The Immortals XIAN
In Taoism, the immortals were mostly ordinary men with special faculties: their power was derived not so much by inherent sanctity, but rather the ability to grasp the phenomenon in all creation and superior knowledge and immortality.
According to ancient stories, some of them were able to fly through the air riding on a crane or winged dragons (as you describe a person who had never seen an airplane or similar viewing this item? Dragon? Crane?) In heaven to join the Court Imperial.
The majority of respondents lived on Earth, feeding on substances rich in symbolic meaning, such as fungi and cinnabar, which could provide them with the universal energies of Yang and Yin.
The term xian 仙人 (or xianren or the more modern shenxian), consisting of the words is a sinogram person (人) and mountain (山) and is generally translated as holy or Taoist immortal. It is mentioned in the Tao Te Ching, the Taoist Zhuangzi and in many texts of the period of Warring. The term refers to the mythological beings of supernatural powers, whose location is usually located in a place equally mythical caves or celestial land of happiness or even mystical islands (洞天福地 Dong Tian was to). The state of immortality is what they seek Taoist practices, accessible through spiritual practices. In Taoism the modern concept of immortality has evolved, losing its connotations fables and going to identify these creatures with the term shenxian (神仙), immortal spirit.
The objective of the Taoist is therefore to achieve spiritual immortality.
Usually impossible to see in their real form, (mentioned by Ge Hong 葛洪 in his treatise, the Baopu 抱朴子 Zi), they have the ability to morph and ubiquitous and appear and disappear as luminous beings.
Three of these historical figures would be immortal, while others are purely legendary.
He Xiangu: the woman
Tieguai them: the poor;
Zhang Guolao (historical)
Han Xiangzi: the young.
The Eight Immortals are considered bearers of prosperity and longevity, so were a topos in ancient art. They were frequent adornments on celadon vases. Were also represented in the sculptures owned by nobles. Their most common representations, however, were in the paintings. Many of silk paintings and murals depicting the Eight Immortals. They are often depicted together, sometimes individually, as a tribute to the qualities of that individual Immortal.
The Eight Immortals are linked to the development of qigong exercises, such as Baduanjin.
There are some Chinese martial arts, whose name derives from the Eight Immortals. They include fighting techniques inspired by the characteristics of each immortal.
The lowest hierarchy, they belong to the ancestors and forms of embodiment of a pantheon Qi are not well defined, but an ever-expanding pantheon varied. Above this first category are immortal deified the great masters, who are at a level more transcendent dimensions. This category generally ranges from current to current, each school has its own classification. The spiritual hierarchy of the school Shangqing 上清, is more definite and known.