Society for the Study of Chinese Religions, Indiana U.


No. 30 (2002)

pp.23-48 Albert E. Dien : "Turfan Funereal Documents".

p. 36, fn. 66 "For Haoli, the traditional gathering place of the spirits of the dead, see Dien, "Chinese Beliefs in the Afterworld," [in :- The Quest for Eternity, pp. 1-15] 6."

p. 37 funereal writ of Qi dynasty (Chr.E. 573) in woman’s tomb at Lin-qu, S^an-don

"Now she is to attend

the Teacher of the Discipline,

the Storehouse Duke [Zan-gon] and

the Mountain Duke [S^an-gon] ...

At the time of the death ...,

the Celestial Thearch [Tiandi ...] held flowers ... to greet her spirit,

the Great Potentiality [Da-quan] ["the power of the ... deities to transform themselves" (fn. 69)] ... attended on her numinous hun-spirit.

Order your underworld Nu:qing ["messenger of the Celestial Thearch" (n. 70)] to draft an order to

the Great Deity of the Five Paths and to

the Supervisor of Spades (Sibo ...)." {god of grave-digging?}


No. 31 (2003)

pp. 1-37 Shin-yi Chao : "Daoist Examinations and Daoist Schools during the Northern Sung Dynasty".

pp. 28-29 offices of rank for Daoist officials [G.M. = Grand Master; G. = Gentleman; C.G. = Court Gentleman; M. = Master; Char. = Characters; R.M. = Ritual Master; RiCh = Registrar-in-Chief; A.D.R. = Acting Daoist Registrar; A.V.D.R. = Acting Vice Daoist Registrar; A.DiCh = Acting Director-in-Chief; A.V.DiCh = Acting Vice Director-in-Chief; A.E.C. = Acting Editing Clerk]

praestige title

titular post

Daoist title

G.M. of the Palace

M. of 6 Char.

G.H. of the Supreme Void

G.M. for Palace Attendance

M. of 4 Char.

G.M. of the Pure Void

G.M. for Palace Leisure

M. of 2 Char.

G.M. of the Purple Void

G.M. for Court Discussion

R.M. of 6 Char.

G.M. of the Green Void

G.M. for Forthright Service


G.M. of Dashing into the Void

G.M. for Court Audiences

R.M. of 4 Char.

G.M. of Supreme Simplicity

G.M. for Closing Court

M. of 2 Char.

G.M. of Primordial Simplicity

G.M. for Court Service

A.(xin) D.R.

G.M. of Correct Simplicity

G. for Court Audiences

A.(s^ou) D.R.

G. of the Supreme Void

G. for Closing Court

A.(s^i) D.R.

G. of the Pure Void

G. for Court Service

A.(xin) V.D.R.

G. of the Purple Void

G. for Discussion

A.(s^ou) V.D.R.

G. of the Cyan Void

C.G. Consultant

A.(s^i) V.D.R.

G. of Dashing into the Void

C.G. for Compraehensive Duty

A.(xin) DiCh

G. of Supreme Simplicity

C.G. for Instruction

A.(s^ou) DiCh

G. of Correct Simplicity

C.G. for Manifesting Rightness

A.(s^i) DiCh

G. of Correct Simplicity

G. for Managing Affairs

A.(xin) V.DiCh

G. of Halcyon Tenuity

G. for Attendance

A.(s^ou) V.DiCh

G. of the Blue Sky

G. for Rendering Service

A.(s^i) V.DiCh

G. of the Cinnabar Terrance

G. for Fostering Uprightness

A.(xin) E.C. of Rituals

G. of Florescence of the Left


A.(s^ou) E.C. of Rituals

G. of the Ultimate of the Right


A.(s^i) E.C. of Rituals

G. of the Red-Gem Terrance

G. for Attendance

A.(xin) E.C. of Rituals

G. of Southern Prosperity

G. for Government Participation

A.(s^ou) E.C. of Rituals

G. of Southern Florescence

G. for Good Service

A.(s^i) E.C. of Rituals

G. of the Cinnabar Grove

G. for Meritorious Achievement

A.(s^i) E.C. of Rituals

G. of the Golden Altar

p. 30 Daoist nominal supernumerary appointments [G.M. = Grand Master; G. = Gentleman; AoE = Attendant on the Emperor; A.R. = Archival Proofreader; LoS = Lecturer on Scriptures]

