This paper addresses a healing ritual known as "Concealing the Soul" (canghun yishi 藏魂儀式). Despite being widely performed rite in Taiwan, this rite has received very little academic attention. It serves as an individual rite addressing supplicants' physical and mental discomfort by keeping the supplicants from potential harm in their lives via mantic techniques (shushu 術數). According to my field work on this rite, its application can be divided into two categories: restorative and preventive. In the popular market for religious services, the demand for restoration is gradually decreasing, while that for prevention has spiked. I argue that ritual performers and supplicants share conventional knowledge of the existence of the spirit and material souls (hun/po 魂魄), as well as a shared cosmology and a perspective toward destiny. Beyond this, the ritual in both its forms pursues harmony between the souls and the smooth progress of life, referred to as "completeness" (yuanman 圓滿) within the overall cultural framework shared in Taiwanese society.


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pp. 123-140
Launched on MUSE
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