We can perhaps catch a glimpse of more complete Taoist magic rituals among the Chinese minorities such as Yao and Miao tribes. Although Taoist magic comes with many varieties, their structures are almost similar.
The first step is always the 'spiritual practices' (通灵术). These 'spiritual practices' comprised of a set of exercises aimed to purify a student's soul and enhance his/her soul power (灵力). It is hoped that eventually this inspired Taoist practitioner will be able to communicate and receive further teachings from his/her grand master from the other side.
It is perhaps fair to say that Taoist spiritual practices are a set of foundation practices for a Taoist before embarking on more advance and harmful rituals. It is hence very important for a student to pay particular attentions at the initial stage or he/she will find him/herself helpless and not making any progress as he/she proceeded to a more advance ground.
Unlike the Western magic schools, Taoist magic schools do not particularly label themselves as 'good' or 'bad', 'white magic' or 'black magic'. As we shall see later, all Taoist magic schools have some sort of good and bad magic. This is coincided with the Yin-Yang philosophy.
The basic structure of Taoist spiritual practices are basically the same:
- The guru's ritual (度师法)
- The purification ritual (水法)
- Spiritual enhancement rituals (练形法)
- Meditation method (静坐法)
- Eye opening (开眼法)