Are Esoteric Taoist Traditions Closed or Open?

Don’t forget– if it helps, turn the closed captioning on! =)

When I say “open tradition,” I mean a culture-specific practice of a magical system and set of doctrinal beliefs integrated into that practice that anyone at all can work with for themselves, that it’s free and open to the public.

When I say “closed tradition,” I mean a culture-specific practice of a magical system and set of doctrinal beliefs integrated into that practice that can only be honorably accessed if certain conditions are met, such as initiation; heredity; clan or ethnic group membership; or a formally established master-student bond.

My third book, I Ching, The Oracle: A Practical Guide to the Book of Changes, published by North Atlantic Books, is forthcoming mid-2023. It’s my translation and annotations of the Oracle with cultural and historical references that honor the shamanic origins of the I Ching.

What it really is, though, is a magical grimoire. I began with an aspiration to write a grimoire on Taoist mysticism and magical practices, and then decided to do so through the framework of the I Ching. This is going to be a practical hands-on primer on East Asian modalities of witchcraft and folk magic. A deep-dive learning experience into the history and mythological references found in the Book of Changes is the bonus.

Leading up to the release of I Ching, The Oracle will be this series of videos where I lay the foundation for working with this third book. If this is of interest to you, stay tuned! ❤

5 thoughts on “Are Esoteric Taoist Traditions Closed or Open?

  1. Lg

    Yes benebell, but what happened to your bone oracle and other than fu hsi and the duke, and king wen shamanism -what is the difference in the yi ching you are putting out in 2023 cause elasticity has a lot of challenges and there are an awful lot of yi ching -we know you have a lot of knowledge and 1 production there are 10 productions held back- your fu magic book is very good and elastic cause there are many that want to know the way of sacred esotericism -no matter how others see sinology because they know there is something beyond the norm that is proven and real-but delving into already known Celtic or paganism when your already great is not elastic cause you have fed us this good knowledge benebell-please give us more master!!!


  2. rtslater1111gmailcom

    This was by far the most informative and useful discussion I have ever heard on this subject. Not once did you say misappropriation and I appreciate that, it always starts the conversation with a shaming tone. I am of Celtic descent and have honestly tried to study and learn about the rich magical tradition of this culture. Somehow it just doesn’t stick and I always come back to Taoist and Buddhist teachings. Tarot speaks strongly to me and I recently purchased some Runes upon finding out I also have some Scandinavian genetic heritage (DNA). I’ve only seen iChing demonstrated a couple of times but it spoke to me also.🙄 I am not disciplined however, so feel like I’m “surfing” rather than deep diving. Where should I start? I’ll partly answer my own question – with a commitment to daily study. Again though, where to start? Is there a recommended text for Taoist newbies? Is there a good way to reign in my scattered Pisces/Scorpio/Gemini energy? Any advice welcome. PS Hoping your planner helps keep me more focused and on track next year!
    – Hopefully I haven’t posted this three times, think I got caught in a loop.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s