The Heavenly Heart Sect

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A branch of the Orthodox Oneness sect in the Song dynasty (960-1279), the Heavenly Heart sect was well known for its Perfect Skills of the Heavenly Heart, the new Talisman spread by the sect. According to Deng Yougong's Preface to the Perfect Skills of the Heavenly Heart of the Highest Heaven, Rao Dongtian unearthed the Talismanis of the Heavenly Heart in the fifth year of Chunhua (AD 994). He showed them to Tan Zixiao, the famous Daoist of the Five Dynasties period (907-960), and got instruction from him. Afterward, Rao Dongtian became the first patriarch of the Heavenly Heart sect. In later times, a Daoist named Wang Taichu became famous across the nation because he used the Perfect Skills of the Heavenly Heart to subdue monsters. Lu Shizhong, a government official, also relied on the Skills of the Heavenly Heart to dispel demons. He was called 'Perfect Official Lu' by the ordinary people.

Later, another Daoist named Lei Shousheng became known by the imperial court for his Perfect Skills. He was summoned to the court to cure the emperor's concubines. His success earned him the title "Magician of Pervasive Origin" from the emperor.

Between the Song and Yuan dynasties, Heavenly Heart master Lei Shizhong set up temples and spread the Perfect Skills of the Heavenly Heart, attracting several thousand followers who were divided into two sects: the Southeast sect and the Western Shu sect. Until then, the Heavenly Heart sect spread widely. Taking the Polar Star as its main deity, the sect's teachings included the Big Dipper Sage, the Black Goblin, the Three Rays and the Three Talismans. Two important seals were also passed on in the sect: the seal of the Polar Star Exorcism Administration, and the seal of the Ruler of Great Laws of All Heavens. The sect's Talismanic Skills were comparatively simple but very popular. Afterwards, following its absorbing the Visualization Skills of the Highest Clarity sect, it stressed that the practice of Inner Alchemy should be a prerequisite for practising Magic Skills and that Dao should be the basis of Magical Skills. In the famous classical novel Outlaws of the Marsh, Gong Shunsheng learnt the Five Thunder Skills of the Heavenly Heart to defeat his opponents. This story shows how popular Magical Skills were in the folk culture.