The sutras and omens, religious altars and temples,
With all the ceremonial procedures,
link the worlds between human, sprites and gods,
And guide life into its proper circle.
【The Red-hat Taois】Huang A-chien
Huang A-chien, 1918~, Guan-si, Hsin-chu County. As the senior and respected red-hat Taoist priest in Taiwan, he began his study of Taoism with his father Huang Si-hai, at the age of 13. After ten years of discipline, like his grandfather Huang A-mian, he became the disciple of ‘Liu Wu School’. Huang A-chien has been practicing Taoist rules for more than 70 years, and hosted countless Taoist ceremonies all over Taiwan. A few of the most significant were taking charge of the opening ceremony of Shen-san-lin-ton Temple, along with the great prayer for peace in Shi-tan, Miao-li County, 1992; and Tien-ho Temple’s ceremony in Hsin-wu, Tao-yuan County.
【The Black-hat Taoist】Zuan Hu Hua
Zuan Hu Hua, 1916~1984, Yan-mei, Tao-yuan County. In 1984, the famous Taoist temple, Hsieh tien Temple, was planning its 170 anniversary and visited all the most learned and respected Taoists groups to host a ceremony involving both Taoist sutra and Buddhist rules. Honorable Zuan Hu Hua was chosen. However, he passed away not long after the ceremony, and became part of the Taoist legends. He was very intelligent since he was little. He first followed his grandfather study Taoist philosophy, painting, calligraphy and poetry; when grew older, he went to Japan to study Buddhism and Sanskrit. When he returned to Taiwan, he was instructed by a learned man about writing charms and fixing proper dates for different activities. He is honored the top black-hat Taoist in Taiwan.
【Di Li Hsian Sheng】Lu Ten-che
Lu Ten-che, 1918~, Chion-lin, Hsin-chu County. He attended an old-style private school for 4 years to study Chinese Sinology, and established a solid groundwork for his future learning of almanac and feng shui, as well as excellent calligraphy. When he was 35, he followed his father Lu A-sheng, engaging in ‘rewarding god’ rituals. After the age of 50, he apprenticed to Liu Guo-chen and Liu The-hsing, father and son, studying traditional ‘ze ri’ (fixing proper dates for religious and traditional rituals, i.e. funerals, foundation stone lying ceremonies and etc., and the person who fixes the date is honorably called ‘Di Li Hsian Sheng’, searching for spots with good feng shui, and later established ‘Tien Hsing Tan’ ( Heavenly Star Shrine) and devoted himself to fixing dates, feng shui and etc. He began to instruct disciples ate the age of 60 and has traveled and visited most Hakka communities in Northern Taiwan. He is highly respected.
【Reburial of the Dead】Chen Neng-wan
Chen Neng-wan, 1935~, Hsin-pu, Hsin-chu County. As a child, he went gathering bones for the dead from the tomb after buried for certain years, and followed a strict procedure, from fixing date and time, positioning, opening coffins, digging up earth, drying the bone, cleaning and settling in urns, and abided by the custom of ‘male in the right side, female in the left side, and sit in the urns’. For his cautious work and etiquette, he is great respected and trusted by his fellow townsmen; even people from faraway South Taiwan, including the Catholic clericals would come for his advice and service.