Archive for September 5th, 2011

Peach – Prunus persica

Sacred to: Xi-Wangmu (Chinese)

Seiobo (Japanese) is also called the “Queen Mother of the West”. She cultivates a garden of peach trees that blossom only every 1000 years. However one of these peaches eaten, gives eternal life

Tobosaku (Japanese) is the bad guy in the Japanese mythology who stole not only one, but three peaches out of Seibo’s garden. So he became immortal. No wonder that Tobosaku is always shown as an old man, with a broad smile and a peach in his hand. Happy old man!

Myth 1: In the story Xi Yu Ji (Journey to the West/”Monkey”), Monkey was banished from heaven for eating the Emperor’s peaches of Eternal Life, making him immortal.

Myth 2: Hsi Wang Mu, ruler of the western paradise and keeper of the Peaches of Immortality.

Myth 3: Momotaro (Japanese) According to the present form of the tale (dating to the Edo period), Momotarō came to Earth inside a giant peach, which was found floating down a river by an old, childless woman who was washing clothes there. The woman and her husband discovered the child when they tried to open the peach to eat it. The child explained that he had been sent by Heaven to be their son. The couple named him Momotarō, from momo (peach) and tarō (eldest son in the family).

Years later, Momotarō left his parents to fight a band of marauding oni (demons or ogres) on a distant island. En route, Momotarō met and befriended a talking dog, monkey, and pheasant, who agreed to help him in his quest. At the island, Momotarō and his animal friends penetrated the demons’ fort and beat the band of demons into surrendering. Momotarō and his new friends returned home with the demons’ plundered treasure and the demon chief as a captive. Momotarō and his family lived comfortably from then on

The jade palace of Hsi Wang Mu is on the peaks of the snowy mountain range of K’un-lun and is the home of the Immortals. Every six thousand years Hsi Wang Mu has a birthday celebration which is called P’an-t’ao Hui, ‘the Feast of Peaches.’ The date for the festival exactly coincides with the ripening of the immortal peaches.

According to Taoist myth, the peach orchards of Hsi Wang Mu leaf out once every three thousand years but it is only after an additional three thousand years that the trees bear a season of fruit. The banquet to celebrate this event takes place on the shores of the Yao Ch’ih (Lake of Gems) and is attended by all of the Immortals. The feast includes such delicacies as dragon liver and phoenix marrow. However, the highlight of the banquet is the, rarest of rare, Immortal Peach, which has the magical property of bestowing immortality on all who taste it.

Other Notes:  Xi-Wangmu now grows magic peach trees in her Heavenly Peach Garden. The most common of these take a thousand years to blossom — but the Golden Peaches of Immortality only ripen once in nine thousand years.

Eating one of Xi-Wangmu’s peaches bestows immediate long life and a host of other benefits. The Gods like them so much that Peach Banquets are a regular occurrence in Heaven.

The peach tree is a tremendous Chinese symbol for longevity as well as other auspicious attributes. Each element of the peach tree has significant meaning. The wood of the tree was said to ward off evil, and ancient warriors would craft weapons from the wood. Taoist magic was made with the petals of the peach blossoms – the effects were known to put men into an intense trance of love.

Peach tree with fruit

Peach tree with fruit