The Harry Potter books and movies remind us of witchcraft and wizardry with their images of riding through the air on a broomstick and other occult themes. In reality, there exists a group of extensively trained and experienced witches in the physical world. These spiritual healers provide alternative treatments using a combination of fortune-telling, crystal balls, witchcraft, and natural remedies for smoothing out an individual's difficulties and empowering his or her spiritual well-being.
Upon entering Ching Hsuan's (青璇) magic workshop, I could immediately smell the scents of the fragrant and therapeutic essential oils, which created the perfect atmosphere for counseling. Meanwhile, Ching held a pack of Angel Oracle Cards, each one featuring a different angel and a word of advice, said to offer messages from the angels to guide and support a heartbroken young lady.
After taking readings from the angelic realm, Ching said that "there is a sign of a deteriorating love relationship." The young lady responded with disappointment. "He has decided to break up with me but I feel its a pity to give up. Would there be any chance for us?"
Ching replied to the young lady, with steady eyes. "It's over! Don't waste too much time on him. The angels told me that you have no future together."
The next client, Carol, was a teacher. She asked about both her career and lovelife. Her guiding spirit communicated with Carol via Ching and told her that her upcoming failure in a doctoral program examination was simply a process paving the road for future success. The spirit went further, saying that given her past efforts she will have the opportunity to publish books, which impressed Carol. After her session, Carol told me that she once thought of publishing a book, just as the guiding spirit had said.
To another client, a man in his late 20s, Ching said his deteriorating health was the result of his stressful life and heavy workload, causing him to feel fatigue and get angry easily. What was
interesting was that the fortune-telling showed pictures of many coins and a staff of office -- a reflection of the status and wealth that the client had achieved. Ching told him to eat red meat in moderation and helped him adjust his energy field and stabilize his moods by using Aura-Soma therapy. After a few days of treatment -- along with practising some mood-changing techniques taught by Ching -- the client said that he felt much better and more relaxed.
Ching studied mysticism in New Zealand and Australia from a young age and she is one of only a few Taiwanese people to undergo training in witchcraft abroad. She has even obtained a license for the practice of mysticism. Based on her unique talents, interests, and professional knowledge, she has become many people's alternative source of spiritual healing.
Ching said that although many people envy her, there are usually more obstacles and challenges for people like her, who have special abilities. And, it is because of these special people's sufferings that they can therefore have a better grasp of the meaning of life.
Once witchcraft was mentioned, Ching
pointed out that in the West, mysticism and naturopathy can be categorized as professional fields of study. In Taiwan, these "disciplines" get lumped together under the heading of superstition, she said.
She added that when she was a teenager, she undertook aromatherapy training in Taiwan, and experienced the magic of alternative therapies. During her period of study abroad she first attended the Australian College of Natural Medicine (ACNM) in Melbourne, Australia, to study witchcraft and naturopathy, and then went to a mysticism school in New Zealand where she received her licenses in parapsychology and mysticism. In the meantime, she was trained as an intern in naturopathy at a local health clinic in New Zealand.
Once people begin to learn spiritual healing, it is natural for them to become awed by nature, Ching said, emphasizing that witchcraft is different from common magic, and it can be broken down into white and black magic. The principle of so-called "white magic" involves the use of natural powers, including making use of magnetic fields, the four elements of the earth, floral remedies, seashells, and other things to help people in their spiritual restructuring and healing.
As for "black magic" -- which is viewed negatively -- it has to do with invading other people's space and influencing others' minds. Although most decent witches and wizards have the ability to practice black magic, they are unwilling to use it on others.
Ching said that the doctrine of modern witches emphasizes that "as long as nothing harmful is done to people, you can do whatever you want." The concept of the "three-fold rebound" serves as a warning to witches and wizards that no matter whether using witchcraft with good or bad intentions, the witchcraft itself will come back with a power that is three times greater than that which was originally used.
Modern witchcraft shows its appreciation of nature and its belief in the transmigration of souls. Therefore, we can equate modern witchcraft to white magic. As for black magic, it is very seldom used.
Ching has created her own method of dance therapy and she is also a salsa instructor. She believes that what really makes her happy is the use of her own energy to help clients out of their darkness (suffering of the mind, body and spirit) and into the light.
She also hopes that with the help of guiding spirits, she can help her clients to understand their own unique spirit and talents.
-- Translated by Lin Ya-ti
Among the immigrants and expatriates who’ve lived in Taiwan for years, there are hundreds and perhaps thousands who’d very much like to cement their status here and their connection with the country by becoming naturalized citizens — but feel they cannot proceed under current rules. They meet the residency, good conduct, language proficiency and other requirements for citizenship, yet they regard one part of the naturalization process as a dealbreaker. The demand, set out in Article 9 of the Nationality Act (國籍法), that aliens “applying for naturalization shall provide a certificate of loss of original nationality within one year from the
For a short period last year, some Taiwanese hoped their country would become the first in Asia, and one of very few in the world, to make four days of work followed by a three-day weekend the default employment pattern. Supporters claim that reducing the working week by a day, without reducing salaries or making each working day longer, is a win-win scenario for employees and employers. Workers get more free time; because they’re happier and healthier, they’re less likely to take sick leave; and despite working fewer hours in total, there’s evidence they’re actually more productive. On March 7 last
From forgetfulness to difficulties concentrating, many people who have long COVID experience “brain fog.” Now researchers say the symptom could be down to the blood-brain barrier becoming leaky. The barrier controls which substances or materials enter and exit the brain. “It’s all about regulating a balance of material in blood compared to brain,” said Matthew Campbell, co-author of the research at Trinity College Dublin. “If that is off balance then it can drive changes in neural function and if this happens in brain regions that allow for memory consolidation/storage then it can wreak havoc.” Writing in the journal Nature Neuroscience, Campbell and colleagues
In recent months Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leaders have quietly been shifting their positions on the use of nuclear power. Hints of this have surfaced in public discussions. For example, in May last year, addressing an audience of college students, Vice President William Lai (賴清德) said that in an extreme situation, some nation’s nuclear power plants could be brought back online. His spokesman later clarified that Lai was talking about events such as a wartime blockade, and the DPP issued a denial a few days later, saying that its nuclear-free homeland policies were unchanged. A Taipei Times report in October