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Divination: The tâng-ki

photo by DKJ

Guō Qīngshuǐ, a tâng-ki or spirit medium, stands before his family altar in his first trance, which lasted eighteen hours. His dramatic trance, so violent that he smashed his lower family altar, was the talk of the village, but the next concern was whether he was the hoped-for new agent of communication with a protecting god or was instead seized by a malign force.