The Chinese Cult of the Stove

pp. 476-477, n. 418 Hui Lu & Z^u Ron

p. 476, n. 418

In "context of ... the effort by the state of Zheng to ward off disastrous fire, ... Xuan Ming is the god of water, and Hui Lu the god of fire." According to the S^an hai Jin, Wu Hui ... leans to the left ... because he has no right arm."

p. 477, n. 418

"Zhu Rong of the South has the body of a beast and the face of a man. The rides on a pair of dragons" (S^an Hai Jin jiao z^u 7:206). "Heaven ordered [Zhu] Rong to send to send fire down ... within the Xia walled city." (Mo Zi jian gu 5:93-4)

p. 166 locations of types of ghosts in state of Qi (according to the Z^uan Zi)




c^en ‘wet sunken places’


p. 478, n. 439 "the edition of Sima Bia ... reads lou ... rather than lu: ... (Old Chinese *lug and *lier respectively)."

p. 479, n. 439 /c^en/ may be read /s^en/ ‘portable stove’




manure inside the doorway

Lei Tin

p. 479, n. 440 "Lei Ting is normally the god of thunder" {manure is used for growing mushrooms, which said to arise from lightning}

lower parts of NE quarter

Bei E & Gui Lon

p. 479, n. 441 Gui Lon is "one foot four incles in height, dressed in black with a red turban and large hat. He has a sword at his waist and carries a halberd."

lower parts of NW quarter

Yi Yan

p. 479, n. 442 "The Yi Yang has the head of a panther and the tail of a horse."


Wan Xian

pp. 479-80, n. 443 "The monster of the waters is called the dragon Wang Xiang ... the Wang Xiang eats people. Another name for it is Xiu (Mu) Zhong ... . In his Feng su tong yi .. Ying Shao ... notes that the Wang Xiang invades the tombs of the deceased to devour their brains and livers; a stone tiger and thuja are placed by the tomb to ward it off."



p. 480, n. 444 "The Xin ... has the form of a dog with horns and has five-color markings on its body"



p. 480, n. 445 according to the S^an Hai Jin jiao z^u (14:361), Kui is "beast shaped like an ox, with a blue [or gray; cang ...] body, no horns, and one foot. ... Its glow is as bright as the sun and moon, and its voice like thunder."


Pan Huan

p. 481, n. 446 Fan (Pan Huan) is "shaped like a snake and has two hands and five-color markings."


Wei Yi

p. 481, n. 447 = Yan Wei "with the head of a man and the body of a snake ... . It has heads on left and right, wears purple clothing, and has a woolen hat."

descriptions of some of these types of ghosts





Wei Yi

dressed in purple, wearing vermilion cap; loathing the sound of a thunder-chariot



deity [goddess] of the stove. She weareth red clothing, and her appearance is like that of a beautiful woman.


Gui Lon

"homunculus clad in black."

p. 169 Ji ‘chignon, topknot’ {cf. topknot of [Maori goddess] Tarana}

pp. 172-173 exorcism of well & stove (according to the Wei Jun Z^uan)

p. 172

"If the demons of the well and stove cause illness, then one should invite the Lords of the King’s Law (wang fa

p. 173

jun ...) and the Officials of the Five Men (wu ren guan ...) leading one hundred and twenty men, and order them to suppress and exterminate [the demons] in the Palace of the Five Surnames (wu xing gong ...)."

pp. 175-176 descriptions of daimones





Za Wu Xin S^u, quoted in Yu Z^u Bao Dian

Lord of the Stove is named S^an, with cognomen Zi-guo. "It wears yellow clothing, and has loose hair ... . At night it comes forth from the stove. ... If you do not know its name and you see it, you will die."


Bai Ze Tu

"The elemental of the privy is called Yi Yi ... . It wears blue clothing a holds a white staff. If one knows its name and calls it, the it is exorcised (chu ...). If one does not know its name, one will die."

p. 177 (according to the You Ton Lu, cited in the Gu-jin Tu S^u Ji C^en encyclopaedia) cicadas from thigh-wound inflicted on woman by donkey

p. 178 favorable & unfavorable stove-rituals




"pig’s liver to caulk the stove

will make one’s wife filial.

swine’s head offerings to the stove-god according to Fan C^en-da in the Son dynasty

The Lord of the Stove died on a ren zi ... day;

one does not fashion a stove on this day."

"Those who study writing shun bing ... days, ... because Cang Jie ... died on a bing day." (according to the Lun Hen of the Latter Han dynasty)

always offer a swine’s head to the stove on c^en days in the 5th month

one’s livelihood with increase 10,000-fold


"Using someone else’s old stove

in inauspicious and will lead to ruin.


If chicken feathers are put into the stove,

it will bring about trouble and disaster.


