Chinese Goddess

Bixia

Bixia (碧霞) is a Chinese fertility goddess who protects young children and mothers. Also associated with the dawn, she set the perilous Yellow River back in its place during the Great Flood of China.

Top Questions

  • Is Bixia another name for the goddess Xiwangmu?

    Bixia is sometimes conflated with the matronly goddess Xiwangmu in northern China, and sometimes with the compassionate Guanyin in the south.

  • Is Bixia divine or mortal in origin?

    Bixia is associated with numerous historical people, including an incarnation as the daughter or consort of the Grand Emperor of Mount Tai, where she has a popular shrine.

Overview

In Chinese mythology Bixia (碧霞) is a fertility goddess responsible for the dawn, and a guardian of mothers and young children. Her full name is Bìxiá Yuánjūn (碧霞元君) which means “Her Majesty of the Blue Dawn,” but she is most often referred to simply as Bìxiá (碧霞).

Etymology

In addition to her formal title, Bixia has a second name, Hòutǔ (后土), which is comprised of the character for “queen,” hòu (后), and tǔ (土), which means “Earth.” This second name translates as “Queen of the Earth.” She’s also colloquially referred to as Tiānxiān Niángniáng (天仙娘娘), or “Heavenly Immortal Lady.”

Mythology

During the Great Flood of China, when the flow of the Yellow River was catastrophically diverted from its usual course, Bixia was the deity who set the river back into place, saving the lives of many people in China. She is most commonly worshiped in the northern regions of China, and her identity is sometimes conflated with that of Xiwangmu (西王母).