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Old 12-31-2009, 12:12 PM
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Neidan is really the focus of internal alchemy with the ultimate goal of immortality, similar to the western practice of alchemy. In doing some more digging on the subject there is actually an old form of chinese magic called Gu (蠱) that is uses dolls identified by the name and birthdate of the target to transmit pain and suffering, similar to vodou. Interestingly, the war god of Dahomey (a nation of people in Benin, Africa) is named Gu.

There are a lot of analogies that can be drawn between ancient Chinese shamanistic principles and Santeria as well. Both deal with the possession of the practitioner by spirits of the gods (Lau in Santeria and Vodou).

there is an interesting discussion of various aspects of the history of chinese magic here:
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