Dian Mu, literally "electricity mother," also known as the Lightning Empress (闪电娘娘 shǎn diàn niáng niáng), is the Goddess of Lightning, and the assistant of Lei Gong (雷公 léi gōng), the God of Thunder, in Chinese mythology. She is a well respected Daoist goddess.
Since the ancients did not fully understand the natural phenomenon of thunder and lightning, a series of legends gradually evolved over time. In the ancient concept, thunder is the god that punishes sins. If a person does bad things or breaks an oath, they may be struck down by a Five Phase Thunder Bolt (五雷轰顶 wǔ léi hōng ding)1 from Lei Gong, which is preceeded by a flash of lightning provided by Dian Mu in order to ensure Lei Gong hits his target.
1 The ancient Chinese believed that everything in the universe was made up of the Five Phases (also known as the Five Elements or Five Agents) - metal (金 jīn), wood (木 mù), water (水 shuǐ), fire (火 huǒ), earth (土 tǔ).
Lei Gong provided Dian Mu with two mirrors that she uses to reflect light from Heaven down onto earth producing what we see as lightning.
Dian Mu and Lei Gong
In the past, when there was thunder, there was no lightning. Lei Gong, who was easy to anger, would throw caution into the wind and strike people down at will. It wasn't until one day when he killed an innocent and kind-hearted person that he changed his ways.