Whenever Chinese Folks think about Chinese Black Magic, the 1st things come to mind is “MAO SHAN PAI” （茅山派） – Mao Shan Sect. Even the Western Folks who have no knowledge in Taoism will also know about “Mao Shan” Masters and that they are good in dealing with ghosts/ evil spirits/ demons and casting Black Magic. The Term “Mao Shan” is made popular due to Hong Kong Horror Movies in the 70s to 90s, showing Mao Shan Masters running around catching ghosts/demons or the evil ones doing Black Magic Rituals.
“Mao Shan”(茅山) has been used loosely to refer to three things: 1) Taoist Lineages 2)A mountain named Mao Shan in China and 3）Taoist Sorcery.
Before proceeding further, You must know there are 2 groups of Mao Shan Sect:
1) Mao Shang Shang Qing Lineage(茅山上清宗)
2) Southern Mao Shan Sect (南传茅山派)
The Founder of Shang Qing Sect Mao Shan School (茅山上清宗), is a Lady, known as Wei Hua Cun （魏華存).
Priestess Wei Hua Cun aka Wei Xian An (魏贤安), born in Jin Dynasty at AD 251 (晉朝公元二五一年). Hometown in China Shan Dong Province Ji Ning City Ren Cheng Area (中國山东省济宁市任城).
Since young, Wei Hua Cun had been reading Taoist Texts, Articles & chanting of Scriptures, by the age of 12, she was able to memorize & recite ALL the Phrases & Sentences out without looking at Books. With her in-depth Knowledge of Taoist Skills & Information, Wei Hua Cun started to make Vows & Promises in assisting People & doing Preaching on the Teaching of Taoism.
By the time she reached 20 years old, Wei Hua Cun was able to go around the Forested Areas to collect Herbs & Plants to make them into Pills & Chinese Medicine. Whenever she’s invented a New Pill or Medicine, she would first do trying on consuming them and if no side-effects appeared, she would share the Pill or Medicine with the People that she knew.
Due to her long period of consuming such Herbs & Plants, Wei Hua Cun’s Physical Body started to have changed, such as, she No need to consume much Physical Food Stuff, such as Grains, Vegetables or Fruits.
By the time she reached 24 years old, her Father forced her to marry to a Scholar known as Liu Wen (刘文). Her Father’s objective was to stop her Cultivation and also, to disconnect her from the Day-dreaming of becoming Immortal.
After her Marriage, Wei Hua Cun had to stop her Cultivation and inventing of Pills & Medicine. During the 1st & 2nd year of her Marriage, she gave birth to 2 Sons, both known as Liu Pu (刘璞) & Liu Xia (刘瑕) – which later both of them became Leaders of Shang Qing Sect.
In AD288, at the age of 37, one day while Wei Hua Cun was staying at home doing her reading, suddenly she saw a Group of Immortals & Deities descending from the Heavenly Realm. At the moment, she was shocked, but knowing that they were Spiritual Beings, Wei Hua Cun immediately prepared the Altar & Incenses to usher them into her house.
After entering into her house, one of the Deities took out a bundle of Books & Spiritual Objects and then pass to her. Upon receiving the items, Wei Hua Cun was in a puzzled and just as she was about to start asking, an Immortal known as Immortal Qing Xu Wang Bao (清虚真人王褒) approached her and told her that, they were here to impart her the necessary Training & Skills in-order for her to do her Preaching in the future.
Knowing that Wei Hua Cun was moved and immediately kneeled down in front of Immortal Wang Bao to acknowledge him as the Master. From then, at a certain period of the Month, the various Deities would descend into her house to guide her in the Learning.
After years of Training, after mastering the Hidden Secret of the Spiritual Skills, Wei Hua Cun recorded them in the very 1st Scripture of Shang Qing Sect, which was known as Shang Qing Jing (上清经). From then, ALL the descendants had to master it without fail in order to promote the Culture of Taoist Shang Qing Sect’s Teaching.
