Taoist Immortal #6: Tieguai Li (鉄拐李, patron of the sick)

Dive into the heart of Taoist mysticism with Tieguai Li, the sixth Taoist Immortal. Also known as 鉄拐李, this fascinating character embodies the protective figure of the sick.

Its thousand-year-old legend is distinguished by a rich and deep symbolism that transcends generations. Immersion in his universe reveals a captivating panorama of oriental spirituality and invisible energies.

Contents :

1. Eight Immortals: Who is Tieguai Li?

2. Did Tieguai Li really exist?

3. The attributes and powers of Tieguai Li

4. The symbols of Tieguai Li

5. A legend about Tieguai Li

6. The symbolic role of Tieguai Li

7. Temples and shrines dedicated to Tieguai Li

Eight Immortals: Who is Tieguai Li?

Eight Immortals: Who is Tieguai Li?

Tieguai Li, also known as Iron-Crutch Li (Li T'ieh-kuai), occupies a central place in Chinese mythology. He is one of the eight legendary immortals who populate these ancestral stories.

Its representation is marked by distinctive features: a lame old man, leaning on an iron cane and displaying a dark-tinted face. These elements give it a unique and recognizable identity among thousands.

Beyond his image, Tieguai Li embodies fundamental values ​​within Chinese culture. The wisdom he exudes is respected and admired across the entire country.

In addition, it symbolizes eternity - an essential concept in this millennial civilization. Its presence thus evokes the continuity of past times while inspiring for the future.

So, Tieguai Li is not only a mythological character but also a bearer of deep meaning anchored in Chinese traditions.

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Did Tieguai Li really exist?

The existence of the eight immortals is a question that arouses heated discussion among experts. Many of them consider these figures legendary, embodiments of spiritual and moral principles.

Others are convinced that behind these mythical figures are individuals who really existed. This is the case for Tieguai Li, whose existence remains undecided due to lack of tangible evidence.

However, its notable presence in several ancient writings should be noted. These references demonstrate the important role he has played in Chinese culture throughout the ages. This influence still endures today and continues to enrich the collective imagination in China.

The attributes and powers of Tieguai Li

The attributes and powers of Tieguai Li

Tieguai Li is distinguished by unique characteristics. Notably, his lame leg and his wrought iron cane topped with a gourd. This contains medicinal remedies, contributing to its image as a singular healer.

Besides his physical peculiarities, Tieguai Li's reputation extends to his vast knowledge. He is recognized for his expertise in traditional Chinese medicine. His mastery of special medicinal herbs and esoteric knowledge grants him exceptional healing ability.

He thus embodies the healing power of the body and mind thanks to his extraordinary therapeutic skills.

The symbols of Tieguai Li

The symbols of Tieguai Li

Tieguai Li, an emblematic figure of Chinese culture, is often represented with a wrought iron cane. This symbol echoes his particular physical condition. However, other symbolic elements are also associated with it.

First, there is the calabash which contains magic potions. Next comes the bag of spices, the use of which was common in ancient remedy recipes. The pestle for grinding medicinal herbs completes this range.

These different attributes highlight the deep relationship between Tieguai Li and the mystical universe of spiritual alchemy. They also illustrate his significant role as a divine healer.

The benevolent presence of Tieguai Li brings health and well-being to the people he meets during his wanderings. His image thus conveys a therapeutic as well as spiritual dimension in Chinese folklore.

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A legend about Tieguai Li

In an ancient Chinese fable, a mortal named Li Xuan crosses paths with Lü Dongbin – another immortal being. Both are disciples of a Taoist spiritual master. Their mutual passion for Taoism encourages them to exchange their bodily envelopes in order to better understand existence.

Li Xuan's return to his initial body results in a disconcerting surprise: his physique has been prey to ants. In this new lame form, he then chose the nickname Tieguai Li, or "Li with the Iron Leg". This symbolic anecdote underlines the idea that overcoming physical constraints can lead to supreme knowledge.

This legend highlights the importance and power of personal surpassing in the face of physical obstacles to achieve a deeper and more enriching understanding of the world around us.

The symbolic role of Tieguai Li

The symbolic role of Tieguai Li

Tieguai Li symbolizes deep spiritual principles in Chinese cultural essence. His infirmity is a powerful reminder that strength and wisdom can be found even through hardship.

He is known for his extensive knowledge of medicinal remedies, thus reflecting a glimmer of hope for recovery in the face of any illness or adversity.

As an immortal figure, Tieguai Li also represents the concept of eternity and the incessant cycle of time. He embodies a spiritual guide capable of accompanying individuals seeking personal development or facing great obstacles in their daily existence.

Temples and shrines dedicated to Tieguai Li

Temples and shrines dedicated to Tieguai Li

Throughout China, there are a multitude of shrines dedicated to Tieguai Li. Visitors flock to seek his help and protection against disease. These sacred spaces are embellished with depictions of this renowned immortal and other symbols associated with healing and the spiritual world.

The worship of Tieguai Li in these places is a regular ritual for those who yearn for balance, restoration and well-being of body as well as mind. These sacred sites bear witness to the major role it continues to play in the daily existence of Chinese inhabitants.

author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.