Here's an excellent article discussing the Taoist shamanic roots of this incredible art:
As Above so BelowThe Dances of Yu (禹步) and the Sigil of Saturn
Since the mythological Xia Dynasty (which many theorists have speculated a Middle Eastern origin) that predated Chinese Shang Dynasty, the word 舞 (Wu, Dance) is viewed in the same context as that of 巫 (Wu, Sorcery) on the oracle carvings, notwithstanding the fact that both having similar phonetics. 禹步 (Dance of Yu; origins as that of the dances performed by Ta Yu to control the flood) are one of the most important ritualistic dances engaged by mediums and shamans for a variety of situations ranging from controlling of weather to the subduing of demons.
In this article, we are interested in powerful binding nature of the dance utilized in many powerful Taoist rituals like 雷法 (Thunder Magic). From here, we will also see the similarity to the Sigil of Saturn that has the same movement that activates the Seal of Solomon to bind spirits. There are many variations of the 禹步 (Dances of Yu) and the most popular are known as 踩八卦 (Stepping on Ba Gua, and the dance variety is known as 八卦舞) and 踏七星 (Stepping on the 7 stars of Big Dipper). We will emphasize on the 八卦舞 (Ba Gua Dance) aspect.
八 卦舞 (Ba Gua Dance) is an interpretive ritual of the Ba Gua through directions of its trigrams and itself clocks The Big Dipper with movement of the Elemental Flow of Trigram in the 洛書 (Luo Shu) Magic Square configuration template. The laws of the Ba Gua Dance is based on Yin Yang, two nature of the Cosmos, and its interchangeability. The dancer is an embodiment of the dynamic Chi, with every breathing, elevation and fall, rhythm and tempo, strength and weakness, the duality is emphasized.
In the Nine Stars Ritual, all the Seven Stars of the Big Dipper inclusive of two auxillary stars are 左辅 and 右弼, known as 游魂 (Wandering Soul) and 归魂 (Returning Soul) are utilized. The Spells (咒语) guide the different hand gestures, and Incantations (巫词) guide the path and rhythm of the dance. The following are the incantation (巫词) of 八卦舞 for the Nine Star Gods:
The above follows the course of all the Nine Stars of the Big Dipper, the invocation of the Nine Star Gods. The incantations will also include details about the 5 Colours, 5 Elements, the Earthly Branches (Di Zhi), 28 Mansions and the Trigrams. The dances follow 6 unions, 3 inner unions in (精, 气, 神) and 3 in outer unions in (根, 干, 枝). The body is an embodiment of the universe, the head the Heaven, the body Man and legs the Earth. The formation of the dance can utilize the 先天八卦 (Early Heaven Ba Gua) of He Tu or the 后天八卦 (Post Heaven Ba Gua) of Luo Shu. Although the formations may be different however there are constant regions in five directions, mainly Metal (West), Wood (East), Water (North), Fire (South) and Earth (Middle). When the dance moves (movement from 1 to 9 on Luo Shu for example) are laid out, it becomes the Sigil of Saturn that is very prominent in Kabbalistic Esoteric concepts (diagram below right).
八 卦舞 (Ba Gua Dance) is a form of 巫步 (Magical Steps) that can be used to bind demons and counter evil. There is a saying in Chinese: 鹤能巫步禁蛇故食蛇 which translates to The Crane utilise magical steps to subdue the Snake, to eat it.. That reminds me of an interesting article that Dr Ong Hean Tatt put out in his book The Chinese Pakua An Expose. He mentioned that the 茅山 (Mao Shan) sect practices black magic in terms of Serpent magic that utilized horizontal array of the eight trigrams with a moving changeable and highly flexible powerful serpent head (in the trigram Chen), a manifestation of the Dark Watery Serpent of the North. To counter the black magic, 雷法 (Thunder Magic) utilizes the Ba Gua Dance as part of the ritual (movement from 1 to 9 on Luo Shu), it invokes the powerful symbol of Fiery Southern Phoenix at 9 to battle the serpent.
The Ba Gua Dance in the Trigram is symbolic of the dynamics of the Nine Star Gods and it resembles that of the Kabbalistic Sigil of Saturn. The Sigil of Saturn is an integral part of the Hexagramic Seal of Solomon (Star of David), which is perfect constant in the cosmos, whereas the Sigil of Saturn marks Space and Time. The dynamics of time in opposition trapped in the perfect constant will subdue and imprison demons and their activities. The Saturnian power of the Black Sun is the hallmark of the esoteric movement. The close similarity of the two Chinese and Middle Eastern symbols suggest that there were connections between the two cultures in antediluvian times.
The benefits delivered by Bagua are immense. A real treasure of the ancient world.
Photo of Li Ziming sweeping Dong Haichuan's tomb.
Edited by Gerard, 05 September 2014 - 06:29 PM.