The Daoist pantheon

  • The Chinese pantheon is hierarchically ordered and consists of several hundred gods. Their hierarchy tells us about their different strengths and powers.

    According to traditional Chinese understanding, the human soul, like the world itself, is divided in two and consists of a spirit soul and a body soul. The body soul fills the material body with life whereas the spirit soul controls all non-material parts of a human.

    The spirit soul can leave the body during sleep or states of trance. It is made from the same matter as a godhead. This equality of matter is not only the precondition for the communication between humans and gods. It is also the condition that enables a deceased person with an extraordinarily strong spirit soul to rise to the rank of a god and to acquire a place in the official pantheon.