In classical Roman religion, a genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. It was depicted in religious iconography as a figure holding attributes such as a cornucopia, patera or snake. Many Roman altars found throughout the Western Roman Empire were dedicated to a particular genius loci; the Roman imperial cults of the Emperor and the imperial house developed in part in connections with the sacrifices made by neighborhood associations to the local genius. These 265 local districts had their cult organised around the Lares Compitales, which the emperor Augustus transformed into Lares Augusti along with the Genius Augusti; the Emperor's genius is regarded as the genius loci of the Roman Empire as a whole. Roman examples of these Genii can be found, for example, at the church of St. Giles, Wiltshire where the genius locus is depicted as a relief in the wall of a Norman church built of Roman material; this shows "a youthful and curly-haired Roman Genius worked in high relief, holding a cornucopia in his left hand and a patera in his right", "erroneously identified as Asclepius".
The numinous spirits of places in Asia are still honored today in city pillar shrines, outdoor spirit houses and indoor household and business shrines. In contemporary usage, genius loci refers to a location's distinctive atmosphere, or a "spirit of the place", rather than a guardian spirit. An example of contemporary usage might be along the lines of "Light reveals the genius loci of a place." Alexander Pope made the Genius Loci an important principle in garden and landscape design with the following lines from Epistle IV, to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington: Pope's verse laid the foundation for one of the most agreed principles of landscape architecture. This is the principle that landscape designs should always be adapted to the context in which they are located. A priori and genius loci are the primary principals of Neo-Rationalism or New Rationalism. Pioneered by the Italian architect Aldo Rossi, Neo-Rationalism developed in the light of a re-evaluation of the work of Giuseppe Terragni, gained momentum through the work of Giorgio Grassi.
Characterized by elemental vernacular forms and an adaptation to the existing environment, the Neo-Rationalist style has adherents beyond architecture in the greater world of art. In the context of modern architectural theory, genius loci has profound implications for place-making, falling within the philosophical branch of "phenomenology"; this field of architectural discourse is explored most notably by the theorist Christian Norberg-Schulz in his book, Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. In modern works of fantasy, such as Dungeons and Dragons or The Dresden Files, a genius loci is an intelligent spirit or magical power that resides in a place. Few genius loci of this form are able to move from their native area, either because they are "part of the land" or because they are bound to it. Genius loci are portrayed as being powerful and also intelligent, though there is a great deal of variability on these points; some versions are nearly omnipotent and omniscient inside the area they inhabit, while others are vast, semi-sentient wellsprings of magical energy.
This power never extends beyond the border of the genius loci. Different settings give different explanations for the existence of genius loci. In most cases, the intelligent, magical entity develops from the named "spirit of place" over a great deal of time. In other settings, genius loci are formed by powerful magical events, in others they are the results of ley lines, mana pools, or an equivalent. Chenghuang, the Chinese urban equivalent Genius Jinn Landvættir Shekhinah Tomte Tudigong, the Chinese equivalent Tutelary deity Zashiki-warashi Zeitgeist Patterson, Barry; the Art of Conversation with the Genius Loci. Cappall Bann Books. ISBN 1-86163-169-3. Media related to Genius loci at Wikimedia Commons Essay on the Genius loci in landscape and garden design St. Giles, Wiltshire Relief in the wall
The killer whale or orca is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Killer whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations specialize in particular types of prey; some feed on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as seals and other species of dolphin. They have been known to attack baleen whale calves, adult whales. Killer whales are apex predators. A cosmopolitan species, they can be found in each of the world's oceans in a variety of marine environments, from Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas, absent only from the Baltic and Black seas, some areas of the Arctic Ocean. Killer whales are social, their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviours, which are specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of animal culture. The International Union for Conservation of Nature assesses the orca's conservation status as data deficient because of the likelihood that two or more killer whale types are separate species.
Some local populations are considered threatened or endangered due to prey depletion, habitat loss, capture for marine mammal parks, conflicts with human fisheries. In late 2005, the southern resident killer whales, which swim in British Columbia and Washington state waters, were placed on the U. S. Endangered Species list. Wild killer whales are not considered a threat to humans, but there have been cases of captive orcas killing or injuring their handlers at marine theme parks. Killer whales feature in the mythologies of indigenous cultures, with their reputation ranging from being the souls of humans to merciless killers. Orcinus orca is the only recognized extant species in the genus Orcinus, one of many animal species described by Linnaeus in 1758 in Systema Naturae. Konrad Gessner wrote the first scientific description of a killer whale in his Piscium & aquatilium animantium natura of 1558, part of the larger Historia animalium, based on examination of a dead stranded animal in the Bay of Greifswald that had attracted a great deal of local interest.