nominal supernumerary appointment


G.M. of the Palace

AoE at the C^on-he Hall

G.M. for Palace Attendance

AoE at the Bao-guan Hall

G.M. for Palace Leisure

AoE at the Yan-yi Hall

G.M. for Court Discussion

AoE at the Rui-z^u Hall

G.M. for Forthright Service

AoE at the Nin-s^en Hall

G.M. for Closing Court

A.P at the Bao-guan Hall

G.M. for Court Service

A.P at the Rui-z^u Hall

G. for Court Audiences

A.P at the Nin-s^en Hall

G. for Closing Court

LoS at the Yan-yi Hall

G. for Court Service

LoS at the Rui-z^u Hall

G. for Discussion

LoS at the Nin-s^en Hall

pp. 30-31 old & new titles of Daoist officials [D.R. = Daoist Registrar; V.D.R. = Vice Daoist Registrar; DiCh = Director-in-Chief; V.DiCh = Vice Director-in-Chief; A. = Administrator; D.Ry = Daoist Registry; A.A. = Associate Administrator; N. = Notary; A.N. = Associate Notary]

old titles

new titles


A. of the Left & Right Avenues of the D.Ry


A.A. of the Left & Right Avenue of the D.Ry

D.R. of the Left Avenue

A. of the Left Avenue of the D.Ry

D.R. of the Right Avenue

A. of the Right Avenue of the D.Ry

V.D.R. of the Left Avenue

A.A. of the Left Avenue of the D.Ry

V.D.R. of the Right Avenue

A.A. of the Right Avenue of the D.Ry

DiCh of the Left Avenue

N. of the Left Avenue of the D.Ry

DiCh of the Right Avenue

N. of the Right Avenue of the D.Ry

V.DiCh of the Left Avenue

A.N. of the Left Avenue of the D.Ry

V.DiCh of the Right Avenue

A.N. of the Right Avenue of the D.Ry


pp. 39-79 Adam Yuet Chau : "Popular Religion in Shaanbei". (northern S^aan-xi province)

p. 49 the 2 kinds of ghost-like monsters

"the "paralysis monsters" [S. tan-jie-zi ...] who supposedly kidnap children and cause them to go into paralytic fits."

" "hairy ghost gods" [S. mao-gui-s^en ...], mischievous monsters ... making people fall ill"

the 2 kinds of "horse lad" (ma-ton ...), i.e. medium


medium for spirit-possession


wu-s^en, whose tutelary deities are z^en-s^i-s^en ("proper gods") : the wu-s^en "often uses a heavy, three-pronged wrought-iron sword [san-s^an-dao ...]"


s^en-guan, whose tutelary deities are typically da-xian (‘immortals’) : a s^en-guan "usually uses a heavy drum made of wrought-iron and a goat-skin [yan-pi gu ...] as he chants and dances. " In the past the s^en-guan "used to have a ... queue on his head to dance with"


s^en-guan are usually found in northern S^aan-bei and inner Mongolia while wu-s^en are found in areas further south.

p. 59 pin-s^i ritual specialists

"They make elaborate and colorful "soul-guiding canopy" [yin-hun-fan ...] from paper, conduct the soul-calling ritual at the burial (so that the wandering soul of the deceased will come back into the body in the coffin), orchestrate the worship at the grave, pacify the earth god at both the burial site and the home of the deceased’s family, purify the homes of the neighborhood after the funeral, and mete out other ritual prescriptions".

pp. 59-60 obstacles to children

"small children before reaching twelve years old (Chinese count, i.e., one year old at birth) are susceptible ... especially to those so-called "life-course obstacles" (guan ... or guan-s^a ..., "obstacle demons")."

pp. 61-62 divination methods



variety of the method


qian (divination-sticks)

