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whips up

Lei Gong

In Chinese mythology, Lei Gong (雷公) (Chinese: “Duke of Thunder”), also called Lei Shen (“Thunder God”), is the Chinese Taoist deity who, when so ordered by heaven, punishes both earthly mortals guilty of secret crimes and evil spirits who have used their knowledge of Taoism to harm human beings. Lei Gong carries a drum and mallet to produce thunder and a chisel to punish evildoers.

Lei Gong is depicted as a fearsome creature with claws, bat wings, and a blue face with a bird's beak and wears only a loincloth. Temples dedicated to him are rare, but some persons do him special honor in the hope that he will take revenge on their personal enemies.

Since Lei Gong's specialty is thunder, he has assistants capable of producing other types of heavenly phenomena. Dian-mu (電母) (“Mother of Lightning”), for example, uses flashing mirrors to send bolts of lightning across the sky. Yun Tong (“Cloud Youth”) whips up clouds, and Yu-zi (“Rain Master”) causes downpours by dipping his sword into a pot. Roaring winds rush forth from a type of goatskin bag manipulated by Feng Bo (“Earl of Wind”), who was later transformed into Feng Po Po (“Madame Wind”). She rides a tiger among the clouds.

Lei Gong began life as a mortal. He encountered a peach tree that had come from Heaven, due to the struggle between the Fox Demon and one of the Celestial Warriors, and had become evil. When Lei Gong took a bite out of one of its peaches, he was turned into a human with bird wings. He soon received a mace and a hammer that could create thunder. This is how he became the God of Thunder. Lei Gong is said to be extremely prudish, and will not enter a house where copulation is taking place. Pictures of this act are also supposed to have the same effect. He rides a chariot driven by A Xiang.

References

  • Storm, Rachel: The Encyclopedia of Eastern Mythology: Legends of the East: Myths and Tales of the Heroes, Gods and Warriors of Ancient Egypt, Arabia, Persia, India, Tibet, China and Japan. ISBN: 978-0754800699

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