John Anderson

Lecture & Workshop Host

LECTURE: Oh Come You Back!: The Loss, Return, and Retention of Souls Within Daoism, with Modifications

The goal of this presentation is to provide the listeners and participants were the basis for understanding the role of embodied souls within East Asian folk practices, specifically within the Chinese Taoist milieu. To this effect, we will be examining two particular forms of spirits, both considered souls, one known as the Hun corresponds to a celestial or etheric form of soul, wo the other, the Po is correspondingly attached to the function and maintenance of the physical body. When either of these souls become separated from the body for any extended period of time there are physical and spiritual ramifications for the person. Broadly speaking, soul loss such as this can affect all aspects of life up to you and including the foreshortening of ones destiny or or allotted potential. The good news is that there are ways in which one can call back and reinstall these soul forms within the body. To this end, this presentation will provide both vocative and material means by which to call upon and receive both the hun and the Po souls. To begin, however, we will examine some of the major symptoms and outcomes of soul loss as they are laid out in Taoist texts. Next, using the oldest known materia medica available within Chinese medicine, the Shennong Bencao, we will examine specific ingredients such as ginseng (renshen), poria (fuling), raspberry (pinglei), privet seed (nuzhenzi), buplerum (chaihu), and a host of other herbal and stone ingredients which may be used to calm, reseat, reinstate, and restore the hun and po souls.

WORKSHOP: Ought to Return–Strategies for Reseating the Hun and Po
3 HOUR INTENSIVE– space is limited to 20 participants

In this workshop, participants will be provided the chance to compound a pair of small formula one of which is meant to seat the Hun or celestial soul, and the other of which is meant to reseat the po within the body. First, we will look at two variants of a similar formula which are attested to within the Bencao Gangmu, compiled and published in 1593, and which are aimed at returning a lost soul. To this end, we will discuss the strategies at play within these formulas. We will then work to modify these same strategies for a more contemporary setting and mindset centering on approaches which are generally more directly nourishing, as well as less toxic.

The first formula to be addressed here will be Shengmai San, or “Generate the Pulse Powder,” as an accompaniment to the settling and working of the po soul by supporting and nourishing it. Next, we will examine a slightly more complex formula in the form of Danggui Sini Tang (“Four Frigid Limbs decoction with Tangkuei”) the aim of which is to root the Hun soul while allowing it free rein to move at ease within the body.
As part of this workshop, the participants will be presented with the affinities of each herb, their properties, within the formulae and will be asked to “awaken” the herbs according to their own practices before compounding at least one formulae with the ingredients provided. Lastly instructions for cooking of the herbs will be provided, should the participants wish to take the formula.

In addition to herbal approaches, participants will also be given access to invocations which are meant to settle the hun and po at night from a group of Daoist texts known as the 云笈七签 “Seven Cloud Satchels” These selections have not been translated completely to English before.

$65 Add on Fee
$10 materials fee and shipping (optional)
Add John’s immersive virtual workshop to your registration here.

**You must be registered by August 31st to received materials in time of workshop. Materials are not mandatory to attend the workshop. You may register after August 31st but materials will receive the materials after the event.

BIO: John Anderson has been a practitioner and teacher of several styles of Asian medicine having received his Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine at the Florida College of Integrative Medicine (FCIM) and his Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM). Dr. Anderson’s formal training extends to the use of herbal medicine from the perspective of Chinese medicine, both classical (ShangHan method) and contemporary (through the Ding/Shen/Hammer lineage). In addition to his formal education in Chinese Medicine, he has had training in Lakota practices and in Eastern esoteric herbal medicine and Chinese folk medicines. As part of his broader learning process, he has worked with plants, stones, and other natural ingredients for the better part of twenty years, beginning with many aspects of contemporary European paganism. This interest evolved and grew to encompass Eastern philosophies and practices. His ongoing research interests include: Gu syndromes, virtue medicine in tradition of Wang Fengyi, Daoist and Buddhist exorcistic practices, and Disability Studies at large.

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