Foundations of Daoist Ritual, 6-8



The 8 Immortals from a New Spirit–Written Scripture

Philip Clart


pp. 84-5 historical development of the group of the 8 Immortals

p. 84

"The group of the Eight Immortals (Baxian ...) consists of

Zhongli Quan ..., Lu: Dongbin ..., Zhang Guolao ..., Li Tieguai ...,

He Xiangu ..., Lan Caihe ..., Cao Guoju ..., and Han Xiangzi ... . ...


Probably the earliest appearance of a Baxian group is found in a wall painting of a Jin dynasty tomb (Taihe ... period, 1201-1209) ... ."

p. 85

"The Ming period also saw the first full narrative development of the Eight Immortals complex in the form of a novel, the Dongyou ji ... ("Journey to the East") by Wu Yuantai ... . Much of the later Eight Immortals lore is linked with this important text, including the famous story of their crossing the ocean (Baxian guohai ...)".

pp. 84-5 the Ba-xian in art & in litterature during the Yuan dynasty

p. 84, fn. 2

"For the development of the Baxian motif in Yuan period pictorial art, see Anning Jing, "The Eight Immortals ... during the Yu:an Dynasty". In :- Arts of the Sung and Yu:an, ed. Maxwell K. Hearn & Judith G. Smith (New York : The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996), pp. 213-229."

p. 85, fn. 7

"The story of the Baxian’s crossing of the ocean appears first in the Yuan drama "Zheng yuban Baxian guo canghai" ... ("Struggling over jade clappers, the eight Immortals cross the vast ocean"). On this play see Chen Lingling, "Baxian zai Yuan-Ming zaju ..." [M.A. thesis, Wenhua Xueyuan, 1978], pp. 35-36."

pp. 86-7 a temple to Lu: Don-bin; Benevolent Lords of spirit-writing cults

p. 86

"In Taiwan, we encounter ... temples to this deity ...,

p. 87

the most famous being the Zhinan Gong ... in the Muzha ... district of Taipei."

p. 87, fn. 14

"On the Zhinan Gong, see Paul R. katz, "The Wayward Phoenix? The early History of the Place of Guidance (Chih-nan Kung)", in Yishi, miaohui yu shequ ..., ed. Chu Ron-guey .. and Li Feng-mao ... (Taipei : Institute of Literature and Philosophy, 1996), pp. 197-228."

p. 89 White Peony

"Lu: Dongbin from tales implicating him in sexual adventures such as the famous episode of White Peony (Bai Mudan ... )."

"Lu Dongbin ... once incurred the wrath of a heavenly queen for wooing the famous Luoyang courtesan White Peony."

"White Peony (as the future Immortal was called) very well understood Lu Tung-pin's intentions. She agreed to his desire and together they went to a mountain. There for three days and nights they made love passionately" (Kristofer Schipper : The Taoist Body. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. p. 163.)

In the Ming-dynasty novel Pure Yang Lu: of the Tang Dynasty Achieves the Dao, the 5th chapter "Pure Yang Lu: Sleeps with White Peony", based on the play Lu: Dongbin’s love affair with White Peony, "Yellow Dragon is the instigator." (Anning Jing : The Water God's Temple of the Guangsheng Monastery. Leiden : Brill, 2001. SINICA LEIDENSIA, Vol. 53. p. 174)

p. 90 succession of phoinix-halls in the central Taiwanese city Tai-c^un

"Non-Ultimate’s Court of Chan Transformation, Southern Heaven’s Hall of Origin in Emptiness (Wuji Chanhua Yuan, Nantian Xuyuan Tang ...) ... came into being in 1996 as an offshoot of another Taichung phoenix hall, ... Hall of Enlightened Orthodoxy (... Mingzheng Tang). ... The Mingzheng Tang itself had come into being in 1976 as an offshoot of another Taichung phoenix hall, the Hall of Sages and Worthies (Shengxian Tang ...)".

pp. 91, 95 spirit-writing; "immortal teacher"

p. 91

"The key activity of any phoenix hall is spirit-writing {commonly called "automatic writing"}, i.e., the recording of texts authored by the cult group’s gods through the services of a human medium wielding ... a wooden, Y-shaped "planchette" (mubi ..., taobi ...) on the sand-covered surface of a tray."

p. 95

"Every planchette medium honours a particular deity as his or her "immortal teacher" (xianshi ...). It is this deity that guides the candidate through the training that qualifies him or her as medium."



The Way of the Locust Tree Studio : Religious Liu-men Movement

Volker Olles


p. 109 Liu Yuan

"The Liu family ... took up residence in Shuangliu ... County southwest of Chengdu at the beginning of the Qing dynasty ... . ...

