chapter  III
The Magic Sword of the Great Bear
Pages 10

On the other hand, we know that the Hung Society has been considerably influenced by Taoists, whose exorcists still use a Magic Sword of the Great Bear when exorcising evil spirits, and, moreover, some versions of the Tradi­ tional History definitely refer to the use of a Magic Sword by the Abbot. In these versions, when he suspected the wine was poisoned, instead of pouring it into a rhinoceros horn cup, he plunged his magic sword into the wine and it at once began to fume. Under these circumstances we are justified in con­ sidering that it is the sword of the magician and has no connection with Imperial State swords, such as appear in some rites. The fact that it came out of a grave reminds us of similar famous swords brought from the graves of dead heroes, a theme which constantly recurs in Norse legends, but there is one peculiar feature which distinguishes this magic sword from those of the type usually found in graves. They were genuine swords made of metal, used during his life by some famous warrior, and buried with him at death, whereas this sword is of wood and therefore useless against ordinary mundane weapons unless it were truly magical.