Daoism and Cct

Customs and Rituals

Is divination important to Daoists and practitioners of CCT?

Divinatory rites are more critical to Dao-ism and CCT than to many other major traditions. Long before Daoism came into being as a distinct set of traditions, the Chinese practiced divination through the stars, yarrow sticks, oracle bones, and tortoise shells. Important types of divination are the celestial, the terrestrial, interpretations of events and omens, and the forecasting of individual destinies. Celestial divination, a variety of astrological interpretation, plots the locations of stars according to one of the twelve “palaces” associated with the lunar month of one’s birth. This is done in order to understand a host of factors including sickness and health, luck, family issues, and personality. Terrestrial divination uses an elaborate geomantic compass to assist practitioners in aligning their lives most effectively with the forces of nature. All ordinary events in the life of each person have their hidden meanings, and divinatory skills allow one to interpret the nature of the energy played out in all events in relation to the specific time of day or year. Some events clearly have ominous qualities and require specialized interpretative skills. Thunder or lightning and other natural events suggest forces that set them aside from more mundane happenings. Perhaps the most important and widespread forms of divination are those that help people divine their personal destinies. Some focus on reading physical features, such as facial characteristics or palm lines. Here we are moving away from strictly Daoist teaching and into popular practice.



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