On an unintentionally related note, the way I did my makeup for the video is reminiscent of how Chinese demons get depicted in film. It was totally unintentional. Hence, interesting. Hmm. Anyway.
Figure I’d expand more on the juicier bits of the subject here in writing rather than in the video because guess how many people are going to watch the video but not read this post. Hidden in plain sight, yada yada. Right?
Demonology and the nearly universal cultural tendency to peg all ills of humanity on the work of demons is fascinating to me. Sick with disease? Acting out of the ordinary? Getting a bit too emotional for people’s comfort? Commit a crime? Oh. Demon possession. Of course. What else could it be?
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.