If dog bones are put into the stove

then one will have children who are mad."


sacrifice a white chicken to the stove on a ji c^en day in the 1st month

good for silkworms

"chickens offered to the stove god in the stove god in the modern cult of the Northwest."

sacrifice to the stove on a si, c^ou, or mao day in the 5th month



on a din si day in the 4th month, sacrifices to the stove

will increase 100-fold


p. 179 explanation of hepatic stove-rituals (according to the Ron Z^ai Si Bi by Hon Mai)



Ben Cao, s.v. "Crouching Dragon’s Liver"

deity Fu Lon Gan (‘Crouching Dragon’s Liver’), alias dictus Tou Yin (‘Penetrating the Hidden’), is repraesented by 8-cornered "red stones with yellow in them" beneath the stove

"Biography of Yin S^u", in the Hou Han S^u

while cooking at dawn on La day, to Yin’s ancestor Yin Zi-fan there appeared the stove god (Fu Lon)

p. 181 exorcism of frightening dreams (according to the Z^en Yi Fa Wen Xiu Z^en Yao Z^i)

invoke the 7 Deities within the home, and "the Overseer of Destiny, the Lord of the Stove" (Si-min Zao Jun) to take into custody the offending daimones. "When you are done speaking, hang the seal (yin ...) from the door, and go back to bed. After a short while you will hear the sounds of lashing and punishment."

(according to the Yi Jian Z^i, of the Son dynasty) the "Lord of the Stove, Overseer of Destiny" (Zao Jun Si-min) rescueth from a tigre.

p. 181 included in list of household guardian-deities (according to the Jin Suo Liu Z^u Yin)

San Jian Jun (‘3 Generals’)

deity of gate

deity of doors

deity of stove

deity of well

pp. 182-183 alchemical stove-deity worshipped by emperor Wu Di of the Former Han dynasty, as instructed by Li S^ao-jun :



p. 182 "make observances to the stove"

"summon entities"

summon entities

p. 183 "cinnabar grains can be transmuted into gold"

p. 183 "make it [alchemical gold] into eating and drinking vessels"

"increase longevity"

"increase longevity"

"the transcendents" of Pen-lai "in the ocean can be seen."

perform the fen & s^an sacrifices

attain immortality

p. 183 "the emperor began personally making offerings to the stove."

pp. 188-189 cookess-heroine

p. 188

(according to the Ton Dian) "in the stove one sacrifices to the old lady ..., the first person in antiquity to cook".

p. 189

(according to the S^i Ji, "Fen S^an S^u") the shamanesses of Jin worshipped :

Wu Di (the ‘5 Thearchs’)

Don Jun (‘East Lord’)

Yun Z^on Jun (‘Amidst-Clouds Lord’)

Si-min (‘Overseer [of] Destiny’)

Wu S^e

Wu Ci

Zu Ren

Xian C^ui (‘1st Cook’) [(according to the Z^en Yi commentary) "The First Cook is the ancient deity, Mother of Cooking".]

pp. 192-195 divine spirits send reports to humans’ behavior to heaven





Tai Pin Jin

"various protectors of the lodge and dwelling ... scrutinize the transgressions committed by the people ..., and once a year send up their monthly records ... . On the basis of these documents, the spectral authorities shorten life spans, and when the allotted life span has been exhausted, they send earth spirits to seize the man’s body and subject him to ... punishment."


Bao Pu Zi by Ge Hon

"within the body are the Three Corpses (san shi ...). ... They wish to make people die early, because these Corpses will then be able to become ghosts, free to wander about and consume the sacrificial offerings of men. Therefore, on every geng shen ... day, they ascend to Heaven and make a report to the Overseer of Destiny (Siming ...), and tell what faults and transgressions the man has committed. [This "passage on the Three Corpses ... is preserved in the Japanese Ishinpo" (p. 195).]


Also, on the last day of the month, the god of the stove (zao shen ...) ascends to Heaven, and makes a report on the situation of people’s transgressions." {According to the Wan Bi S^u (= Huai-nan Wan Wan Bi S^u) "The god of the stove returns to Heaven on the dark of the month and reports the transgressions of men" (p. 195).}


A ji (‘period’) of 300 days for each large crime, and a suan (‘counter’) of 3 days for each small crime, is deducted from a person’s life-span.

p. 203 names for the stove god



Yu Z^u Bao Dian by Du Tai-qin

god’s surname is Su, name Ji-li (‘Lucky [&] Beneficial’); his wife’s name is Bo-jia ("Wide-Cheeks’)

commentary, by Du Gon-z^an, to the Jin C^u Sui S^i Ji

the god’s wife is also given the surname Wan

p. 204 vocal noises forbidden (according to a Son-dynasty commentary to the Tai S^an gan Yin Pian, quoting from a Huan Di Zao Jin)

"In front of the door of the stove (zao men ...) one may not sing or chant, cry, weep, curse, scold, yell, or roar."

pp. 205-206 a different set of names for the stove god (from the You Yan Za Zu by Duan C^en-s^i)




god’s surname is Z^an {that of the Caelestial Masters (p. 206)}, name Dan, cognomen Zi-guo; his wife’s cognomen is Qin-ji {similar to that of a swamp elemental described in the Guan Zi (p. 206)}. They have 6 daughters, all named C^a Qia.


