Wu Zhao and the Queen Mother of the West.

Submitted by James Miller on Fri, 07/30/2010 - 11:41
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TitleWu Zhao and the Queen Mother of the West.
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRothschild, N. H.
Book TitleJournal of Daoist Studies
Pagination29 - 56
Date Published2010/02//
PublisherThree Pines Press
ISBN Number19415516
KeywordsESSAY, RHETORICIANS, sacrifice, Taoism, WU Zhao, XI Wang Mu (Taoist deity)

This essay examines the curious and significant role played by the Queen Mother of the West, the most powerful female deity in the Daoist pantheon, in political rhetoric crafted by Wu Zhao and her capable team of rhetoricians. As Gaozong's empress, Wu Zhao offered a sacrifice at a shrine to the Queen Mother of the West on Mount Song. This unique female sovereign developed a repertoire of symbols and ceremonies that were associated with the Daoist goddess. Wu Zhao also cast her image in the same mold of timeless beauty as Xiwangmu. Finally, in her later years, surrounded by perfumed youths, Wu Zhao theatrically transformed her inner court into a Daoist fairyland, styling herself a latter.day Queen Mother of the West. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]Copyright of Journal of Daoist Studies is the property of Three Pines Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)