Sunday, March 31, 2013

Visiting Soul Palace (落獄探宮)

A soul palace ritual book.
The visiting soul palace (探魂宮) ritual is a compendium ritual of the walking Zewei (步紫微) ritual. Both are Taoist rituals meant to supercharging one’s luck and for countering the lacking of this life. The only difference that I can think of is one ritual leads to the constellation while the other to the hell (地獄). There is another similar ritual call “going underworld” (觀落陰) most popular in Taiwan.


The theory behind visiting soul palace is pretty simple: one can buy one’s luck with joss money (紙錢). This is indeed in line with the Chinese saying: If you got the money, even the ghost will push the grinder for you! (有錢能使鬼推磨)


The Taoist believes that everyone has a soul palace in underworld. The locations of the soul palaces are just around the East Mountain (東獄). Taoist’s East Mountain also refers to the Taoist Hell. The soul palace has uniform settings and guarded by the person’s Zodiac animals (十二生肖): rat, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, chicken, dog or pig.


This soul palace is fully furnished with an altar with a tablet inscribed with the person’s name, food offerings, an oil lamp, table and chairs, bed room, clothing, kitchen, backyard, tree and flower and finally a well. The conditions of the soul palace reflect also the conditions of the palace owner’s present conditions. For example if the table and furniture are dusty, then this person will be lonely and in hardship in his/her present life.


Specific rituals will need to be performed so that the Taoist can travel into the East Mountain. Since this is a lengthy ritual, I would just have to shorten the original ritual and present to you the summary:


The best timing for the ritual is after 4pm every day.


First, the gods and goddesses of the altar are summoned to watch over the altar and the Taoist.


This follows by lengthy mantra recitations to enable the Taoist’s soul to travel outside of his body. Following that will be a lengthy mantra recitations describing the journey to the underworld and how many gates that must be passed before reaching the person’s soul palace. The Taoist must burn some joss papers to open each gate (買路錢).


Once the destination is arrived, then the Taoist will go into the soul palace to do cleaning and replenishment. This again is accompanied with the burning of more joss paper. There are a total of 12 places (十二宮) to be inspected and repaired.


When the work is done, the Taoist will return from the original route by reversing the perverse recitations until his soul safely returns to the altar.


Many people who have tried this ritual felt changes in their lives, but then and again, this is a time consuming ritual that seldom people perform these days.

Face To Face With Opponents

You will never believe that I actually come face to face with opponent arjarns in two very interesting dreams…


Dream 1:


I felt asleep while I was performing a ritual for a customer one night.


In the dream, I went to a deserted cemetery and saw an old arjarn was performing a ritual in front of a grave. Out of curiosity, I just stood behind the old arjarn and observe what he was doing.


It was perhaps after 10 minutes or so, suddenly the old arjarn turned his head and looked into my face while exclaiming: “Why are you here!?”


After that, the old arjarn hurriedly went into a hut; somehow I just followed closely in his back. There was another person in the hut, he just smiled and looked at me. Without acknowledging the second person, I began to ransack the hut until I pulled out a wooden box. There were many things in the box: small stones, figurines, nails etc. Without hestitation, I just grabbed a figurine and woke up to find that I had felt asleep for over an hour in my altar.


Dream 2:


I felt asleep again during another ritual…


Suddenly I was walking in a narrow allay until I came in front of a house. Without hesitation, I pushed myself in. Then I saw a middle aged man was sitting in a corner facing me. On approaching him, I greeted to him and say: “Hi! I am Arjarn Liew from Penang.”


He looked at me with a little astonishment but managed to squeeze out somehow awful smile to me and said: “I don’t want to do this anymore, let’s drop it.” At the same time, I heard a voice whisper at my ear: “He’s got a Phi Phop Yant with him… “


So I followed the voice and enquire about Phi Phop Yant from the man. After that, the man gave me a bunch of bananas.


Again, I found myself lying flat in my altar and it was 2 am.


Interestingly, a few days later I suffered from a bad cough. Instinct told me to eat some bananas. A day after consuming bananas and paying my toilet some visits, I recovered from the cough.


I wasn’t very good in dream interpretations so I just treat them as interesting dreams. I want to post the stories here for sharing and hopefully if you can shed the hidden message to me if any.


Materializing Ghosts From Possession (鬼魂顯真)

An example of Taoist talisman for coaxing ghosts to materialize
A possessed person in his or her advanced stage would be very confused and not feeling him/herself. This person may not speak, shaking his/her head, crying, weeping, shivering or even exhibit violent behavior. This is the stage when the ghosts are attempting to take over their hosts, at the same time; the hosts’ souls are fighting to take control of their physical bodies. Normally the ghosts would take full possessions if no remedial actions are taken.