Z^en-wu Zu-s^i lin-qian (‘Perfected-Warrior Ancestral-Master magical-divination’ set)

Guan-lao-ye qian (Guan lord divination set)

Hei-lon Da-wan s^en-qian (‘Black-Dragon Great-King miraculous-divination’ set)

nian-nian qian (fertility-goddesses’ divination sets)

(those of various city-gods)


gua (oracle-roller) : "The gua [‘trigram’] is a short, fat wooden roller with eight segments along its sides (so the two ends are octagon-shaped) ..., and the middle is a little fatter than the ends. Each segment has a different four-character message inscribed into or written on the wood. The consultee with a particular problem holds this roller in both palms and rolls it horizontally in a wooden tray."

medicine divination

[rain-making divination (p. 64)]

[son-&-daughter oracle (p. 64, fn. 62)]

pp. 62-63 the 8 4-character messages






"Extremely auspicious"



"Not so good"



"Not clear how you would thank me for the help" [requiring that the consultee put either "more money in the donation box" or else make a vow promising money if the venture shall have been profitable (p. 63)]



"Go home soon if traveling / the traveler will come home soon"



"Not in accordance with the gods’ ways" ["plan is going to break the law" (p. 63)]



"Pray with a sincere heart"



"Bring the medicine with the magical water" ["The magical water refers to the trickle of spring water dripping from a small hole on the side of a fifteen-foot-high inclined cliff next to the temple." (fn. 61)]



"Will get well after taking the medicine"

p. 64 "another gua which is used only when ... there are requests for rain. On it the two medicine-related messages [#s 7th & 8th among the 4-character messages] on the medicine gua are replaced by two rain-related messages : "will rain today" ... and "will rain within three days"

... all dragon kings ... have a similar rain gua."

p. 64, fn. 62 Lon-mu Nian-nian (dragon-mother of ‘Black-Dragon Great-King’ Hei-lon Da-wan) hath "her own oracle roller oracle that relates to fertility and child-rearing (sometimes called ernu: gua [son and daughter oracle]). The eight messages" on the nian-nian gua are :-




"One son will become famous"


"One pair of sons and one pair of daughters"


"Give thanks when you get a son"


"Will get well after taking magical medicine"


Extremely auspicious"


"Not clear how you would thank me for help"


"Not in accordance with the gods’ ways"


"Pray with a sincere heart"

pp. 61 & 64 divination-stick method for the Black Dragon set


divination-sticks & their message-components


"Each of the hundred individually-numbered bamboo sticks in the wooden container corresponds to a different divine message which is printed on a small slip of paper. ... For a particular problem the consultee shakes the container until one bamboo stick drops or shoots out of the container. This action is called "drawing the divination sticks"".


"All the Black Dragon King’s one hundred messages follow a set structure of six components :


(1) the number of the message (from 1 to 100);


(2) the level of auspiciousness of the message (nine levels ; from "great great" down through "medium medium" to "bad bad");


(3) the title of the message in the form of a condensed, four-character, chengyu-like idiom with historical or legendary references {cf. pp. 101-126 "Rethinking the Chunqiu shiyu"};


(4) a poem explicating the often obscure idiom (... always in the form of four seven-character lines);


(5) another poem further explicating the meaning of the message (... always in the form of four five-character lines);


(6) a ... suggestion for action for the consultee."


pp. 81-99 Alison R. Marshall : "Moving the Spirit on Taiwan".

lin-don (‘spirit-moving’)


lin-ji (‘spirit-diviner’)


Lin-ji practices begin with ... an individual, aided by a medium called a z^en-cai ... [true talent] or a ji-ton ... [divining youth] .. about her or his individual mission in life, as well as the purity of her or his original spirit [ben-lin ...] and self-nature [zi-xin ...]."

81, fn. 1

z^en-cai ("commonly associated with the Unity Sect [Yi-guan-dao ...]") "is a young woman who is still menstruating."


"over 90 per cent of those who perform songs and dances are female. ... They are most numerous in urban temples in southern Taiwan, praying, meditating, burping ["burping indicates that the spirit is starting to move one by stirring the qi"], singing, and dancing when they are moved by any number of deities".


