In Tainan I saw a Tangki (Mandarin: Jitong) at the Tian Tan Gong (Alter to Heaven Temple).  He was wearing shoes, and all yellow cotton clothing.  He was doing a treatment/exorcism on a man in a wheel chair whose legs looked a little swollen, they both looked to be in their late 40’s.  They were directly in front of the gods, in the center of the temple in a small space between a giant incense burning and an altar table.  For the Tangki to dance around the man he had to wheel himself forward and backwards about a foot, which kept him involved while he sat there.

I don’t know what God was possessing the Tangki, or even if he was possessed, perhaps not, or only a little bit (I did not see him “fall” out of trance at the end).  He did a martial arts like dance holding a bunch of incense in one hand.  It was already going when I entered the temple and continued for about 10 minutes.  Using the incense, at times he appeared to be writing Chinese characters in the air around the body of the guy in the wheelchair while making sword fingers with the other hand.  Sometimes he held a posture while pointing his sword fingers at his own abdomen.  Sometimes he touched the man, at one point he pushed vigorously on the back of his head.  He shook and did fajing (explosive power release) a lot.  His breathing was somewhat erratic and audible.

Toward the end, the Tangki had someone bring him a paper cup of something, probably water, and he pointed  at it (concentrating his qi into it?) and danced with it for a while before giving it to the guy and having him spill it and spread it around on his legs.

When he was done he went over to the side and sat down on a bench, he was pouring sweat.  Then the guy in the wheelchair jumped up and started dancing.  Just kidding.  During the ritual I talked to one of several people who were watching, a young man who seemed upset and said the man in the wheelchair was his uncle.

There are many similarities between the Qigong master I saw the other night and the Tangki.  Both are self taught.  Both are called.  Both discover their gift.  Both poke and prod.  Both are doing mysterious healing on someone else.  I believe Tangki’s will accept trivial donations of money, but they essentially, accept a life of poverty along with the job/role of being Tangki, they both express the importance of keeping money out of the ritual.

Frankly, the gongfu performance I saw in the park the morning in between the two had some similarities to the Tangki exorcism too.  The dancing around in martial postures, the importance given to breathing, and the fajing.

The blended ritual I saw is not in these two videos, but a lot of other Tangki stuff is, and Youtube is amazing:

Also, to continue with my stating the obvious jag; There is an enormous wealth of video about Chinese ritual on youtube or google video search if you use Chinese Characters. ?? (Tangki)