The Hound and Tiger Lords on guard under the table of Cisheng Tang are preserved historical originals. These sculptures, along with their long history and down-to-earth appearance, are testaments to traditional craftsmanship. When visiting the Temple Palace, one can exchange their coins for those laid before the Hound and Tiger Lords. These blessed coins can be carried around to bring fortune and prosperity.
As Protector of Children
It is commonly known that the Tiger Lord is the protector of children, keeping them safe as they grow up. He is also responsible for the children’s cleverness. A common custom associated with the Tiger Lord is to take children with health or behavior issues to the Temple where the Tiger Lord presides. The children then acknowledge the Tiger Lord as their God-father after being given permission by the Deity, and come under His protection. According to traditional beliefs, the Tiger Lord is able to chase away evil spirits and suppress malevolent tempers. Health or behavior issues in children are commonly believed to be a result of malevolent spirits. With the Tiger Lord acting as their God-father, these spirits are dispersed and the children are left in peace to grow up normally.
As a Deity with Curative Powers
The Tiger Lord acts as the mount of Great Emperor Baosheng (Protector of Life), the God of Physicians. Hence, people also came to believe that the Tiger Lord, having spent so much time with the God of Physicians, also became endowed with the ability to cure maladies. The Tiger Lord not only has the power to rid patients of “pig-head skin” (mumps), they can also take care of adult maladies or even afflictions of farm animals. Some believers rub the Tiger Lord’s chin with offering money and paste them on sores with the hopes that curative powers would take effect.
As a Deity and Guardian of Fortune and Money
Tiger Lord serves as the mount for the Earth Lord, Emperor Baosheng, the Western Matriarch Queen and Zhao Gongming (God of Wealth). Having followed these deities, the Tiger Lord also acquired their traits. It is commonly believed that the Earth Lord and Zhao Gongming act as the Gods of Scholarly Wealth and Martial Wealth respectively. Therefore, people also assumed the Tiger Lord to have a touch of fortune from the grace of the Gods of Wealth and would bring financial success for His worshippers. Since it is commonly held that “whoever has land will have wealth”, the Earth Lord came to be seen as a God of Wealth, overseeing lands and harvests of every region, granting Him the power to provide wealth. As a result, the Earth Lord not only governs His region, He is also the source of riches, safeguarding fortunes and granting prosperity.