The killer whale is one of 35 species in the oceanic dolphin family, which first appeared about 11 million years ago. The killer whale lineage branched off shortly thereafter. Although it has morphological similarities with the pygmy killer whale, the false killer whale and the pilot whales, a study of cytochrome b gene sequences by Richard LeDuc indicated that its closest extant relatives are the snubfin dolphins of the genus Orcaella. Although the term "orca" is used, English-speaking scientists most use the traditional name "killer whale". Indeed, the genus name Orcinus means "of the kingdom of the dead", or "belonging to Orcus". Ancient Romans used orca for these animals borrowing Greek ὄρυξ, which referred to a whale species. Since the 1960s, "orca" has grown in popularity; the term "orca" is euphemistically preferred by some to avoid the negative connotations of "killer", because, being part of the family Delphinidae, the species is more related to other dolphins than to whales. They are sometimes referred to as "blackfish", a name used for other whale species.
"Grampus" is a former name for the species, but is now used. This meaning of "grampus" should not be confused with the genus Grampus, whose only member is Risso's dolphin; the three to five types of killer whales may be distinct enough to be considered different races, subspecies, or even species. The IUCN reported in 2008, "The taxonomy of this genus is in need of review, it is that O. orca will be split into a number of different species or at least subspecies over the next few years." Although large variation in the ecological distinctiveness of different killer whale groups complicate simple differentiation into types, research off the west coast of Canada and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s identified the following three types: Resident: These are the most sighted of the three populations in the coastal waters of the northeast Pacific. Residents' diets consist of fish and sometimes squid, they live in complex and cohesive family groups called pods. Female residents characteristically have rounded dorsal fin tips.
They visit the same areas consistently. British Columbia and Washington resident populations are amongst the most intensively studied marine mammals anywhere in the world. Researchers have named over 300 killer whales over the past 30 years. Transient: The diets of these whales consist exclusively of marine mammals. Transients travel in small groups of two to six animals, have less persistent family bonds than residents. Transients vocalize in less complex dialects. Female transients are characterized by more triangular and pointed dorsal fins than those of residents; the gray or white area around the dorsal fin, known as the "saddle patch" contains some black colouring in residents. However, the saddle patches of transients are uniformly gray. Transients roam along the coast. Transients are referred to as Bigg's killer whale in honor of cetologist Michael Bigg; the term has become common and may replace the transient label. Offshore: A third population of killer whales in the northeast Pacific was discovered in 1988, when a humpback whale researcher ob
A holy well or sacred spring is a spring or other small body of water revered either in a Christian or pagan context, sometimes both. The term holy well is employed to refer to any water source of limited size, which has some significance in the folklore of the area where it is located, whether in the form of a particular name, an associated legend, the attribution of healing qualities to the water through the numinous presence of its guardian spirit or Christian saint, or a ceremony or ritual centred on the well site. In Christian legend, the water is said to have been made to flow by the action of a saint, a familiar theme in the hagiography of Celtic saints; the term haeligewielle is in origin an Anglo-Saxon toponym attached to specific springs in the landscape. The term'holy-hole' is sometimes employed; the terms'hole' and'holy' are etymons. Holy wells in different forms occur in such a wide variety of cultures, religious environments, historical periods that it is held that it is a universal human instinct to revere sources of water.
However, the fragmentary nature of the evidence, the historical differences among cultures and nations, make it hard to generalize. While there are a few national studies of holy well lore and history concentrating on Ireland and the British Isles, there is a need for more work examining other regions; the earliest work devoted to holy wells is Philip Dixon Hardy's Holy Wells of Ireland, a Protestant attack on Catholic observances at Irish wells bearing the names of Christian saints, or otherwise considered sacred. By the 19th century, the term had acquired its current usage: Robert Charles Hope's The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England, the first general survey of its kind, included a number of named wells which were not dedicated to saints. In ancient Greece and Rome a nymphaeum or nymphaion, was a monument consecrated to the nymphs those of springs. In England, there are examples of reverence for wells and springs at a variety of historical periods; the medieval traveller William of Worcester saw a'holy-hole, or well' within the cave at Wookey, a site of human habitation in the Palaeolithic era and the source of a river, the site of ritual activity.
