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Myths and Legends of China

Page: 99

A Conflagration

Having arrived at the city of Hsi Ch’i, Lo Hsüan sent forth his smoke-column, the air was filled with swords of fire, the ten thousand fire-crows, emerging from the Page 237gourd, spread themselves over the town, and a terrible conflagration broke out, the whole place being ablaze in a few minutes.

At this juncture there appeared in the sky the Princess Lung Chi, daughter of Wang-mu Niang-niang; forthwith she spread over the city her shroud of mist and dew, and the fire was extinguished by a heavy downpour of rain. All the mysterious mechanisms of Lo Hsüan lost their efficacy, and the magician took to his heels down the side of the mountain. There he was met by Li, the Pagoda-bearer,1 who threw his golden pagoda into the air. The pagoda fell on Lo Hsüan’s head and broke his skull.

C’ih Ching-tzŭ

Of the various fire-gods, Ch’ih Ching-tzŭ, the principle of spiritual fire, is one of the five spirits representing the Five Elements. He is Fire personified, which has its birth in the south, on Mount Shih-t’ang. He himself and everything connected with him—his skin, hair, beard, trousers, cloak of leaves, etc.—are all of the colour of fire, though he is sometimes represented with a blue cap resembling the blue tip of a flame. He appeared in the presence of Huang Lao in a fire-cloud. He it was who obtained fire from the wood of the mulberry-tree, and the heat of this fire, joined with the moisture of water, developed the germs of terrestrial beings.


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