"Formerly, [the god] was a Commissioner of Inspection (du shi ...) for the Celestial Thearch (Tian Di ...). He descended to become a terrestrial elemental ... . He ascends to Heaven at the hour of mao ... [5-7 A.M.] on a ji chou ... day, and descends at noon ... . If one sacrifices to him on this day one will obtain good fortune.

The deities subordinate to him include :

Tian Di Jiao Sun (‘Caelestial Thearch’s Coquettish Grandchild’)

Tian Di Da Fu (‘Caelestial Thearch’s Magnate’)

Tian Di Du Wei (‘Caelestial Thearch’s Commander-in-Chief’)

Tian Di Z^an Xion (‘Caelestial Thearch’s Eldest Brother’)

Xin S^an Ton-zi (‘Lad on the Whetstone’)

Tu S^an Zi Guan Jun (‘Chimney Purple Office Lord’)

Tai He Jun (‘Grand Harmony Lord’)

Yu C^i Fu-ren (‘Jade Pool Lady’)


According to one account the stove deity is called Ran Zi.

p. 207 "the stove god is in one Taiwan locale believed to be the younger brother of the Lord of Heaven (Tian Gon ...), and in the Henan folktale ... the stove goddess is the youngest daughter of the Jade Thearch."

p. 210 transgressions against the stove (according to the Tai S^an Gan Yin Pian)

"Chanting, singing, or crying to the stove; also

burning incense in the fire of the stove;

preparing food with polluted firewood;

being naked and exposed when rising during the night".

p. 214 "in the Yellow Thearch’s Classic of the Stove one may not sing, chant, cry, weep, curse, scold, yell, or roar at the door of the stove."

pp. 211-217 commentary, by Li C^an-lin, on the Gan Yin Pian




"the appearance of the stove deity resembles that of a beautiful woman (mei ren ...). It has six daughters. On the day of the dark of the moon it goes to the Celestial Departments (tian cao ...) to report on the crimes of men."


"there are thirty-six deities in the stove, who can turn disaster into good fortune, remove death, fix life, drive out monsters and evil, get one transferred into higher office, and increase one’s emolument. ...

Some clean the stove on the dark of the moon, and set incense, flowers, wine, and fruit before it to apologize (xie ...) to it."

the 3 aspects of the stove-deity :



in Heaven

Wu Di Z^i Fu (‘Matching Conjunction to the 5 Thearchs’)

on Earth

Wu Yin Tai Sui (‘Tai Sui of the 5 Tones’)

among Humans

Wu Yin Zao Jun (‘5-Tones Stove-Lord’)


"The Yellow Thearch in the stove (zao zhong Huang Di ...) is the Overseer of Destiny for the age. He always reports the situation of crimes, transgressions, and evil among the men of the world to the two Phosphors of Yin and Yang (Yin Yang er jing ..., presumably the sun and moon) and records them in a black register."


[enlightenment of the stove-god by a C^an master] In a temple on mt. Son there was a sacred earthenware stove : a C^an master struck that stove thrice, harangued it, and again smote it thrice with his staff, so that "it broke and collapsed". "After a short while a man in blue clothing and a high cap leaped forth" and said : "Now I have received the honor of having ... been able to separate myself from this place."


[concerning prohibitions against burning incense in the fire of the stove] "the Regulations and Orders from Below the Gate of the Celestial Master (Tian shi men xia ke ling ...) says that the ash and fire of the stove is called "the feces of the Crouching Dragon" (Fu Long shi ...)."

pp. 218-222 Tai S^an Don Z^en An Zao Jin (‘Most High Cavern Perfected’s Securing Stove Scripture’) = HY 69




"The Primeval Most Exalted One (Tai Shang Yuan Shi Zhi Zun ...) mounted his "unicorn" (Qilin ...)-drawn conveyance and feathered carriage, and descended to the Gold and Silver Arena on Mount Kunlun. He seated himself on the Estrade of the Multitude of Treasures. ...

There was one Divine Mother, Mother of Cooking (Chui Mu Shen Mu ...) who addressed the Cinnabar Steps. She stated, "... I have received a position in a department subordinate to the Thearch of the North (Bei Di ...), acting as the Overseer of Destiny official to the Five Thearchs (Wu Di Siming zhi guan ...), and ... as the Emissaries of the Matching Conjunctions (zhi fu zhi shi ...). ... I record the causes of the merits and faults of the men in the world, and month by month submit all matters occurring from the new to the dark of the moon."


meaning of __

is __

z^ai (‘domicile’)

fu (‘to cover’)

wu (‘dwelling’)

ju (‘to lodge’)

s^i (‘house’)

z^i (‘to stop’)

s^e (‘lodge’)

ji (‘auspicious’)


