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Taoist Shamanism

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Did search the forum prior to posting, to see if I could find answers already given. Didn't, so will ask these questions:

 

I'm reading The Shambhala Guide to Taoism by Eva Wong; first chapter "Shamanic Origins."

 

Question 1: Ms. Wong mentions (pages 15 & 16) that, as part of a healing ceremony, a shamaness would "grasp a green snake in her right hand and a red snake in her left hand..."

 

What does green and red signify in Chinese shamanism? She doesn't explain. To the ancient Celts, red = blood/female and green = foliage/Earth/male.

 

Question 2: Ms. Wong mentions herbs, but not hallucinogens. I'm a bit familiar with other shamanic cultures (Native American, etc) and their use of peyote, mushrooms, etc. Did Chinese shamans use natural hallucinogens?

 

Question 3: Ms. Wong mentions Songs of the Land of the South; an ancient collection of Chinese shamanic poetry. My local library doesn't have this book, and I'm on a tight budget. I checked via Google, but cannot find it reproduced online (free). Does anyone have a link?

 

Thanks. :)

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What does green and red signify in Chinese shamanism? She doesn't explain. To the ancient Celts, red = blood/female and green = foliage/Earth/male.

 

In five element (five phases) theory, Red is Fire and Green is Wood. Not sure if these apply to ancient or modern taoist shamanism.

 

Question 2: Ms. Wong mentions herbs, but not hallucinogens. I'm a bit familiar with other shamanic cultures (Native American, etc) and their use of peyote, mushrooms, etc. Did Chinese shamans use natural hallucinogens?

 

My guess is the herbs were specific to their energetic affect on the body, much in the way of the "chinese medicinal herbs" we know today. I don't know about hallucinogens, but my guess is not.

 

There is a taoist shaman who posts here. Some interesting info about his take on taoist shamanism is here.

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Question 3: Ms. Wong mentions Songs of the Land of the South; an ancient collection of Chinese shamanic poetry. My local library doesn't have this book, and I'm on a tight budget. I checked via Google, but cannot find it reproduced online (free). Does anyone have a link?

 

This is Chu Ci (楚辞)... probably should be translated as songs (or verses) of Chu... but as Chu was a 'southern state' this is often translated as Songs of the South.

 

The author, Qu Yuan, was a famous poet of Chu and much of his writings reveal the shamanistic culture or past ideas. Look up his connection to the Dragon Boat Festival and the eating of Zong zi...

 

I've got some links on my other computer which I can send to you later...

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I've also been interested in traditional Chinese entheogens, but information is sadly lacking.

 

I did find some information about a venomous toad whose venom contains DMT. The toad venom was apparently used as medicine and could have been used for enthegentic purposes, but no evidence for that has been found.

 

I doubt it occurred to the Taoist shaman that perhaps it might be fun to smoke toad venom.

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I asked my teacher re question No. 2 -- the answer is yes. In fact, there isn't a single culture in the world that didn't use sacred plants at the shamanic stage of its existence. Taoism inherited this tradition in the form of external alchemy.

 

There's even a vine in China with effects similar to those of ayahuasca, but the preparation is different since there's no vine in China similar to chakuruna (the second ingredient in the shamanic brew of South America which allows the first one to act, by inhibiting an enzyme that otherwise degrades it in the stomach upon ingestion. Incidentally, there's more species of plants on one square mile of the Amazonian rain forest than in all of Asia, Europe and North America combined. How did they know which one to pick to make ayahuasca work?..)

Edited by Taomeow
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How did they know which one to pick to make ayahuasca work?..)

 

Yup that's the best proof I know about shamanism. South americans shamans are fascinating. You red the cosmic serpent didn't you ?

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Why did shamans of the past and in differing cultures use drugs?

 

Why did some shamans of the past not use drugs?

 

Why did shamans or hermits pick plants and experiment on themselves?

 

Why did shamans use exercises and deep meditation?

 

Why did some shamans never get involved in any animal cruelty in the past involving sacrifice?

 

Why did shamans only stick to listening to the wind, the animals, the trees and some lifted their heads to the sky?

 

Why do some shamans see people in the sky and yet they have never taken any drugs?

