Introduction to Buddhist-Taoist Esotericism

Taoism is a nature-based religion, philosophy, and a 2,000 year old tradition of sorcery native to China since the Zhou Dynasty. In that same time, Buddhism enters China and a modality of it–esoteric Buddhism–is blended in with Taoist magic. Yet the roots of Taoist magic trace back even further than the dynasties of antiquity, back to Neolithic shamanism.

This introductory six-video lecture series will cover the ontology, theory, history, and cultural practice of sorcery at the intersection of esoteric Buddhism and Taoism. You’re on Video #1: Introduction to Buddhist-Taoist Esotericism.

1: Introduction to Buddhist-Taoist Esotericism

2: History of Taoist and Buddhist Mysticism in China

3: Taoist Sorcery and Its Cultural Practice

4: Taoist Metaphysics

5: Chinese Occultism as a Syncretic Practice

6: Taoist Magic in Contemporary Times

I’m creating this lecture series as an invitation to you to learn more about the occult traditions I practice. I hope you find within these offerings bits of insight, knowledge, and methods that you can integrate, syncretize, adopt into your own Path.

For the full playlist, go here:

tinyurl.com/chineseoccultism

Continue reading “Introduction to Buddhist-Taoist Esotericism”

Introduction to Chinese Esotericism

Taoism is a nature-based religion, philosophy, and a 2,000 year old tradition of sorcery native to China since the Zhou Dynasty. In that same time, Buddhism enters China and a modality of it–esoteric Buddhism–is blended in with Taoist magic. Yet the roots of Taoist magic trace back even further than the dynasties of antiquity, back to Neolithic shamanism. This introductory six-video lecture series will delve in to Chinese occult practices that syncretize Buddhism and Taoism.

Video 1 is an introduction to the course and the distinction between exoteric and esoteric Taoist/Buddhist practices. Video 2 covers the history of Taoist and Buddhist mysticism in China. Video 3 gets into the cultural practice of Taoist sorcery while Video 4 gives you a crash course into Eastern metaphysics. Finally, Videos 5 and 6 will give a primer on practicing or integrating Taoist magic and esoteric Buddhism into your path.

1: Introduction to Buddhist-Taoist Esotericism

2: History of Taoist and Buddhist Mysticism in China

3: Taoist Sorcery and Its Cultural Practice

4: Taoist Metaphysics

5: A Thought Tour of the Chinese Occult

6: Taoist Magic in Contemporary Times

I’m creating this lecture series as an invitation to you to learn more about the occult traditions I practice. I hope you find within these offerings bits of insight, knowledge, and methods that you can integrate, syncretize, or adapt for yourself.

For the full playlist, go here:

tinyurl.com/chineseoccultism

Continue reading “Introduction to Chinese Esotericism”

The Tao of Craft: In Stores Now

Check out the “book trailer” I made by clicking above. Or just read below. I put book trailer in quotes because it’s not really a book trailer in the standard sense, as you’ll see.

After Holistic Tarot, I went to work on a book about feng shui. One of the chapters covered feng shui cures, and a common feng shui cure used in East Asian households is the Fu talisman. Growing up in the Western world, I’ve always laughed a little at the Fu talisman. It’s treated like a panacea. Bad feng shui? No problem– Fu talisman. Need a promotion at work? Fu talisman. No luck in finding love? Fu talisman. Weight loss? Yep, Fu talisman. And, of course, there’s also the fantastical–exorcisms and conjurings. How do you summon a demon, repel a hungry ghost, or invoke a tree spirit? Well, the same way you find love or lose weight, silly– a Fu talisman.

Needless to say, I’ve come to realize that’s not quite the right characterization of the Fu. Those would be, yep you’ve guessed it, common mainstream misconceptions of esoteric Taoist practices. In fact, the more I delved into the Fu, the more these centuries-old texts satiated my inner nerd. Not only were the alchemists and ceremonial magicians that thrived thousands of years ago deliberate, precise, detail-oriented, and thorough, much of it resonates closer to modern science than one might presume, though the vocabulary has changed. In The Tao of Craft, many of the end notes cover these parallels. The deeper I went down the rabbit hole of historic research (and experiential practice), the prouder I felt about being who I was, descending from the lines I descend from, and feeling a genuine affinity for my heritage.

Continue reading “The Tao of Craft: In Stores Now”

Magical Parenting: The Metaphysician Mother

mom-young

Or father. I’ve been hearing a lot about parenting for pagans and wanted to add my own thoughts. However, I won’t be talking about it from the perspective of the parent. I want to talk about it from the perspective of the child.

Now, my parents are not pagan, mostly because that word is not in their vocabulary. They’re Taiwanese immigrants. However, my mother is a metaphysical practitioner, though she wouldn’t see it that way. What she thinks she does is as natural as cooking, praying, dreaming, meditating, and just using what you have within reach to manifest what you want.

I think that is an important point. Growing up, I never saw what she did as “occult,” though living in the Western society has made me realize that Westerners would define what she does as totally occult. Paying attention to equinoxes and solstices, knowing when the veil was thinnest, when to honor the dead, what to do when there was heightened spirit activity, calling upon the elements of nature and combining it with recitations to make things happen, understanding the phases of the moon– these weren’t seen as pagan.

“After their deaths, in my dreams I went down to the realm your late auntie and uncle were trapped in and it was so cold and dark. They told me they were hungry. So we burned offerings and chanted prayers for them and then many nights later I visited them again. I saw that they were now in a different, better realm, very happy and at peace.” (Mom, paraphrased)

I’ve come to understand that in the Western society, that is absolutely bonkers, but in Mom’s world, that was perfectly normal. And accepted at face value. After a death in the family, she’d relay her dreams and all the relatives would just nod. Yeah, that makes sense, they’d confirm. Okay, let’s burn offerings and chant prayers. And then they’d all wait for Mom’s post-dream-shamanic-travels to verify that the offerings and chanting worked. Mom always said that dead people liked to call to her from the post-mortem realms they were in, and so she’d go to them in her dream state to bring back messages for the living. God, growing up when that happened, I’d cover my ears and run out of the room and make it clear to all who’d listen that I thought all of this was batshit crazy.

Continue reading “Magical Parenting: The Metaphysician Mother”