Small Taoist Grimoire (Fang Shu) Manuscript

Personal log and journal of a practitioner of the Eastern esoteric tradition called Craft containing his knowledge for crafting Fu Talismans or sigils here drawn in black ink, red ink highlights and sealed with the practitioners personal stamp in red ink, ~late 19th C 

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Small Taoist Grimoire ( or ‘Fang Shu’) also know as a Magical Register or Book of Methods with beautiful Fu Talismans,  ~Late 19th C

Written in red and black ink, red ink highlights with red ink seal / stamps on handmade paper made of handmade with straw or mulberry paper  bound together with cord.

8.75″ x 7″: 11 fols. (20 pages). Han Chinese/Vietnamese nôm chữ characters.

Condition: Lacking back cover. Front cover thin with tears. Flimsy with strong binding. Appears COMPLETE

A ‘Fang Shu’, also know as a Magical Register or Book of Methods is a personal log and journal of an esoteric Taoist Practitioner knowledge which can be likened to Western Practioner’s grimoire. It contains the drawings of the Fu sigils that the practitioner uses, ritual scripts, charging methods, explanations of how the sigils are crafted, and the Lu, a registry of the spirits and demons that the practitioner could summon and the summoning methods.

The writs are exceptionally strange and cannot be recognized by ordinary people. At the same time, they assure a man has become a Daoist and symbolizes his right to practice the magical arts and control the divine officers on the talismans.

Similar to the talismans and pentacles of the Western world, A Fu talisman or Sigil is an ideograph that represents an intention. Through ceremonial rituals, called Craft, a practitioner accumulates the surrounding energy and channels it in concentrated form into the Fu talisman.

Traditionally, Fu Sigils are stamped with the practitioners seal, typically in a contrasting ink color; if the sigil is crafted with black ink than the practitioner seal is red, as is seen on one page in the present manuscript. One of the last steps of creating a Fu, after it has been designed, consecrated, charged, and divined to be effective, is for the practitioner who has created it to seal it.

According to Taoist scriptures, a talisman is a condensation of the clouds in the sky. It is written that, the talisman is originally condensed in the sky. The Supreme Perfection faced upward, wrote the heavenly writings, differentiated the directions, and distinguished pictures and drawings from the writings of the talismans.” Later, the Supreme Venerable Sovereign ( 太上老君 Taishang Laojun ) and other immortals imparted them to this world. (Sources: Bevin Donahue & Benebell Wen)


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Additional information


Handmade with straw or mulberry paper bound together with cord.


8.75" x 7"


11 fols. (20 pages).


Han Chinese/Vietnamese nôm chữ characters (?)


Lacking back cover. Front cover thin with tears. Flimsy with strong binding. Appears COMPLETE


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