 

The list can go on and on, but the answer lies in the path each individual takes and how they view the world.

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Yup that's the best proof I know about shamanism. South americans shamans are fascinating. You red the cosmic serpent didn't you ?

 

Yes. After the fact. :)

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Why did shamans of the past and in differing cultures use drugs?

 

Why did some shamans of the past not use drugs?

 

Why did shamans or hermits pick plants and experiment on themselves?

 

Why did shamans use exercises and deep meditation?

 

Why did some shamans never get involved in any animal cruelty in the past involving sacrifice?

 

Why did shamans only stick to listening to the wind, the animals, the trees and some lifted their heads to the sky?

 

Why do some shamans see people in the sky and yet they have never taken any drugs?

 

The list can go on and on, but the answer lies in the path each individual takes and how they view the world.

 

Shamans never used drugs. They used entheogens, sacred plants. The blurring of the distinction between drugs and plants -- that's not shamanism, that's Rockefeller medicine.

 

However, being a shaman involves the ability to use whatever is handy to switch one's consciousness into a non-ordinary state. Entheogens can do this for most; but simpler things like monotonous drumming or even alcohol (used by Siberian, Mongolian, Korean shamans, e.g., as well as by many taoist shamans) will dumb down non-shamanic consciousness while the same "helpers" (or, in the language of tradition, "horses" -- anything can be used as a means of "transportation" to a different realm by a knowledgeable lineage-trained shaman) or, for the differently trained or predisposed, meditation or even prayer or even veneration of the Christian god and/or saints will do the shaman's bidding, switching her consciousness to the destination of her choosing.

 

Why some shamans used sacred plants and others didn't is because the path is determined in the spirit world, and not by cultural fads of the moment in the human world. Different shamans received the aid of different helpers. Some had animal helpers, some had plant helpers, some had thunder, some had minerals (notably quartz, jade, and many others).

 

Why did shamans experiment on themselves? The spirits told them to. Or the plants, minerals, thunder, animals, etc., themselves. Or their ancestors. Or their teachers.

 

Why did some shamans not get involved in "animal cruelty" in the form of sacrifice? Animal sacrifice, in the genuine shamanic tradition, has never been associated with animal cruelty, and always was a moral choice. Kill a chicken to save a child. Kill a bull to save the tribe. Eat a carrot with the same moral reserve if you really understand the unity of life -- don't eat it if you are not hungry. The only law is "do not abuse power." Non-use of power is a form of its abuse. If you have the power to save the child, and the spirit who will do this asks for a chicken in return, use your power and sacrifice the chicken if you don't want to become a spiritual criminal in the eyes of the universal law.

 

And so on.

 

New age morality was implanted as a psy-op, incidentally.

Edited by Taomeow
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I know little about shamanism, but offer a few scattered notes that might be interesting to you guys:

 

-Tea that comes from sufficiently clean environments; is picked, prepared, packed, stored, and transported properly (a mix of love and knowing the techniques); is steeped by one with skill and then drunk by a person who is open and ready in a conducive environment, can yield effects that border on hallucinogenic. This has led me to believe that perhaps all plants are entheogens, but with varying levels of potency and different personalities.

 

Last week I drank 水仙 (Water Immortal) prepared by a master of substantial accomplishment. The visual effects, including of a pale blue cloud full of tiny white stars blooming in the lungs, were seen both by myself and a friend I had brought, who is an American Indian healer trained in peyote and tobacco ritual. Additionally, we soon found that Water Immortal is often drank in summer precisely because it cools the lungs--a fact neither I nor the medicine woman knew before drinking.

 

-A lot of Chinese preparations, including those known to induce visions, were mineral and not plant-based. A now-diseased Daoist master once told me that he had led a student into a heavenly realm, where the man could only see blazing, overpowering light. Taking a mineral pill was necessary so that the student could continue the journey and make out forms.

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Like others have already said, there are plenty of references to special/sacred mushrooms that grow in the mountains and were often eaten by the sages that lived there.

 

I'm a huge supporter of them when used responsibly. The great thing about them is the complete lack of addiction. You get to experience what it's like to have no self at all, a state of bliss...yet there's absolutely no desire to turn to them often. They can be used as a tool to open your mind and give you something to aim for....or a refresher, for when we get a little off track and lost.