In her Late Years, Wei Hua Cun spent most of her time performing re-arranging & editing for the Ancient Taoist Scripture Huang Ting Jing (黄庭经).
AD 334 (晉朝公元三三四年), Wei Hua Cun got her gaining of Immortal-hood and on the Day of her departure, many People witnessed her ascending into the Heavenly Realm. After her Immortal-hood, she was being bestowed with an Official Title known as Zi Xu Yuan Jun Nan Yue Wei Fu Ren (紫虚元君南岳魏夫人).
Due to Shang Qing Sect 9th Leader Tao Hong Jin (九代宗师陶弘景) stationed at Mt Mao aka Mao Shan (茅山), so in Taoist Records, Shang Qing Sect also being addressed as Mao Shan School (茅山派). This is also the Period that Shang Qing Sect merges in the San Mao Ancestors (三茅真君) into their Honouring.
After Mao Shan School started to “walk” into Commoners’ Society, different Off-spring Lineages started to Pop-up.
Today, some of the Major Sub-Groups are still operating, such as,
1) Feng Yang School (凤阳分派) – Founder Jiang Yun (凤阳开山祖师姜芸)
2) Liu Ren School (六壬分派) – Founder Li Bo (六壬开山祖师李播)
3) Jin Ying School (金英分派) – Founder Jin Ying (金英开山祖师金英)
4) Bai Lian School (白莲分派) – Founder Wang Sen (白莲开山祖师王森)
5) Bai Lian School (百连分派) – Founder Bao Sheng (百连开山祖师宝生)
But due the Skills that being Imparted to these Sub-Groups are being mixed with Folks Sorcery Skills, so the Original Mao Shan Shang Qing Sect’s Spiritual Skills are no longer able to be seen in them.
The original name of MAO SHAN (茅山) was Ju Qu Shan (句曲山). Mao Shan Mountain is located at JuRong County （句容市）, Jiangsu Province （江苏省）. The Taoism community acclaims Mao Shan (茅山) to be “The Eighth Grotto Heaven and The Most Auspicious Land” 「第八洞天，第一福地」.
MAO SHAN (茅山) was the cradle of Shangqing Sect (上清派), Lingbao Sect(灵宝派) and Maoshan Sect (茅山派), it has a very high status in the Taoist history in China. Ju Qu Shan (句曲山) was later called MAO SHAN (茅山) to honor the Three Mao Brothers – Máo Yíng 「茅盈」, Máo Gù 「茅固」and Máo Zhōng 「茅衷」, collectively know as Sān Máo Zhēn Jūn 「三茅真君」. They were well-versed in herbal cures, exorcism, incantations, breathing exercises and dispensing of talismans for a variety of purposes. The commoners benefitted greatly from their knowledge, and the mountain was renamed Mao Shan in their honor.
Mao Gu 「茅固」 – 右禁郎定禄真君中茅君
Mao Ying 「茅盈」 – 司命東獄上真卿太元真人茅君
Mao Zhong 「茅衷」 – 三官保命小茅君
Origin of the Three Mao Perfect Sovereign Brothers, during the Western Han period.
The Three Mao Perfect Sovereign Brothers (三茅真君 San Mao Zhen Jun) referred to the Three Perfect Sovereigns of whom Mao Ying 「茅盈」 was the eldest, Mao Gu was the middle and Ma Zhong the youngest. They came from Nanguan (南关), XianYang(咸阳) City, and were from the same family.
Mao Ying 「茅盈」, also known as the Eldest Sovereign Mao, styled himself Sheng Shu (申叔). At age of eighteen, he left his family for Mt. Heng(恒山), the Northern Sacred Mountain and, there, studied books written by Laozi as well as The Book of Changes ( 易經 Yijing ). After six years of refinement of both External and Inner Alchemy, he was summoned by the Queen Mother of the West ( 西王母 Xi Wangmu ) and given the Dao of Jade Ornament and Gold Adornment ( 玉佩金鐺之道 Yupei Jindang Zhidao ) as well as the Book of Mysterious Perfection of the Supreme Ultimate ( 太極玄真之經 Taiji Xuanzhen Zhijing ). At the age of 49, he successfully finished cultivating Dao and returned home.
