Basic Conditions of Taoist Thundre-Magic, II.7-II.12

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.7 (pp. 88-95) Writing out Talismans (S^u-fu)

pp. 88-9 (17b) praeparation of a talisman

p. 88

"You perform the [ritual] steps (kang-pu ...) in the direction of Southeast ... . You start to memorialise .. the Chef Stuarts of the Emissaries of the Five Thunders (wu-lei chu-tsai ...). After this procedure you ... transform yourself (hua-shen ...) to be the Emissary of the Five Thunders. You walk the steps Crack the Earth and Summon the Thunders (p>o-ti chao-lei kang ...). [fn. 55 : "Compare TT 1166 Fa-hai i-chu 6.23a-23.b."] ... . ... speak ... the spell :

Divine Constellation of the Jade Pivot, receive the decree for the Perfect King to crack the earth and summon the thunders ... . Emissaries of the Five Thunders, hurriedly come ... . ...

p. 89

You speak the spell ... and concentrate ... on ... the Supreme Counsellors at the Jade Pivot, the P>eng-lai-Emissaries ... of the god-emperor of the North (pei-ti ...)."

p. 90 (19a) effects of 7 successive turns of the writing-brush in drawing "seven circles on the character ching ..." [tic-tac-to sign for ‘water-well’]




"the six spirits (liu-shen ...) hide away."


"the four killing forces (ssu-sha ...) perish."


"the k>uei-star (k>uei-kang ...) is agitated."


"the fire of thunder rushes upwards."


"the thunderclaps charge forth."


"the mountain demons die."


"what rebels against heaven and does not have Tao is collected and arrested".

"The fifteen types of deities and demons that are not correct and cause misfortune rush altogether to surrender".

p. 92 (20a) "Amulet of the Green Dragon of the Breath of Life (shang-ch>i ch>ing-lung fu ...) that is good for ... keeping monsters under control"

(20a) "Shaking thunders rise fast,

fire wheels display their abundance.

Three-and-Five, the Iron Face, hurriedly rides ... .

Dragons speedily hurry on ... .

They call in prosperity (chao-ts>ai ...)."

p. 93 (21a) "Amulet Raise the Dragon and Cause Rainfall (ch>i-lung chih-yu: fu ...)"

"T>ai-i ... may support [the rise of] the morning.

Jade dawn and divine force of the cavern let the yin-[darkness] ... sink down to give reign to the dragons. ...

Grand Senior T>ai-shang (T>ai-shang hao-weng ...), urgently receive [this] order from the Lord of Origin (Yu:an-chu:n ...)."

p. 94 (22a) some cultural numerics

p. 94

p. 94, fn. 71

"There are six rules,

"the six upper musical pitchpipes of ancient music"

nine paragraphs and

"the nine branches of mathematics"

eight trigrams (pa-kua ...)."


pp. 94-5 (22a-b, 23b) "Amulet of the Great Divinity of Blazing Fire (yen-huo ta-shen fu ...)"

p. 94


"Emissary Savage Thunder of the East, do most speedily rise up."



on the __ side

__ mountains





the 4 rivers cease their flow



the 5 holy

"the stars fall down from heaven."


"Dragons find themselves tied up." {cf. knotted basilisk?}

p. 95


"Formerly, the Perfect Lords Wu [Meng] ... and Hsu: [Sun] ... received this mystery." [fn. 74 : "Concerning the two Taoists, see. J. M. Boltz : A Survey of Taoist Literature ..., pp. 70-72. Berkeley 1987."]


II.8 (pp. 96-9) The Establishment of Hells for Evil Daimones

p. 96 (24b) why there are Hells for daimones {cf. Tartaros}

(24b) "Water monsters (shui-yao ...) cause misfortune (nieh ...), and when they do not yield to the control by amulets, there is the method of establishing hells (chien-yu: fa ...). You command the Three Monitoring Offices (san-ssu ...) to arrest, bind up and transfer [such malignant elements] to the hell".

pp. 97-8 (25a-26b) functions of particular Hells


title : "Hell of __" (__ yu:)

the function of that particular Hell


thundre & lightning which check & control (lei-tien k>ao-c^ih)

(25a) "arrests all those ... [spirit] officers ... who do not have the Tao and who ... insult and distort Taoist rituals (tao-fa ...)"