 

Like Taomeow said...the term "drugs" when used to label wholly natural plants that require no processing, is completely wrong. They are treasures of nature, that we as humans share an energetic bond with.

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Psilocybens assisted me in releasing some very deep and useless energy systems/emotional inertia patterns on several occasions. Entheogens for the win.

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Shamans never used drugs. They used entheogens, sacred plants. The blurring of the distinction between drugs and plants -- that's not shamanism, that's Rockefeller medicine.

 

However, being a shaman involves the ability to use whatever is handy to switch one's consciousness into a non-ordinary state. Entheogens can do this for most; but simpler things like monotonous drumming or even alcohol (used by Siberian, Mongolian, Korean shamans, e.g., as well as by many taoist shamans) will dumb down non-shamanic consciousness while the same "helpers" (or, in the language of tradition, "horses" -- anything can be used as a means of "transportation" to a different realm by a knowledgeable lineage-trained shaman) or, for the differently trained or predisposed, meditation or even prayer or even veneration of the Christian god and/or saints will do the shaman's bidding, switching her consciousness to the destination of her choosing.

 

Why some shamans used sacred plants and others didn't is because the path is determined in the spirit world, and not by cultural fads of the moment in the human world. Different shamans received the aid of different helpers. Some had animal helpers, some had plant helpers, some had thunder, some had minerals (notably quartz, jade, and many others).

 

Why did shamans experiment on themselves? The spirits told them to. Or the plants, minerals, thunder, animals, etc., themselves. Or their ancestors. Or their teachers.

 

Why did some shamans not get involved in "animal cruelty" in the form of sacrifice? Animal sacrifice, in the genuine shamanic tradition, has never been associated with animal cruelty, and always was a moral choice. Kill a chicken to save a child. Kill a bull to save the tribe. Eat a carrot with the same moral reserve if you really understand the unity of life -- don't eat it if you are not hungry. The only law is "do not abuse power." Non-use of power is a form of its abuse. If you have the power to save the child, and the spirit who will do this asks for a chicken in return, use your power and sacrifice the chicken if you don't want to become a spiritual criminal in the eyes of the universal law.

 

And so on.

 

New age morality was implanted as a psy-op, incidentally.

When I mean a drug I mean the preparation of plants etc to make a drug. The word drug may have connotations with western synthesized medicines, but still means the same whether one is using natural materials to make a medicine for healing or for hallucinogenic purposes.

 

The Chickens life is just as valued as the child's in your example any Daoist shaman would know this for the equality of life is the basic tenant of Daosit teachings.

 

The trouble we have is what is a 'Daoist' shaman? I had to laugh at a thread or link that is going on at present about Chinese Shamanism. To me this person is certainly not a shaman, I came across his site many years ago. He is just using the tools of the external principle and whether he has the power to make them work is another matter. We must look at when shamanism in China first emerged and how it was later incorporated into various aspects of religious Daoism. So the definition of a Daosit shaman must first be established.

 

Now I have been a Daoist shaman for thirty years and the posts on this thread have no resemblance to what I have been taught and practiced for those years by my Immortal Masters. One could say I am more of a sorcerer than a shaman in the sense of what has been described, but I do use 'drugs' to heal people along with the other external techniques.

 

I think there is an unhealthy western interest in the hallucinogenic drugs used by some shamans, that has nothing to do with any spiritual or healing aspects, but more to do with 'head stuff', which can become the focus for some individuals who are drawn to that path. That path can lead to mental illness and many shamans who have gone on trips live tormented lives as the drugs effects alters their mental abilities to anchor themselves to a sense of reality. I hear the supporters of this path immediately protest and why do they protest? Because they themselves have a need this way. I am not saying that a hallucinogenic drug taken or given for the right purposes has not its merits, but it is certainly not the focus in my practice for the reasons I have just stated.

 

Why do some use heroine and some play sport?

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"That path can lead to mental illness and many shamans who have gone on trips live tormented lives as the drugs effects alters their mental abilities to anchor themselves to a sense of reality. I hear the supporters of this path immediately protest and why do they protest? Because they themselves have a need this way."

