Basic Conditions of Taoist Thundre-Magic, II.1-II.6

Divine Texts of the Great Methods of the Five Thundres at the Jade Department in the Heaven of Highest Purity = TT 1220 A Corpus of Taoist Literature (Tao-fa Hui-yu:an), chapter 56 S^an-c^>in Yu:-fu Wu-lei Ta-fa Yu:-s^u Lin-wen (‘Highest-Purity Jade-Department 5-Thundres Great-Methods Heaven Divine-Texts’)


II.1 (pp. 69-74) Praeface, by Wan Wen-c^>in, the gentleman t>ai-su of the temple Nin-s^en

pp. 69-70 (1a-2a) the God-Emperor & the Perfect King; the Jade-Girl; & the Elder

p. 69

(1a) "The Supreme God-Emperor of Prime Origin (Yu:an-shih shang-ti ... {Prime-Origin Supreme-God}) ... initiated the great saintly beginning with his command. The precious books on flowery writing tablets, the dragon texts and phoenix seal characters thus became manifest ... . ... the Perfect King of Jade Purity (Yu:-ch>ing chen-wang ... {Jade-Purity Perfect-King}) of the exalted Shen-hsiao ...[-Heaven] stayed at the Golden Palace of Congealed Spiritual Might (Ning-shen chin-ch>u:eh ...). ...

p. 70

The Supreme God-Emperor of Prime Origin dwelling in the Golden House at the Jade Palace said to the Perfect King : ...

(1b) If the creatures were enlightened ..., ... As to the Hall of Heaven, would not they be befitting places for them? ...

Thereupon [the God-Emperor] ordered the Divine Favourite (ling-fei ...), the Jade-girl of Cave Mystery (Dong-miao yu:-nu: ... {Cave-Mystery Jade-Woman}) that she take the gilded key that dragon adorn and open the lock with jade inlays of a whistling phoenix at the Temple Subtle Perfection of the Flowers of the West (Hsi-hua miao-chen tien ... {West-Flowers Subtle-Perfection Temple}). She was to take the chest made of shining jade and precious stones and confer the transmission of the Tao of Primordial Unity (hun-ho chih tao ...) of the Purple Script of the Three Luminaries (san-kuang tzu-wen ... {Three-Luminaries Purple-Script}). She was to teach [the Perfect King] the mudra^s (chu:eh ...) of the Five Thunders ... . [The mudra^s] have the designations Black Dragon, Red Horse, Blazing Fire and Prosperous Circuit. One uses them to dispatch emissaries from the empyrean ... . ...

p. 71

The Perfect King was sent down to ... the ... world. The Perfect King thereupon took the amulets and seals, the dragon-tracts of the Five Thunders


(2a) and the secret instructions ... concerning the Northern Dipper so as to transmit them to the Elder of the Five Holy Mountains (Wu-yu:eh chang-jen ...) [fn. 5 : "Huang-ti ... bestowed this Taoist title on a Taoist who lived on Mount Ch>ing-ch>eng shan ... in Szechwan, see TT 1032 Yu:n-chi ch>i ch>ien 120:13a; 122:10b."] saying :

[In] the Northern ... Heaven, ... there are the two palaces that are named the Pivot and the Initiatory Force (shu-chi ...) [fn. 8 : " "Pivot and Initiatory (or "Moving") Force" ... identifies Thunder and thunderclaps".], and they are said to be the two poles of the East and the West. {cf. the Persian 2 divine cities Jabarsa and Jabalqa, at the extremes of east and west} The Palace Pivot revolves {[Cymry] "Pwyll, and ... his son Pryderi, ... lived in a kingdom in the other world called ... the "Revolving Castle"" (CM&L, p. 366).} {cf. [Irish] "Fort Curoi, which "revolved as swiftly as a millstone"" (RT, p. 33)} and has a might that transforms life (hua-sheng ...). The Palace Initiatory Force is the institution that on behalf of the god-emperors executes the commands ..., and its is for this reason why {that} thunder divinities (lei-shen ...) exist."

CM&L = Charles Squire : Celtic Myth and Legend, Poetry and Romance.

RT = Anthony Faulkes : Raudu`lf’s Ta`ttr : a study. STUDIA ISLANDICA 25. Reykjavik, 1966. [pdf]

pp. 71-3 (2a-3b) the 5 types of Thundres; the Thundre-Wall; the 3 Offices of Thundre-Emissaries; Jade Pivot

p. 71

(2a) "There are five types of thunders, namely

the Heavenly Thunder (t>ien-lei ...),

the Divine Thunder (shen-lei ...),

the Dragon Thunder (long-lei ...),

the Water Thunder (shui-lei ...) and

the Earth-Altar Thunder (she-ling-lei ...).

p. 72

Furthermore, there is the Thunder Wall (lei-ch>eng ...) that is located amidst the Brahma-breaths (fan-ch>i ...) above ... the Prefecture of the Perfect King in [the Heaven of] Jade Purity. The Thunder Wall is 2300 miles away from the region of the Prefecture of Jade Purity. The Wall is high {tall?} eighty-one chang ... , and I (wu ...) [fn. 11 : "the [Perfect] King in the [Heaven] of Jade-Purity"] have the Thunder Wall in control. ...


