In Taoism, an ancient Chinese religious and philosophical tradition, Magic Money and Paper Offerings are integral components. These offerings are burned as a means of communicating with gods and ancestors, and are believed to transform into spiritual currency or gifts in the spiritual realm. This practice is especially popular in Asia, where people burn large quantities of paper offerings on special occasions such as the anniversaries of gods or funerals.
The practice of burning paper offerings has its roots in ancient China. According to folklore, a man who could not produce high-quality paper for writing used inferior paper as offerings to the spirits. The story goes that his wife created a tale about him dying and needing money in the afterlife. They burned the paper as offerings, and the man pretended to return from the dead, claiming the money had helped him. While this story is more of a legend, the actual origins of the practice are unknown.
Taoist Magic Money
Taoist Magic Money, known as 法錢, is used to empower celestial troops and magic. Unlike the paper offerings burned for ancestors, Magic Money in Taoism must be sanctified and consecrated at an altar with a source of power, such as the Religious Court or the Celestial Court. The paper is merely a medium; the power source is key.
Uses and Significance
Magic Money and paper offerings are used for empowering magic and sometimes as a token of gratitude to the celestial troops. There are also instances where these offerings are burned for the deceased. However, not all Magic Money can be used for the deceased; only specific types are appropriate.
In recent times, people have become creative with paper offerings, creating elaborate designs and even 3D models of objects like iPhones and PlayStations. The belief is that by burning these, the deceased will receive them.
Adapting to Modern Changes
However, the traditional method of burning paper offerings with fire has become a challenge in modern times, especially in urban areas. In Taoism, alternative methods have been developed, such as using a magical method to “burn” them spiritually without actual fire.
It is important to approach the practice of burning Magic Money and paper offerings with understanding and respect. In Taoism, it is advised to check if the ancestor’s soul is still around for communication before burning offerings. This is to avoid spiritual looters from taking advantage of the energies.
For those interested in using Magic Money in Taoism, check out the CMG section for special Magic Money that you can start using.