In the realm of Taoist beliefs, Bagwa Jo Si (八卦祖師) holds a revered position as one of the most significant deities within our lineage. With an annual commemoration on the lunar July 15th, Bagwa Jo Si serves as the primary intermediary between worshippers and the local deities at the altar. This blog post delves into the fascinating world of Bagwa Jo Si, exploring his role, the symbolism of Bagwa, the tools and practices associated with this powerful god, and how one can harness his magical powers.
The Significance of Bagwa
The term "Bagwa" refers to the eight symbols composed of broken or unbroken lines, representing the concept of Yin and Yang, negative and positive forces. This ancient concept was originally devised by FuXi (Fuk Hei) 伏義, driven by the intention to create a pattern that mirrored the natural order and the progression of time. Bagwa served as a code for divination, enabling communication with the gods. Countless literary works and classics have documented the profound purpose and symbolism of Bagwa.
Bagwa Jo Si: The Facilitator at the Altar
Bagwa Jo Si, as his name suggests, plays a crucial role at the Taoist altar. He acts as a facilitator, enabling worshippers to establish connections with different deities. Much like a receptionist, Bagwa Jo Si guides and assists in reaching the appropriate deity to address one's specific needs and concerns. While Bagwa Jo Si himself may not directly intervene, he ensures that the right deity is enlisted to attend to the worshippers' requests. In this way, Bagwa Jo Si assumes a pivotal position as the primary intermediary between the worshippers and the celestial realm.
Bagwa as a Labeling System
Beyond its role in divination, Bagwa also serves as a labeling system within Taoist practices. The circular arrangement of the eight symbols in Bagwa symbolizes specific natural processes. Each symbol can be utilized to categorize various elements into eight groups, analogous to assigning them numbers or alphabets. There are two sets of Bagwa: the preheaven Bagwa and the postheaven Bagwa. The preheaven Bagwa sheds light on the occurrence of events, while the postheaven Bagwa describes their subsequent progression.
The Role of Bagwa Jo Si and the Altar
The Bagwa associated with Bagwa Jo Si specifically pertains to the preheaven Bagwa. Its purpose is to facilitate the introduction of preheaven energies into the postheaven realm, thereby establishing a profound connection between the gods and the Taoist altar. On the other hand, the postheaven Bagwa signifies the terrestrial altar or the deity presiding over it. These deities actively engage in the work and cyclical processes represented by the postheaven Bagwa. At the altar, Bagwa Jo Si assumes a commanding presence, issuing instructions to guide worshippers and establishing a channel of connection with the celestial court.
The Tools and Practices
- Bagwa Mirrors: Among the significant tools within Taoist tradition are Bagwa mirrors. These magical instruments function as "camera lenses," allowing the gods at the altar to perceive beyond the visible range. By hanging a Bagwa mirror outside the main door, the gods gain the ability to observe and protect the surrounding environment on behalf of the worshippers. Bagwa mirrors come in three variations: flat, convex, and concave lenses. Each type serves a different purpose. The flat mirror establishes a connection and enables the gods at the altar to oversee the designated area. The convex mirror is used for empowerment, while the concave mirror is employed to draw in and capture entities such as evil spirits or negative energies, effectively bringing them into the altar. These mirrors can be further customized and programmed with different FU (talismans) to imbue them with specific powers and abilities.
- Bagwa Robes: In addition to mirrors, Bagwa robes play a significant role in the practices at the altar. These robes serve as essential attire, allowing practitioners to assume the role of the "ruler" or Bagwa Jo Si. When wearing these robes, practitioners embody the power and authority needed to take charge and command the troops at the altar. Bagwa robes are considered fundamental magical garments within our Taoist lineage.
Bagwa Jo Si, as a powerful and revered deity, plays a vital role in the Taoist tradition. Acting as an intermediary between worshippers and the local deities, Bagwa Jo Si facilitates connections and guides worshippers to the appropriate gods for their specific needs. The symbolism of Bagwa and the use of tools such as Bagwa mirrors and robes further enhance the worship and practice at the altar, enabling practitioners to establish a profound connection with the celestial realm. For those interested in delving deeper into the magical powers associated with Bagwa Jo Si, resources such as ebooks on I Ching, Bagwa army magic, and the Magic Foundation E-book provide valuable insights. Embark on your journey as a Taoist practitioner and explore the divine realm of Bagwa Jo Si. By getting ordained, you can begin harnessing and utilizing the magical powers bestowed by this revered deity, and truly experience the transformative essence of Bagwa Jo Si.
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