Chinese Mythology

The Folk Gods and Spirits of the Middle Kingdom

EIGHT IMMORTALS

Daoist Perfection Deities

Also known as Ba Xian, Pa-Hsien, Baxian

Picture of the Chinese Perfection Deities Eight Immortals from our Chinese mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

The accidental immortals gang

These are a band of Chinese individuals who, by pure chance, achieved immortality via a bizarre set of events.

The cast, not necessarily in order of appearance, is as follows:

Cao Guojiu — Royal Outcast
Han Xiangzi — The Flying Philosopher
He Xiangu — Self-raising Flower
Lan Caihe — Drunk and Disorientated
Li Tieguai — Body Snatcher
Lu Dongbin — Tactical Withdrawal
Zhang Guolao — Stubborn Old Mule
Zhongli Quan — Explosive Revelations

See their individual entries for the thrilling details of How To Become Immortal.

Each of them represents a different aspect of Daoist perfection. Over the centuries, these characters formed a team of kindred souls. Not having the usual Godly pedigree, they couldn’t just mix with the Gods in Heaven, who are notoriously snobbish about such things. So instead they set up home at Penglai Shan, a mountainous island located in the mysterious East.

As told in many famous Daoist legends, they embarked on many incredible adventures and quests — taking on dragons and demons, righting wrongs and putting things to rights. And every so often, a mortal such as Li Babai would come along for the ride, hoping for a swig from the Bottle of Immortality.

With immortal lives, they have a possibly infinite amount of exciting adventures. We can’t wait for the television mini-series. But we may have to — no-one has yet given us the cash to write the pilot episode. Producers and showrunners get in touch.

Strangely enough, the Eight Immortals were not the only eight immortals knocking around ancient China. See the Eight Gentlemen.

Eight Immortals Facts and Figures

Name: Eight Immortals
Pronunciation: Bar Shee-yen
Alternative names: Ba Xian, Pa-Hsien, Baxian

Gender: Male and female
Type: Deities
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Perfection
Area of expertise: Perfection

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 344

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Article last updated on April 22, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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