The Eight Immortals, or “Ba Sane,” are the patron saints of Chinese Taoists. Their images are believed to be incredibly auspicious. Colorful stories surround the Immortals. There is a world of magic and supernatrual feats that bring benefits to those who invite them into their homes. They are frequently depicted on Chinese porcelain, such as vases, urns and plates, and are believed to bestow happiness and good fortune when their images are displayed inside the the home. The best way to invite them into your home is to hang a beautiful painting of all eight of them, each dressed to reflect individual wordly personas and holding their own symbols of magic.
The Eight Immortals, or “Ba Sane,” each guard one of the eight directions, so their presence in the home ensures all round good feng shui. When you have them near you, deep inside there is nothing to fear. They help you bring longevity, good fortune, good descendents, wealth, fame and recognition. They also create compassion and generosity of spirit. Indeed, they are saints, so they stand for all things positive, pure and invigorating.
The following are my paintings of the Eight Immortals. The left image shows “the Eight Immortals greeting the Master Saint.” The right image shows “the Eight Immortals crossing the sea with their magical treasures and symbols, not with a boat.”
The following image shows the Eight Immortals crossing the sea with their magical treasures and symbols, not with a boat.
THE EIGHT IMMORTALS
Chao Guo Jiu
His direction is Northeast and his element is earth. He is one of two royal brothers whose sister was a Sung Empress. His symbol are the magical castanets (a pair of small pieces of bamboo plate that are joined at the top), which he plays in a soothing and relaxing rhythm to facilitate meditation and to help him journey through the universe. He is mounted on a Pi Yao whose spirit helps him unveil the secrets of the Tao and Immorality. He is said to be still living on earth. Having him in the home is said to invoke his protective presence. He is like a powerful protector who guards you without you even knowing it. He is an excellent friend of those who want to be successful in their studies.
Chang Guo Lao
His direction is North and his element is water. His symbol are themagical donkey and tube containing wands or “phoenix feathers” which he uses to forecast fortunes and misfortunes. When he is not riding his donkey, he can fold the donkey and put it in a small box. He is believed to assist those who have passed on to reincarnate into good realms. His image is best placed inside bedrooms, especially for those who are trying to have children. He is also said to be excellent at giving you the gift of prophetic dreams.
Han Chong Li
His direction is East and his element is wood. He is portrayed as bearded and thinly clad. His hair is gathered in two coils on the sides of his head. His symbol is a magical palm-leaf fan, which he uses to revive and reincarnate the souls of the recently departed. Over 1,800 years of old, he is said to frequently visit the Earth realm as a messenger of the Gods of Heaven. He is mounted on a Chi Lin, a mythical animal sacred to the Taoists. If you invite him into your home, he will bring honorable sons into your family and invoke the great support of the magical Tai Sui, also known as the Grand Duke Jupiter. It is said that if you have upset the Tai Sui, having his image in the home will appease the Tai Sui, thereby saving you from misfortune. He signifies longevity.
Han Shiang Zi
His direction is Southeast and his element is wood. He is an expert on the mysteries of Heaven and a Master of the Five Phases of Energy. Thesacred knots on his robe are symbols of his success in combining the two energies of Yin and Yang into the One Original Energy. He always carries a flute, with which he plays the Six Healing Sounds. His magical flute was made of purple bamaoo and it glows purple light in the dark. He is shown mounted on an Ox, a mythical beast.
He Shian Gu
Her direction is Southwest and her element is earth. Taoists believe that she is still alive, but is now over 1,400 years old. She became immortal at 14 when she was given the precious Peach of Immortality. She is shown holding a magical lotus blossom, the flower of divine brilliance, which symbolizes her power and purity. She sits on a deer, a symbol of energetic longevity. She helps those whose situations are desperate and in need of divine intervention. She brings marriage and family luck.
Lan Chai He
His direction is Northwest and his element is metal. He is the youngest of the Eight Immortals. His symbol is a magical basket of flowers, which consists of 108 flowers, plants, and branches from trees associated with longevity, such as the chrysanthemum, peach blossom, pine and bamboo. He is mounted upon an elephant, a symbol of wisdom, strength and prudence, and is also a friend of the crane. Having him in your home help brings joyousness and attracts beautiful people into your life.
Lee Tie Guai
His direction is South and his element is fire. He is depicted as a beggar with an iron crutch and a magic staff. His symbols are the iron staff and a magical gourd (a symbol of universal medicine). Having mastered the Five Phases of Energy and successfully combining Yin and Yang energy, he can metamorphose matter and concoct medicines and potions from his gourd. He has a reputation for benevolence and is known to help those in need of money and those recovering from illness. He occassionally transforms into a dragon and flies to the Heavens, but frequently returns to Earth when called upon. He travels to Earth mounted on a Pi Yao or chimera, a mythical guardian animal symbolizing diginity and courage.
Lu Dong Bin
His direction is West and his element is metal. He is always portrayed with a double-edged “demon slaying” magical sword strapped on his back. This pure Yang sword possesses supernatural powers and was given to him by a dragon. It makes him invisible to evil spirits and enables him to hide in the heavens. Popularly known as Ancestor Lu, his three-part beard symbolizes the three Channels in the body that is used to attain the highest meditative levels. He is believed to have spent 400 years on earth, and periodically reappears. He can be accessed via channeling through mediums. High meditators can communicate directly with him. When you invite him into your home, you can be certain that no one with evil intentions can enter your house.
The following Chinese names of the Eight Immortals, or Ba Sane, are in the traditional form and are to be read from left to right.