Saturday, July 08, 2006
"Xuan Wu Dadi (Dark Lord of the North) Lord Xuan Wu (variously called The Dark Lord of the North, The Lord of True Martiality, the North Lord Xuan Wu, Lord Black, The Lord of Black Martiality, etc.) is one of the most widely revered Gods of traditional China, ranking in popularity behind only Guan Yin and Guan Gong. The God is usually depicted in black robes, holding a sword and sometimes wearing a jade belt. His long black hair flows freely down his back.
Lord Xuan Wu is always depicted with a tortoise and a snake, sometimes beneath one of his feet. He is revered as a powerful God, able to control the elements (worshipped by those wishing to avoid fires), and capable of great magic. He is particularly revered by martial artists, and is the 'patron saint' of Wudang Mountain in China's Hubei Province, where he allegedly attained immortality.
The name "wudang" roughly translates as "only Xuan Wu deserves it."
- Joss House: Taoist Temples of California
"South Cliff Palace is a cliff-embedded temple at Wudang shan 武當山(Mount Wudang), which is located in Junxian, Hubei. Mount Wudang, also known as Taihe shan 太和山 (Mount Taihe [Great Harmony]), is home of the Zhenwu 真武 (Perfected Warrior) cult. Zhenwu, also known as Xuanwu 玄武 (Mysterious Warrior) and represented as an entwined snake-turtle, is the guardian of the north. Mount Wudang is also believed to have been the place where Zhang Sanfeng 張三丰 (14th c.?) engaged in Daoist cultivation and created the internal martial arts, such as
Taiji quan 太極拳 (Yin-yang Boxing)."
- South Cliff Palace, Nanyan Gong 南巖宮
Note: The image posted above is not exactly true to Xuan Wu Dadi. The snake is near his right foot and the turtle near his left foot. His robe is not black. The raised left index finger is more typical of a Shaolin one-finger Zen (Chan) gesture. His beard is long rather than his hair. The warrior's sword is present.
Wudang Martial Arts: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes