Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

(Read the article on one page)

(a) Convex reflecting face of magic mirror. (b) Pattern embossed on back face of magic mirror.

(a) Convex reflecting face of magic mirror. (b) Pattern embossed on back face of magic mirror. ( M V Berry )

These mysterious artifacts are some of the fascinating magical pieces from Asia. However, the practice of using a “magic mirror” seems to have a strong basis in an unexpected discipline – mathematics. Researchers have to use very sophisticated mathematics to create calculations that explain what happened during the process described above.

Victim of Gossip or a Real Ancient Witch?

Legends say Empress Chen of Wu was a powerful Chinese witch. People who practice witchcraft in China today still consider her their ancestor. Her deposition for committing witchcraft remains the last episode of a series of unexplained events in her life. Did she put a charm on the Emperor to save her life? Or were his mercy and heart so huge that he decided to not sentence her to death? This part of the story will never be known for certain. But the fame of Empress Chen Jiao as a witch remains unquestionable.

Eastern Han Dynasty sculpture of a woman with a mirror.

Eastern Han Dynasty sculpture of a woman with a mirror. ( Public Domain )

Top image: Actress Shen Miao as Empress Chen Jiao from the drama ‘The Virtuous Queen of Han.’ Source: cfensi

By Natalia Klimczak

References:

Bennet Peterson, Barbara, Notable Women of China: Shang Dynasty to the Early Twentieth Century, 2000.

Creation of Lesser Gods: The World of Daoist Magic, available at:
www.demystifyingconfucianism.info/the-creation-of-lesser-gods

Recent advances in understanding the mystery of Ancient Chinese ''magic mirrors'', available at:
www.eastm.org/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/497/428

Oriental magic mirrors and the Laplacian image by M. V. Berry, available at:
https://michaelberryphysics.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/berry383.pdf

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Related Ancient Origins Articles

Top New Stories

Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire
Selim I (known also by his epithet ‘Yavuz’, which, translated from Turkish, means ‘the Grim’) was the 9th sultan of the Ottoman Empire who lived during the second half of the 15th century and the first half of the following one. He is remembered today as a conqueror who significantly extended the domains of the Ottoman Empire.

Myths & Legends

The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend?
Elasmotherium, also known as the Giant Rhinoceros or the Giant Siberian Unicorn, is an extinct species of rhino that lived in the Eurasian area in the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. They have been documented from 2.6 million years ago, but the most recent fossils come from around 29,000 years ago.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article