The character /lin/ hath "the meaning of spirit/numinous or magical efficacy and power. It is comprised of the Chinese radical for rain ..., three mouths ... and the character for wu ..., a name for the male and female mediums ... in early Chinese religion."


In lin-ji "performances a spirit descends and moves the original spirit of a performer ... to ... submit to a higher power.

... burps, songs and dances are not studied, or remembered ...; they are spontaneous expressions of the deity ...

There are also those twirl – some slowly, and some very quickly in the manner of dervishes. {or of Shaking Quakers}

... some women and men are shy when they are in a normal state of being, and extroverts when they move the spirit."


Lin-ji "will sit on blue exercise mats, meditating in silence ... Gradually ... some may begin to burp, slowly and gently at first, then more intensely ... Those who begin burping ... will then walk to ... the center of the room and begin to dance ...; while the more experienced of the group will quickly into the stage of dancing and singing."

91, fn. 38

"stories of people who ... in search of their original spirit ... have discovered that their original spirit was too impure and too unstable to allow them to return to the present life. I was told that these people have now gone insane." {cf. [Qabbalist] tales of persons who have entered Paradise and therewith gone insane}


[said by a female lin-ji :-] "During a performance, a spirit tells me how to move and what to sing, but while I am singing and dancing I am not aware of what I am doing."

92, fn. 41

[Non people of mainland China :-] "possession is believe to extend the life of a medium, who is born with a destiny to die young."


"When a lingji is inspired to perform, she or he explains that it feels like an electric current, dianqi ..., is coursing through her or him and drawing her or his original spirit away like a magnetic field [cichang ...] to another realm. Ling or spirit is often described as having a magnetic or an electric charge that causes entranced mediums to tremble."


"the moving of water was meant to represent how ... moved qi and and the spirit from one person to the next".


"She ... began effortlessly to speak the divine language. ... the woman could not understand what she had just said. ... when lingji are moved by the spirit they will get together and have conversations. These conversations were not between people but rather between spirits."

97, Fig. 1

The emblem of the lin-ji is (in yellow) a backwards swastika within a circle, with 8 rays (each ending in a small circle) going outward from that large circle. (As a floor-altar, there is a bucket of water on the centre of the swastika.)


pp. 101-126 Yuri Pines : "History as a Guide to the Netherworld".


netherworld officials


Han dynasty tomb # 3 at C^an-s^a yielded 2 copes of the Lao-zi and the Huan-lao texts attached to these copies; together with the C^un-qiu S^i-yu, comprising 16 brief anecdotes of events of the C^un-qiu period (722-453 B.Chr.E.).


The prince Pen-s^en returned after death as a boar : "The boar stood like a man and wailed."


"When [the deceased] consumed plenty of exceptional things [in his life], his hun and po are powerful; therefore their spiritual essence may achieve the level of divine numinousness." [explanation of power of the dead Bo You, who had in persons’ dreams praedicted (p. 109) deaths of other persons to occur on ren-zi days]


Du Bo returned after death "riding a ... chariot drawn by a white horse, wearing crimson headgear, holding a crimson bow and a crimson arrow."


"The CQSY [C^un-qiu S^i-yu (‘C^un-qiu Affairs and Speeches’)] "is a sketchy introduction to the lives of tragic heroes, whose violent deaths might have caused them to develop posthumous careers ... as netherworld officials."


"the Six Dynasties (220-589 C.E.) zhiguai ... [anomaly accounts] might have served... as a kind of exorcistic texts."


[according to Zuo Z^uan, xuan 3, pp. 669-670] "the legendary sage Yu ... had produced a caldron on which the images of "a hundred [strange] creatures [bai wu ...] were cast in order "distinguish the divine from the evil," so that the people would no longer be hurt by the evil creatures."


[4th century Chr.E. – Wan Min : Bao-pu-zi, "Den S^e" 17:308] "discussing the registers of the hundreds of ghosts, to learn the names of all the ghosts under heaven, and bringing The Chart of the White Lake and Records of the Nine Caldrons ..."