"protect the kitchen and stove" from "implements of bronze and iron, knives and axes, the [feathers and] fur of flying birds and running animals".

pp. 223-231 Tai S^an Lin Bao Bu Xie Zao Wan Jin (‘Most High Numinous Treasure Supplemental Apologies to the Stove Scripture’) = HY 364




"There was an Old Mother (lao mu ...) dwelling alone within it [mt. Kun-lun]. ... a certain Perfected One of Miraculous Action (Miao Xing Zhen Ren ...) [wondered who she was]. The Celestial Exalted One said, "It is this Old Mother who is named ‘the Mother who Seeds Fire’ (Zhong Huo Zhi Mu ...). In Heaven she acts as the Celestial Thearch (Tian Di ...); among men she acts as the Overseer of Destiny (Siming ...). She also acts as the emissary of the Seven Primes of the Northern Dipper (bei dou qi yuan zhi shi ...), governing the length of men’s lives, and whether they are to be wealthy and noble or poor and base.""


"The Celestial Exalted One said, "... The stoves in the homes of mortal men may not be violated or offended against with chicken feathers, dog bones, [human] hair, knives and axes"".


If the stoves have been thus violated or offended against, "to should immediately apologize to" the stove-deities, namely to :

the Numinous Stove of the Caelestial Kitchen (Tian C^u Lin Zao),

the Divine Stove of the Terrestrial Kitchen (Di C^u S^en Zao),

the Coquettish Son & Coquettish Daughter of the Caelestial Thearch (Tian Di Jiao Nan Jiao Nu:),

the Lad, Boys, and Girls in the Chimney (Con Z^on Ton Zi Ton Nan Ton Nu:),

Great-Grandfather Stove (Zen Zao),

Grandfather Stove (Zu Zao),

the Sire of the Stove (Zao Gon),

the Mother of the Stove (Zao Mu),

the Stove Husband (Zao Fu),

the Stove Wife (Zao Fu),

the Stove Children (Zao Zi),

the Stove Grandchildren (Zao Sun), ...


the Wandering Stove Lords of the Five Quarters (Wu Fan you Yi Zao Jun),

the Generals of the Right and Left (Zuo You Jian Jun),

the Divine Woman of Cooking (C^ui Tao S^en Nu:),

the Matching Conjunction of Front and Rear (Qian Hou Z^i Fu),

the Lesser Emissaries of the Stove Lord (Zao Jun Xiao S^i),

the Divine Mother Who Praesenteth the Fire (Jin Huo S^en Mu),

the Lad of Wandering Fire (You Huo Ton Zi),

the Women, Sister, and New Wife of the House of the Stove (Zao Jia Nian-zi Mei Xin Fu),

the Host of 72 Attendant Spirits of the Stove (Qi S^i Er Zao Con S^en Z^on).

["The old "Lord of the Purple Office in the Chimney" (Tu Shang Zi Guan Jun ...) has been replaced by the "Lad, Boys, and Girls in the Chimney" ... . ... "Sire" and "Mother" of the stove, which occur in the context of the "Stove king dance’ and the temple cult of the god in Sichuan, are the parents of the deity."]


"The Celestial Exalted One said,

"... Prosperous is the Blue Dragon,

majestic is the White Tiger,

mighty is the Vermilion Sparrow,

imposing is the Dusky Martial One.""

p. 233 Lamp Caerimony texts

name of text : "__ Den Yi"

meaning : ‘Lamp Caerimony

Yu Huan S^i-qi Ci Guan ...

... to the 17 Merciful Lights of the Jade August One

San Guan ...

... to the 3 Offices

Jiu Tian San Mao Si-min Xian ...

... to the 3 Fate-Overseeing Transcendents Mao of the 9 Heavens

Er ...Ton Juan

2 ...s in the Same Scroll

p. 233 Er Den Yi Ton Juan

name of text : "__ Den Yi"

meaning : ‘Lamp Caerimony to __

Tu Si ...

... the Overseers of Earth

C^u Si-min ...

... the Kitchen Overseers of Destiny

pp. 233-244 C^u Si-min Den Yi ["is divided into six sections, the first addressed to the entire stove pantheon, then one to each of the Five Thearch stove deities." (p. 233)]




"The Law Ritual (fa shi ...) according to the standard form. ... offering to"

Wu Fan Wu Di Zao Jun (‘5-Quarters 5-Thearchs Stove-Lord’),

Wu Di Zao Jun Fu-ren (‘5-Thearchs’ Stove-Lords’ Ladies’),

Tian C^u Lin Zao (‘Caelestial-Kitchen Numinous Stove’),

Di C^u S^en Zao (‘Terrestrial Kitchen Divine Stove’),

Xin Zao Jiu S^en Jun (‘New Stoves’ [&] Old Stoves’ Divine Lords’),

C^ui Tao S^en Mu (‘Cooking’s Divine Mother’),

Yun S^ui Jian-jun (‘Transporting-Water General’),

Zao Z^on Jin Ji Yi-qie Wei Lin (‘Stove –Prohibitions-[&-]Taboos Awesome Spirits’)



"Exalted Deity __ Thearch"

is "__ Numen"

activities etc.




