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I have made the sky blue as an eternal
symbol of hope for my children.

Nü Kua is the Chinese divine foremother of humans, Who repaired the sky and invented marriage. Some tales make Her the wife of Her older brother, Fu-hsi, one of the first sovereigns, whom She later succeeded. She was said to have created humans from yellow clay, but grew bored before She finished, and left some of them more blob-like. This is explained that the more finished ones represent the nobility, the less finished ones the poor.

Nü Kua was variously said to have the body of a serpent and the head of an ox, or ox-horns on a human head. She is also depicted as a serpent with a woman's head and may be of both sexes. Some legends seperate Her into a male named Nü and a female named Kua who were the first humans.

In a great battle, the monster Kung-Kung wreaked a lot of havoc, flattening mountains, tilting the earth and tearing a hole in the sky. Fires raged out of control, the waters overran the world, and the cardinal points became misaligned. Nü Kua restored order with five colored stones, fixed the directions on the legs of a tortoise, controlled the water and put out the fires, and repaired the sky.

Another version of the myth calls Nü Kua a Goddess queen who defeated a powerful king; angered at being beat up by a girl, he ran to the top of a mountain and pulled down the Heavenly Bamboo, tearing the sky in the process, and letting in floods of water from the heavens beyond. Nü Kua then repaired the sky and restored order. The Heavenly Bamboo can be seen as a variant of the axis mundi, or axis or the world, representing the mythical center of the world.

She is also said to have tamed a dangerous giant called King-of-Oxen, by running a rope through his nose. She was said to have brought civilization, taming wild animals and teaching humans irrigation.

Nü Kua represents the restoral of order and innocence after chaos. She is the tempering influence that calms situations and brings level-headedness. This card is also representative of a return to innocence, the ability to adopt a new positive attitude after events threaten to make one jaded.

Alternate names: Nü-kua, Nü Kua Shih, Nü Hsi, Nü Wa, Nugua

Titles: "Mother of the Gods," "Defender of the Gods"

This design is available on prints through ArtPal.


Ch'ang O