Religious Affairs

Preaching Taoism

Taoist School Admittance Rite

The conversion certificate is proof that a person has formally been admitted to Taoism, and is an evidentiary document used by Taoist priests to receive travel approval and to seek refuge in temples. From a metaphysical point of view, the conversion certificate communicates one's vow to convert to Taoism to the upper realms. According to Taoist traditions, a complete conversion certificate must indicate the full name of the Taoist sect, the divine mark of the deity worshipped by the bearer’s temple, and the divine marks of the Three Purities of the Taoist Trinity. To convert to Taoism means to take refuge in the three treasures of Taoism, Classics and teachers, which is why the conversion certificate must be stamped with the “three treasures of Taoism”, and the divine marks of the Three Purities of the Taoist Trinity are indispensable. Furthermore, the ceremony in which the conversion certificate is conferred must be presided over by the abbot or the head priest of the temple, and only those who have been mentored and referred by a Taoist priest can be conferred the conversion certificate. Therefore, the conversion certificate must bear the seal of the deity the worshipper has converted to, the seal of the abbot of the temple and the referral Taoist priest, and the full date, month and year of the conversion. The disciple’s name, Taoist name, ancestral birthplace, age, and date of conferment are also essential to be listed on the conversion certificate.

Since 2006, the Yuen has regularly held the Taoist School Admittance Rite with renewed focus on ancient methods to recreate the format of conversion certificates to include all the above contents, including the divine marks of the Three Purities of the Taoist Trinity, Master Cisong Wong Tai Sin, Buddha, and Confucius, are all from Taoist scriptures and the titles of ancient emperors.