Liu Yuan was born in the 33rd year of the Qianlong ... era (1768), and was styled Zhitang ... ."

p. 110 Locust-Tree Studio

"The teachings of Liu Yuan and the popular religious movement, which derived from the former, were thus known as the "Way of the Locust tree Studio" (Huaixuan Dao ...)."

p. 111 biography of Lao-zi (according to Liu Yuan)

[quoted from C^on-kan Dao-zan Ji-yao, xu yi-ji 1, pp. 10a-12a] "Laozi was a scholar of hidden virtue. Since he dwelt in the world for a long time, he frequently changed his name. Ge Hong ... noted down in his reports of Realized Beings :"

in the times/era of __

he was __

Yellow Emperor

Guan-c^en Zi


Wu-guan Zi [otherwise known as Wu-c^en Zi (fn. 12)]

Yin dynasty

s^ou-zan li (‘archive administrator’)

Z^ou dynasty

z^u-xia s^i (‘archivist’)

"The Grand Astrologer [Sima Qian ...] ... states in his Biography of Laozi :

"Some say the Grand Scribe Dan ... at the Zhou court or

Laolai Zi ... [were identical with Laozi]"".

p. 114 the Fa-yan Hui-zuan

"the ritual canon was also compiled by Liu Yuan himself. The collection of fifty chapters (juan ...) bears the tile of "Collected Words of Ritual Methods" (Fayan huizuan ...). ... Interestingly, several members of the Liu family were also included in the pantheon and given divine titles and standard Daoist invocations (gaowen ...). Liu Yuan himself is referred to as Qingyang Shangdi ... ("Supreme Ruler of Clear Yang") in this context. ... A preface ny Liu Yuan, written in 1821, and an introduction by the Daoist Fan Daoheng ..., dated 1844, constitute the opening section of this compilation."

p. 115 the Guan-c^en Yi-z^i

"The Fayan huizuan ... originated from the Quanzhen Daoist ritual tradition ... . ... In the Qing dynasty, a comprehensive collection of ritual texts was compiled by the Quanzhen Daoist Chen Zhongyuan ..., a native of Sichuan. This huge compilation, titled Guangcheng yizhi ... ("Ritual Systematization of Master Guangcheng"), was printed in 1911 by the temple Erxian An in Chengdu ... . ... The bulk of Liu Yuan’s Fayan huizuan canon ... has its origin in Chen Zhongyuan’s ritual collection."

p. 116 the Jin-c^an Ji-c^en

"the "Collection of Sacred Scriptures and Litanies of Repentance" (Jingchan jicheng ...) ... was published for the first time in 1860 by Liu Yuan’s disciples. The compilation includes ... text clusters with introductions and exhaustive commentaries by Liu Yuan (in one case by Liu Yuan’s father)."



Daoist Ritual Theory of in Work of Lu Xiu-jin

Gil Raz


p. 120 writings authored by Lu Xiu-jin

"Lu Xiujing ... compiled the first canon of Daoist texts, the Catalogue of the Scriptures of the Three Caverns ... [fn. 5 : "Lu’s earlier Catalogue of the Lingbao Scriptures, compiled in 437, is extant as copied into Song Wenming’s ... (fl. 549-51) Tongmen lun ..., preserved as Dunhuang manuscripts P.2861B and 2256." vide :- "BLX&1DC".], presented to the throne in 471,

produced several works that systematized Daoist ritual [fn. 6 : "His works on ritual are ... DZ 1278, ... DZ 528, ... DZ 410. ... Liu’s ritual program has been studied" in "RT&TR". ], and

composed a history of Daoism, Master Lu’s Abridged Codes for the Daoist Community (Lu xiansheng daomen kelu: ... DZ 1127)". [fn. 7 : "For a detailed study of Lu xiansheng daomen kelu:, see" "TDB".]

"LX&1DC" = Stephen Bokenkamp : "Lu Xiujing and the 1st Daoist Canon". In :- Pearce; Spiro; Ebrey (edd.) : Culture and Power in the Reconstitution of the Chinese Realm, 200-600. Harvard U Asia Center, 2001. pp. 181-99.

"RT&TR" = Catherine Bell : "Ritualization of Texts and Textualization of Ritual in the Codification of Daoist Liturgy". HISTORY OF RELIGIONS 27.4 (1988):366-92.

