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Taoist Thunder Magic (五雷法), Illustrated with the Example of the Divine Protector Chao Kung-ming 趙公明

Pages 121 - 154



Since the 12th century the term Thunder Magic [rituals] has been a label for a great number of exorcist rituals that are constitutive parts of religious Taoism (T'ien-shih tao 天師道 /Cheng-i tao 正一道). The article first considers the emergence of Thunder Magic in Taoist history and then focuses on the martial Thunder divinity Chao Kungming in order to illustrate the intent, the ways and means of Thunder rituals. There is a wide range for the application of Thunder Magic, for example the expulsion of epidemics. A presentation of crucial aspects of the spiritual standing of the priest leads to a discussion of the writing of Thunder amulets, which are the practical and visible highlights of Thunder rituals. A discussion of the world of Thunder divinities displays basic religious tenets that also pertain to all the preceding themes. The article presents a close description of the genuine connection of Thunder Magic with Heavenly Masters Taoism.


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