"comets with the radiance of fire" (huo-kuan liu-hsin)

"to put away and arrest ... any sorts of water monsters. ...

(25b) Without any reason they ... [spoil] sprouts ..., capsize passenger boats ..."


"poisonous and harmful metal spirits"

"puts away and bars the mountain spirits and wood deities shan-ching mu-shen ...)"


"Nine Wells" (c^iu-c^>u:an)

(26a) "bar epidemics ...


that in the world operate as savage robbers"


"gloomy platform-tower and the long night" (yu-t>ai c^an-yeh c^ih)

(26b) "puts away and bars what ... conceal themselves in corpses. As itinerant demons ... they enter dreams, throw pebbles ..."

pp. 98-9 (26b-27a) rite of the Hells

p. 98

(26b) "You use one branch of a peach tree with a length of three ch>ih and fasten red silk [streamers] ...

p. 99

(27a) long five ts>un. ... After this, you ... invite the Chef Managers (chu-tien ...) who investigate vicious demons ... . You invite the Chef Stewarts (chu-tsai ...) of the Five Thunders ..., ... the Emissaries who bind up the hun-souls and deport them under supervision (chuan-hun chien-sung shih-che ...), ... and the Thirty Six stalwarts of the thunder-drums (san-shih-liu lei-ku li-shih...)."


II.9 (pp. 100-9) Altars & Prayers

pp. 100-1 (27b-28a) rite to summon rain

p. 100

(27b) "The officials ... use a dragon pool to immerse four elixir amulets (tan-fu ...). The incense table (hsiang-an ...) must be ... to venerate the commissioners (shu-hsiang ...) of the Three Monitoring Offices (san-ssu ...). ... Veneration is offered to the officials and generals of the thunder departments (lei-pu ...) ... .

p. 101

(28a) The ritual master ... recites the spell "summoning the dragon to bring rain ... . He says in a loud voice : ... I ... petition to have the service of the Emissary who Attends to the Amulet that he may quickly arouse the Three Monitoring Offices of Thunder and Thunderclaps ... . I have already memorialised ... to the supreme-god emperors. Act most urgently".

pp. 102-3 (29a) rite to surcease already-ongoing flood

p. 102

"You present then veneration

for the Fierce Divinity that Carries the Wind on the Back ... [fn 94 : "Concerning the Fierce Divinity that Carries the Wind on the Back (fu-feng meng-shen ...), ], see TT 1220:81.1a sq."],

for the Great Divinity Earl of the Wind (feng-po ta-shen ...),

and the Great Divinity of Blazing Fire (yen-huo ta-shen ...). ...

p. 103

The head priest (chu-fa ...) chooses ... to ... "urge the dragons to suck up the flood"".

pp. 103-4 (29b) "Spell to pray for rain" (ch>i-yu: chou ...)"

p. 103

"Grand Master of Prime Origin (T>ai-yu:an hao-shih ...), Essence of Thunder and Fire, ... keep guard on the Thunder Wall (lei-ch>eng ...).

Earl O (O-po ...) ... do ascend to the Abyss-Hall (yu:an-t>ing ...), ... arouse the magic forces out of darkness and let them whirl around [Mount] T>ai-hua ... . ...

p. 104

Send forth urgently the dragons and grasp tightly the lightning that they emerge from darkness and pools. ... Act urgently".

p. 104 (29b-30a) "Spell of Lord Wood (mu-lang chou ...)"


"Jade Pool of the East (yu:-ch>ih ...) cast off your fire across a distance of ten thousand miles. In the K>an- and Chen-palaces ...


the Grand Magic Lord of the Sun ... Region and the Most Supreme Lady of Purple Vacuity and Mysterious Magic Force, you all must arrive urgently".

pp. 104-5 (30a) "spell of the Great Cavern ... (Ta-tung ... chou ...)"

p. 104

"T>ai-po Director of Wind (T>ai-po feng-ling ...) and Grand Old Lord with Four Eyes (Ssu-mu hao-weng ...), Lord Yen ... you keep guard on the ice ... . ... The divine might and flamboyance of the sun, gold-immortals awake it. Water and fire flow together in a common stream. Earl Han Po[-wen] ... bears up his boat [fn. 102 : "to carry a big boat on the back"], and the three officials open up shining brightness. ...

p. 105

Act urgently as this is a decree by the Perfect Lord of Prime Existence (Yu:an-ming chen-chu:n ...)."

p. 105 (30a-b) "spell ... for a clear sky (Ch>i-ch>ing chou ...)"


"Fire Carriage (huo-chu: ...), home of Thunder orders (lei-ling ...), Three-and-Five (san-wu ...) are the marshals, shining radiantly without any limit. ...


You have a bond (yu:eh ...) to support the god-emperors with your radiant eyes, silver teeth and the water of wide clarity (huo-luo shui-lei ...). ... Act most urgently and speedily and administer immediately the flamboyance of the sun".

pp. 105-6 (30b) "still another spell that is used to achieve a clear sky"

p. 105

"[The astral constellation] Purple Subtlety (tzu-wei ...) may send

p. 106

down the ... sign that rain clears ... . Earl of the Sea (hai-po ...), ... urge on the essences of yang ... to be most luminous ... . Urgently and respectfully receive the most exalted and supreme (t>ai-chi t>ai-shang ...) fire-wheel-order (huo-lun lu:-ling ...) of [the astral constellation] Purple Subtlety (tzu-wei ...) in [the heaven of] Jade Purity (yu:-ch>ing ..)."

pp. 107-8 (32a-b) "prayer for snow (ch>i-hsu:eh ...)"

p. 107

(32a) "We read ... by the Fire Master (huo-shih ...) : ... When governors (kuo-wang ...) and common locals (t>u-jen

p. 108

...) ask for snow [to fall] ..., the report then the situation by means of tzu ...-[prayers] ... sent off as soaring memorials ... to notify the Court of the Emissaries of the Five Thunders and the Three Monitoring Offices of Thunder and Thunderclaps (Lei-t>ing san-ssu ...). They also notify the Divine and Supreme Councillor of the East and the Immortal Master of Portentous Radiance (Tung-ling shang-hsiang Jui-kuang hsien-shih ...). [fn. 115 : "These are two addresses. Compare TT 15 Wu-shang chiu-hsiao Yu-ch>ing ta-fan tzu-wei hsu:an-tu lei-t>ing yu:-ching 17a".] ...


(32b) Every time the ritual master ... makes his statement to ... the Divine and Supreme Councillor of the East and the Immortal Master of Portentous Radiance (Tung-ling shang-hsiang Jui-kuang hsien-shih ...) [fn. 115 : "The pantheon in TT 1220:56.5b has Tung-ling shang-shang yu:an-chu:n ... and p. 6a has Jui-kuang hsien-shih ... ."], that they may soon send down portentous snow."

p. 109 (32b) "Spell of the Eight Magic Forces of the Eastern Pole (tung-chi pa-ling chou ...)"

"Divine Supreme Councillor of the East, home of portentous radiance, you secretly keep in control the heavenly flowers of green jasper of the superior god-emperors. ... Act urgently".

p. 109 (33a) "Another spell"

"Gold Essences, Great ultimate, Jade Flowers ..., Luminous Master, Fire Master (huo-shih ...), do let portentous [signs] appear. Superior Perfected Ones in the Great Void, in [the Heaven of] Great Purity and at the Ultimate Poles (t>ai-hsu: t>ai-ch>ing t>ai-chi ...), do assist".


II.10 (pp. 109-11) Eviction of Wicked Spirits (C^>u-c^in)

pp. 109-10 (33a-b) concerning monstrous daimones : memorialization & its sequel

p. 109

(33a) "The Fire Master says : You respond ... when there are outrageous spirits, fierce demons ... and monstrous demons ... that ... do not fear the laws of the immortals (hsien-fa ...). It is well permissible that people expose tz>u[-prayers] (t>ou-tz>u ...) to memorialize ... to ...send off soaring notifications to all the officials, using special documents for the Divine Thunder and the Water Thunder (shen-lei shui-lei ...), which may convene and proceed [together] ... within a certain time.

p. 110

When the right time has come, you carry on your left forearm the Seal (yin ...) of Thunder Radiance and Fire Script (lei-kuang huo-wen ...) and the Seal


(33b) of Mercury Heaven of Purple Radiance (tzu-kuang tan-t>ien ...). ... You attach first one Amulet of the Great Divinity of Blazing Fire (Yen-huo ta-shen fu ...) at the gate. ... ... When the ritual procedures are complete, you offer a feast (chi-ch>ou ...) for the Thunder and thunderclaps."

pp. 110-1 (33b-34b) concerning water-monsters : memorialization & its sequel

p. 110

(33b) "When ... water monsters dwell ... in dark caves with pools and fountains, when they ... suck the blood veins of men and eventually change to ... bar the main roads of the area ..., you memorialise all of this precisely


(34a) ... . You notify all officials and send documents to the Water Department (shui-fu ...), asking for generals and emissaries to be sent down ... within a certain time. Three days in advance, you must present warrants (tieh ...) to the city god (Ch>eng-huang ...) in the [respective] province or district (chou-hsien ...), to the earth-god (tu>u-ti ...), to the village altars (li-she ...) and the local shrines (miao-tz>u ...), that they group and lead on their [spirit] troops and generals to control the roads in the four directions and prevent the ... evil water spirits to pass through. When the specific time and day have come, you use flags that are made of dark red silk, seven ch>ih long, and write out seven pieces of the Amulet Heavenly Barrier (t>ien-kuan fu ...). You use the Seal of Cave Magic of the Jade Morning (yu:-ch>en tung-ling ...) to seal the amulets. Carrying the seal on the left

p. 111

upper arm, ... you perform the [ritual] steps "connect the heavenly iron barricade" (lien t>ien t>ieh-chang kang ...). ... When you go to expose the amulets [in the water] you must instruct the [local] people to beat brass gongs and drums {so} as to support the action. When the exposure of the amulets had been done, you must summon and invite with a very loud voice all the official, generals and troops and the legions of the department of the Five Thunders ... . ... You must most urgently


(34b) take out then the Seal Cave-Magic (tung-ling ...) [fn. 118 : "of the Jade Morning"] and let it shine on the monsters. ... When the procedure is complete, you issue amulets in order to send back all the troops and generals to return to their original spheres of might".


II.11 (pp. 112-6) Ritual Pacings & Gesticulations (Pu-kan C^u:eh Fa)

pp. 112-3 (35b-36b) ritual pacings


ritual-pacings __



(35b) "of the soaring dragon"

which bringeth rain


(36a) which "drive on the dragons

to suck up the flood"


(36b) "of the iron barricade

that connects heaven"

{accounts (in the Puran.a-s etc.) of the iron mountain-ridges in Loka-aloka may derive from such Taoist sources}

p. 113 (36b) wen (‘patterns’) belonging with gesticulations

_- mu (‘gesticulation’)

its _-wen (‘pattern’)








tui, with mao on top of it

p. 113 (36b) names of other gesticulations

c^in fen-hsieh ("barring the wicked influences of the wind")

tsun-s^e yin ("seal of comprehensive assistance")

i-s^ih yin ("seal for the employment of emissaries")

p. 114 (37a) the visualization accompanying the gesticulation pien-s^en c^u:eh ("transform to be a divine entity")

"The Fire Master (huo-shih ...) says that any gentleman who performs Thunder rituals (lei-fa ...) ... would have to use the mudra^ "transform to be a divine entity" (pien-shen chu:eh ...). He ... visualises (ts>un ...) that

he wears on the top of his head a liang-cap (liang-kuan ...),

is clad in red garments and wear red shoes.

[He visualises]

immortals who at his left and right sides hold up streamers.

There are [also]

young lads who present respectfully the sword and

keep the registers (lu ...) at hand.

Other young lads hold up banners.

There are the judges, who keep registers of evil deeds.

There are the generals of the Thunder lords (Lei-kung ...) of the Five god-emperors (wu-ti ...),

the Thunder Lord Shao-yang (Shao-yang lei-kung ...),

the Generalissimo of the Fire carriages (huo-chu: yu:an shuai ...)

and the divine generals of the [Thunder] offices.

