This article is written for those who have been ordained or are interested in ordaining to become Taoists. I have seen many disciples ordained, and then they get “shy” and be “quiet,” trying to wait and see what happens or chill out at the back of the room. This is not good. I have to emphasize how important it is to treasure and use your most critical three periods after ordaining so that you won’t miss out on the most precious time in your Taoist life.
First of all, ordaining is very BIG, and it’s not just like buying a membership or joining a club. Ordaining means you are becoming a family member of the Tao family; it’s like a marriage, a lifetime relationship. After the ordaining ceremony, there go the three most important periods for Taoists that set their future.
You might wonder why the three periods affected the Taoist’s future. The short answer is that they are what the Tao also used to judge the disciple and consider their potential. It’s like a boss who just hired someone for the company; he will also judge this person and decide if he is worthwhile to put more time into. If you are not a good candidate, he might leave you to work as a lower-level worker, and that’s it. If you show that you have great potential, he might plan to put you on training and send you on a business trip! The gods also do that to all the disciples too.
Your master (me) does the ceremony to get you ordained, but how much power you get from the gods is not up to me to decide. It’s the gods who decide how much to give you. Some people are lucky and do well, so the gods give them much power, and they will see their magic working great immediately. If some people show a bad attitude, the gods can give them nothing, and they will see their magic power as unstable. In short, if you want to have powerful magic, be a good disciple and give god a good impression of you!
First Period - 49 Days
After the ordain ceremony, the gods will observe you for 49 days and judge you based on your personality, character and all other factors to determine how much to invest into you. This is like the “seeding” stage of a farm. The more seed, the more you can have later. If the gods like you, they will put more seeds into you. Why do you have so few things learned in this first year? Because god has not put many seeds into you. Why did that guy learn so much in a year? Because the gods have poured a bucket of seeds into them! The more seeds you have equals, the more potential you will get later!
Second Period – 108 Days
Counting from day 1 to the 108th day, the second period is when the gods will judge you again. This period will allow the gods to decide what you need to change or what to remove from you so that you can become a better person or disciple. Usually, the gods will do this by giving you hurdles and problems to solve, which test your faith and teaches you to change to become a better person. We all know that we are not perfect, so God will help us by polishing us with "sandpaper" in life. Sometimes god will lead you to spiritual cases, too, so you can use your magic powers and learn from experience. When things happen in life, take it as a challenge and a lesson because it is often when god is teaching you the practical side of magic!
Third Period – 1 Year
After the whole year passes, it marks a complete cycle for your first year as a Taoist. That means the gods will also judge you based on your overall performance in the whole year and see how well you do, which allows them to decide on how much to invest into you or help you for the next year.
Some disciples "greet" daily for the whole year, didn't even show up to learn a thing - you think god will care about them anymore? A disciple should LEARN, as the ten commandments say, but they have not been learning or even wanting to learn, so they don't treat themselves as a disciple anymore. The title is like an empty title only, which has become meaningless already. The gods will sooner or later give up this kind of disciple. The magic will stop working, the gods will stop helping, and eventually, they will also lose faith and turn into a quitter because the Tao already wants them out of the lineage. I label these disciples as "Ching On Disciples," meaning they only show up to "Greet" there and never speak for real. They are better than a quitter because they still have a chance to change and save themselves. However, they will eventually be gone if they don't do so.
What Is Being Judged?
You are being judged for how good you are as a disciple. It’s not about how good you are with magic or how fast you learn, don’t even think about that. It’s all about your heart, effort and virtues that you have demonstrated with your actions. It’s about your trust, faith, determination, and the virtues you should have as a disciple. The more you are “like a disciple,” the better you are. Read up on the “Disciple Rule” classic post; it’s very inspiring!
Being a good disciple is very simple, be a blank piece of paper, be a baby, put down your ego and open your mind up. Don’t try to resist or “judge” anything you were given or taught; open up and accept things then you will be good. The more you behave as a good kid should, the better you will learn. Don’t be shy; learn to cry. When you have problems, cry for help. When you want to learn, come to me! Very simple! In front of your master or the Tao, you should never feel embarrassed, ashamed or shy. It’s like a baby won’t feel shy showing their naked body to their parents.
Look at the teachings on the five virtues, the ten commandments, etc. Those are the virtues disciples should have and learn. The better you do, the more the gods will like you! There are also many articles on this blog about virtues; check out the whole section on virtues. There are many good things to learn!