Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Nine State Steps (九州罡)

The 9 state steps are a series of steps meant to raise a war to concur 'countries' in the surrounding. The photo is a segment of the 9-state diagram with associated talismans.

Taoist ‘nine state steps’ is part of larger Taoist ritual meant to ‘flex muscle’ against spirits in the vicinity. The 9 states in this context means the 9 ancient states in ancient China; so if a Taoist performs this ‘9 state steps’ means that he/she is about to raise war against 8 states except the center state. The center state always represents the Taoist’s military and the central government; so the center cannot be violated. By performing the 9-sate steps it symbolizes the declaration of ‘war’ against the surrounding states so that everyone shows allegiance to the central government.

Old Taoists believe that it is dangerous to perform this 9-state step because if one’s ability and power is insufficient to suppress the spirits around him/her; his/her life would be in danger. There is a saying that goes:

(Please don’t perform the 9-sate steps, anyone who tries it may not return.)

Of course, now days; modern Taoists who practise the ‘5 legionnaire armies’ ritual do not perform this tedious 9-state steps anymore. This is because they do not have the proper knowledge in keeping spiritual military force. Many of the temple military armies are slacking as they are not trained in wars as their predecessors. Old Taoist exponents would have this to say:

(If one does not perform the 9-state steps, the gods are weak;
After one has performed the 9-state steps the gods become powerful.)

There are 9 elements in the 9-state steps:

·         Pointing at 9 states (点九州)
·         Underlying 9 states (伏九州)
·         Overturning 9 states (翻九州)
·         Placing 9 states (置九州)
·         Passing through 9 states (度九州)
·         Breaking 9 states (破九州)
·         Toppling 9 states (倒九州)
·         Subduing 9 states (收九州)
·         Patrolling 9 states (川九州)

All of the steps are accompanied by individual chanting, and at the end of the ritual; the master would sing out loud:


(By raising war against 9 states, I am the master of 9 states,
I accept the military forces of all 9 states,
If one performs the star walk without knowing the tricks, then it is difficult,
Only then the heavenly general shall descent to conquer all 8 directions.)

So, if you are a Taoist and your ‘5 legionnaire armies’ is weak, and then chances are they are too lazy and not well trained. Why not give the 9-state steps a try?  

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