The proximity of named springs to Neolithic or Iron Age monuments, such as the Swallowhead Springs, close to Silbury Hill or the Holy Well near Tadmarton Hill, suggests that reverence for such sites continued without a break. There is abundant evidence for the importance of wells and springs in the Roman and sub-Roman period, not just at temple complexes such as Bath and Blunsdon Ridge which have medicinal springs at their centre, but a variety of smaller sites, at wells and ritual shafts used for superstitious and sub-religious rituals. Christianity affected the development of holy wells in Europe and the Middle East. Aside from the spring that issued from the staff of Moses and the Well of Beersheba, there were a number of sites mentioned in Jewish and Christian folklore, including Moses' well near Mount Nebo, visited by the fourth-century nun Egeria and many other pilgrims. St Athanasius' Life of St Antony, written about 356–62, mentions the well created by the desert hermit Antony, it is unclear how many Christian holy wells there may have been, as records are fragmentary and a well appears only once, making it impossible to tell when reverence for it began and when it ceased, but by the Reformation England, for instance possessed some hundreds.
As they were linked with the cults of the saints, many wells in countries that converted to Protestant forms of Christianity fell into disuse and were lost, the Holy Well at Walsingham being a good example, having been an integral element of the pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin Mary in the village, vanished completely. This particular holy well at the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was restored nearby the original site and its water is known for its healing properties, thus making it a popular site of Christian religious pilgrimage. Visiting of wells for therapeutic and entertainment purposes did not die out, however, as spas became fashionable in the 17th century and later. Antiquarians and folklorists began to take notice of holy wells and record their surviving traditions. Over a hundred holy wells exist in Cornwall, each associated with a particular saint, though not always the same one as the dedication of the church. Several holy wells survive in Turkey, called ayazma in Turkish, from Greek ἁγίασμα "holiness".
Examples of hagiasmata are found in the Church of St. Mary of the Spring and the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae, both located in istanbul; the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century assumed that medieval Catholic practices embodied lingering remains of pagan religious practices, thought of holy wells in that way. This affected the outlook of those; the pioneers of folklore study took the view that the customs and legends they were recording were debased versions of pagan rites and myths. Thus it became standard to begin any account of holy wells with the statement that the Christian church had adopted them from the pagans and replaced the heath
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion or Han folk religion or Shenism is the religious tradition of the Han Chinese, including veneration of forces of nature and ancestors, exorcism of harmful forces, a belief in the rational order of nature which can be influenced by human beings and their rulers as well as spirits and gods. Worship is devoted to a multiplicity of gods and immortals, who can be deities of phenomena, of human behaviour, or progenitors of lineages. Stories regarding some of these gods are collected into the body of Chinese mythology. By the 11th century, these practices had been blended with Buddhist ideas of karma and rebirth, Taoist teachings about hierarchies of gods, to form the popular religious system which has lasted in many ways until the present day. Chinese religions have a variety of sources, local forms, founder backgrounds, ritual and philosophical traditions. Despite this diversity, there is a common core that can be summarised as four theological and moral concepts: Tian, the transcendent source of moral meaning.
Yin and yang is the polarity that describes the order of the universe, held in balance by the interaction of principles of growth and principles of waning, with yang preferred over yin in common religion. Ling, "numen" or "sacred", is the inchoate order of creation. Both the present day government of China and the imperial dynasties of the Ming and Qing tolerated village popular religious cults if they bolstered social stability but suppressed or persecuted those that they feared would undermine it. After the fall of the empire in 1911, governments and elites opposed or attempted to eradicate folk religion in order to promote "modern" values, many condemned "feudal superstition"; these conceptions of folk religion began to change in Taiwan in the late 20th century and in mainland China in the 21st. Many scholars now view folk religion in a positive light. In recent times Chinese folk religions are experiencing a revival in Taiwan; some forms have received official understanding or recognition as a preservation of traditional Chinese culture, such as Mazuism and the Sanyi teaching in Fujian, Huangdi worship, other forms of local worship, for example the Longwang, Pangu or Caishen worship.
