Zhen Wu

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Diety Zhen Wu: The 'Zhen Wu Da Di' is also called the 'Xuan Wu Da Di' or 'Xuan Tian Shang Di' which are sometimes translated as the 'Dark Lord of the North.' It was said that he was the eighty-second reincarnation of the highest deity in the Taoist pantheon 'Tai Shang Lao Jun' (or Supreme Master Lao/Supreme Patriarch of Taoism/Celestial Lord of Virtue who was born as 'Lao Zi' and credited with being the founder of Taoism).

Born as a Crown Prince, he later left his kingdom to retreat to the Tai He mountain (which later became known as the Wu Dang mountain) to seek for enlightenment. After 42 years, he finally achieved immortality and transcended to the heavens. He was thus crowned by the Jade Emperor of the Heavens as the 'Tai Xuan' to rule over the Northern sphere. According to ancient Chinese astrological myths, the heavens were divided into 28 different houses of constellations ('Xiu'). These 28 different houses were further grouped into 4 groups (North, South, East West) and were assigned a specific animal 'form' (known as the 4 forms). The constellation group in the North was known as the 'Xuan Wu' ('Xuan' meaning black and referring to the snake, while 'Wu' refers to the shell of the tortoise). Thus Zhen Wu Da Di came to be known as the Xuan Wu Da Di. It was said that the Jade Heavenly Emperor later renamed the Tai He mountain to the Wudang mountain in honor of this deity ('Wu' from Xuan Wu, 'Dang' meaning 'managed'/'controlled' to indicate that this mountain was under the sole control of Xuan Wu).