The Mighty Dead Class Series - Demon Warriors & Thunder Magic
In Pre-modern Chinese cosmology, humans, ancestors, demons, and gods are not absolutely separate categories, but are positions within a cosmological order. Humans who die natural deaths become ancestors through funeral rituals and offerings at ancestral altars. Humans who die violent or otherwise unnatural deaths instead become lonely ghosts, demons who harass the living because they cannot receive ancestral offerings. But if these lonely ghosts and demons are integrated into the celestial hierarchy by ritual specialists, they can become demon warriors, powerful allies who were used to fight evil spirits, and to protect communities from their enemies. They can even be elevated within the celestial hierarchy to become gods.This talk examines the use of Thunder Magic by Daoist priests to elevate the battlefield dead, and transform them from demonic spirits into demon warriors. It looks at the use of demon warriors in magic and exorcism, and in spirit boxing, where local militias were possessed by demon warriors while fighting on the battlefield. Thunder Magic (Lei Fa) is a set of practices that sits between internal alchemy, a yogic discipline that transforms the body and spirit, and exorcism, magic and spirit veneration. It was created by mythic immortal, Xu Xun, who used it to subdue dragons and demons, and spread by his disciples, becoming widely practiced throughout ancient China. Through examining the relationship of Thunder Magic to inner alchemy, magic, and exorcism, it will situate necromantic practices of exorcism and the elevation of demonic spirits in the framework of Daoism more broadly.About the Presenter:Peter Von Leykamm has practiced qigong and related forms of energy work for over 20 years, including 5 years spent living in Beijing as a closed-door disciple of the Internal Chinese Martial Arts; Xingyi, Taiji, and Bagua. He is an anthropologist and wrote his master’s thesis on the practice of Chinese martial arts in modern China and contemporary New York City. He has also practiced a variety of occult disciplines, including necromancy, planetary grimoire magick, cartomancy, and Quimbanda. He currently lives in Brooklyn.THIS CLASS IS ONLINE ONLY! You will have access to this class recording for 30 days. You will be emailed the class recording link within 3 business days of purchase.
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