Mao Gu 「茅固」, the Middle Sovereign Mao, styled himself Jiwei (季伟). During the reign of the Han dynasty Emperor Jin, as a man of good virtue, he was recommended to hold the governmental position. After several promotions, he became head of Wuwei.
Mao Zhong 「茅衷」, also known as Youngest Sovereign Mao, styled himself Sihe (思和). During the reign of the Han dynasty emperor Xuan, he was promoted as head of Luoyang. Then he held the post of Elderly Official ( 五更大夫 Wugeng Dafu ) and head of Xihe.
After Mao Ying gained immortality and ascended to heaven, both his two younger brothers gave up the positions they were holding and went to East Mountain to seek the return of their eldest brother.
Afterwards, Mao Ying descended and taught them the way of longevity. After that, they cultivated Dao for three years there. After taking the divine elixirs ( 九转还丹 Jiu Zhuan Huan Dan ), they both ascended to heaven as well. After their attainment of Dao, the three brothers came to Mt. Juqu (句曲山), Jurong County （句容市） (which later became known as Mt. Jurong of Jiangsu province), and became masters. That was the reason why Mt. Juqu was also known as Mt. Mao.
It is said that the Elder Sovereign Mao was born on the third day of the tenth Lunar month, in the Han emperor Jin’s fifth Zhongyuan year (145 BC) and that he ascended to heaven on the 18th day of the third Lunar month in the fourth Tianhan year (97 B.C). Nowadays, Mt. Mao in Jiangsu province is famous for its worship for the Three Mao Brothers and Perfect Sovereigns, which normally lasts from the first Lunar month to the third. The worship witnesses its climax on the day of the Elder Sovereign Mao’s ascension.
To know how Mao Shan Sect(茅山派) started, You have to know the founder, Tao Hongjing (陶弘景).
Tao Hongjing (陶弘景) was born in a family of officials during the Southern dynasties. He received a fairly good education from childhood and was extraordinarily intelligent. He read the Biographies of the Immortals ( 神仙傳 Shenxian Zhuan ) at the age of ten and wrote Record of Visits to the Mountains ( 寻山志 Xunshan Zhi ) at the age of fifteen, and he showed a strong ambition to lead the life of a recluse. When he was twenty years old, he was recommended to be a tutor to the royal family, studying with the youths of the kings’ families and being their young teacher.
When he was about thirty years old, Tao Hongjing became a student of the Daoist priest Sun Youyue of Dongyong and learned from him Talismanic Charts ( 符图 Futu ), Scriptural Skills ( 经法 Jingfa ), and Oral Formulas ( 诰诀 Gaojue ). Moreover, he began to travel to famous mountains and collect medical books.
At the age of 36, Tao Hongjing resigned his post of royal tutor and led a secluded life on Gouqu Mountain in Gourong (Mt. Mao). After Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty ascended the throne in the first year of Tianjian of the Liang regime (AD 502), he sent for Tao Hongjing many times but was refused. Yet he kept up a regular correspondence with Tao Hongjing, who came to be known as ‘The Prime Minister in the Mountains” ( 山中宰相 Shanzhong Zaixiang ) in history.
Tao Hongjing sorted out the historical materials about the missionary work of Yang Xi (楊羲), Xu Mi (许谧) and so on, and compiled the book Declarations of the Perfected ( 真诰 Zheng Gao ), which made a systematic exposition of the history of the Highest Clarity sect ( 上清派 shangqing Pai ). Tao Hongjing became the founder of the Highest Clarity sect ( 茅山派 Maoshan Pai ). Besides that, he worked on Mt. Mao for many years, setting up Daoist temples and receiving followers widely, and founded the Mt. Mao Sect.
In view of the actual situation of Daoist development and changes, and the theogonic confusion since the Wei and Jin dynasties, Tao Hongjing (陶弘景) compiled the book “Chart of the Ranks of the Perfect Souls” (真灵位业图 Zhenling Weiye Tu ), which became the first work about theogony in the Chinese Daoist history.
