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:


(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):

You can also download the DOCX editable version, linked in the companion blog post:


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,

“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:

Learn more about The Tao of Craft, read excerpts, download free reference materials, and Fu talismans or Chinese sigil instructables:



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:


I offer both independent study and free courses to help you advance your craft. Check out the full listing here:

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  1. Nia Suzanne 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    OMG so packed full of information I NEEDED to hear! This has totally expanded my views on metaphysics and there are many things here that resonate with me much stronger than many Western ideologies I've heard for years. The vast majority of information in here I have never heard and had a hard time finding in my typical google searches. DEFINITELY investing in your book! Thanks so much for the content!

  2. BaronUnderbite 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    you are good dude. well done, these videos fucking rock. You speak of Taoist mysticism in such an eloquent well grounded way. A true practitioner

  3. onyxman8 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    Now I have to study a new esoteric tradition! Curse you Wen! (Just kidding) Your presentation is so wonderfully engaging and straightforward from one concept to the next. I know I will enjoy your book and learn a lot. Blessed Be!

  4. Lus V 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    I believe nothing can exist without an exact opposite of itself at the same time (quantum physics) (Taoism) so when the Big Bang happened, there was an equal and opposite reaction (Newtowns Third law) creating an anti matter opposite version of our universe which enables the existence of our own . 💡

  5. Mei Shan Ross 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    Hi! Somewhat trivial question, but why do you pronounce water as 'kan'? I thought it was pronounced 'shui'. Is 'kan' an alternate pronunciation or is it special in the context of taoist esotericism?

  6. Oradein 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    So, I'm five minutes in and I've already learned more about Taoism than all my years of (admittedly surface level) research. I LOVE your channel!

  7. kumikutitap alitaptap 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    OMGulay, so the pentagram is basically the cycle of Creation and Cycle of Destruction! I've got the I Ching Book and Divination, both on my shelf, ive got to read it again from this point of view. thank u so much for the light. Namaste

  8. Dale Gillman 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    This is a wonderful video – it was just what I was looking for. You had some wonderful definitions of “metaphysics”. If you don’t mind me asking, what are your credentials?

  9. Carlos Johnson 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    The Seven Star Dipper,the home of the Seven Star Lords. There are actually nine stars. However,the two that we can't see emit a dark light. Only those who have a very strong relationship with the Stars and have become one with the Tao can see the other two.

  10. RM K 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    Sin – consists evil, crime – is universal problem, is ubiquitous. Humanity contaminated by sin. Sin in us by default, not learnt, not taught. Sin manifests in many forms. Sin is the opium. The origin of sin is unanswered.

    Sin is pre-existing in all. Nobody taught us to sin. Sin pre-dates The Bible. The Bible explains origins of sin. The Bible provides remedy for pre-existing sin, through Jesus Christ death and resurrection. The Bible is best selling book in the world for this reason. Sin is real, The Bible is relevant.

    Satan is the enemy, came to steal, kill and destroy. Misleads us to blame good loving God. God is not the author of evil.

    Media, Police, Defense, Judiciary, Penitentiary, Security, Contracts confirm sin exists.

    The origins of life, natural laws, sin, morals, purpose, meaning, conscience, music, creativity, intelligence, beauty, color, nature, water, air, light and amalgamation, remain unevidenced – elsewhere.

    God created universe, placed natural laws, made man in His image, gave talents, instructed man to multiply and explore – The Initiation of Science. Science is the legitimate child of natural laws.

    We are made with good purpose and meaning. We are good. Then sin entered and we all fallen. Disease, despair, deformities, deficiencies, depression, stress, guilt, greed, hate, anger, rebellious spirit, spiritual death entered. Sin plays spoilsport.

    Unloose the Soul from the tight knot of sin. Soul outlasts death.

    Sinners cannot save themselves from sin. Jesus Christ, the Holy God, intervened, willingly died on The Cross and resurrected, for remmissions of our sins, to save us from sin and hell.

    We are weak at the core, however we try to portray otherwise. We need Holy God's help, who is willing to help with open arms.

    Unable to find any motive any reason for Jesus Christ to die willingly on Cross and resurrect – except His love to save us from pre-existing sin and hell.

    Nobody died for our sins and resurrected – except Jesus Christ. Exclusivity.

    Jesus Christ claimed:
    "I am The Way, The Truth and The Life". "I am The Resurrection and The Life".
    "I am The Good Shepherd".

    Jesus Christ has the authority to forgive sins.

    Religion says "Do". Jesus Christ says "Done".