(2b) The Five Thunders Headquarter Office ... has its own Special Offices of ... Emissaries ..., [named] North Pole (pei-chi ...), Jade Pivot (Yu:-shu ...) and P>eng-lai ... . ...

The god-emperors (ti-chu:n ...) issue orders and the Jade Pivot forwards the commands (hao-ling ...) ... ."

pp. 73-4 (3a-b) benefits

p. 73

(3a) If the secret instructions and the divine texts of the Jade Pivot ... are externally applied, they can be used to ... eliminate disasters and do away with unfortunate events. ... [The secret instructions and divine texts] save living beings (sheng-ling ...) from the distress of great dangers and release the legions of hun-souls ... that face the darkness of Hades. ...


(3b) The subtle instructions and divine recipes (shen-fang ...) save all around from deadly disasters ... . Those who have received [these

p. 74

documents] must keep them safely. Those who have come across them have the destination {destiny} to do so. ...

Perfectly investigate [the magic texts and secret manuals] and set them to use. Echo and response will immediately occur."


II.2 (pp. 74-8) Arrangement of the Offices of Thundre & Thundreclaps (Lei-t>in Fen-ssu)

pp. 74-7 (3b-4b) Thundre-Wall; Pivot; Headquarter Office

p. 74

(3b) "the Thunder Wall is located amidst the Brahma-breaths (fan-ch>i ...) above ... the Prefecture of the Perfect King in [the Heaven of] Jade Purity. The Thunder Wall is 2300 miles away from the sphere of the prefecture. The Wall is high eighty-one chang ... . It is the location, which the King of the Heaven of Jade Purity has in control. ...

p. 75

(4a) Moreover, in the tou-constellation ... there are divine prefectures (shen-fu ...) and the [Palace] Pivot (shu ...). The Pivot has administrators (hsiang ...), and therefore there is a Court of the Jade Pivot (yu:-shu yu:an ...) that is also called Court of the Pivot Constellation (tou-shu yu:an ...). ...


(4b) The Headquarter Office of Thunder and Thunderclaps (lei-t>ung tu-ssu ...) is the Special Control Office (chuan-ssu ...) of the God-Emperor of the North (Pei-ti ...) that arranges the ranks of the officials ... of the Jade Pivot [fn. 19 : (text is emended)]."

p. 76 (5a-10) = paragraph entitled "The Divine Ranks of Thundre & Thundreclaps" Lei-t>in S^en-wei -- "The list displays the ... ranks that more than one hundred thunder divinities hold."

fn. 21 : vide :- Florian C. Reiter : "The Name of the Nameless and Thundre Magic." AAS 20 (2005): 97-116.

pp. 76-7 (10a-b) mythic origin of divine talisman-sigils -- Pretious Sigils of Thundre-Might (lei pao-yin wen)

p. 76

(10a) "The Thunder Department has six [pp. 76-7, fn. 23 : or, "contract"] amulet-seals (pao-yin ...) that were transmitted for the first time by the Superior God-Emperor of

p. 77

Prime Origin (Yu:an-shih shang-ti ...{Prime-Origin Superior-God}) to come secondly to the ... Elders of the Five Holy Mountains ... . These seals were all made of jade and eventually were called Jade Pivots (yu: shu ...). ...

Formerly Lord Hsu: Sun ... was the first to receive these five symbols [fn. 24 : "hao"] ... . When the poisonous dragon did not yield, [Hsu: Sun] ... used a [thunder] seal to shine on the dragon ... that could no longer


(10b) turn and move. Then it was ... splashed on the seal causing subtle cracks. ... In the centre of the seal, there is the Secretarial Receptionist of the Centre of the Tou-Constellation (tou-chung t>ung-shih she-jen ...), the Young Lad of Purple Radiance (Tzu-kuang t>ung-tzu ...)."

pp. 77-9 (10b-11b) sigils for human practitioners, by ranking

p. 77

(10b) The six seals are all made of the kernel wood {heartwood?} from a yang-peach tree (yang-t>ao ...). ... In case that peach trees are not available it is also fine to take jujube wood [at the time when] thunders cause alarm.