In the book “Chart of the Ranks of the Perfect Souls” (真灵位业图 Zhenling Weiye Tu )Tao Hongjing (陶弘景) conferred the Titles to the 3 Mao Brothers as such:
1) Eldest Brother – Mao Ying 「茅盈」 >> Elder Sovereign Mao the title ‘Perfect Sovereign Mao of the Supreme Origin and Controller of Destinies of the Sacred Mountain of the East’ ( 司命東獄上真卿太元真人茅君 Siming Dongyue Shangzhen Qingtai Yuan Zhenren Maojun ), and placed him in the left line of the Highest Clarity.
2) 2nd Mao Brother – Mao Gu 「茅固」 >> was called ‘Perfect Sovereign Mao, High Official of the Imperial Court, Ruler of Wealth and Perfect Man on Mt. Juqu’ ( 句曲山真人定祿右禁師茅君 Juqu Shanzhen Rending Luyou Jinshi Maojun ), and ‘Perfect Middle Sovereign Mao, High Official of the Imperial Court and Ruler of Wealth” ( 右禁郎定祿鑋君中茅君 Youjin Langding Luzhen Junzhong Maojun ), who was listed in the left line of Supreme Clarity and sixth in the middle line.
3)Youngest Brother – Mao Zhong 「茅衷」 >> was called ‘Third Officer and Protector of Life” ( 三官保名命小茅君 Sanguan Baoming Xiaomao Jun ), and was placed sixth in the left line.
Mao Shan Sorcery is based on the Talismans Knowledge passed down from Mao-Shan Sect （茅山派） from generation after generation. After few thousand years, the Talismans Knowledge has spread deep into common folks, as well as among the Chinese communities that migrated overseas, especially in South East Asia.
Mao Shan Sorcery uses paper talismans to communicate with deities and also able to call upon spiritual soldiers from heaven, earth and hells for assistance and protection on all kind of matters that human folks can face on daily lives, such as to cure sickness, getting rid of evil spirits/demons. It consists of few hundred over spells.
Mao Shan Sorcery, including spells from any other Taoist Sects, is still applicable in modern society which can use to improve their Careers, People Affinity, Wealth Luck, and Health.
Practicing Mao Shan Sorcery is to give Human Folks a good living condition for daily life and a smooth journey on any endeavors one partakes.
Mao Shan Sorcery is intended to be practiced to benefit the public but there will always be some bad eggs that abused their knowledge by casting spells and commanding ghosts/spirits/demons to harm people. Keeping ghosts/spirits is what Taoist Masters are taught and can do. Ghosts Keeping is a way to see them as spiritual servants to help out during Taoist Sorcery. Whether Mao-Shan Sorcery is considered White Magic or Black Magic will depend on the intentions of Mao-Shan Masters. Sorcery that is to harm and disturb people will summon spirits/ghosts or the spiritual soldiers of the netherworld.
Important Message to kids and adults who don’t believe in Witchcraft:
There are Fake Taoist Masters or Charlatans who have no single bit of Taoist Magical Knowledge but use illusions to perform “Magic Tricks” to bluff and cheat the public for their money or just to WOW the audiences.
Real Taoist Masters can indeed summon spiritual help from ghosts to do wonders such as turning sands into bees to attack their enemies, turnstone tortoises into live ones temporarily, getting a Ghost Kid to write down upcoming potential winning Lottery Numbers on Paper, use ghosts to disturb people and also many other spells.
Folks from modern societies, who have not seen and experienced real witchcraft immediately condemn all Witchcraft as fake , which in turn, due to no precaution is taken to prevent attack from Black Magic and end up becoming the unlucky ones being hexed easily and if it is so, these idiots still don’t know what is happening.
While those believers in Spiritual Power, apply Taoist Magic to gain prosperity in every part of their lives, the non-believers struggle to make ends meet in their daily life.
Articles source from Taoist sorcery website.