I dimly recall encountering shrines dedicated to the Lady of Linshui when I lived in Taiwan, but I never paid them much mind. The many temples dedicated to Guanyin and Mazu were much more conspicuous.
Mazu got my attention. She’s one of the most popular deities in Taiwan (and San Francisco – she has two temples in this city, including the city’s oldest continuously operating place of worship dedicated to a non-Abrahamic deity). She’s also a prominent female role model who became so good at Daoist magic that she became a goddess. One book about Taiwan compares her to Hermione Granger. Mazu overshadows the folk religion of the South China Sea region so much that I didn’t notice that Lady of Linshui was also a young prodigy of Daoist magic who turned into a goddess… until I read the newly published English translation of The Lady of Linshui Pacifies Demons (臨水平妖傳).Continue reading