As to the six seals, there is the Internal Seal of the Emissaries of the Five Thunders, which none must use who does not hold the rank of Heavenly Official of the First Rank of Prime Origin (shang-yuan i-p>in t>ien-kuan ...).

p. 78

The following rank has the Seal of the Mercury Heaven of Purple Radiance. Those who receive the seal carry it on their belt. ... Divine, indeed, is the seal.


The seal of the subsequent rank is the Seal of the Fire Script of Thunder Radiance.


(11a) Those who happen to receive the seal can use it in order to employ and dispatch the Five Thunders, ... and subdue water monsters (shui-kuai ...). If men ... receive the seal, they can use it to secure the site of an altar (t>an-ch>ang ...). Demons and monsters see its red shining over a distance of then thousand chang, all ... that range across heaven. ...


Then there is the Seal of the Cavern-Magic of Jade-Dawn (yu:-ch>en tung-ling ... {Jade-Dawn Cavern-Magic}) that is also called Seal Tou-k>uei ... . ... Anyone who happens to get this seal can use it to shine on ... wicked dragons."

p. 79

(11b) Generally, "when you have these seals on your belt and your way takes you to ... where religious rites [fn. 32 : "Tz>u-tien"] for the god of the city wall and moat take place (Ch>eng-huang ...) you are always respectfully received."


II.3 (pp. 79-81) Method of Consecrating Sigils (C^i-yin Fa)

p. 79 (11b) foods prohibited for worship of Thundres; requaest to deities to bless talismans

"For any consecration of thunder seals, you take ... days when thunders had occurred. You arrange at night and beneath the pivot of the dipper an altar table that faces kang-stars ... . You put some fruits of the season on the table, but use must not use pomegranates, water chestnuts, the roots of lotus, ... black cucumber (t>u-kua ...) and the like. ...

You ... address above [in the heavens] the Commissioner at the Dipper and Secretarial Receptionist ... the [following] spell : ...

I reverently submit my request to

the Commissioner at the Dipper and Secretarial Receptionist, to

the Commissioners of the Waterways at the right and left sides, to

the Lads of Jade-Perfection (yu:-wan t>ung-tzu ...), to

the Lower Memorial Processors (tsou-shih [kuan] ... ) ... and to

the Palace Guards (kung-ts>ao ...) who are incharge today.

I reverently submit my wish that you all descend riding your carriages".

p. 80 (12a) conjuration for sigil

"Radiance of thunder, transform life.

Pivot of the dipper (tou ...), let your magic descend. ...

I wish to have the divine breaths descend and floating spread out everywhere in the nine [spheres] of purity. Act urgently ... .

Having spoken the spell ... all the deities ... descend and ... come close to you, You ... lead them into the seal."

pp. 80-1 (12a-b) spells for extracting [from cabinet]; employing; & redinstating [into cabinet] of sigils

p. 80

(12a) "Spell for taking out the seal (ch>u-yin chou ...) :

Fire bells in the palace, your scorching brightness combines and penetrates ... .

Five Thunders of the five regions, let your radiance descend ... .

Might of heaven, terrify ... . Act urgently ... ."


(12b) "Spell for using the seal (yung-yin chou ...) :

August emperors of heaven do issue your orders ... . ... Act most urgently ... .


Having spoken the spell you ... concentrate your vision on the radiance of fire that extends over a distance of ten thousand feet. Above, it links up with the pivot of the tou-constellation ..., and down here [on earth], it flows into the pattern (wen ...) of the seal. ... The Heaven of the Divine

p. 81

Empyrean (shen-hsiao t>ien ...) will be half-blue and half-red."


"Spell for taking back the seal (ju-yin chou ...) : ...

Jade lads do return to your [heavenly] palaces.

All you functionaries do guard your positions. ...


After speaking the spell, you wrap up the seal and let the Thunder officials and saints control it as before. [fn. 38 : "The formulation ... we also find ... on TT 1220:56.41b".] If you are not performing rituals, you must not take out and air the seal."


II.4 (pp. 81-4) Locations & Departments of the 5 Thundres (Wu-lei Suo-pu)

pp. 81-4 (13a-14b) 6th Thundre; details concerning the divine Departments of Thundres




(13a) In addition to the 5 sorts of Thundres, there is "another" (a 6th), namely "Thunder of the Wicked-Spirits (yao-lei ...). The Thunder of the Wicked-Spirits does not accept commands from the god-emperors."


"As to the Heaven Thunder (t>ien-lei ...), hundreds of officials and thousands of generals support above [in heaven] the Jade Emperor (yu:-ti ...) ... . Their might and virtue weigh


extremely heavy. At the turn of a kalpa the superior god-emperors dispatch by decree this thunder ... to re-open heaven and re-examine earth, to drum ..., to install the sun and get the moon [into position]. [The Heaven Thunder] is exceedingly honourable".