[how Dan returned to life, according to the "resurrection" text from the late Z^an-guo tomb at Fan-ma-tan, Gansu] "Dan’s patron, a Wei ... general ..., "made a declaration to the Scribe of the Director of the Life-Mandate," Gon-sun Qian, "who then intervened and indeed succeeded in restoring Dan to life."


The Z^ou nobleman "Du Bo ... became a deity in the state of Qin, which inherited the territory of the Western Zhou royal domain. Sima Qian’s ... (c. 145-90) "Treatise on Sacrifices" [Fen S^an S^u ...] mentions that Qin sacrificed to Master Du (i.e., Du Bo), who was "a deity of the smallest ghosts."" ["Although Du Bo’s ghost [gui] is small, he still possesses numinous power [s^en lin ...]." (fn. 47)]


"A recently discovered list of early Han deities from tomb no. 5 at Huchang ..., Jiangsu, provides ... numerous bureaucratic titles of Han deities ...


Sima Qian mentions among the deities to whom Qin performed sacrifices certain "nine ministers" and fourteen ministers.""


"The later Daoist netherworld bureaucracy preserved only ... one of the CQSY protagonists, Lord Huan of Qi, who was appointed to maintain the register of life and death for the Three Offices."

117, fn. 51

for Z^ou-dynasty personalities who became netherworld officials, vide :- Tao Hon-jin (c. 452-536 Chr.E.) : Z^en Gao, juan 16, pp. 12-13


"the CQSY is ... of pre-imperial netherworld bureaucrats."

pp. 118-119 the 4 categories of documents in tombs :-






"inventories of funerary items ...; and letters to the netherworld officials, in which the deceased reports his arrival to the new location"



"almanacs, divination and sacrifice records for the occupant of the tomb"



"Religious texts ... about demons, deities and netherworld officials ...

Just like the living, the deceased would be concerned about choosing a proper day for action, foreseeing the future, curing illnesses, eating well and avoiding malevolent spirits and deities."



"administrative, legal or military documents ...

these documents were directed at bolstering the deceased’s status in the afterlife".



"philosophical ... writings ... to show that I did not neglect the Way of the sages." ["the deceased ... patronized ... scholars, and by inserting the texts associated with their prote’ge’s manifested their desire to continue similar activities in the afterlife." (p. 120, fn. 61)]

tombs & their contents :-


pp. 245-255 Daniel L. Overmeyer : "Review of Religion and Local Society [in Chinese] (vol.s 137 & 138 of the JOURNAL OF CHINESE RITUAL, THEATRE AND FOLKLORE, Sept. & Dec. 2002)".

pp. 250-251 rituals for Silkworm Goddess in Han-z^ou




"the Goddess ... is ... asked to drive away the White Tiger that symbolizes harm to silkworms.


At the Qin-min festival "all silkworm-raising households carry out four forms of ritual activities,

the first of which is eating a bowl of spiral mollusks called luoshi ..., picking out the flesh with needles. The shells are thrown on the house roof, so that the "forces that harm silkworms concealed in these shells have no place to hide" ... The second and third household rituals are to make a white rice flour image of the


tiger and place it in a three-way street intersection, and

to use white ashes to draw a bow on the ground around the silkworm raising building to shoot the White Tiger.

The fourth ritual is to put an image of the Door God in front of the building".

p. 251 fox spirit cult in northern S^aan-xi

"The fox deity is represented in the temple by a statue of one of the Eight Diamond Kings ..., but in his case in the form of a Confucian scholar rather than as a warrior like the rest. There is ... a cave-temple ... up the hill that had been the home of spirit-mediums speaking for the fox."

pp. 252-253 the Fu-jian local deity Sage Lord Z^an




"he was a cowherd and a maker of hoe handle who ... beheaded a snake monster, stopped a drought and performed other miracles similar to those by ... the Fujian goddess Chen Jinggu ..., whom the Lord Zhang is


said to have defeated in a struggle, so that she became his "foster younger sister"


... adoption of devotees by the god ..., leading to lifetime attachments to the deity, unlike those in other temples where the adopted relationship ends when the child reaches the age of sixteen."