Chinese "popular religion" or "folk religion" or "folk belief" have long been used to indicate the local and communal religious life and complexities of Han local indigenous cults of China in English-language academic literature, though the Chinese language has not had a concept or overarching name for this. In Chinese academic literature and common usage "folk religion" refers to specific organised folk religious sects. "Folk beliefs" is a technical term with little usage outside the academia, in which it entered into usage at first among Taiwanese scholars from Japanese language during Japan's occupation, between the 1990s and the early 21st century among mainland Chinese scholars. With the rise of the study of traditional cults and the creation of a government agency to give legal status to this religion and philosophers in China have proposed the adoption of a formal name in order to solve the terminological problems of confusion with folk religious sects and conceptualise a definite field for research and administration.
The terms that have been proposed include "Chinese native religion" or "Chinese indigenous religion", "Chinese ethnic religion", or simply "Chinese religion" viewed as comparable to the usage of the term "Hinduism" for Indian religion, "Shenxianism" inspired by the term "Shenism", used in the 1950s by the anthropologist Allan J. A. Elliott; the Qing dynasty scholars Yao Wendong and Chen Jialin used the term shenjiao not referring to Shinto as a definite religious system, but to local shin beliefs in Japan. Other definitions that have been used are "folk cults","spontaneous religion", "lived religion", "local religion", "diffused religion"."Shendao" is a term used in the Yijing referring to the divine order of nature. Around the time of the spread of Buddhism in the Han period, it was used to distinguish the indigenous religion from the imported religion. Ge Hong used it in his Baopuzi as a synonym for Taoism; the term was subsequently adopted in Japan in the 6th century as Shindo Shinto, with the same purpose of identification of the Japanese indigenous religion.
In the 14th century, the Hongwu Emperor used the term "Shendao" identifying the indigenous cults, which he strengthened and systematised."Chinese Universism", not in the sense of "universalism", a system of universal application, Tian in Chinese thought, is a coinage of Jan Jakob Maria de Groot that refers to the metaphysical perspective that lies behind the Chinese religious tradition. De Groot calls Chinese Universism "the ancient metaphysical view that serves as the basis of all classical Chine
In the Celtic polytheism of classical antiquity, Grannus was a deity associated with spas, healing thermal and mineral springs, the sun. He was identified with Apollo as Apollo Grannus, he was worshipped in conjunction with Sirona, sometimes with Mars and other deities. In the early twentieth century, the name was connected with the Irish grian, ‘sun’. Along these lines, the god was linked to the Deò-ghrèine and the character Mac Gréine of Irish mythology. However, the Irish grian, ‘sun’ is thought to be derived from Proto-Celtic *greinā ‘sun’ and the Proto-Celtic *greinā is unlikely to have developed into Grannos in Gaulish and other Continental Celtic languages. Derivation from a Proto-Celtic root *granno- ‘beard’ has enjoyed some scholarly support, from which Jürgen Zeidler dissents, proposing a different root *granno- with "probable reference to the sun's heat and healing properties". Ranko Matasović, in his Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic, has tentatively proposed that the root of this theonym comes from Proto-Celtic *gwrenso-, which means "heat".
At Monthelon, Grannus is called Deus Apollo Grannus Amarcolitanus, at Horbourg-Wihr Apollo Grannus Mogounus. In all of his centres of worship where he is assimilated to a Roman god, Grannus was identified with Apollo in Apollo’s role as a healing or solar deity. In Trier, he is identified more with Phoebus as Apollo Grannus Phoebus. One of the god’s most famous cult centres was at Aquae Granni. Aachen means ‘water’ in Old High German, a calque of the Roman name of "Aquae Granni"; the town’s hot springs with temperatures between 45 °C and 75 °C lay in the somewhat inhospitably marshy area around Aachen's basin-shaped valley region. Aachen first became a curative centre in Hallstatt times. According to Cassius Dio, the Roman Emperor Caracalla unsuccessfully sought help from Apollo Grannus—as well as Aesculapius and Serapis—during a bout of physical and mental illness, visiting the god's shrine and making many votive offerings. Caracalla's visit to the shrine of ‘the Celtic healing-god’ Grannus was during the war with Germany in about 215.
