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800px-XiWangMu-Dresden

Xi Wangmu (literally "Queen Mother of the West"), a Taoist deity, decor on a Qing dynasty porcelain plate, famille-rose style, Yongzheng Emperor period, 1725 AD.

Xi Wangmu, literally Queen Mother of the West , is a Chinese goddess, known from ancient times. The first historical information on her can be traced back to oracle bone inscriptions of the fifteenth century BCE that record sacrifices to a "Western Mother". Even though these inscriptions illustrate that she predates organized Taoism, she is most often associated with Taoism. From her name alone some of her most important characteristics are revealed: she is royal, female, and is associated with the west. The growing popularity of the Queen Mother of the West, as well as the beliefs that she was the dispenser of prosperity, longevity, and eternal bliss took place during the second century BCE when the northern and western parts of China were able to be better known because of the opening of the Silk Routes. Her official Taoist title is Yáochí Jīnmǔ, literally Golden Mother of the Shining Lake. Historical biographers name her: Chin mu yüan chün, The Primordial Ruler, Metal Mother: Metal Mother of Tortoise Mountain, She of the Nine Numina and the Grand Marvel; and the Perfected Marvel of the Western Florescence and the Ultimate Worthy of the Grotto Yin. Commoners and poets of the T'ang dynasty referred to her more simply as, Queen Mother; Divine Mother; or by the ancient, familiar expression for "mother" or "nanny", Amah. In modern times she is often called, Wángmŭ Niángniang.

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