List of 2017 Bell Chimes In Episodes

I started a fun, personal video series via my YouTube channel on September 20, 2017 and so far have produced a set of 15 18 videos for 2017. After I figured out what exactly I wanted to do with the series (about 3 episodes in…starting around October…), I resolved to releasing one new episode every Sunday. For 2017, the episodes will end on Sunday, December 17. [The Sunday episodes will run to the end of the year. See 11/21/2017 Update below.] You can check out the schedule on this page, with direct links to each aired episode.

Continue reading “List of 2017 Bell Chimes In Episodes”

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


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”

Pagan Practices and Chinese Folk Religions


Left image of pagan Wheel of the Year from Biblical Connection.

Right image of a Taoist Fu sigil.

I don’t have educational degrees that would qualify me to write about any of this, so please understand that I am writing my observations within that non-expert context. Lately I’ve been fascinated with pagan and neopagan belief systems, mostly for how strikingly similar paganism is to Chinese Taoist-based folk religion.

Here’s how I understand paganism in context: Back in the day across Europe, Abrahamic religions rose to dominance, became institutionalized, and began setting up centralized bodies of authority that often started in the cities and spread its influence from there. At the fringes of the countryside, however, pagan faiths endured among the minority. These pagan faiths were polytheistic, though pantheist, strongly nature-based, and because they believed that everything was connected, it was thought that certain herbs, incantations of words, ritualistic conduct, and representations of elements could be harnessed to manifest intentions–in other words, magic exists.

Replace a few specifics from the previous paragraph and you could apply it to the relationship between Confucianism (and to a great extent Buddhism) and Chinese folk religions. These folk religions were looked upon in the same way pagan faiths were looked upon by the Christians. Those who practice pagan/neo-pagan religions (like Wicca, Druidism, Heathenry, or some form of pagan reconstructionism) tend to keep their faiths concealed or strictly private. That’s less of an issue among those who practice Chinese folk religions, and so you’ll see altars set up in Chinese businesses that still pay homage to the faiths of their [often agricultural] ancestors. However, like what pagans experience, those who still practice Chinese folk religions are considered fringe.

Continue reading “Pagan Practices and Chinese Folk Religions”