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Taoist Transcendence and Thunder Magic, As seen in the Great Rituals of Heavenly Ting of Metal and Fire in the Divine Empyrean (神霄金火天丁大法)

Pages 415 - 444



Chapters 198–206 of A Corpus of Taoist Rituals (道法會元) contain exorcist rituals with the divinity Heavenly Ting of Metal and Fire as divine patron (神霄金火天丁大法). The term Thunder Magic (雷法) describes the rituals that belong to Heavenly Master Taoism (天師道/正一道). The ritual tradition developed in the 13th–14th centuries which the article shows, analysing the canonical source. The article explores the transcendent and practical aspects which characterize the rituals. It features the required editative preparations of the priest who is employed to cure illness and expel epidemics. He is also expected to provide relief from regional calamities like inundations and droughts. The priest performs his rituals on demand for the sake of the individual client, for the state administration and local communities. The article studies the transcendent meaning of the ritual tradition and corresponding practical performances. It describes the necessary means: meditation, spells and the important, characteristic Thunder amulets. Most parts of the article present relevant translations from A Corpus of Taoist Rituals. The introductory explanations define the ritual tradition in the frame of Taoist religious history.


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