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Thursday, November 1, 2012
Xiangxi 3: Chengzhou Fu (辰州符)
The complete book of Chengzhou Fu.
Chongwen described in his book Xiangxi: Fenghuang: “The practitioners of Chengzhou
Fu concentrated in Fenghuang.” Chengzhou was originally the ancestral home of
Hunt and Pu tribe. Later it became the ruling place of Yelang. Sorcerers learnt
through generations of experience forming area specific magical system called “Chengzhou
Fu” or Chengzhou talismans.
say that there are many types of Chengzhou Fu: some Fu uses burning joss sticks
and paper money as media to inscribe the talisman in the air or water; some use
chopsticks or sword to inscribe talismans in a bowl of wine or chicken blood
and for an expert; it is suffice simply to draw the talisman using his or her
fingers. In short, in the Chengzhou tradition, Fu can do everything.
Chinese scholar Chianmu wrote about Chengzhou Fu:
staying in a village when I was young. One day, I saw a Chengzhou Fu exponent in
a village visited by a farmer with a swelling leg. The exponent drew the figure
of a leg on the wall, then takes a knife and cut lines on the figure. Blood oozing
from the leg figure on the wall, when the blood finally stopped, the farmer’s swelling
leg has recovered. I swear what I seen am true, but can’t explain how a drawn
leg can produce such a large quantity of blood.
incident, a person was bitten by a poisonous snake and subsequently succumbed
to the snake poison. A Chengzhou Fu exponent was passing by; he took a knife
and drew a circle encircling the corpse, and then stabbed a few scissors with
open mouth into the ground. After that, the exponent started to chant, snakes
from all directions came and entering the circle through the opening scissor
mouths. The exponent grasped the snakes one by one and compared the snake mouth
with the bite mark on the corpse. Not
matching ones are released and leave through the scissor mouth. After measuring
around 10 snakes or so, a match was found. So the exponent pressed the culprit’s
mouth onto the wound mark and let the snake suck back its venom. After that,
the snake is let go through one of the opening scissor. While the snake was
passing through the scissor mouth, the scissor snapped close and the snake was
cut into two and died. While the corpse was slowly gaining consciousness, then
sat up and finally stood up. This was indeed the work of God.”
personally collected some stories about Chengzhou Fu, but none are as amazing
as the above two. May be I will share them some other time. In fact, the ancient
Xiangxi was quite backwards with insanitary conditions; there were no means of
seeking medical attentions. When people are feeling sick, they can only consume
some herbs or Fu from sorcerers. If they have subsequently recovered, then
people would say that was the power of Fu. On the other hand, it was the fate.