Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Strikes Of Gods (神打)

A 5 thunder palm manuscript of Raft Religion Sect. (排教).

Strikes of god may mean different things to different Taoist traditions. Basically strikes of gods may mean a sort of invulnerability practised by Mao Shan (茅山) sect. In this practice, spirits are invited to possess a practitioner and the person shall be able to play certain type of martial arts and he/she may also possess certain degree of invulnerability to sharp objects. A parallel comparison is with the Indonesian Tenaga Dalam practice and their variants.

Another form of strikes of gods are talismans drawn onto one’s palm and after some mantra recitations, this talismans become sort of very destructive energy and when this energy is released from one’s palm towards a target, it can kill within a period of days. Well, that’s what proponent believes.

Although these types of strikes of gods are mainly forgotten, traces of them can be seen in some folk cults such as Liu Ren (六壬), Jin Yin(金英), Mao Shan(茅山), Lu Shan (闾山) etc.

There are many types of strikes of gods:

·         The five thunders palm (五雷掌)
·         The plum flower palm (梅花掌)
·         The flying sand palm (飞沙掌)
·         The 5 elemental swords (五行剑)
·         The yin palm (阴掌)
·         Etc.

Those people practising Taoist magic would have heard of the five thunders palm as this is the all famous Taoist combat magic that can cause severe pain in the body that may cause fatality if untreated in long run.

Foreigner would be confused with the ‘strikes of gods’ with actual Shao Lin (少林) kung fu using the same name such as plum flower palm (梅花掌). The plum flower in magic uses the energy of spirits to cause damage, but the plum flower in martial art uses physical strength to cause damage to an opponent. Both of spiritual and physical plum flowers will cause the skin of an opponent to show red mark of a palm.

I am not sure if anyone has mastered these form of ‘deadly’ arts these days, but this would be an interesting topic to talk about if you are interested in Taoist magic of the minorities though.

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