I just added an entry on the Eight Diamond Generals (that’s why the “Jedi Knights in ancient Vietnam” remark) as well as on the Earth goddess Hau Tho. Plus I expanded my entry on the mother goddess Thien Ya Na and added another myth to the “Don’t mess with Ngoc Hoang” cycle. Here is the link: 

EIGHT DIAMOND GENERALS – Divine commanders of the spirit legions and roaming protectors of humanity against the onslaught of demons and other supernatural menaces. In some traditions Ngoc Hoang ordered them to gather at the foot of the giant banyan tree which was the sky ladder (before he struck it down) and then disperse, one to each of the eight directions (north, south, east, west, north-east, south-east, north-west, south-west) to carry out their task. Among their weapons and supernatural implements were said to be hand-held glass orbs which ,when held up to the eye, could see a demon’s true form no matter how it had disguised itself. The combined power of all eight of them was  called upon to deal with the goddess Lieu Hanh in a furious battle at Deo Ngang. (Though in later Taoist and Buddhist versions of the myth the Eight Diamond Generals are changed into Taoist and Buddhist priests, respectively)

HAU THO – The goddess of the Earth, often presented as more of an administrator of the Earth and nature rather than as a personification of them. If not properly invoked beforehand, she would fill in the Earth moved when digging wells or other such projects to show her displeasure.    

THIEN YA NA – In some myths Ngoc Hoang’s wife. I’ll have a much larger entry on her as time goes by. Eventually many aspects of her worship were assumed by her daughter, the goddess Lieu Hanh, who is one of the 4 major deities of the Vietnamese pantheon (Often called The Four Immortals) and the one whose worship is still most widespread today, despite the official disapproval of the current Vietnamese government. One of the few myths in which Thien Ya Na has not been replaced by Lieu Hahn involves dulling the face of her daughter Trang Chim, the moon goddess. When her daughters the sun and moon goddesses were infants they were already being carried across the sky in their palanquins by their attendants. (Talk about spoiled children!) Both goddesses gave off the same amount of heat and light so the Earth was growing far too hot. Plants and animals were dying in the sweltering heat so Thien Ya Na, who daily bathed the sun and moon goddesses after their respective journeys across the sky,  devised a solution. When bathing the moon goddess she smeared a substance (sometimes mud, sometimes ceremonial makeup, but mostly said to be ashes) on Trang Chim’s face to dull her radiance. That is why the moon is less hot and bright than the sun. I have never found a reason given for how she chose which daughter  to do this to.



Filed under Mythology


  1. Mckinley Helmen

    The 8 diamond generals may be my favorite figures you’ve covered so far from Vietnamese myths.

  2. Francine

    OMG Vietnam myths are so awesome! People should make movies out of them!

    • Thanks for commenting! Like I mention on my myth page I think Vietnam should get into the fantasy film market with these stories. They are ready made for the international market!

  3. Bomb post, dude! u got me writing fan fiction about the 8 diamond generals now!

  4. Kickass story! u shud rite a story about the 8 generals

  5. I could see some great anime films based on Vietnamese myths.

  6. Trần Việt Trung

    Hi, i’m a Vietnamese and i must say your work is really awesome.

    There is many gods that even i never know or forgot. I know about Battle of Deo Ngang between Goddess Lieu Hanh and The Eight Diamond Generals, but i never found any text say about who are they, where they came from or what their stories. Can you share that Information with me ???

    There is two part wrong in your collection. First, when you say Lieu Hanh is princess of Le Dynasty in 10 century, the true is 15 century. Second, the First Hung Vuong of Hung Dynasty is one of 50 child who follow mother Au Co to mountain, not 50 child who follow Long Quan to sea.

    • Hello! Thanks for the reply! With all mythology all over the world there are different versions of primary information so I can sympathize but I don’t have room to list every single variation but the books I list below all contain the versions I go with plus many other variations on the same basic myths, including relationships and which actions took place in which dynasty.

  7. Trần Việt Trung

    Lac Long Quan is son of Kinh Duong Vuong (an Demigod third generation), ruler of Xich Qui (Red Demon) clan. His mother is Than Long, daughter of King of Dong Dinh Lake (aka Long Vuong).

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  10. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my friend were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a book from our area library but I think I learned better from this post. I am very glad to see such wonderful info being shared freely out there.

  11. Kinkaju

    Hey, balladeer, what book did you find the eight diamond generals in?

    They sound super cool.

    Also, can tell us about some more of the magical tools they use?

  12. Holli

    I admire your way of making these old myths come to life.

  13. Victor

    Interesting comparison.

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