They altogether appear in front of me, behind me and on my left and right sides. They listen to my ... directives."

pp. 114-5 (37b) "Spell for Dispatching Texts and Scripts (fa-ch>ien wen-tzu chou ...)"

p. 114

"The execution of my order must be as fast as the fire of the stars (hsing-huo ...) {twinkling of the stars}.

p. 115

When the ritual [force] (fa ...) spreads out, it urgently leads wind and thunderclaps to victory. The three spheres (san-chieh ...) must not let the slightest delay happen, and within shortest time there are bright responses."

pp. 115-6 (37b-38b) "instruction concerning sacrifices that are performed in open air (yeh-chi shen-chu:eh ...)." [fn. 128 : at "a remote spot in the wilderness"]; summoning of Barbarian Thundre

p. 115

(37b) "I just a moment, there will be an appropriate response by the lower generals of the Thunder department (lei-pu ..), who are wild and fierce. ... The suitable ritual sacrifice has to be staged in open air. You choose a spot on a high mountain (kao-shan ...),


(38a) that nobody else reaches. ... When you set up the altar you take white chalk and mark out the altar [on the floor] {similar to chalk-drawn diagrams marked on the floor in African-style conjurations (as performed also by the African diaspora in Latin America)} with its three terraces facing [the direction of] sun ... ."


__ platform of the altar

breadth of that platform



9 c^>ih



1 c^an & 2 c^>ih



1 c^an & 5 c^>ih


"When the time has come, the ritual master (fa-shih ...) wearing his hair dishevelled and barefooted .. performs to ritual steps "crush the earth and summon the magic forces" (p>o-ti chao-ling kang ...). ...

p. 116

Again, looking out into the direction of Southeast the ritual master declares with a loud voice : I ... summon the Thunder Emissaries of Barbarian Thunder of the Five Directions (wu-fang man-lei shih-che ... {5-Directions Barbarian -Thundre Emissaries}), that they approach speedily".


(38b) "You burn (hua ...) the sacrificial money and take the sacrificial offerings to bury them ... in the direction of Southeast (sun ...)."


II.12 (pp. 117-9) Conditions for the Ritual Transmission and [Spirit-]Promotion (C^>uan-tu T>iao-p>in)

pp. 117-8 (39a-b) functions (according to the canonical commentary) of particular promotions in spirit-ranking



its function


(39a) Tou-c^un Tu-s^ui S^ih-c^e (Dipper Capital-Waters Commissioner)

C^an-s^ui S^ih-c^e (Controller-[of-]Waters Commissioner


(39b) S^an-c^>in Ssu-min Yu:-fu Yu-c^>in (Supreme-Purity Arbiter-[of-]Fate Jade-Department Left-Councillor)

Huo-pu S^an-s^u (Fire-Department Imperial-Secretary)


Yu:-fu S^an-c^>in Wu-lei S^ih Lin Lei-t>in Tu-ssu Kuei-s^en Kun-s^ih (Jade-Department Supreme-Purity 5-Thundres Emissary Thundres-[&-]Thundreclaps ...)

C^iu-t>ien C^in-c^>u:eh Yu:-s^ih (9-Heavens Golden-Palace Censor)

pp. 118-9 (39b-40a) praeparation of amulet entitled the "Tablet of Declaration of Thunder and Thunderclaps (lei-t>ing pao-kao ...)"; Iron Bond of the Thundre-Wall

p. 118

(39b) "an amulet ... has to be done in red ink on a plank made of the wood of pine trees (tzu-po ...). ...

p. 119

(40a) The backside of the plank shows in the centre line the date of issue of the declaration. The right line names the [acting spirit] emissary who ... holds the rank of Emissary at the Court of the Jade Pivot (yu:-shih yu:an shih ...)." [fn. 135 : "This is the spirit position that the priest has adopted to work out the amulet."]


"A similar presentation of the Iron Bond of the Thunder Wall (lei-ch>eng t>ieh-ch>u:an ...) follows. The central line of the text on the front side says :

Decree, do guard the body and keep safe the life. ...

This has to be done in red ink. On the right side, we get ... spells that control the [spirit] palace guards ... who record the merits ... .... The next line to the left belongs to the backside of this bond and again names the Emissary of the Court of the Jade Pivot (yu:-shu yu:an shih ...)".


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