An Examination of the Gods and Holy Places in Taoism

Last Updated: 14 May 2023
Essay type: Review
Pages: 4 Views: 112

Taoism was created on 142 C.E., the religion is most practiced in China and is one of the major religions in China. A total of 12 million people practice the religion worldwide. For my portion of the project I will be discussing the deities and holy sites, symbols, and what you call a priest and what their duties.

In Taoism there are three domains; Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld. The Jade Emperor, or Yuhuang, is considered the ruler of the Heavenly domain. He also rules over a heavenly court that consists of many important deities, this court is closely related to the Chinese Bureaucracy. He is recognized as the "Highest Emperor" and is also said to be the first god.

Another important deity is the Three Purities which include, Yuanshi Tianzun, Lingbao Tianzun, and Daode Tianzun. These three are recognized as the Three Purities and are a manifestation of Primordial Celestial Energy, these people are formless but they played a vital role in creation. They are often depicted wearing robes of the primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. It is said that the first pure one created the second pure on and the second pure one created the third pure one and the third pure one created all living things. Each of these beings represents a chi the first pure one represents universal or heavenly chi. The second represents the human plane chi. The third pure one represents Earth chi. They control these aspects that affects the people during life or afterlife.

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Another deity is the Kitchen God. This deity protects the hearth and family. On the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month, which is just before Chinese New Years, the Kitchen God returns to Heaven and reports the activity of every household to the Jade Emperor. With this information the Jade Emperor decides whether he should punish or reward the family. This is why the Kitchen God is the most worshipped god in Taoism. People hang a paper effigy above their fireplace with a photo of the Kitchen God and his wife. The point of this is so that the Kitchen God's wife can write down everything that was said and done in the household so that she can give it to the Kitchen God, so he can report it back to the Jade Emperor.

Mount Tai is a major holy site in Taoism. Located north of the city of Tai'an, Shandong Province, China. The tallest peak on this mountain is called the Jade Emperor's peak. This mountain is one of the five sacred mountains which include Hengshan Mountain, Mount Hua, Mount Heng, and Mount Song. This mountain is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal. The mountain has been a place for worship for over 3,000 years and also served as one of the most important ceremonial sites in Taoism. It is also said that many emperors have visited the mountain to offer sacrifices and meditate, starting from the Zhou Dynasty in 1,000 BC. It is said that a total of 72 emperors visited the mountains. At the foot of Mount Tai is the Temple of the God of Mount Tai, who is the Supreme God watching over the mountain.

Another sacred mountain is Mount Hua. It is located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi Province, and is the western mountain of the sacred mountains. In 2nd century BC., there was a Taoist temple at the base of the mountain, in this mountain lived the God of the Underworld, Chu Jiang. People used to the base of this mountain to try and contact the god of the underworld to try and get their loved ones back from the dead or try to speak to this loved ones who had passed away.

Another holy place recognized in Taoism is the Forbidden City, the city was created approximately during the 15th century, the microcity was home to many emperors and their families. It's in current day Beijing, China, it served as a Chinese Imperial palace from the Mid- Ming Dynasty and lasted all the way to 1912 at the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is important to Taoism because in these cities it showed signs of the religions that the people in the city once believed in. It had writings and temples that related to Taoism, which shows the past and how important this religion was to not only the people of the world but also the royalty.

The most important symbol in Taoism is the Yin-Yang. The symbol is an important concept in Chinese philosophy. The symbol was first created back in 3rd century BC. The symbol is a circle with a white swirl on the left and a black swirl on the right and on each side there is a tiny circle with the opposing sides color at the top and the fatter part of the swirl. The symbol represents two opposing sides living and complementing each other. The black side of the symbol represents femininity, shadows, and the trough of wave. The white side of the symbol represents growth, brightness, and passion. The eight trigram is another important symbol which represents the eight principles of the fundamentals of reality. The symbols consists of three lines either broken or unbroken circling around the yin-yang.

In Taoism going to temple is important, they go here to pray, to hold feasts, and to connect to the people that share their same beliefs and likings. A priest in the Taoism temple is often called either a Taoist priest, a Taoist monk, Taoist master, or a Professional Taoist. The major duties of priests are to perform purifications and perform offerings to deities. They do this because the people can not and only recognized priests have the abilities to perform these tasks. The priests must also teach the followers the basic guidelines to being Taoists, for example it is said that you must not wear shoes on the bare ground because shoes block you from Mother Nature.

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An Examination of the Gods and Holy Places in Taoism. (2023, May 14). Retrieved from

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