Taoist Black Command Flag - (黑令旗 - Hei Ling Qi).
Most Western Folks, who are interested in Taoism and want to understand more about Taoist Ritual , have never heard and never seen a Taoist Black Command Flag (黑令旗) before, until they read this article.
Many Chinese Folks who visit a Taoist Temple might have seen the Taoist Black Command Flag but do not know the meaning and purpose of it.
This article will explain the importance and usage of Taoist Black Command Flag.
In Taiwan, there are many different types of Taoist Black Command Flags used in temples.
Taoist Black Command Flag needs to be spiritually activated(开光) before it has spiritual power, or else, it is just a piece of cloth. The Taoist Black Flag has the power to invite Deities and summon celestial army for assistance. Wandering Spirits happen to see the Black Taoist Flag will run helter-skelter.
The most common Taoist Black Command Flag is a black color flag with just a Ba-Gua ( 八卦 - Eight Trigrams) symbol printed on it. It may look simple but it has tremendous spiritual power to command and control spirit beings. This simple design Bagua on Black Flag is the Taoist Black Flag often seen in Taoist Temples in Singapore, Malaysia , Indonesia and Thailand.
Common usages of Taoist Black Command Flag:
To invite/ask the Deity for help
When a Taoist Black Command Flag is seen placed in front of a Taoist temple, it often means that there is Tang-Ki Worship going on. Whenever there is a need to summon deities to the temple for Spirit Medium Possession , the Taoist Black Command Flag must be present right in front of the temple.
For Cleansing/Purifying & Clearing the Way for the Deity
When a Deity (possessed by a Taoist Medium) is on a tour of inspection, every places that pass by the Deity is first cleansed by the Black Command Flag, by swaying it along the path to expel the evil spirits to prevent them from interfering.
Support and Protect the Spirit Medium while performing Body Piercing or self-mortification
When spirit mediums are performing body piercing or self-mortification with sharp poles,skewers or swords, Taoist Black Command Flags are often seen raise up facing the Spirit Mediums to protect their bodies from getting injured while doing the act of self-mortification.
Used during exorcism
Taoist Black Command Flags are carried by Taoist Exorcist or Taoist Medium during exorcism. The black bagua flag has the power to command celestial soldiers to come forward to punish evil spirits.
If You intend to own a Taoist Command Flag （黑令旗）, You'd better know what You are doing.
If You just want to keep it as a keepsake or souvenir , get one that is not consecrated, so that You can bring out to appreciate it anytime You want.
If You are already trained in any path of sorcery or witchcraft, You may get a consecrated one, in order to invite Taoist deities and command and control ghosts/spirits.Consecrated Taoist Command Flag is a spiritual tool and need to place it on the Altar when not in use.