"record and write"




"tie up and bind the Nine Ugly Things"




"serve the Nine Clarities (jiu qing ...)"


Dusky Old

Caelestial, Terrestrial

"Your body is a thousand zhang ... long"


Yellow Old


"Gathering in your hands all the myriad of emblems"

pp. 272-274 zao s^an ji (‘stove-taboos’) in the Zao Jun Jin (‘Stove-Lord Scripture’) of the Jin Zao Quan S^u




"Rushing transversely in and out before the Basilica of the Stove Lord".


"Making a stove downstairs and a bedchamber upstairs."


"Putting beef[-tallow] candles on the stove."


"Putting things on the stove overnight."


"Leaning the fire tongs against the stove overnight."


"Burning paper with writing on it inside the stove."


"Chickens and dogs sleeping overnight before the stove."


"Constantly [sweeping] toward the stove while sweeping the floor."


"Crushing and slicing onions and garlic on the stove."


"Slaughtering living creatures before the stove."


"Putting one’s feet on the stove door while the fire is going."


"Cooking and boiling beef, mutton, turtles, tortoises, and eels." ("It is vital that the family stop eating these.") {cf. Hindu prohibition against eating beef}


"Women cooking at the stove when their menstrual fluids are not yet gone ..., or women who have given birth less than one month before."

pp. 275-285 Tai S^an Yuan S^i An Z^en Don C^u Si-min Zi Wei Yu Ji Xiao Zai Bao C^an (‘Most Supreme Purple Tenuity Jade Case Treasure Confession for Extinguishing Disasters to the Primaeval and Suppressing Overseer of Destiny of the Eastern Kitchen’) in the Zao Jun Jin


lists of deities


deities to whom offerings are made


Zi Wei Z^on Tian Bei Ji Da Di (‘Purple Tenuity Central Heaven Northern Culmen Great Thearch’)


Bei Dou Jiu Xin Zun Si Xin Jun (‘Northern Dipper 9 Stars Exalted Thearchs Astral Lords’)


Yu C^i Fu Ren (‘Jade Pool Lady’)


Guan Gu Z^i Nu: (‘Shining Drum Weaving Maiden’)


Qi Jiao Miao Xin Z^en Ren (‘Miraculous Action Teachings Initiator Perfected One’)


Dou Fu Xian Guan S^en Z^on (‘Dipper Palace Saintly Hosts Transcendent Officials’)


Wu Fan Wu Di Zao Jun (‘5 Quarters 5 Thearchs Stove Lords’)


Wu Fan Wu Di Zao Fu Ren (‘5 Quarters 5 Thearchs Stove Ladies’)


Tian C^u Lin Zao Jun (‘Caelestial Kitchen Numinous Stove Lord’)


Tian Di Jiao Nan (‘Caelestial Thearch’s Pretty Son’)


Di Di Jiao Nu: (‘Terrestrial Thearch’s Pretty Daughter’)


Con Z^on Ton Zi Zi Mei Xi-fu (‘Chimney’s Lad, Sistren, & Daughter-in-law’)


the Generals of the Left and of the Right


C^ui tao S^en Nu: (‘Cooking’s Divine Woman’)


Wu Ji Da Fu (‘No-Taboos Magnate’)


You Jin Xiao S^i (‘Prohibitions-Having Lesser Emissaries’)


Zao S^an Zao Xia S^i Con S^en Qi (‘Stove-Above [&] Stove-Below Attendant [&] Servitor Spirits’)



Hosts of the Law, to whom court ritual is paid


High & Supreme Great Thearch of the Northern Culmen in the Central Heaven of the Purple Tenuity


Bei Dou __ Xin Jun

(‘Northern Dipper __ Astral Lord’)


Yan Min Tan Lan

Yang Luminosity Greedy Wolves’


Yin Jin Ju Men

Yin Essence Huge Gate


Z^en Ren Cun Lu

Perfected-One Emoluments’ Praeservation


Xuan Min Wen Qu

Dark Stygia Literary Tunes


Dan Yuan Lian Z^en

Cinnabar Prime Incorruptible Virtue


Dou Yan Wu Qu

Dueling Yang Martial Tunes


Tian Guan Po Jun

Heaven’s Passes Shattering Armies


Don Min Zuo Fu

Cavern-Luminosity Sustaining the Left


Yin Guan You Bi

Hidden Illumination Straightening the Right


Dan S^en Ben Min Yuan C^en Xin Jun (‘Prime Chronogram Controlling Life Originating Destiny Astral Lord’)


Liu Nian Yun Xian Z^ao Lin Xin Jun (‘Illuminating & Approaching Fortune’s Limits Flowing Years Astral Lord’)



