The Legend of Fuxi
Chinese civilization begins with the cultural hero Fu Xi (Fu Hsi), the first emperor of China who reigned for over 100 years, more than 5,000 years ago. Legend says he was a shaman who could tame wild animals by telepathic communication and who could also control the weather patterns. He invented many arts such as fishing, trapping, cooking, the calendar, angular measurement, music and writing. They say that after witnessing a very unique turtle come out of the water after a great flood, he noticed that it had very special markings and patterns on its shell, and soon afterward this event Fuxi was inspired to create the trigrams and Tai Chi principles of the I Ching.
The Legend of Nüwa
After the calamity of the great flood had devastated the world, only Fuxi and his wife Nüwa had survived. Together, and with the tools of creation, the compass and square, they repopulated the world and re-established the human race. Because the task of creation was so great, legend says that Nüwa also created people from yellow clay and that she was also the protector of all people and animals. But, the more modern purpose of the Fuxi and Nüwa story is that it depicts one of the earliest successful examples of spiritual partnership between a man and a woman. Where in the Taoist practices, the woman is viewed as an equally powerful asset towards achieving spiritual greatness, that leads to a more balanced and complete understanding of the universe.