(13b) "The Divine Thunder (shen-lei ...) also has hundreds of officials and thousands of generals who reside in the centre of the three realms (san-chieh ...). ... In case that [the people in] the lower regions ... harmed all the creatures in hideous ways and unjustly amassed plenty of properties, the Three Officials (san-kuan ...) then ... have the respective names registered in the files of the Wicked (e-pu ...). ... If you desire to activate the Divine Thunder, you must send up a report to the Three Monitoring Offices (san-ssu ...) and let the memorials soar up to the nine pure [heavens] (chiu-ch>ing ...)."


"As to the Dragon Thunder (lung-lei ...), the superior god-emperors conferred upon it the Dragon Palaces (lung-kung ...) with ten thousand generals ...


that support the Dragon Lord ... who with his might and virtue preserves and protects the scriptures of the immortals (hsien-ching ...). In general, the Dragon Palaces in the sea store ten thousand chapters of scriptures of the immortals ... . ...


(14a) If you desire to activate the [Dragon] Thunder, you send memorials that soar up to all the [spirit] officials and let them inform the superior god-emperors. [The superior god-emperors] hand down to the Ch[i]ef of Dragon Thunder a warrant to proceed speedily and help."


"As to the Water Thunder (shuei-lei ...), it is located at the Department of the Water Officials of the Lower Origin (Hsia-yu:an shui-kuan ...). The superior god-emperors conferred upon them the order ... to reward merits".


"Concerning the Altar of Earth Thunder now, there ... were men who were pious and brave ... who reprimanded the rulers ... . ... Their radiant, divine and magic nature assembled and formed the [Altar of Earth] Thunder. The [Altar of Earth] Thunder can arrest sea-monsters ..., uproot trees and break down woods. [Such spirit-forces] ... can bring ... good luck for complete regions and their subtle affairs. ...


(14b) In general, when you urgently employ the Altar of Earth Thunder, you must present memorials to the city god (ch>eng-huang ...) ... . The ritual sacrifices order the city god to superintend the [Altar of Earth] Thunder."


II.5 (pp. 85-6) Sacrifice to Great Divinity of Law-&-Order (C^i Lu:-lin Ta-s^en)

pp. 85-6 (14b-15a) transfiguration into the Great Divinity of Law-&-Order




(14b) "In the Thunder Department (lei-pu ...) there resides the Great Divinity of Blazing Fire (Yen-huo ta-shen ...).

The surname is Teng ... and

the name is Po-wen ... . ...


(15a) When the great divinity saw that Huang-ti ascended to heaven he quit his rank and entered Mount Wu-tang ... for one hundred years. ... Suddenly, one day

he transformed himself to have the beak of a phoenix and silver teeth.

He grew red hair and had a blue body.

He left hand held a thunder auger and

his right hand a thunder hammer.

His body grew to be tall one hundred chang and evolved wings at both armpits. When he opened them up they had a length of several hundred miles, and darkness covered all [below them].

Both eyes emitted two beams of fiery shining, lightning up and illuminating a stretch of one hundred miles.

Hands and feet all had dragon claws. ...

He received from the supreme god-


emperors the title Lu:-ling ta-shen ...".

p. 86 (15b) ritual for the apparition of the Great Divinity of Blazing Fire

"In the 5th month on the 5th day at wu-time (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) this thunder [divinity] ascends to heaven and enters the Lodge of the Fire-Bell (huo-ling chih chai ...) at the Palace of the South, and on that day you can draft (t>u ...) his apparition".

pp. 86-7 (16b) "Spell in Veneration of the Divine Force (chi-shen chou ...)"

p. 86

"Great Divinity of Law and Order, Venerable [Divinity] of Wind and Fire with a pair of armed and huge wings, you roam and soar through heaven and earth (ch>ien-k>un) ... .

p. 87

Obey my spell, obey my summoning. Come and descend to the gate of sun ... and act urgently as this is law and order."


II.6 (p. 87) Application of the Thundre-Breaths

p. 87 (16b-17a) to devour lightning 25 times


"They need to attain the method "the Thunder Lord (lei-kung ...) invites the breaths" ... . After your invitation when the sound of thunder is suddenly heard, before or after the period Excited Insects (ching-che ...), you arrange properly an incense altar that faces the direction [of the thunder that you had heard].


... you secretly speak the spell : ...

Divine breaths across a distance of then thousand chung, do water the flowers of my stomach. Supreme and Fierce Emissary of Law and Order (lu:-ling ...), Silver teeth, do act urgently as this is law and order. ...


After speaking the spell, you ... breathe in the breaths [of lightning and thunder] and swallow them they five times. These is shining in hiding (yin-yin ming-ming ...)."


ABHANDLUNGEN FU:R DIE KUNDE DES MORGENLANDES, Band LXI = Florian C. Reiter : Basic Conditions of Taoist Thunder Magic. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2007.