1st Edition

The Triads The Hung Society or the Society of Heaven on Earth

By J. M. S. Ward, W. G. Stirling Copyright 2006
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    684 Pages
    by Routledge

    First published in 2006. Claiming origins in the mysteries of the Shaolin monastery and its martial traditions, the Triads are Chinese secret societies that overthrew the Qing Dynasty, evolved into organised crime syndicates, spread through the Chinese diaspora and are more powerful now than ever before. The symbol of the Triads is a triangle enclosing the characters for heaven, earth and man, emblematic of the societies’ far-reaching influence, and membership involves challenging rites of initiation and the practice of complex rituals little changed over the centuries. On one level, these practices can be seen simply as the customs of a purely mystical order; on another, they may be seen as the organising principles by which secret societies continue to operate as powerful political organisations invisible in our midst. This classic work, the definitive study of the history, symbols and secret rituals of the Triads, reveals the Triad initiation ritual of the mystical journey; sacred Triad signs, words and slang; the rite of the magic mirror and the oath of blood brotherhood; the symbolic decoration of Triad temples, Triad magic, and the meaning of the sacred objects and ceremonies at the heart of Triad practice in minute detail. The authors show that the Triad ritual is a potent mystical allegory with an immense power that can be used for good or ill.

    Preface, Part I, Part II, Part III, Bibliography, Index


    J.M.S. Ward, W.G. Stirling