. The body will be more beautiful with delicacy and flexibility. The fascinating movements and postures look just like butterflies fluttering freely between heaven and earth.


The earliest depictions of the Mysterious Woman show a deity with a woman’s head and a bird’s body, perhaps indicating relationship with early worship of bird totems. 





Phoenix Lady of Nine Heavens - Goddess of Feng Shui


”Jiu Tian” means nine heavens. Nine heavens means boundless heaven or universe. “Xuan” means phoenix. Legend says she came to earth riding on a phoenix. “Nv” means lady. Translated into English, her name becomes the Phoenix Lady of Nine Heavens. She rides on the phoenix as her vehicle because she is the disciple of the West Queen Mother (Xi Hwang Mu). The Phoenix Lady of Nine Heavens (also known as Lady Ba) was sent by the West Queen Mother (Xi Hwang Mu) from the heaven during a critical war by the Yellow Emperor against his rebel field marshall Chih Yue. The rebel Chih Yue used many dirty tactics to supplant the Yellow Emperor. One of the most threatening tactics was the "black storm" to blind the Yellow Emperor's forces. They lost many settlements because of lost in directions. It was during this critical period that the Lady of Nine Heavens presented the luopan to the Yellow Emperor to successfully defeat Chih Yue. Besides, the Lady of Nine Heavens was also known to be a close advisor to the Yellow Emperor in paving way to the invention of the Magic Square, feng shui of the city and agriculture of the country. She imparted the knowledge of the Three Great Books to the Yellow Emperor. These books (Qi Men Dun Jia, Tai Yi shen shu and Liu Ren Shen Ke) possessed great “SECRETS” for power. Learning from these books, the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) during 2500BC defeated four other emperors from four cardinal directions, namely north (Black Emperor), south (Red Emperor), east (Green Emperor) and west (White Emperor). He later conquered all of China. He was also the first emperor who studied in depth about land contours, built cities that successfully avoided flood and established building rules. 


The Lady of Nine Heavens later became known to be the heavenly guardian of feng shui or simply the Feng Shui Goddess. Her role is to bless one with good feng shui luck and drawing good energy from the earth for mankind. She has powerful control over all manner of feng shui on earth. She has been popularly worshipped in Chinese temples for over 4500 years till today to usher in good feng shui luck. Mediums today even claimed that the Lady of Nine Heavens now had attained higher enlightenment as a Pu'sa. Her statues are normally shown to be holding the luopan, the wulou or a flying whisk. 


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According to the neigong/waigong manual put out by Jerry Alan Johnson, the Yellow Emperor received these teachings from "a celestial lady called the Plain Maiden (Sunu) [probably meaning "Xuannu"]. 


Good you raise this as there are so much storytelling that it is difficult to sort it out at times.


They are two different goddesses:


Taoists recognized the ancient great goddess as a divine teacher and initiator of mystic seekers, and in many cases as the ultimate origin of their teachings and practices. She governs the Taoist arts of self-transformation known as internal alchemy, including meditation, breath and movement practices, medicines and elixirs. Books say that the legendary shamanic emperors Shun and Yü studied with Xi Wangmu. They also credit her as the source of wisdom that the Yellow Emperor learned from the female transcendents Xüan Nü and Su Nü. Over time the goddess comes to be portrayed as a master of Taoist scriptures, with a library of the greatest books on Kunlun. [Cahill, 14-15; 44; 34]
In the book you mention, Su Nu Jing, Su Nu makes mention of Xuan Nu:
Su Nu continued: "There is one called Ts'ai Nu [another goddess] who has a wondrous knowledge of the arts of the tao.
There were six Jade Maidens who learned from the Mysterious Lady of the Nine Heavens who was a disciple of Xi Wang Mu:
The technique was first taught to the Yellow Emperor by the six calendrical Jade Maidens, who in turn learned it from the Mysterious Woman of the Nine Heavens, also known as the Lady of the Ultimate Yin.
The Mysterious Woman excels at magically concealing the body, and her power is exercised through her six acolytes.
Together with the Mysterious Woman, the Six Ding Jade Maidens represent the great yin 陰 force in the universe, which is believed to directly result in the concealment 隱 (yin) of the body. In this discourse, the feminine character yin 陰 and the action verb yin 隱, two homophones, constitute two crucial aspects of these divine women. Their magic of invisibility is intertwined with their femininity; the former derives from the latter. Then the question is: How do practitioners achieve invisibility by means of these divine women’s yin power?
The Jade Court
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