(Continued from Lên Đồng 3: Mother Goddess)
We have a lot of Immortals, Kings, Queens, Generals, and Court People. Thousands of years worth of people. There is no way to maintain precise documents. The Han Chinese used sections of the Three Word Book to maintain the names of their rulers in some manageable way. We Viets use the folklore of a religious sect to maintain ours.
This section of the Lên Đồng most likely will bore everyone to tears, but that’s ok. It’s mostly meant for documentation purposes. In this day and age, smearing the information around the world wide web is my way to honor and continue the legacy of keeping my history alive and relevant.
Of course, as with everything I write on here, I may not have gotten everything correct, but as long as I can still type with my fingers, and if I find more correct versions of the long long history, I will maintain and update the information to the best of my ability.
So without further ado, here is the fluid and ever-changing list of the royals of a long and distant past.
Vietnamese Royalties and Deities
Don’t let the title fool you. The King Gods hang out on the altar to pay lip service to the male side of the equation, but they don’t get much TLC. The people do a quick, token wham, bam, thank you sir with a single stick of incense and then, they move on to bigger and better things. Sometimes, a few of these poor sobs even get replaced with Buddhas of varying assortments. Doesn’t matter though. It’s still lip service.
- King God of Heaven (Vua Cha Thiên Phủ): Ngọc Hoàng Thượng đế
- King God of Forest Mountains (Vua Cha Nhạc Phủ): Tản Viên Sơn Thánh
- King God of Water World (Vua Cha Thoải Phủ): Bát Hải Long Vương
- King God of the Underworld (Vua Cha Địa Phủ): Thập Điện Diêm Vương
Trinity of Mother Goddesses (Tam Tòa Thánh Mẫu)
There are four palaces: Heaven, Earth, Water, and Mountain, however, in practice, there are only three Mother Goddesses. I’m not sure why that is the case, but I think it could have something to do with the idea of trying to limit the number of people to 64, to match the I Ching numbers. The I Ching’s structure is absolute. Mother Goddess’ construct is quite malleable. Truly the yin/yang of each other.
- First Mother Goddess of Heaven (Mẫu Đệ Nhất Thượng Thiên)
- Second Mother Goddess of the Highlands (Mẫu Đệ Nhị Thượng Ngàn)
- Third Mother Goddess of Water World (Mẫu Đệ Tam Thoải Phủ)
Five Honored High Generals (Hàng Quan Lớn – Ngũ Vị Tôn Quan)
- First High General: The First Crown Prince and Princely Commander of Heaven (Đệ Nhất Thượng Thiên Hoàng Thái Tử Vương Quan)
- Second High General: The Second Supervising Commander of Highlands (Đệ Nhị Thượng Ngàn Giám Sát aka Quan Giám Sát).
- Third High General: The Third Crown Prince and Princely Commander of Water Palace (Đệ Tam Thoải Phủ Hoàng Thái Tử Vương Quan).
- Fourth High General: The Fourth Imperial Commissioner of the Four Palaces (Đệ Tứ Khâm Sai Quyền Cai Tứ Phủ) aka Imperial Commissioner Commander (Quan Khâm Sai).
- Fifth High General: The Fifth Grand Commander of Tuần Tranh (Quan Lớn Đệ Ngũ Tuần Tranh)
Twelve Princesses of the Four Palaces (Hàng Tứ Phủ Chầu Bà)
- First Princess of Heaven (Bà Đệ Nhất Thượng Thiên): Immortal Princess Quế Hoa
- Second Princess of Highlands (Bà Đệ Nhị Thượng Ngàn): Immortal Princess Đông Quang
- Third Princess of Water Palace (Bà Đệ Tam Thoải Phủ): Princess Huệ Hoa
- Fourth Imperial Commissioner (Bà Đệ Tứ Khâm Sai): Princess Chiêu Dung
- Fifth Princess of Unicorn Stream (Bà Năm Suối Lân: Princess Suối Lân
- Sixth Princess of Six Castles (Bà Lục Cung Nương): Immortal Lục Cung
- Seventh Princess of Dragon Rock (Bà Bảy Kim Giao): Immortal Mỏ Bạch
- Eighth Princess of Beautiful Mountain (Bà Bát Nàn): General Vũ Thị Thục of the Trưng Sisters
- Ninth Princess of Cửu Tỉnh (Bà Chín Cửu Tỉnh): Immortal Quỳnh Hoa
- Tenth Princess of Bronze Mine (Bà Mười Đồng Mỏ): Lady Mỏ Ba
- Eleventh Young Lady of Bắc Lệ (Bé Thượng Ngàn): Immortal Bắc Lệ
- Twelfth Young Lady of Shrine (Bé Thoải Cung)
Ten Princes of The Four Palaces (Hàng Ông Hoàng):
- First Prince (Ông Hoàng Cả)
- Second Prince of Triệu Trường (Ông Hoàng Đôi)
- Third Prince (Ông Hoàng Bơ)
- Fourth Prince (Ông Hoàng Tư)
- Fifth Prince (Ông Hoàng Năm)
- Sixth Prince (Ông Hoàng Sáu)
- Seventh Prince of Bảo Hà (Ông Hoàng Bảy Bảo Hà)
- Eighth Prince (Ông Hoàng Tám)
- Ninth Prince of Cờn Môn (Ông Hoàng Chín Cờn Môn)
- Tenth Prince of Nghệ An (Ông Hoàng Mười Nghệ An)
Twelve Ladies of the Four Palaces (Hàng Tứ Phủ Thánh Cô)
It is widely recognized that there are numerous princesses and deities within the twelve Ladies who occupy this royal rank. Other Maidens from various towns are also considered to belong to this rank, whether through incarnations or heroic deeds.
