Siming (deity)

Siming ( Chinese : 司命 ; pinyin : Siming ) Refers to a Chinese deity or deified functionary of That title Who makes fine adjustments’ to human fate , with various English translations (Such As, the Master of Fate, Controller of Fate, Judge of deified Life, Arbiter of Fate, Director of Allotted Life Spans, and Director of Destinies). Siming is both an abstract deity and a celestial asterism .

Siming, Director of Destinies, has the bureaucratic function of human lifespan allocation. Siming seems to have roots in the shamanic traditions, then later assimilated with the Kitchen God , as in the Daoist case of the Three Worms , in which Siming becomes a deity

As an asterism, or apparent stellar constellation, Siming is associated with the Wenchang Wang star pattern, near the Big Dipper , in what is more or less Aquarius .

Sometimes the term Siming is qualified by大( da , meaning “big” or “greater”) or by少( shao , meaning “small” or “lesser”).

Siming (deity)

The Siming Deity has the bureaucratic function of human lifespan allocation. In bureaucratic terms, If ( 司 ) is a common term, meaning “in charge of”, “a person or department which is in charge of something”, often translated as “secretary”. Commonly, in real life or in imagined bureaucracies, there were Chief and Assistant Secretaries ( Dasi and Shaosi ). Ming ( 命 ) is a complicated word with a long folk and technical history, meaning “life” or “the balance of fate or destiny”, personified as Siming. Often, a deified entity such as Siming receives increased sanctity over time, signified by additional official titles.

Powers and duties

As a matter of fact, it is a matter of their complexity in a complex cosmological system of Chinese religion and mythology. Over time, this system has become a visualization of a complex cosmology including the elaboration of a heavenly bureaucracy, somewhat parallel to the earthly bureaucracy of the Chinese state, and invoking the same sort of explicit hierarchy.

Siming’s special concern (and power) is the balancing of yin and yang (Hawkes, 109). Of particular relevance here is the relationship between yin and yang balance and human health, and the importance to individual human health of such balance, as articulated in traditional Chinese medicine . Siming has the power to balance or unbalance yin and yang, and thus to lengthen or shorten human lifespans, or to provide health or prolong illness.

Three Deathbringers

For more details on this topic, see Three Corpses , Bigu , and Chinese views were sin § Chinese_Buddhism .

An idea from Daoism / traditional Chinese medicine relates to the Siming. Also known as the Sanshi (三 尸 “Three Corpses”) or sanchong (三 蟲 “Three Worms”), the Three Deathbringers are part of a Daoist physiological belief that demonic creatures live inside the human body, and they seek to hasten the death of their hosts. These three supernatural parasites are believed to be the birthplace, and reside in the three dantian “energy centers” (head, chest, and abdomen). Succeeding the demise of their human host, they become free of the body as malevolent “ghosts”. HOWEVER, this process is regulated by Siming, Who May or May not allowed this process: in this regard, Siming is Said to Rely on the qui carry the Three Deathbringers (and Perhaps Kitchen God ) Provide it SPECIFICALLY regulated dates. Siming alters the fine yin-yang balance of each individual, thus regulating each one’s health or sickness, and ultimately each’s lifespan. Nevertheless, humans are considered to be different in the treatment of these disorders, as they are interfering with the reporting process, or when they are asked to do so. thus extend the lifespan.

Zhuangzi and the skull

For more details on this topic, see Zhuangzi (book) .

One of the early literary references to Zhuangzi , from about 300 BCE (莊子, 至 樂: Zhuangzǐ, Zhì le).

Zhuang, Zhuangzi, Zhuangzi, to many subsequent generations Living in the 3rd century BCE, Zhuangzi’s words and anecdotes have become a part of philosophy and culture around the globe. One anecdote, presumably relayed by the Master himself, is one day, while traveling down the road, he came upon a skull. After a prolonged and introspective session of speculation on what has been done in the past, the subject has been left unclaimed. wayside. Master Zhuang then became tired, and lay down to sleep, pillowing his head upon “Mr. Skull”. In his sleep, the skull and read the master on the great tranquility and happiness experienced by the dead. Zhuangzi retorted that he could petition Siming to use his or her powers over Fate and Destiny to restore the skull to be a living human being, and then he or she could return to both hometown and family. The skull emphatically denies any such desire, and ends the encounter by rhetorically asking why anyone in such a state of unaccompanied happiness would experience the vicissitudes of the living?


The ancient poetry text Chu Ci features in two titles of the Jiu Ge (Hawkes, 95 and following and 118 and following): the so-called “Greater Siming” and the “Lesser Siming”.

Astronomical Siming

Main article: Aquarius (Chinese astronomy)
Starmaps showing two Siming asterisms

The astronomical Siming (actually part of asterism 虛, “Emptiness”) consists of the Deified Judge of Life star group. Sīmìngyī: ( 24 Aquarii , 司命 一) and Sīmìngèr ( 26 Aquarii , 司命 二).


Main article: Wenchang Wang

Wenchang Wang (Chinese: 文昌 王), also known as Wenchang Dijun (Chinese: 文昌 帝君), or simply as Wen Qu, or Wen, is a Taoist god of Culture and Literature. Literally is King (王) of Flourishing (昌) Culture / Language (文). Wenchang Wang is a six-star constellation of six stars near the Big Dipper. The stars are Shangjiang, Cijiang, Guixiang, Siming, Sizhong, and Silu. Wenchang Wang is often depicted as an elderly scholar accompanied by two awaiters, Tianlong (天 聾 or Heaven-Deaf) and Diya (地 啞 or Earth-Mute). Wenchang has historically been called upon by scholars and writers who need help or help right before an exam, in especial, traditionally, the Imperial examination .

Pop culture

Two Siming are found in The Legend of Qin movie. There are a Greater Siming (大 司命), appearing as the Priestess of Death and a Siming Lesser (少 司命) as Priestess of Birth.

See also

  • Culture of China
  • Chinese spiritual world concepts
  • List of supernatural beings in Chinese folklore
  • Chinese mythology
  • Religion in China
  • Ghosts


  • Hawkes, David , translator and introduction (2011 [1985]). Qu Yuan et al. The Songs of the South: An Anthology of Ancient Chinese Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets . London: Penguin Books. ISBN  978-0-14-044375-2
  • 莊子, 至 樂 ( Zhuangzǐ, Zhì li )

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