The Eight Immortals

The Eight Immortals and Their Individual Meanings

The Eight Immortals and Their Individual MeaningsThe Eight Immortals are a group of legendary xian, also known as immortals, transcendents or fairies, from Chinese Tradition.

Each of the individual immortal's power can be transferred to a tool of power that can give life or destroy evil.

Together, these eight tools are called "Covert Eight Immortals". Most of them are said to have been born in the Tang Dynasty or Song Dynasty.

The 8 immortals are revered by the Taoists, and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture. They are said to live on Penglai Mountain-Island. 

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Getting to Know Each of the 8 Immortals

Chung-Li Chuan First Immortal Chung-Li Chuan Chung-Li Chuan, considered the chief of the immortals, he always carries a magical fan and sometimes a peach. He is said to have discovered the Elixir of life and possessed the power to cure the sick and revive the dead. This immortal is a symbol of and longevity.











Chang Kuo-Lao Second Immortal Chang Kuo-Lao Chang Kuo-Lao, is represented as an ‘Old’ man with mystic powers who carries the bamboo tube and riding a mule that could carry him a thousand miles a day. He’s a symbol of wisdom and used to help childless couples conceive.












Lu Dong-Pin Third Immortal Lu Dong-Pin Lu Dong-Pin, is a Taoist scholar with a magic sword used to slay demons and evil spirits. He’s also shown with a fly-whisker that cures illnesses. This immortal symbolizes scholastic luck and protection.











Ts’ao Guao-chiu Fourth Immortal Ts’ao Guao-chiu Ts’ao Guao-chiu, is the finest dressed of the Eight immortals. He’s generally shown with castanets or a jade tablet of admission to court, and sometimes a feather fan. Said to have been connected with the Sung Imperial family, he signifies fame and recognition.












Li T’ieh Guai (Iron-crutch Li) Fifth Immortal Li T’ieh Guai (Iron-crutch Li) Li T’ieh Guai (Iron-crutch Li), is depicted as a beggar with a crutch and a gourd (wu lou). He is sometimes represented as accompanied by a deer. Believed to be the most powerful of the Eight, he bestows wisdom.












Han Hsiang Tzu Sixth Immortal Han Hsiang Tzu Han Hsiang Tzu, is the happy immortal often shown carrying a flute, which he is usually represented as playing. He brings healing energy to the occupants.












Lan T’sai Ho Seventh Immortal Lan T’sai Ho Lan T’sai Ho, often shown wearing blue robe and carrying a basket of flowers. She brings luck to young women.













He Hsien Ku Eighth Immortal He Hsien Ku He Hsien Ku, carries with her a magical lotus blossom and a fly-whisk, she’s called the Immortal Maiden. She is a symbol of family and marriage luck.