- First Princess of Heaven (Cô Đệ Nhất Thượng Thiên)
- Second Princess of Highlands (Cô Đôi Thượng Ngàn)
- Third Princess of Water Palace (Cô Ba Thủy Cung)
- Fourth Maiden of West Lake (Cô Tư Ỷ La Tây Hồ): Princess Ỷ La
- Fifth Princess of Unicorn Stream (Cô Năm Suối Lân): Immortal Princess Suối Lân
- Sixth Princess of the Six Castles (Cô Sáu Lục Cung): Lady of Six Castles
- Seventh Princess of Dragon Rock (Cô Bảy Kim Giao): Immortal of Dragon Rock
- Eighth Princess of Tea Hills (Cô Tám Đồi Chè): Lady of Tea Hills
- Ninth Princess of Mountain Casino (Cô Chín Sòng Sơn): Immortal of Sòng Sơn
- Tenth Princess of Bronze Mine (Cô Mười Đồng Mỏ): Lady of Đồng Mỏ
- Eleventh Little Maiden (Cô Bé): There are many regional Eleventh Little Maidens. The one being venerated is tied to the region where the veneration takes place. The list below may not include all known Little Maidens being venerated today.
- Little Maiden of Highland (Cô Bé Thượng Ngàn – Lạng Sơn)
- Little Maiden of Water Palace (Cô Bé Suối Ngang – Hữu Lũng)
- Little Maiden of Mountain Pass (Cô Bé Đèo Kẻng – Thất Khê)
- Little Maiden of Đông Cuông (Cô Bé Đông Cuông – Yên Bái)
- Little Maiden of Tân An (Cô Bé Tân An (Lào Cai)
- Little Maiden of Green Trees (Cô Bé Cây Xanh (Bắc Giang)
- Little Maiden of Moon Lake (Cô Bé Nguyệt Hồ (Bắc Giang)
- Little Maiden Minh Lương (Cô Bé Minh Lương – Tuyên Quang)
- Little Maiden of Waterfall Bờ aka Lady Đinh Thị Vân (Cô Bé Thác Bờ (Hòa Bình)
- Little Black Maiden (Cô Bé Sóc – Miền Nam): The only Black Maiden
- Little Maiden of Coal Mine (Cô Bé Mỏ Than – Tuyên Quang):
- Twelfth Little Shrine Maiden: Also regional, the twelfth Maiden is a shrine maiden spirit, specifically assigned to a local shrine, much like an ambassador.
Twelve Pages of Four Palaces (Hàng Tứ Phủ Thánh Cậu)
The rank of Saintly Pages usually include twelve Pages. However, unlike the other deities of previous ranks, there is no specific stories or titles for the Pages because HELLO, this is a Divine Feminine worship religion.
Because they usually serve one of the ten Princes, a Page’s title might include the title of the Prince he serves. For example, the Page who serves the Third Prince could be referred to as the Third Page.
The Five Tiger Generals (Ngũ Hổ):
These are real tigers we’re talking about, not people who wore tiger skins to make themselves look more vicious.
- Teal Tiger Demon General of Eastern Region: Đông Phương Giáp Ất Mộc Đức Thanh Hổ Thần Quan
- Red Tiger Demon General of Southern Region: Nam Phương Bính Đinh Hỏa Đức Xích Hổ Thần Quan
- Yellow Tiger Demon General of Central Region: Trung Phương Mậu Kỷ Thổ Đức Hoàng Hổ Thần Quan
- White Tiger Demon General of Western Region: Tây Phương Canh Tân Kim Đức Bạch Hổ Thần Quan
- Black Tiger Demon General of Northern Region: Bắc Phương Nhâm Quý Thủy Đức Hắc Hổ Thần Quan
Mister Lốt (Ông Lốt) and the Blue and White Snake Demons
- Mr. Lốt (Ông Lốt): Snake Demon. In most cases, Mr. Lốt is not a single entity but rather the embodiment of two other entities, the Teal Snake and the White Snake.
- Teal Demon General Snake (Thanh Xà Đại tướng Quân): Teal because the word Thanh (or xanh) can mean either blue or green depending on context. Since none was given, I combined the two colors blue and green, resulting in two choices, cerulean or teal. Since Cerulean Demon General Snake sounds worse than Teal Demon General Snake, she now gets Teal.
- White Demon General Snake (Bạch Xà Đại tướng Quân): There is a really interesting story about these snake demons. Remind me in near future to tell the tale.
(Continue to Lên Đồng 5: Possession of the Frightful Kind)
4 thoughts on “Lên Đồng 4: The Royal Court”
This is a very big table of content for sure. Thanks for looking for the Dao in Vietnam and bring for some of the aspects that carried it. No doubt there will be some mighty interesting information I am looking for.
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I see traces of the I Ching and Taoism EVERYWHERE I look, within my culture. You can’t hide thousands of years of Taoist influence. It’s embedded into our art, music, even the way we think. I will continue to point out where I see them. Thank you for caring about this.
Do you happen to know which figures correspond to which hexagrams?
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Only for a few. I think I can do a bit of digging around and start to place them on some type of diagram. It will take some time though. There’s quite a bit of them. 😀