36 stove-deities & sets of deities (further Hosts of the Law, to whom court ritual is paid)


Z^on Huo Lao Mu Yuan Jun (‘Seeding Fire Old Mother Prime Lady’)


[2-6.] Stove Lord of Thearchs the 5 Directions


the Ladies of the 5 Thearchs of the 5 Directions

[8-9.] Divine Lords of the Divine Stoves of __ Kitchens



[10-15.] Divine __ of the Stove :

Great-grandfather & Grandfather

Sire & Mother

Husband & Wife

Children & Grandchildren

Sisters & Daughters-in-law

Dependents of the House

[16-20.] Divine Lords of __ Stoves :

Big & Small

New & Old

Household & Outside

Long & Short

Brick & Tile


Wu Fan You Yi Zao Jun (‘5 Directions Wandering Stove Lords’)


Liu Jia S^en Lin Fu Mu (‘6 Jia Spirit-Numina Mother [&] Father’)


Bin Mie Yu C^i Fu Ren (‘Ice-Extinguishing Jade Pool Lady’)


Z^i Zun Liu Ren Yu Nu: (‘Most Exalted 6 Ren Jade Maidens’)


Jiao Xiao Guan Gu Z^i Nu: (‘Shark-Silk Shining Drum Weaving Maiden’)


Tian Di Z^an Xion Da Fu (‘Heaven’s Thearch’s Eldest Brother Magnate’)


Tian Di Jiao Nan Jiao Nu: (‘Heaven’s Thearch’s Pretty Son [&] Pretty Daughter’)


Tian Di Du Wei Fu Ren (‘Heaven’s Thearch’s Commander-in-chief’s Lady’)


Zao Xia C^ui Tao S^en Nu: (‘Stove-Below Cooking’s Divine Woman’)


Yun Huo Zuo You Jian Jun (‘Transporting Fire Left [&] Right Generals’)


Xin Huo Dan C^ai Li S^i (‘Circulating Fire Carrying Fuel Strong Gentleman’)


Z^an Guan Wen Mo Li Yuan (‘Governing Writing & Ink Clerks & Functionaries’)


Son Xin Wu Ji Da Fu (‘ " Song-Surnamed No-Taboos Magnate’)


Ji Lu You Xin Xiao S^i (‘Intentions of Notes & Records Lesser Emissaries’)


Qian Hou Z^i Fu S^i Z^e (‘Matching Correspondence to Front & to Rear Emissaries’)


Zao Jia Suo S^u Jin Ji (‘Stove’s House Pertaining to Prohibitions & to Taboos’)

p. 291 the names of the 3 sets of 50 divination slips each, at the end of the C^u S^en Zao Jun Jin in the Jin Zao Quan S^u

Zao Jun Lin Qian (‘Stove-Lord’s Numinous Divination-Slips’)

Zao Jun Nei Ke Xian Fan (‘Stove-Lord’s Internal Medicine Transcendent Praescriptions’)

Zao Jun Wai Ke Xian Fan (‘Stove-Lord’s External Medicine Transcendent Praescriptions’)

pp. 299-303 Zao Su Ri-qi Jin Ji Tiao-mu (‘Dates for Stove Vegetarian [Offerings] & Prohibitions & Taboo Items’), appended to the Jin Xin Lu




"The Overseer of Destiny of the Eastern Kitchen, Ninefold Numinous Primal August One, the Palace Lord who Determines Good Fortune ... Every year on the twenty-fifth day of the La-month, and on the twenty-third day of each month, ... ascends to report to the Courts of Heaven to speak of the good and evil among men ... . ... The third day of the eighth month of each year is the Stove god’s birthday."


list of prohibitions :

"One must not cook beef or dog on the stove. ...


If one is able not to cook and boil live fish, shrimp, crabs, eels, turtles, and blackfish in the pot, one will also be able to increase one’s years and achieve good fortune".

p. 301 "The geng shen ... days were the time the Three Corpse Spirits (san shi shen ...) were supposed to make their reports."

pp. 309-332 Zao Jun Bao Juan (‘Stove-Lord Treasure-Scroll’) from C^en-du in Si-c^uan




In the Prior Heaven, the Stove Lord "sits on a fiery rock."


In the Posterior Heaven, "Carrying along the fiery rock, he entered the Gate of Heaven. ...


The Lords of the Stove ... all underwent identical transformations, Changing into the hosts of Lords of the Stove in each home,

In charge of record-books of life and death among men. ...

On the twenty-fourth day of each month they all came to meet together".


[list of good deeds (cf. also p. 330) :]

"install golden statues; ...

construct bridges and repair roads ...

distribute tea, hand out medicines".

comparison of 12 numbered Prohibitions (from the Zao Jun Bao Juan) with 10 numbered things not permitted ("10 Praecepts of the Kitchen" in stove text from He-bei province)






things not permitted



"complaining about cold and heat; cursing the wind and swearing at the rain. [These weather phainomena are] spirits, and ... should be treated sincerely with reverent ritual."