This in-between to be possessed state is very painful both for the human and the ghosts. So magicians from various traditions have methods to hasten the ghost possessions and let the ghosts show themselves in a controlled environment so that further action can be taken. Otherwise, no safe actions can be taken as the souls and ghosts are almost binding together.


In modern medicine, he/she would probably be given a dose of tranquilizer. But for the occult traditions, the only way is to make the ghosts show themselves and to tell their side of the stories.


Again, there are many methods according to various traditions:


·         Pressing the thumbs of the possessed with pepper seeds until the spirit speaks.

·         Recite holy book and scriptures until the spirits speak as in The Exorcist.

·         Use incantation and talismans to force the ghosts to reveal themselves.

·         Use acupuncture methods called “13 needles of ghost gates” (鬼門十三針).


In Taoist magic, many rituals can be used to coax the ghosts to reveal themselves such as by using incantation coupled with hand gestures, burning of joss papers and talismans etc.


A Taoist may recite incantation and inscribe the talisman on the surface of a bowl of water and let the possessed person drink. This will force the ghosts to show themselves, only after that another ritual to open the throats and tongues of the spirits so that they can speak and eat. Only after that these ghosts can be sent away.


The mantra sounds like the below:


“I know you are the ghosts of ghost kings who dwell in the front and back of the Yin Mountain and always gnarl and groan. Listen to my order now, I am the king who attracts and controls all ghosts. You, who eat my food, drink my wine and wear my clothing, listen to my order of ghost kings now.


I am calling the ghosts who possessed the body of so-and-so to come forth to put forward all your requests now. As my will, so mote it be!”


Walking Zewei Constellation (步紫微)

Astrology has many applications in Taoist magic, date selection and Feng Shui.


Zewei astrology (紫微斗數) is one branch of Chinese astrology widely used amongst the Taoist for many purposes.


First, Zewei is used as a diagnostic tool to find out about the ups and downs of a person. It can also be used for Feng Shui purposes.


Below is an example of Zewei astrological chart:

A standard Zewei chart

Taoist rituals can be introduced to ward off bad or disastrous lucks by praying to the North Plough (北斗). Taoist believes that the North Plough rules over death; and the Southern Plough (南斗) watches over the living (北斗注死, 南斗注生). The simplest form to pray to the North Plough is to light 7 oil lamps for a consecutive of 7 days.


Once this ritual is done, the Taoist should perform a ritual to “walk the Zewei constellation” to check if the ritual is effective. This ritual is also called “stars gazing” or 觀星:

 A Zewei constallation

In performing this stars gazing ritual, the Taoist will hold his ritual sword with both hands and walk the stars one by one until he sees the stars with his mind’s eyes. Then he will sit on the particular star and meditate on the color and the brightness of the star to determine if further action is required; if not the Taoist will end his ritual by completing his Zewei walk. The whole ritual may take up to 3 hours hence not many people is willing to do this ritual now-a-days. This Zewei ritual is also good for balancing the elemental energies of a person or to replenish the lacking elementals as indicated in the Zewei star chart.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Constellation & Chakras

A buddhist  constellation chart
Tantric theory has it that our body chakras correspond to stars in our constellation. So, movements of planets and position of the stars affect our well beings. Below are some comparisons I have done for my own practices, and certainly; various systems having different classification method.


Crown chakra

·         Ruled by Jupiter (木星).

Brow chakra

·         Ruled by Moon (月亮).

Throat chakra

·         Ruled by Mercury (水星).

·         Element: Ether (空大).

·         Related to 27/28 nakshatras (廿八宿).

·         The Indian system uses 27 nakshatras, but the Chinese uses 28.

·         The 27 nakshatras: Ashwini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigashirsha, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashlesha, Magha, Purvaphalguni, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Uishakha, Anuradha, Jyeshtha, Mula, Purvashadha, Uttarashadha, Shravana, Dhanistha, Satabhisha, Purvabhadrapada, Uttrarabhadrapada.

·         Affected by Feng Shui of a place.

Heart chakra

·         Ruled by Sun (太陽).

·         Element: Air (風大).

·         Related to 9 planets (九星).

·         Moon, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mercury, Rahu, Ketu

·         Affected by Feng Shui or dwelling location

Naval chakra

·         Ruled by Mars (火星).

·         Element: Fire (火大).

·         Affected by12 zodiac houses (十二宮) and hence the well being of a person can be read from astrological charts.

·         Self, Possessions, Communications, Home, Creativity, Health, Marriage & Partnership, Death & Regeneration, Mental Exploration, Career, Friends, Self-Undoing. Various systems have various definitions of these 12 houses.

·         Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.

Sacral chakra

·         Ruled by Venus (金星)

·         Element: Water (水大)

Base chakra

·         Ruled by Saturn (土星)

·         Element: Earth (地大)


The above description is only on major chakras, they can be sub-divided into about 360 minor chakras and 180 minor nadis. There are around 72,000 nadis totally in our human body.


