The Gods and Goddesses of China
To the Chinese, creation was an act of bringing order out of chaos.  One myth tells of two beings, Hu (emperor of the northern sea) and Shu (emperor of the southern sea) who met quite a lot on the territory of the emperor of the center, Hun-tun.  Hun-tun was unusual because he did not have any orifices for seeing, hearing, eating or breathing.  Hu and Shu decided to fix Hu-tun at the rate of one orifice a day, they created openings for Hun-tun.  Hun-tun (Chaos) died on the seventh day.  At his death, the world came into existence.  The combined names of Shu and Hu mean lightning.  When lightning or an illumination of Light falls upon Chaos, life is created.  The 7 openings are also linked in Chinese thought with the mystical seven openings of the heart, the mark of a righteous man.

A story of the creation of humanity tells the myth of the Goddess Nu-kua.   Even after Heaven and Earth were split, there were still no humans.  Nu-kua modeled some out of yellow earth, but soon got tired of this process.  Then she dipped a rope into the mud and dragged it around so drops fell off.  Traditionally it is said that those beings she modeled became the noble and rich, while the drops became the humble and the poor.


The Gods and Goddesses

Ao
Description:  The 4 dragon kings named Ao Ch'in, Ao Kuang, Ao Jun and Ao Shun.  Each was responsible for a part of Earth and an area of sea.  During droughts, teh dragon kings were worshipped with noisy parades of music and dance which followed a cloth effigy of a dragon.  Every stream and river had its own Ao.

Ch'ang-o
Other Names:  Heng-o.
Description:  Goddess of the Moon and wife of I.

Ch'eng-Huang
Description:  God of walls and ditches.  Each town/village had its own local Ch'eng-Huang.
Rules Over:  Protection, justice.

Chih-Nii
Other Names:  Chih Nu
Description:  Goddess of spinners, weavers and clouds.
Rules Over:  Handcrafts, rain.

Ch'in-Shu-Pao
Description:  Guardian God.  T'ang dynasty military hero elevated to the job of guarding doors.
Rules Over:  Protection, privacy.

Chuang-Mu
Description:  Goddess of the bedroom and sexual delights.
Rules Over:  Sex.

Chu-Jung
Description:  God of fire and executions.
Rules Over:  Justice, revenge, death.

Erh-Lang
Description:  God who chases away evil spirits and shape-shifter who had up to 72 different bodily forms.  Widely worshipped.
Rules Over:  Protection from evil.

Feng-Po-Po
Description:  Goddess of winds.
Rules Over:  Storms, moisture.

Fu-Hsi
Other Names:  Fu-Hsing.
Description:  God of happiness, symbolized by the bat.
Rules Over:  Destiny, love, success.

Hou-Chi
Description:  Ancient harvest God.  Depicted as a kindly old man with millet stalks growing on his head.
Rules Over:  Harvest, crops.

Hsi Wang Mu
Other Names:  Wang-Mu Niang-Niang, Weiwobo.
Description:  Highest Goddess of ancient China.  Her palace iss in the Khun-lun mountain where she protects the herb of immortality. 
Rules Over:  Curing disease.

Hsuan-T'ien-Shang-Ti
Description:  Ruler of Water, God who removes evil spirits and demons.
Rules Over:  Exorcism.

Hu-Tu
Other Names:  Hou-T'u
Description:  Female deity Earth.  The Emperor offered sacrifices to her on a square marble altar in the Forbidden City each summer solstice.
Rules Over:  Earth magick, fertility.

I-Ti
Description:  God of wine who invented winemaking.
Rules Over:  Wine.

Kuan Ti
Description:  God of war and fortunetelling.  Shown dressed in green and had a red face.
Rules Over:  Protection, valor, justice, divination, revenge, death, dark magick, prophecy.

Kuan Yin
Other Names:  Kwan Yin, Kwannon.
Description:  Great Mother, patroness of priestesses.  Sometime depicted holding a child.  It is thought this Goddess sits on her paradise island of P'u T'o and answers every prayer to her.
Rules Over:  Success, mercy, purification, fertility, children, motherhood, childbirth, healing, enlightenment.

K'uei-Hsing
Other Names:  Chung-Kuei.
Description:  Protector of travelers.  God of tests and examinations, literature and students.
Rules Over:  Protection during travel, tests, literature, students.

Lan Ts'ai-Ho
Description:  One of the 8 Immortals of ancient China, this Goddess dressed as a woman but had a male voice.  Carried a flute and basket of fruit.
Rules Over:  Music, fertility.

Lao-Tien-Yeh
Description:  The Jade Emperor.  "Father Heaven."

Lei-King
Other Names:  Lei-Kung.
Description:  God of thunder and retribution, he had few shrines.  Shown as an ugly man with blue skin, wings and claws, clad in a loincloth.  He punished the guilty that human law did not touch.
Rules Over:  Justice, punishment.