"TDB" = Peter Nickerson : Taoism, Death and Bureaucracy in Early Medieval China. PhD diss, U of CA at Berkeley, 1996.

p. 121 Lu Xiu-jin’s introduction to his ritual manual Tai-s^an Don-xuan Lin-bao Z^on-jian Wen ("Tablets and Writs of the Numinous Treasure")

[quoted from DZ 410.1a] "There is a procedure to receiving the tallies and oaths of Lingbao. ... Both the Middle Oath and the Great Oath include the Rite of Casting Dragon-tablets. Later, the rites of casting the jade tablets of the Three Primordials are to be performed on the Eight Nodal Days ... . At the four seasons one should ascend mountains and perform rites of the Perfect Writs. Both the Contract with the Perfected and Jade Instructions include details of these rites". [fn. 9 : "Contract with the Perfected refers to the Lingbao scripture ... DZ 1411; Jade Instructions refers to the Lingbao scripture ... DZ 352."]

pp. 126-8 Tallies of the 8 Awes; 5 Ascendant Talismans

p. 126

[quoted from Ge Hon : (Inner Chapters [completed in 317] of the Master Embracing the Unhewn) Bao-pu-zi 17.300-1 (transl. by Ware, p. 282)] "When a superior Master enters the mountains he should grasp the Inner Writ of the Three Luminaries and the Charts of the Perfected Forms of the Five Marchmounts. He can summon the mountain deities ... with the ‘spirit registers’ ... . ...

The next best device ... is to place seventy-two ‘sprite-securing’ talismans ... [around one’s location]. One should then produce the emblems of ... the twelve Embracing the Primordial Seals of Ruby-red Bureau ..., and use them to seal the four sides of their dwelling. ...

The next best device is to grasp the Tallies of the Eight Awes and wear the Jade Slips of Laozi ..., then the mountain sprites can be commanded".


"One may also employ the

Tiger Pace of the Seven Stars,

Jade Spirit Talisman,

Talismans of the Eight Awes and Five Ascendants ...,

Li’er’s Talismans of Great Peace,

Seals of Central Yellow Floreate Canopy, ... or

erect Lord

p. 127

of the Western Marchmount’s Talismans for Constraining Mountain [spirits]."

p. 128

[quoted from DZ 388:3.12b, in the Array of the 5 Talismans] As concerning the"Writ of the Most High of the Three Heaves for Subduing Krakens, Dragons, ... and Mountain Sprites", also named "Writ of the Eight Awes" : "A Daoist [should] carry this writ in his sleeve when entering mountains. The ... demonic creatures will merely walk by your side as you proceed. Grasping this writ in your hand, the ... mountain demons ... will retreat a thousand li."

pp. 128-9 the 8 Awes in the Jade Instructions

p. 128

"The second juan of the Jade Tablets lists several efficacious methods.

The first device in this chapter is the "Lingbao Writ of the Eight Awes from the Most High Cavern of Mystery for Subduing Krakens, Dragons ..., and Mountain Sprites." This title is ... a rewording of the title found in the Array of the Five Talismans. ... . [DZ 22:1a]

The text then provides three talismans whose names all include variants of Eight Awes. The third of these, the Yang Life talisman of Great Simplicity from the Nine Heavens ..., is also known as the Dragon Script of the Eight Awes ... . ...

The Jade Instructions ... includes a section [DZ 352:1.24b] devoted to the production of the Slips of the Eight Awes ... .This section was incorporated into Lu Xiujing’s Lingbao shoudu yi [Lingbao Initiation Protocol]. [DZ 528:31b-35b] The first part of Lu’s version of the rite follows the text of the Jade Instructions (DZ 532:1.25b-26a2). ... In Lu’s version of the rite of Sealing the Staff ... one is to insert the talismans of the Five Thearchs into holes ... in the staff ... . ... The final part of the procedure consists of sealing the staff with red candle wax and Seals of Primordial Commencement and Stamps of the Five Elders ... . However, the section from the Jade Instructions that ... is the final part of a section

p. 129

entitled Jade Instructions of the Five Tablets of the Five Thearchs ... (21b-24b) ... provides detailed instructions for producing a "divine pole" ... from a 7 ft. long bamboo pole with seven notches. ... This pole allows on to control the spirits of heaven and earth. After practicing properly for nine years the True Forms of the spirits will appear ... and


one will be able to ride this pole in the air ... .

{cf. European witches’ riding of broomsticks}


... if one wishes to practice "release by means of a corpse" this pole can replace one’s body ... ."


ASIEN- UND AFRIKA-STUDIEN DER HUMBOLDT-UNIVERSITA:T ZU BERLIN, Band 33 = Florian C. Reiter (ed.) : Foundations of Daoist Ritual. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2009.