In the early twentieth century, the god was said to have still been remembered in a chant sung round bonfires in Auvergne, in which a grain sheaf is set on fire, called Granno mio, while the people sing, “Granno, my friend. However, granno may be a derivative of an Occitan word of Latin origin meaning "grain". A 1st century AD Latin inscription from a public fountain in Limoges mentions a Gaulish ten-night festival of Grannus: POSTVMVS DV NORIGIS F VERG AQV AM MARTIAM DECAM NOCTIACIS GRANNI D S P DTranslation: "The vergobretus Postumus son of Dumnorix gave from his own money the Aqua Martia for the ten-night festival of Grannus"; the name Grannus is sometimes accompanied by those of other deities in the inscriptions. In Augsburg, he is found with both Sirona. At Ennetach he is with Nymphs, at Faimingen with Hygieia and the Mother of the Gods, at Grand with Sol. A votive altar at Astorga invokes him after "holy Serapis" and "the many-named Isis", before "the unvanquished Core and Mars Sagatus".
Media related to Grannus at Wikimedia Commons
In Scottish mythology, Selkies or Selkie folk meaning "Seal Folk" are mythological beings capable of therianthropy, changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. They are found in folktales and mythology originating from Orkney and Shetland; the folk-tales revolve around female selkies being coerced into relationships with humans by someone stealing and hiding their sealskin, thus exhibiting the tale motif of the swan maiden type. There are Icelandic folklore that speak of seal-women and seal-skin. In some instances the Irish mermaid is regarded as a half-human being; the Scots word selkie is diminutive for selch which speaking means "grey seal". Alternate spellings for the diminutive include: selky, sejlki, silkey, sylkie, etc; the term "selkie" according to Alan Bruford should be treated as meaning any seal with or without the implication of transformation into human form. W. Traill Dennison insisted "selkie" was the correct term to be applied to these shapeshifters, to be distinguished from the merfolk, that Samuel Hibbert committed an error in referring to them as "mermen" and "mermaids".
However, when other Norse cultures are examined, Icelandic writers refer to the seal-wives as merfolk. There seems to be some conflation between the selkie and finfolk; this confounding only existed in Shetland, claimed Dennison, that in Orkney the selkie are distinguished from the finfolk, the selkies' abode undersea is not "Finfolk-a-heem". There is further confusion with the Norse concept of the Finns as shapeshifters, "Finns" being the Shetlandic name for dwellers of the sea who could remove their seal-skin and transform into humans according to one native correspondent. Gaelic termsIn Gaelic stories, specific terms for selkies are used, they are differentiated from mermaids. They are most referred to as maighdeann-mhara in Scottish Gaelic, maighdean mhara in Irish, moidyn varrey in Manx and have the seal-like attributes of selkies; the only term which refers to a selkie but, only encountered is maighdeann-ròin, or "seal maiden". Many of the folk-tales on selkie folk have been collected from the Northern Isles.
In Orkney lore, selkie is said to denote various seals of greater size than the grey seal. The type of large seals that might have been seen on the islands include the Greenland seal and the crested seal. Something similar is stated in Shetland tradition, that the mermen and mermaids prefer to assume the shape of larger seals, referred to as "Haaf-fish". A typical folk-tale is that of a man who steals a female selkie's skin, finds her naked on the sea shore, compels her to become his wife, but the wife will spend her time in captivity longing for the sea, her true home, will be seen gazing longingly at the ocean. She may bear several children by her human husband, but once she discovers her skin, she will return to the sea and abandon the children she loved. Sometimes, one of her children knows the whereabouts of the skin. Sometimes it is revealed she had a first husband from her own kind. Although in some children's story versions, the selkie revisits her family on land once a year, in the typical folktale she is never seen again by them.
In one version, the selkie wife was never seen again by the family, but the children would witness a large seal approach them and "greet" them plaintively. Male selkies are described as being handsome in their human form, having great seductive powers over human women, they seek those who are dissatisfied with their lives, such as married women waiting for their fishermen husbands. In one popular tattletale version about a certain "Ursilla" of Orkney, it was rumored that when she wished to make contact with her male selkie would shed seven tears into the sea. Children born between man and seal-folk may have webbed hands, as in the case of the Shetland mermaid whose children had a "a sort of web between their fingers", or "Ursilla" rumored to have children sired by a male selkie, such that the children had to have the webbing between their fingers and toes made of horny material clipped away intermittently; some of the descendants did have these hereditary traits, according to Walter Traill Dennison, related to the family.