 

It wasn't a protest, dear Mr. Hands...just a bit of clarity to define between the substances of nature and those of man.

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FH, FYI:

altarofheaven.jpg

 

 

This is the sacrificial altar at the Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven (simplified Chinese: 天坛; traditional Chinese: 天壇; pinyin: Tiāntán ) in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Taoist temple,[1] although Chinese heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, pre-dates Taoism.

 

Shangdi or Shang-ti (Chinese: 上帝; pinyin: Shàngdì), (Chinese: 帝; pinyin: ; "Emperor"), is a supreme god and sky deity in China's traditional religions. At a point he was identified as Tian, "Heaven", the "Universe", the "Great All".

 

The annual ceremony at this temple, conducted under earlier emperors by shamans and later by taoist priests, was the largest animal sacrifice in history known to date -- one hundred oxen were slaughtered here every year, at winter solstice, and thousands of smaller cattle. This was part of the offerings to Shangdi that was aimed at securing his protection for the crops and preventing famine in the land.

 

Reality is not always what any one of us is comfortable believing in. But reality is a fact. We can own our opinions but we can't own facts to dispose of as we please -- facts belong to everybody.

Edited by Taomeow
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FH, FYI:

altarofheaven.jpg

 

 

This is the sacrificial altar at the Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven (simplified Chinese: 天坛; traditional Chinese: 天壇; pinyin: Tiāntán; Manchu: Abkai mukdehun) in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It has been regarded as a Taoist temple,[1] although Chinese heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, pre-dates Taoism.

 

Shangdi or Shang-ti (Chinese: 上帝; pinyin: Shàngdì), (Chinese: 帝; pinyin: ; "Emperor"), is a supreme god and sky deity in China's traditional religions. At a point he was identified as Tian, "Heaven", the "Universe", the "Great All".

 

The annual ceremony at this temple, conducted in the early dynasties by shamans and later by taoist priests, was the largest animal sacrifice in history known to date -- one hundred oxen were slaughtered here every year, at winter solstice, and thousands of smaller cattle. This was part of the offerings to Shangdi that was aimed at securing his protection for the crops and preventing famine in the land.

 

Reality is not always what any one of us is comfortable believing in. But reality is a fact. We can own our opinions but we can't own facts to dispose of as we please -- facts belong to everybody.

I know this, people do things according to the ways of men but not necessarily to the ways of Heaven. A useless act that drew disgust from the Immortals and no interest in the harvest from those who these people wished to influence.

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The above fact was offered in response to your assertion that taoist shamans would never sacrifice a chicken to save a child.

 

Anyway, I bow out of the rest of this exchange, gotta go sacrifice some Rotisserie chicken to my cat.

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The above fact was offered in response to your assertion that taoist shamans would never sacrifice a chicken to save a child.

 

Anyway, I bow out of the rest of this exchange, gotta go sacrifice some Rotisserie chicken to my cat.

I am not saying that a Daoist shaman wouldn't do this, there are shamans and there are shamans. Many shamans are not shamans the term is very loosely used to describe many a type of person, whether they really are, or of what tradition, is of great debate. The basic tenant remains; life is sacred and a shaman doesn't need to take life to help another, if they do they have turned to the evil path.

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The Temple of Heaven is a cool place. I go there occasionally. But more often the Temple of Earth and it's surrounding park since it's in my neighborhood.

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The basic tenant remains; life is sacred and a shaman doesn't need to take life to help another, if they do they have turned to the evil path.

 

What I understand from this is:

 

Life is sacred, and so is the exchange of life, which creates new life. The more we show respect for our food, the better we accept its life into our body and allow its life to continue on with our own, transformed but not rejected.

 

However, the tao te jing advises us to dare not to put ourselves ahead of anything else. Rather it advises we nurture the power that does not act on its own, allowing this power to merge with the change around us in complete harmony and surrender, even as in complete harmony we slip between the cracks in the dance of the exchange of life.

 

It is a subtle balance, taking life to sustain our own. Who are we to judge what life form is to transform and when? Even at higher levels involving sustenance from higher energies, this same principle applies.

