Taoist Metaphysics

Taoist Metaphysics

This video lecture will be a beginner-level overview of Taoist metaphysics, which will begin with the Taoist mythology for the origins of the universe, cover Taoist expressions and esoteric thought on reality as it has been created by our minds and by physical matter. Concepts of magic and non-physical entities will also be addressed.

While the audio portion of the lecture gives a cursory overview of the Wu Xing five phases and the eight trigrams of the Ba Gua, you can pause the video screen at various intervals and copy down a comprehensive body of reference material on both Wu Xing and Ba Gua metaphysical correspondences. 

Video #4 covers how the spiral sequence of creation mentioned in earlier videos drive the creation (and the expansion) of the universe according to Taoist metaphysics, which eventually leads the Chinese occultist to the Lo Shu magic square and ritual magic devised from the magic square and the Big Dipper. Working with the eight trigrams of the Ba Gua through the Eight Immortals will also be addressed briefly.

You are watching Video #4 in a six-part video lecture series.

Full playlist for the video series: http://www.tinyurl.com/chineseoccultism


(From the Huangdi Yinfu Jing, circa 600 AD)

The thirteen Taoist principles of craft I’ve outlined here is derived from the Huangdi Yinfu Jing (黃帝陰符經), which gets translated into the Yellow Emperor’s Classics of the Esoteric Talisman. 

Documented references to it date to the Tang Dynasty, 618 AD to 907 AD, though apocryphally, the text is believed to date back to the Zhou Dynasty, 1046 BC to 256 BC. The text is considered to be both a philosophical work and also a medieval instructional manual on metaphysics or how to operate spell-crafting.

The following supplemental handout is a written addendum to Video #4. These thirteen principles are central to Taoist metaphysics and I regret forgetting to mention them in the video lecture. So please download the handout and review after watching Video #4.

13 Taoist Principles (PDF download): https://benebellwen.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/the-thirteen-taoist-principles-of-craft-for-video-4.pdf

You can also download the DOCX editable version, linked in the companion blog post: https://wp.me/p32or0-3Pi


Taoism is a nature-based religion, philosophy, and tradition of sorcery native to China, formed around 600 B.C. One hundred years later, Buddhism enters China and a modality of it–esoteric Buddhism–is blended in with Taoist magic. This introductory lecture series will cover the ontology, theory, history, and cultural practice of sorcery at the intersection of esoteric Buddhism and Taoism.

Video 1: Introduction to Buddhist-Taoist Esotericism
Video 2: History of Taoism and Buddhism in China
Video 3: Taoist Sorcery and Its Cultural Practice
Video 4: Taoist Metaphysics
Video 5: Chinese Occultism as a Syncretic Practice
Video 6: Taoist Magic in Contemporary Times


All videos in this series are closed-captioned for the deaf, hard of hearing, or those whose native tongue isn’t English. I’ve also made my best attempt at accommodating for the blind. If there is room for improvement in these regards, I’m open to friendly critique. Thank you!


Reference Links:

Feng Shui Basics, https://benebellwen.com/feng-shui/

“Practica of Esoteric Craft” is a free video tutorial series with supplemental PDF handouts to download. This landing page will take you to past episodes on setting sacred space, a form of Chinese divination called moon blocks, forms of Taoist magic like poison magic (Ku) and thunder rites, and more: https://benebellwen.com/2018/02/06/practica-of-esoteric-craft-tinkering-bell-series/

Learn more about The Tao of Craft, read excerpts, download free reference materials, and Fu talismans or Chinese sigil instructables: https://benebellwen.com/the-tao-of-craft/



Your donations help keep this series free for all. To donate, click the PayPal link below or send me an Amazon gift card to benebellwen@gmail.com.



Understanding the I Ching for its occult and divinatory values will expand your capabilities in both Chinese ceremonial magic and traditional witchcraft.

Learn more about the course here: https://benebellwen.com/2017/07/14/i-ching-and-the-practitioner-a-course-on-the-book-of-changes/


I offer both independent study and free courses to help you advance your craft. Check out the full listing here: https://benebellwen.com/online-courses/


  1. I have a similar painting of the 8 Immortals in my house – so shocking to see it in your video. This video is a great summary of a lot of things I learned through my esoteric lessons in Singapore – some of which I spend a lot of money learning. You’re incredibly generous and I really hope people watching this realize this <3

  2. Why are you constantly saying yin and yang ???it’s yin yang…they go together..there is no AND in between them…

  3. Wholeness SisStar, I have great respect and admiration for you, your teachings and philosophy. I wanted to get your opinion on this,


    As far as the Taoist practice do you think this is the best way to go? Your Taoist teaching resonate and I am interested in cultivation, if you’d like to comment privately please consider contacting me directly.


  4. Very interesting and I need to get a copy of your book. It will be interesting to see how this mixes with Thai Occultism as I have become deeply involved in that over the past 2 years.

  5. Copy that! getting book now. This is probably the best and most comprehensive teaching I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been studying this stuff for a while now. Thanks again for your sharing of the great treasures. You are a shining gem!

  6. You can actually do a full semester’s lecture, going by your material. This is Bachelor degree stuff. You are amazing, but you already know that 🙂

  7. The Eight Immortals! YYYEESSS! Thank you, Benebell! We gonna get some juicy knowledge about the six Jade Maidens next?!?!? #ImAppreciativeNotGreedyIPromise

  8. You’re quite well versed in these subjects so I was hoping you might be able to help provide me with some insight. I’ve been looking into Mo Pai Nei Kung and I’m interested in understanding what the 72 levels might be. My understanding based on what has been revealed by two western students or supposed students of mo pai is that the first four steps are meditation and cultivation of yang chi in the lower dantian, condensing the chi in the lower dantian, mobilizing the lower dantian, pushing it downward to collect yin chi, and finally merging yin and yang chi in stage 4 of 72.

    I’m trying to understand what the 72 could be through the lens of numerology. According to the western supposed students the 72 levels correspond to 72 chakras in the body and that when all are filled or opened one reaches ultimate enlightenment. I’ve seen a few references to there being 72 chakras or energy centers but can never seem to locate a source for that idea or an identification of where they supposedly are, just that there are 72.Makes sense that it would be 72 because that corresponds to the 72 letter name of god and the 72 goetic demons. Still, having trouble tracing these ideas about 72 chakras and I was hoping that since this mo pai tradition supposedly began in china with the same originator of tai chi chuan that you might have a little more insight being more well versed in daoist esotericism.

  9. The 5 elements are also based off the 8 drunken immortals of kung fu daoism
    He Xian gu (何仙姑)

    Cao Guo jiu (曹國舅)

    Li Tie guai (李鐵拐)

    Lan Cai he (藍采和)

    Lü Dong bin (呂洞賓)

    Han Xiang zi (韓湘子)

    Zhang Guo lao (張果老)

    Zhongli Quan (鍾離權) or ba gua 8 trigrams

  10. I love this. I’m going to have to get your other book too….lol. Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge.

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