The Earl of Wind

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Immortals and Immortalism
The Heavenly Lords
The Primeval Lord of Heaven
The Heavenly Lord of the Numinous Treasure
The Heavenly Lord of Dao and its Virtue
The Great Jade Emperor
The Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery
The Three Great Emperor-Officials
The Four Heavenly Ministers
The Emperors of the Soil
The Queen Mother of the West
The Thunder Patriarch
The Stellar Sovereigns
The Great Perfect Warrior Emperor
Imperial Sovereign Wenchang
The Stellar Sovereign of the Five Planets and Seven Stars
The Four Numinous Animals and Twenty-Eight Constellations
The Big Dipper
The Sixty Daily Spirits of the Celestial Trunks and Earthly Branches
Spirits of Mountains, Rivers, Seas and Thunder
The Great Emperor of the Sacred Mountain of the East
The Primordial Lady of the Emerald Cloud
The Five Supreme Commanders of the Thunder Agency
The Father of Thunder and the Mother of Lightning
The Dragon King
The Master of Rain
The Earl of Wind
Spirits of the Soil and Local Protector Spirits
The City God
The Door Spirits
The Earth Spirit
The Kitchen Spirit
Spirits of Wealth and Longevity
The Spirit of Wealth
The Stars of Luck, Wealth and Longevity
Guardians of Hell
The Great Emperor of Fengdu
The Yamas of the Ten Halls
Perfect Men and Immortals
Guanyin (Avalokitesvara)
The Eight Immortals
The Motherly Matriarch
Emperor Guan
Patriarch Lü Numinous Official Wang
The Water-Margin Lady
The Three Mao Perfect Sovereign Brothers
The Great Life-Protecting Emperor
The Saintly Founder-King of Zhang
The King of the Three Mountains

Origins of the Earl of Wind

The Earl of Wind is the wind spirit, who is also called the Master of Wind, Feilian, Jibo, and so on. The worship of the Earl of Wind in ancient China has an early origin. The section The Great Master of Sacrifial Rites in the Rites of the Zhou mentions "burning firewood to worship the Controller of the Center, the Controller of Destinies, the Master of Wind, and the Master of Rain". Zheng Xuan made a commentary on it, saying, "the Master of Wind is the Constellation Ji". He means, "when the moon is far away from the Constellation Ji, it raises sand. From this we know that the Master of Wind is the Constellation Ji". Cai Yong of the Eastern Han dynasty says in his Judgements on Opinions, "the spirit of the Earl of Wind is the Constellation Ji. It conjures up wind when its image appears in the sky". The Constellation Ji is one of the seven Eastern Constellations of the 28 constellations. Here the Wind Spirit is seen as a constellation. The Earl of Wind was also called Feilian in the area of Chu. There is a line in Qu Yuan's Encountering Sorrow, which says: "Wangshu is going in front of me, while Feilian is tailing behind me". Jinzhuo annotates Feilian as having "a deer's body, a sparrow's head, a horn, a snake's tail and a leopard's stripes". Guo You annotates it to be "the name of a beast with long hairs and wings". Here the Wind Spirit is taken to have an animal form. After the Tang and Song dynasties, the Earl of Wind was once called "Auntie Wind", "Auntie Feng", and "the Wind Queen", so it was sometimes regarded as a goddess. But the most common version is the one that takes the Constellation Ji to be the Earl of Wind.

Functions

The functions of the Earl of Wind are to "govern the rising and fading of wind in the eight directions and master the symptoms of clouds of the five colors". Wind is a major factor of weather. It concerns benefiting seasons and breeding the world. The section Sacrificial Rites of the Comprehensive Explanations to Customs says that the Earl of Wind "shakes with thunder and moistens with rain so as to give birth to everything. It does meritorious deeds to human beings, so kings offer sacrifice to it in order to repay its contribution".

Worship

The worship of the Earl of Wind was already classified as one of the country's sacrificial rites during the Qin and Han dynasties. Important Documents of the Tang says that the worship of the Earl of Wind was promoted to be a sacrificial rite of the middle rank, and it was required that "an altar be set up in each prefecture" so that the rites could be held simultaneously with kings' sacrificial rites. Some Daoist temples also set up halls to enshrine the Earl of Wind, the Master of Rain, the Father of Thunder and the Mother of Lightning. The statue of the Earl of Wind is always a white-haired elderly man with a wheel in his left hand and a fan in his right hand that seems to be fanning. He is called the Earl of Wind and Heavenly Sovereign Fang. The divine birthday of the Earl of Wind is the fifth day of the 10th lunar month. Among common Daoists, only those whose life and jobs are closely connected with the Earl of Wind offer sacrifices to him alone, while most Daoists worship him only at large-scale Daoist rites of Fasts and Offerings.