 

And yet we all follow our present momentum in this time and this place. Within our momentum we hopefully learn to listen to our hearts, waken to our higher path, and gradually adjust our momentum to align with this path. Along the way, we nourish ourselves with what it is right and possible for us to nourish ourselves with in that moment.

 

Taking life for our own sustenance is one thing. But when we presume to take the lives of others for external sustenance based on external judgments, that goes against the flow of nature. Rather than surrendering to the way of the tao we are taking the tao to be our own and believing we can do better. In the end everything is tao, and these experiments of human sovereignty over nature will hopefully serve to teach us our lesson.

 

When Native Americans over hunted a particular species they learned hard lessons when their primary food source became scarce. Ultimately these lessons lead to a culture which deeply respected the web of life and sovereignty of tao. Our society seems uninterested in hearing these messages, and perhaps we will only notice when they get louder. If in the end we are destroyed because we never listened, it is still tao.

 

Edit: The above is a fundamental principle of Taoism, from the tao te jing. The essence I get is that a Taoist Shaman following the heart of these principles would not be inclined to put human values above the shared values of all living things.

 

That said, the term "Taoist" is widely used. The taoist religion has idolized the achieved practitioners of tao and worships them in temples and on altars. Emperors employed taoists as well. A taoist in the employ of an emperor might be expected to read the stars and make decisions for war strategy, to train the emperor to absorb sexual energy from his harem, or make sacrifices to the gods. Any of these practices may contain the essence and application of certain taoist understandings, but do they follow the heart of taoist principles or are they side ways?

Edited by Daeluin
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Did search the forum prior to posting, to see if I could find answers already given. Didn't, so will ask these questions:

 

I'm reading The Shambhala Guide to Taoism by Eva Wong; first chapter "Shamanic Origins."

 

Question 1: Ms. Wong mentions (pages 15 & 16) that, as part of a healing ceremony, a shamaness would "grasp a green snake in her right hand and a red snake in her left hand..."

 

What does green and red signify in Chinese shamanism? She doesn't explain. To the ancient Celts, red = blood/female and green = foliage/Earth/male.

 

Question 2: Ms. Wong mentions herbs, but not hallucinogens. I'm a bit familiar with other shamanic cultures (Native American, etc) and their use of peyote, mushrooms, etc. Did Chinese shamans use natural hallucinogens?

 

Question 3: Ms. Wong mentions Songs of the Land of the South; an ancient collection of Chinese shamanic poetry. My local library doesn't have this book, and I'm on a tight budget. I checked via Google, but cannot find it reproduced online (free). Does anyone have a link?

 

Thanks. :)

 

There ya go...

Gladys Yang and Xianyi Yang, Chu Ci Xuan Selected Elegies of the State of Chu. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2001. ISBN 7-119-02890-1).

 

An academic library could probably get you a loaner via inter-library loan.

Contact your local University librarian.

Super- helpful folks those are.

There's usually a small fee if you're not a student or faculty but it is a very small fee.

Sometimes they ask for a refundable deposit.

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Wow this thread wreaks of people who have no idea what theyre talking about and are basically just copy/paste style generic near garbage. Taking "sacred plant drugs" is basically communing with spirits in and of itself and can be the equivalent to literally inviting a demonic or negatively oriented vibrational frequency level being into your aura and wreak havoc on your chakras, soul/consciousness. youre probably not a real shaman if you say you are and are posting on a computer, a real shaman would know about the spirit matrix consuming affects of computers anyway, akin to the matrix/terminator which will eventually become a very real reality issue.

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Wow this thread wreaks of people who have no idea what theyre talking about and are basically just copy/paste style generic near garbage. Taking "sacred plant drugs" is basically communing with spirits in and of itself and can be the equivalent to literally inviting a demonic or negatively oriented vibrational frequency level being into your aura and wreak havoc on your chakras, soul/consciousness. youre probably not a real shaman if you say you are and are posting on a computer, a real shaman would know about the spirit matrix consuming affects of computers anyway, akin to the matrix/terminator which will eventually become a very real reality issue.

 

Gosh!

Where did that all spring from fizix?

You having a rough day bro?

 

:)

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