"making oaths in front of the stove, Hating Heaven and Earth, ... and bullying the gods and spirits."



respect for one parents, offspring, and elders





"knocking on the pots and stove, ...



"Rapping spoons and chopsticks, striking bowls and saucers"



rice and grain ... one should ... value"



"casting away the five Grains, throwing away rice"





"killing chickens and slaughtering ducks without reason"



"Beef and dog, goose and catfish; one must never cook these."



"eating beef and dog meat"



"exposing the body,



"in front of the stove with naked and exposed body"



singing, crying and weeping."



"sniveling, weeping, crying, and sobbing in front of the stove"



"urinating and defecating ... before the stove."



"defecating, and urinating in front of the stove."



"hair and bones being put into the stove to burn"



"put onion and garlic skins, chicken feathers, and bones into the stove"



"pigsties and privies pressing close to the kitchen."




"wrapping ones feet in the kitchen."



"toasting shoes, and heating socks"



"putting objects in the kitchen and on the stove overnight."


pp. 349-370 Zao Huan Bao Juan (‘Stove-August Treasure-Scroll’)




"Old Mother" on mt. Kun-lun "became the Thearch of Fire (Huo Di ...).

The entire body of the Old Mother was of fire {cf. Ainu fire-goddess},

The rock beside her was fire in [solid] form. ...


She gathered up her fiery rock and ... walked straight up into the Basilica of the Numinous Empyrean. ... The Jade Thearch enfeoffed her as the August One of the Stove".



"woman who works the most profound sins" : "In a time of drought when there is no rain or dew, She curses the Sire of Heaven for not sending [weather] more evenly."


merciful notices of warning of impending punishment (if the people make no amends for making make insults against Heaven) :

"domestic dogs crawl in the ponds,

roosters crow at sunset,

rats consult divination slips {cf. mice which arrange divination slips in Ivory Coast}, and

snakes appear in the vines."





"dry unclean mats and shoes on the stove,

... sore feet."


"wait about the stove with naked bodies,

Sores grow on their legs".


"gratuitously curse their ancestors ...,

Their teeth grow sore".


"licentiously violate young girls, ...

The Thunder of Heaven strikes them with a thunderbolt".


"cheat public [measurements] ...,

bear the cangue and carry shackles".


[offenses against Heaven :] "Cursing the rain, raging at the wind, ...


Fish are skinned, crabs cooked, and spiral snails boiled. Silkworms ... cocoons boiled, and birds kept in cages."


[dismissal at end of prose text :] "The deities and spirits of the Upper Realm return to the Golden Pylons,

The spirits of the Middle Realm go back to their basilicas and courts.

The [denizens of] the dim and Stygian realms return to the Palace of Earth (di fu ...)."

pp. 385-399 Zao Wan Jin C^an He Ke (‘Stove-King Scripture [&] Confession Combined Publication’) from Si-c^uan province


7-syllable verse

"__ Stove" deities


"at home watching things clearly."

Caelestial & Terrestrial


"reported up to the Courts of Heaven."

Ancestor & Grandfather


"Master of the Entire Family"

Sire & Old Lady


"be completely sincere."

Father & Mother


(p. 393) "With loose and scattered hair, do not go in"

(p. 394) Son & Grandson


"taking out night soil and urine, you must walk far away."

Yang & Yin


"light the fire and it does not burn, ... cook rice and it is not done"

Cold & Hot


"Do not slice vegetables on the stovetop, ... Do not place ... pawlonia-oil lamps."

Long & Short


"diligent in sweeping out the kitchen"

Lad of the House of the


(p. 394) "Household implements must be picked up ... one’s hand should be light."

(p. 395) Daughter-in-law of the House of the


"Food and drink must be offered [to the god]"

Tall & Short


"revere the stove ... in your heart"

Large & Small


"clean and pure of body"



"offering incense and a lamp."



(p. 395)

(p. 396)


"outside the home ..., Three stones piled together in shape like a stove."

Square & Round


"In ... mountain caves ..., ... a stove on an embankment."

cave, hillside, & embankment


"catch diseases"

which Layeth Illness to Rest


"those who give birth to children"

who Conferreth Children


"longevity ... a hundred years old."

which Governeth Longevity


(p. 396) "bind your feet"

(p. 397) all the Palace



"ever since the Jade August One (Yu Huan ...) sent down his inner heart, ... its basic nature is such that plants and mustard seeds are its body." {cf. Jaina dry measure in terms of quantity of mustard seeds}

pp. 400-410 Zao Wan Z^en Jin (‘Stove-King True Scripture’)




After 64,800 years "A new nation will begin, with a new Wheel of Heaven."

The 8 Trigrams "of the Former Heaven will change to the Latter Heaven;

The Latter Heaven changes to the Middle Heaven. ...

