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Thunder Magic

In the sixth episode of the neurodissent podcast, we explore thunder magic rituals. During China’s Song dynasty (960 – 1279 AD), ritual masters formalized thunder magic for the first time, writing down instructions to transmit their magical practices to others. One of those masters was Wang Wenqing (1093 – 1153 AD). In this episode, we explore the legends of this thunder magic virtuoso. We also learn from contemporary Taoist magic practitioners how thunder magic can be used to exorcise spirits and heal and protect people.

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I use open access sources in my scholarship, so that listeners and readers can engage with the texts I use. The sources referred to in this episode are listed below.

References for Season 1, Episode 6, “Thunder Magic”

  1. Meinert, Carmen. 2013. Buddhist Traces in Song Daoism: A Case From Thunder-Rite (Leifa) Daoism. The E-Journal of East and Central Asian Religions
  2. Reiter, Florian. 2016. Considerations of Thunder Magic Rituals and Thunder Divinities. Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University.
  3. Reiter, Florian. 2020. Some considerations of common approaches in Daoist exorcism: a comparison between the Shenxiao Jinhuo tianding dafa 神霄金火天丁大法 and the Shangqing Tianpeng fumo dafa 上清天蓬伏魔大法. Furen Religious Studies《輔仁宗教研究》.
  4. Sifu, Jee. 2017. Taoism Exorcism – Ghost Possession Cure and Protection. [YouTube video]
  5. Sifu, Jee. 2017. Taoism Exorcism – Ghost Possession Explained. [YouTube video] 
  6. Sifu, Jee. 2023. Open Source Taoist Magic. Taoist Magic Talk Show. 
  7. Tin Yat Dragon. n.d. Taoist Cleansing Magic: Golden Light 金光神咒. Tin Yat Dragon Blog. 
  8. Wen, Benebell. 2018. Thunder Rites (雷法): Tinkering Bell #9. [YouTube video]. 

Other credits

Music: “Grit” by Shaolin Dub, licensed use

Image: “Daoist internal alchemy” from Yi Zhenren. 1615. Pointers on Spiritual Nature and Bodily Life.