    Religion is man attempts to 'search gods'. Jesus Christ came from heaven in 'search of man'.

    Salvation from sin and hell is not earned through works or deeds or pilgrimages or rituals or ceremonies or traditions or cultures or public displays or making personal sacrifices or making animal sacrifices.

    Salvation from sin and hell is free, but not cheap. Because Jesus Christ laid His life on The Cross, and resurrected.

    God loves the sinner, but hates the sin. Just like a mother loves child, but hates disease in child.

    We are saved by God's grace, not by our works.

    Karma is getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don't deserve. Only Grace can be pre-fixed with Amazing. Amazing Grace. Karma is not Amazing.

    GRACE: Getting what we don't deserve – i.e. forgiveness of sin, eternity in heaven through Jesus Christ.

    MERCY: Not getting what we deserve – i.e. punishment of sin, separation from God, eternity in hell.

    God offers grace and mercy for free through Jesus Christ death and resurrection.

    Jesus Christ suffered, ridiculed, spat-on, humiliated, crucified on The Cross, and therefore He understands our pain. He raised victorious, we will too. Those who endure till end are victorious.

    Jesus Christ coming again to judge all. The doors will be closed. Jesus Christ reveals every mystery, answers every question. He is The Alpha and The Omega. He judges everyone.

    One day every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

    The First Coming of Jesus Christ – He is Lamb, slaughtered for remission of sins to save us from sin and hell. And resurrected.
    The Second Coming of Jesus Christ – He will be Lion, The Judge. The Lion and The Lamb.

    Jesus Christ forgave all who crucified Him, and now forgives all, even who reject, ridicule and mock Him. He loves all unconditionally.

    Believe, trust, repent of pre-existing sin in Jesus Christ that He died for remission of our sins and resurrected, and coming back to judge, accept Him as Lord and Saviour, and be saved from sin and hell. Any time, any where. Even now. Simple.

    Nothing to lose, everything to gain.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

    I found God loved me regardless of sins, weaknesses and rejections by others. As sinner I cannot save myself through deeds. He believed me and has faith in me. God loves you all, individually.

    (My journey to life journal – after testing all 'isms' and religions, after failing to find origins, purpose and meaning of life, after swallowing pride, egos, anger, hate.)

  11. 1amjapan 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    Thank you, I thouroughly enjoyed your lecture. I've been aware of Taoism for some years now but this was perfect for where I'm at in my own learning and experiments. The last ten minutes were especially interesting for me as I've often struggled to reconcile the percieved differences between religious and philosophical Taoism. Your explanation makes a lot of sense to me and remind me of Ramsey Dukes approach, which I am also a great admirer of. I've now added your book to my reading list and look forward to learning more. If you have a chance to reply I would love to know of any resources where I can learn more about the history of Taoist thought and practice? Being in the north of england there's limited opportunities to find reliable sources of information on it i.e. people to ask. Again, thank you for this resource which I look forward to re-watching in order to add to my current, very basic knowledge. The universe is trully generous, best wishes.

  12. I 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    Hi Benebell, I have a question.

    In the context of a project, Wood is birth. Fire is expansion. Earth is stabilization. Water is return. What is metal ? Would you define it as "refinement"? Wikipedia defines it as harvest, but I don't see how that can be applied in the context of a project. Can you give an example of company that is currently in metal phase? Thank you for your great work. You're a mover in this field.

  13. Sirach306 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    Wonderful video…just brilliant….WOW🙏
    I have been studying every system of occult alchemy and magic…looking for common denominators…I pull them out and use them…this has been invaluable to me…seeing things from different perspectives, different traditions, through out time and space…
    Just love this video🐍🦅

  14. Swedish_Sadhguru 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    Now this is really interesting. I'm familiar with the yogic sciences from India and this is a bit similar. What rituals could I perform to better my career and health and wellbeing? Thanks, very good video!

  15. Chloe Bell 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    I am a student of TCM currently and found you researching a paper on Daoist Alchmey and just bought your book off of Amazon – really impressed with what you have stated and excited to read more. Great series – thank you

  16. DMB 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    Hey Benebell, I am more of a Druid in my practice, but I’ve heard many times before that adepts suggest learning magical traditions outside of your first or primary practice. I wanted to possible take up the Tao of craft. Is it possible to practice Taoist craft with more of an elemental focus, rather than invoking specific divinities? While I want to pick up this practice, I also don’t want to neglect my preexisting religious commitments, so I’m hoping to not invoke divinities. Thank you!

  17. Long Chek Juan 17 July, 2020 at 19:27 Reply

    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 🙂

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