Lo Shen
Description:  Goddess of rivers.
Rules Over:  Water magick.

Lu-Hsing
Description:  God of pay and employees.  Symbol was a deer which he rode on.
Rules Over:  Prosperity, success, law, employment.

Lu-Pan
Other Names:  Lupan.
Description:  God of carpenters and masons.
Rules Over:  Artistic abilities, fame.

Ma-Ku
Description:  Goddess of springtime.
Rules Over:  Spring rites.

Men Shen
Description:  Two deities who warded the door against evil spirits and hostile influences.  One had a red or black face, the other a white face.  They both wore military dress, holding a long-handled mace.
Rules Over:  Protection.


Meng-Po Niang Niang
Description:  Goddess who lived just inside the door to hell where those reincarnating would depart.  Her sacred potion, of which she gave a few drops to each departing person, made all humans forget previous lives.
Rules Over: Passing over rites, past-lives.

Nu Kua
Description:  Creator Goddess who made humankind.
Rules Over:  Creation.

Pa
Description:  Goddess of droughts.
Rules Over:  Droughts.

P'an-Chin-Lien
Description:  Goddess of prostitutes.
Rules Over:  Prostitution.

Pi-Hsia Yuan Chin
Description:  Goddess of childbirth and labor, she brings health and good fortune to the newborn and protection to the mother.
Rules Over:  Protection, good fortune, health, childbirth, labor.

Sao-Ts'ing Niang
Description:  Goddess of the clouds.
Rules Over:  Ending droughts.

Shaka-Nyorai
Other Names:  Sakyamuni.
Description:  Historical Buddha.
Rules Over:  Virtue, enlightenment, self-realization.

Shang-Ti
Description:  The Supreme God.

Shen Nung
Description:  God of medicine, pharmacy, agriculture.
Rules Over:  Medicine, pharmacy, agriculture.

Shou-Hsing
Other Names:  Shou, Lao.
Description:  God of longevity and old people, keeper of the book of the life-span of men.  Shown with a prominent bald head with white eyebrows and whiskers.  A stag beside him, he leaned on a staff and carried a peach, symbol of immortality.
Rules Over:  Life plan, date of death, reincarnation.

Shui-Khan
Description:  God who defends men against all evil and forgives sins.
Rules Over:  Averting evil.

T'ai-Yueh-Ta-Ti
Other Names:  Tung-Yueh-Ta-Ti.
Description:  God of the affairs of men, protector of men and animals.
Rules Over:  Children, fortune, honors, fate, animals, payment of good and bad karma, prosperity, success.

Tien-Hou
Other Names:  Tien Fei.
Description:  Protectress of sailors and others in time of danger.
Rules Over:  Protection.

T'ien-Khuan
Description:  God who bestows happiness.
Rules Over:  Happiness.

Tien-Mu
Description:  Goddess of lightning.
Rules Over:  Lightning.

Ti-Khuan
Description:  God who grants remission of sins.

Ti-Tsang-Wang-Pu-Sa
Description:  God of mercy, he visited those in Hell and tried to arrange for a good reincarnation.  Depicted as a smiling robed monk with a halo around his body and carried a pearl that gave off light.
Rules Over:  Knowledge for reincarnation.

Tou-Mou
Description:  Goddess of the polestar and record-keeper; scribe of the Immortals.  Judge of all peoples.
Rules Over:  Stars, records, writing, judgement.

Tsai Shen
Other Names:  Ts'ai-Shen
Description: God of wealth, most popular chinese god.  Shown dressed in exquisite silks.
Rules Over:  Abundance, success.

Tsao-Wang
Other Names:  Tsao-Chun.
Description:  Kitchen god, god of the hearth.  Protector of families and recorder of the actions and words of each family.  His wife recorded the behavior of women in particular.  He gave his report to the Jade Emperor who then determined the family's coming fortunes.

Tsi-Ku
Other Names:  Tsi Ku Niang.
Description:  Goddess of the outhouse.  It is said that when a woman wanted to know the future, she went to the outhouse and asked Tsi-Ku.
Rules Over:  Outhouses, divination.

Twen-Ch'ang
Other Names:  Wen-Chang-Ta-Ti.
Description:  God of literature and poetry.
Rules Over:  Writing, publishing, artistic fame.

Yao-Shih
Description:  "Master of healing."
Rules Over:  Psychic abilities, healing powers.

Yeng-Wang-Yeh
Description:  FOremost of the ten Yama Kings of Lords of Death.  Ruler of hell.  He decided the fate of all new arrivals, determining if they went to a special court for trial, were punished or sent straight back to the Wheel of Life.
Rules Over:  Judgment, punishment, karmic justice.