Hey kids, Chuen Sifu here with another Taoism lesson for the English speaking crowd! Today's post is about the concept of 'Fu Ga' 符架, one of the classes of symbols you frequently see used in fu. The phrase kinda translates to 'Fu Frame' in English, though it may be more accurate to call them 'Fu Framework', as this is their purpose - to set the structure of a fu, and to define how it should work. You'll usually see these in the foot (bottom) of the fu, but not always - it depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the fu.
There are quite a few different Fu Ga, we're going to go over four that you see most frequently:
Lo Gwun Ga 老君架, the 'absorbing resources frame',
Jung Ga 總架, 'all out frame'
Tung Ling Ga 通靈架: The Connection Establishing Frame
It looks basic, and it is very easy to draw, but the deeper meaning is the important thing to understand! There are five lines/strokes involved in the creation of this Fu Ga. The first three are the diagonal line from the upper right to lower left, then horizontally across from left to right, then lower right diagonally back to the upper left. This represents the fu activating and connecting its subject (the person using the fu) to the energy source the fu is connected to. The fourth is the horizontal line through the middle from left to right, which connects the 'heart' of the fu's source to the 'heart' of the subject. This means that their intentions are being aligned to the intended goal. Finally, the big dot in the middle, the fifth stroke, represents a gathering of resources into the action being directed here. So in summary, this frame is used to connect the subject of the fu (you, or whoever you are drawing the fu for) to the power source of the fu, designated by the fu head - a subject for another article. This is one of the frames you sometimes see outside of the foot - this one gets used near the top of the fu more frequently than the bottom.
Hung Ga 行架: the executing commands frame
If you look closely at the images at the top of this article you will see that the next few frames all use the Tung Ling Ga as the basic structure. In the case of our next frame, the Hung Ga, there are two major differences. First is the vertical line drawn down through the center of the symbol. This is a command to execute the magic commands in the fu. Then the zig-zag lines, three on each side. The ones on the left are to store resources into the process, the ones on the right are to output power from the process as 'light'. What does all of that mean? This Fu Ga is for positively empowering as subject, by connecting it to the fu's power source, processing the fu's commands, drawing in power, and processing it as a 'yang' energy light to output from the fu. You will see this frame used for positive energy purposes - empowering, boosting, that sort of purpose.
Lo Gwun Ga 老君架: the absorbing resources frame
At first glance you might not see the difference between the Hung Ga and Lo Gwun Ga. It is subtle, but it is there! Ont he right side of the symbol, you'll notice that there are only two zig-zag strokes instead of three. A small visual difference, but it completely changes the purpose of the frame. This directs the fu to output energy instead of light, which in our terminology means that the fu will produce a yin reaction on the subject instead of a yang one. In more simple terms, this will create a 'busting' effect, instead of a 'boosting' effect. Therefore, this is the Fu Ga you see when a fu is designed for exorcism, dissolving SAAT blockages, and things like that.
All three of the above frames are designed for reactive purposes. This means that they active in response to a predetermined condition - the obvious one would be an incoming magical attack. The fu senses an attack incoming, it kicks into action. But, fu can be made for always-on functions too...
Jung Ga 總架: the all out frame
This big one is just like the Hung Ga frame, but with three additional strokes at the beginning in a Z shape. And again, this builds on the smaller frame in that it serves the same purpose, projects yang light to the subject, but the new strokes make this an always-on 100% function instead of a reactive function. Kinda like having a nightlight, it's always on and you can always use it to find your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, instead of having to reactively flip the bathroom light on.
I don't have a drawing handy for the all-out version of the Lo Gwun Ga, but as you can probably guess, it's the same thing - three additional strokes on top to make it an always-on functioning fu. If you want to draw an always-on ghostbuster trap for your front door, this is the frame for you!
These are some of the foundational Fu Ga we use in our lineage. If you would like to plug in to these powers and learn more, Ordain now and come on aboard!