It is said that all of our past karmic energies are stored in our chakras and nadis. The methods to release them are through the practice of wind yoga and inner heat yoga. There are similarities between Kundalini Yoga and Anuttara Tantra but the distinctions are also many.

Offspring Voodoo (求子巫術)

The Chinese has many spells to obtain kids as it is a Chinese custom saying:



(There are three types of unfilial, no offspring is the major.)


Hence, there are many methods to make a barren couple obtain kids. Below is just one of the rituals once popular amongst villages in mainland China:


First the ingredients:


·         Prepare about 3 ounces of realgar (雄黄)

·         5 pieces of cock feathers

·         3 pieces of date fruits

·         1 empty chicken egg shell

·         An axe (without handle)

·         1 piece of yellow paper with the writing “送子娘娘送子到” meaning “the goddess of children brings forth children”.


The method:

·         This ritual should be done by a third person, i.e. without the knowledge of the couple.

·         Put the dates into the empty chicken egg shell.

·         Put the egg shell and the axe with chopping edge facing the bed.

·         Put the 4 pieces of cock feathers with some realgar under the four corners of the bed mattress.

·         Put 1 piece of cock feather, realgar and the piece of yellow paper under the center of the mattress.


It is very important that the setup is not tempered until the lady is pregnant.


Among Kalachakra, Astrology & Feng Shui

It was said that on the 12th month after the Buddha has achieved enlightenment, the Buddha taught the first Kalachakra root tantra in a stupa at Dhanyakataka (near present day Amaravati), a small town in Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India, supposedly appearing in two places at once as he was also delivering the Prajñāpāramitā sutras at Vulture Peak Mountain in Bihar.


Legend has it that there were two mandalas in the stupa: above was the mandala of constellation, below was the mandala of Dharmadhatu Vagishvara. The Buddha transformed himself into Kalachakra in a deep Samadi state on a vajra throne supported by lions in the centre of the mandalas. The above was the description of the origin of Kalachakra Tantra.


Someone threw me this question:


“Amongst Kalachakra Tantra, Astrology and Feng Shui; which is the most important of all?”


My response was quite simple:


“All are equally important.


Let me elaborate:


While astrology can pinpoint a person’s life events fairly accurately, it lacks proper solutions or counter-measures. Feng Shui has a set of solutions that can solve many of our worldly issues. Hence I usually use astrology as a diagnostic tool and Feng Shui for our worldly remedial actions.


Tantra practices such as Kalachakra on the other hand, place much emphasize in astrological calculations, medicine, wind, nadis, chakras and energy drops. The first part of Kalachakra deals with calendar calculations mainly to find out timing of eclipses. As we all know, eclipses are good time to achieve tantric siddhi. So it is important to the Tantric practitioners to predict the exact timing for eclipses.


The study of medicine is meant to treat illness so that our body is fit and able to practice tantra. While the practice of wind yoga in the completion state transform our body into illusion body and empty body (for Kalachakra). By knowing the operations of our chakras and nadis in relation to the movements of sun and moon; one can predict his or her lifespan and able to prevent for untimely death. If possible, make use of rituals and breathing techniques to escape death.


If we take a macro view, astrology predicts major life events, Feng Shui provide solutions, medicine heals our body, knowing proper timing enable us to use astronomical timing to our advantage and finally all the above lead us to our safe passage to practice tantra. The practice of Kalachakra generating and completion stage both enable one to transform our ordinary death into Kalachakra and hence free us from rebirth.  


So, the astrology, Feng Shui and tantra; especially Kalachakra are all essential elements.”

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Speak Or Forever Hold Your Silence (開喉)

Spirits who are trapped inside a human body cannot speak through their hosts’ mouth unless they are attuned to the hosts’ throats. Taoist as well as Thai systems have rituals called “throat opening” ritual to let the spirits to express their wishes or to negotiate with Taoist masters or Arjarn. This throat opening method is essentially the same as the training of spirit mediums.


The other purpose of “throat opening” ritual is to enable the spirit to consume food offerings and drinks. The mantra sounds something like the below:


“Pity you always worry about your problems, this world and the other are as if burning hell. I know your throats always longing for food and drinks, so today I offer you a drop of nectar that can transform into a soothing stream. You will surely enjoy this offering of mine.”


After that, say to the possessed in a firm voice: “I have opened your mouth with my magic power, speak now or forever hold your silence!”


At the end of the communication session, go into your protective circle then burn some joss paper to the spirits and they will leave. You can chant the below during the burning of the joss paper: “Whatever debts we may have, all turn into ashes. The joss paper opens your path to the underworld, that’s where you belong.”


You must carry whatever things you have promised to the spirits, but do not force yourself. Normally the requests are just simple offerings of foods, clothing, joss paper and drinks.