Huang Di, the yellow shapeshifter emperor; Original article by Alessandro Brizzi.
Huang Di ie “yellow emperor”, was a ruler and Chinese cultural hero. Ancestor of all the Hans, he was one of the five emperors and reigned between 2697 and 2597 B.C.
The cult of Huang Di was particularly important at the end of the period of the fighting reigns and in the early Han Dynasty, when he was considered the founder of the unitary state, a “cosmic ruler” and an expert in the esoteric arts, and traditionally considered the creator of numerous innovations and inventions. It is considered, together with the legendary emperors Fu Hsi and Shen Nung, founder of Chinese civilization and medical art. His figure is present in countless documents of ancient Chinese history; however, some of the stories about the legendary emperor are probably considered to derive from mythology. The oldest documents of ancient history introduce Huang Di as a leader and spiritual guide of the Huaxia tribe, located on the southern banks of the Yellow River. The northern bank was occupied by a small tribe of farmers, led by Yang Di, the emperor of the fire. The yellow emperor lived a little over a hundred years. He is credited with having conceived and implemented the unification of China under a great empire. For these reasons he is considered the Ancestor of all the Hans and the spiritual father of every Chinese.
The dynasties would alternate and be replaced, imperial politics and the country would have enjoyed periods of great cultural splendor and moments of profound crisis. However, despite the yellow imperial era being distant in time, the Chinese socio-cultural approach still suffers from the enlightened conduct of Huang Di. Several manuscripts refer to the yellow emperor, which embrace the most varied cultural, social, religious and scientific themes. Next to them is to highlight the cultural and scientific relevance of another treatise, the Canon of Internal Medicine of the yellow emperor, which represents the ancestor of every text of traditional Chinese medicine. The treatment is imbued with Taoist philosophy and ignites the confrontation between spirit and body, between individual and cosmos. By virtue of this work Huang Di is considered father and founder of traditional Chinese medicine. In light of his venerable age, the yellow emperor spent his last years preparing the way to the afterlife. Decentralized his political power in favor of the ministers of the empire keeping his presence firm in the cultural development of the young imperial China. He died in 2597 B.C. Mythology traces back to his death the image of the incandescent wings of a phoenix, which illuminates the imperial throne in the eyes of his successor, Emperor Shaohao.
On the occasion of his death, the eminent Mausoleum of the yellow emperor was built in Yan’an, in the province of Shaanxi. One of the legends that concern him is that the yellow emperor would have captured the monster Bai Ze on the top of Mount Dongwang, where he would describe 11,520 types of monsters, shape shifters, demons and spirits. A collaborator of Huang Di illustrated these descriptions by creating the book Bai Ze Tu, which has now disappeared. According to tradition in 2634 B.C. (during the battle of Banquan) he used a wagon with a special differential device connected to the wheels that caused a statue to always aim in the same direction, despite the curves made by the vehicle. According to many sources he was one of the legendary ‘Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors’. Chinese scholars have tried to understand if Huang-Di was a “real” or “mythical” character. Depending on the source you choose, he has been described as a god-king, a mythological king, a true king, a God made king, a “son of heaven” or a semi-god.
Chinese history suggests that it existed, but that it was not human. Many ancient cultures have kings and rulers who have come down from heaven, called themselves “gods” and have produced offspring with humans called the seeds of gods. The Chinese accounts are not different in this sense. According to the legend, before the birth of Huang-Di there was “a light coming from the big star Chi and from the constellation of the Cart (Great Bear)”. The concept of the event brings with it a particular trait: “a rumble of thunder in a day with clear skies”. Huang-Di then begins his unification of China and also has the merit of having been a culture hero, having brought traditional Chinese medicine (including acupuncture) into the country. His wife taught the Chinese how to make silk. It is said to have lived in the Kunlun mountains, in the heart of Tibet.
After having lived and governed for over 100 years, he is said to have prepared his “return to heaven”. Then a Dragon “came down from heaven and took away Huang-Di”. Some sources say that he did not die but he would have lived another 200 years in the stars Yuan Syuan (the constellation of Leo). Huang-Di is also the author of a book called “Bai Ze Tu” which describes 11,520 types of “shape shifters, monsters, spirits, beings” in the Universe. This book is considered lost. Some sources also report that Huang-Di instructed Lao Tzu … The creator of Taoism. The ancient testimonies of Huang-Di refer to him as an inventor of strange mechanical devices. A car called the “cart pointing south” helped him win several battles. Another strange device, supposedly invented by Huang-Di, is described as “a tripod”. This “tripod” was 4 meters high, with a large amount of energy in its center and is said to produce a strange noise. According to the legend this “tripod” depicted “dragons flying in the Clouds“.
In addition, the “tripod” was erected at the “Summit Lake Mountain” and “had to be pointed at the star Syuan Yuan” (the brightest star in this constellation is Regulus). This is also the star from Huang-Di. Apparently this “tripod” was also able to store data and recorded the life and times of Huang-Di. The “dragon” of Huang-Di is not described as a mythological creature, but as a device to ascend to the “suns” … A means of transport more than three thousand years ago. The works written by Huang-Di say that the dragon named ‘Changhuan’ covers an extreme distance in a single day, and that any man who rides it can reach the age of two thousand years … A concept consistent with other legends throughout the world, and with the documents on the gravitational dilatation of time regarding these “vehicles of the Gods”.
Huang Di, the yellow shapeshifter emperor
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