Above: porcelain image of the Taoist deity Toumu [Doumu], made in Fujian province in the 18th century, now in the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (catalog no. B60P1362).
“The Dipper Mother [Doumu] is a star deity and a Daoist adoption of the Tantric deity Marici, a personification of light and dawn. As a savior and healer, she is invoked through visualizations that unite the adept with cosmic light and ‘oneness with cosmic principles’ (75-76). As the cosmic mother of the nine star-gods of the dipper, she is a nurturer and instructress, but the Dipper Mother also maintains her own salvific powers and authority.”
From a book review Sara Elaine Neswald of McGill Univ. on the Daoist Studies Web site (dated 2 Dec. 2004), of the book Women in Daoism by Catherine Despeux and Livia Kohn (Cambridge, Mass.: Three Pines Press, 2003).