Some legends say that selkies could turn human every so when the conditions of the tides were correct, but oral storytellers disagreed as to the time interval. In Ursilla's rumor, the contacted male selkie promised to visit her at the "seventh stream" or springtide. In the ballad The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry, the seal-husband promised to return in seven years. According to one version, the selkie could only assume human form once every seven years because they are bodies that house condemned souls. There is the notion that they are either humans who had committed sinful wrongdoing, or fallen angels, it was only during hard times that the people of the Scottish Isles would kill seals to make use of their skin and blubber. It was thought. Ernest Marwick recounts the tale of crofters who brought their sheep to graze upon a small group of holms within the Orkney Islands. During the sum
Mazu known by several other names and titles, is a Chinese sea goddess. She is the deified form of the purported historical Lin Mo or Lin Moniang, a Fujianese shamaness whose life span is traditionally dated from 960 to 987. Revered after her death as a tutelary deity of seafarers, including fishermen and sailors, her worship spread throughout China's coastal regions and overseas Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia, she was thought protecting her believers through miraculous interventions. She is now regarded by her believers as a powerful and benevolent Queen of Heaven. Mazuism is popular in Taiwan. In addition to Mazu or Ma-tsu, meaning "Maternal Ancestor" "Mother", "Granny", or "Grandmother", Lin Moniang is worshipped under various other names and titles: Mazupo, a popular name in Fujian A-Ma spelled Ah-Ma, a popular name in Macau Linghui Furen, an official title conferred in 1156. Linghui Fei, an official title conferred in 1192. Tianfei Huguo Mingzhu Tianfei, an official title conferred in 1281.
Huguo Bimin Miaoling Zhaoying Hongren Puji Tianfei, an official title conferred in 1409. Tianhou, an official title conferred in 1683. Tianshang Shengmu or Tianhou Shengmu Tongxian Lingnü Shennü Zhaoxiao Chunzheng Fuji Ganying Shengfei, an official title conferred during the reign of the Hongwu Emperor of the Ming. Although many of Mazu's temples honor her titles Tianhou and Tianfei, it became customary to never pray to her under those names during an emergency since it was believed that, hearing one of her formal titles, Mazu might feel obligated to groom and dress herself as properly befitting her station before receiving the petition. Prayers invoking her as Mazu were thought to be answered more quickly. Little is known of the historical Lin Moniang, she was a shamaness from a small fishing village on Meizhou Island, part of Fujian's Putian County, in the late 10th century. Her Meizhou was an uneducated and superstitious place, where out of "perhaps a thousand households... not one person read".
She did not live there, but on the nearby mainland. During this era, Fujian was sinicized by influxes of refugees fleeing invasions of northern China and Mazu's cult may represent a hybridization of Chinese and local culture; the earliest record of her cult is from two centuries an 1150 inscription that mentions "she could foretell a man's good and ill luck" and, "after her death, the people erected a temple for her on her home island". The legends around Lin Moniang's life were broadly established by the 13th century, she was said to have been born under the reign of the Quanzhounese warlord Liu Congxiao, which developed into the specific date of the 23rd day of the third month of the Chinese lunar calendar in AD 960, the first year of the Song. The late Ming Great Collection of the Three Teachings' Origin and Development and Research into the Divine, placed her birth much earlier, in 742; the early sources speak of her as "Miss Lin". It was said to have been chosen when she did not cry during birth or during the first month afterwards.
She was said to have been the seventh daughter of Lin Yuan. He is now remembered as one of the local fisherman, although the 1593 edition of the Records of Research into the Divine made him Putian's chief military inspector; the family was popular within their village. Late legends intended to justify Mazu's presence in Buddhist temples held that her parents had prayed to Guanyin for a son but received yet another daughter. In one version, her mother dreamt of Guanyin giving her a magical pill to induce pregnancy and woke to find the pill still in her hand. Guanyin was said to have been devoted to Mazu or to have been incarnated as Mazu, she is now said to have studied religious literature, mastering Confucius by 8 and the principal Buddhist sutras by 11. The Account of the Blessings Revealed by the Princess of Heaven collected by her supposed descendants Lin Yaoyu and Lin Linchang claimed that, while still a girl, she was visited by a Taoist master named Xuantong who recognized her Buddha nature.
By 13, she had mastered the book of lore he had left her and gained the abilities to see the future and visit places in spirit without travel. She was able to manifest herself at a distance as well and used this power to visit gardens in the surrounding countryside, although she asked owners' permission before gathering any flowers to take home. Although she only started swimming at the late age of 15, she