On the boat is a font to protect life," thou wilt achieve longevity of 800 years.

"The perfected men will ... pluck the sun, moon, and stars."

The 49 Heavens "will see no clear space."


[the 9 to be chosen :]

1st "The grace of your father and mother is as weighty as a mountain".


5th "women on good terms with their ... mothers-in-law. ...

Brown earth will transform into gold."


9th "The stovetop is always kept pure and clean. ...

When there is extra tea or leftover rice,

They give it to the hungry to eat."



if thou read this Stove-King True Scripture __ times

then thy __ will be protected












whole country



if thou transmit __ copies of this Stove-King True Scripture

then __



"illnesses cannot arise."



"whole family is guaranteed to be secure and tranquil."



"escape water, fire, and wind."



"escape baleful and slaughtering stars."



"One’s name will be great on the announcement board of Heaven."



"merit will be great, ... good fortune not insubstantial."


>> 20,000

"It will always be green through summer and winter."



"You will not age, and will always have extended life; ... your longevity like a pine."



If hearts be not applied to this Stove-King True Scripture, then at the beginning of the 64,800th year, "The roots of disaster will arise throughout the land; ...


The good will walk on the bridge as always;

The evil will drop into the water,

Brass snakes and iron dogs will come in savagery,

They will lock their jaws in them, not to be loosened.

{typical Daoist scene for souls in the world of the dead}


Those who do good ... Will get a good end when death is near.

Golden Lads and Jade Maidens will come to receive them,

And go before and after carrying lanterns."

pp. 411-420 Zao Wan Ben Yuan Jin (‘Stove-King’s Vows Original Scripture’) from Si-c^uan




"At one time ... cold winds ... blew out the light of the sun and caused all fires to go out. People were eating grass and wood ... raw. ... [Tsan Ran] made oaths and vows to the effect that if men should again see the sun of heaven, and should enjoy the benefits of fire ..., then he would ... control the cooking-stoves of the people, ... causing mortals to be without hunger ... . ... When his work was reported above, there was conferred upon him the name of ‘Star Prince of the Heavenly Kitchen’ ".



flavors are __

in order to nourish __






mind {heart}














mode of action




"god feels great distress when anyone suffers from hunger"




"to speed the cooking"




"aids travelers cooking in the wild by protecting their fires from "evil winds.""



hindering poisons

"uses "fire-spirit-divine-water" to dispel the poison ..., and stations cockroaches (transformed from "calf noses") in the cracks ...; these come out ... at night, warding off venomous snakes and centipedes." {actually, centipedes eat cockroaches}



helping the aged

"assigns a ... "child who carries wood" (surely the same as the "Lad Who Bears Firewood," Ban Chai Tongzi ...) to guide their canes when they walk."



mercy toward infants

"guards them from illness, accidents, and eating too much."



hiding evil

"conceals people’s evil deeds"



spreading abroad goodness

"in making his reports to heaven, the deity emphasizes virtues. He intervenes to help those who have decided to do good but are faltering in their resolve; he works on them through dreams"



protection of homes

"drives off "mountain elves, water ogres, starved demons, and the poor spirits.""



assisting doctrine

"helps those who perform spiritual practice, giving strength and direction to the devoted"



entourage of the Astral Lord of the Caelestial Kitchen




their function



"highest officers, the metal deities



"wood deities

to write down the good and the evil"



"small officers who spread diseases

to divide and control the months"



"small rulers who spread pestilences

to divide and control the eight festivals."



"old mother, who propagates fire

to control completely women’s oaths and write them down"



Tsan Tsi S^ian Gon

"who examines and counts the scattering (wasting) of rice"



"Lady of the Li family

who watches the women’s sleeping apartments and records their private conversations"



"hideous rulers of the fire division

who control the needless killing of animals and fowls"



"lesser rulers, the earth-gods,

who and control the four seasons, and investigate ... the digging into and destroying of old graves."



"small water-gods

should examine all tea, soup, broth ... as to extravagant expenditures and uses."



"transgressions committed by women :


exposing the naked body to the stove, ...

keeping the best food to oneself ... instead of giving it to one’s parents-in-law,

killing things to satisfy one’s own gluttony rather than to feed ... guests, ...


wearing excessively elegant clothing, and

not having a "tranquil" mind and as a result driving one’s husband to illness."



[uses of this scripture :] "If read during times of pestilence, the subsidiary stove-gods will cast "universally-good marvelous medicine" in all sources of water, so that people will be cured. ...

If danger is encountered on water, recitation ... will summon the gods of the water, who will conduct one to safety. ...

Tigers and leopards may be tamed by recitation ... .

Recitation of this scripture will bring children to the childless, and ease the pain of childbirth.

If one descends into hell, the repetition of


the text will remove all suffering and pain from the punishments one must undergo there."

Robert Lawrence Chard : Master of the Family. PhD diss, U of CA at Berkeley, 1990.