Constellation Agency(星宿廳)

Headword

성수청 ( 星宿廳 , Seongsucheong )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Shamanism > Concept

Writer ShinYeonwoo(申蓮雨)

Seongsucheong was a state agency in early Joseon (1392-1910) that oversaw shamanic rituals to pray for good fortune and prevent calamities for the state and the royal court, officiated by gungmu, the state shaman.

The agency was also called Seongsincheong, the terms seongsu and seongsin, both meaning, “constellation, ” which were evidently borrowed from Taoism.

In Goryeo (918-1392), state-run rituals called byeolgieun were held, which mixed elements of Buddhsim and Taoism, while also connected to shamanism. This tradition continued in Joseon with the establishment of Seongsucheong and the appointment of the state shaman to officiate national shamanic rites.

Joseon, however, was a state founded on the Neo-Confucian belief of Seongnihak, and the kingdom’s ruling literati strongly opposed the existence of Seongsucheong, especially since the court had expelled all shamans from the capital’s fortress, which directly contradicted with the appointment of a state shaman and the staging of state-run shamanic rituals. The last record that remains of this agency is that of an appeal made to King Jungjong in his first year of reign (1506) for the abolishment of Seongsucheong and the Taoist agency Sogyeokseo, and it is assumed that the agency was closed soon after.

Constellation Agency

Constellation Agency
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Beliefs > Shamanism > Concept

Writer ShinYeonwoo(申蓮雨)

Seongsucheong was a state agency in early Joseon (1392-1910) that oversaw shamanic rituals to pray for good fortune and prevent calamities for the state and the royal court, officiated by gungmu, the state shaman. The agency was also called Seongsincheong, the terms seongsu and seongsin, both meaning, “constellation, ” which were evidently borrowed from Taoism. In Goryeo (918-1392), state-run rituals called byeolgieun were held, which mixed elements of Buddhsim and Taoism, while also connected to shamanism. This tradition continued in Joseon with the establishment of Seongsucheong and the appointment of the state shaman to officiate national shamanic rites. Joseon, however, was a state founded on the Neo-Confucian belief of Seongnihak, and the kingdom’s ruling literati strongly opposed the existence of Seongsucheong, especially since the court had expelled all shamans from the capital’s fortress, which directly contradicted with the appointment of a state shaman and the staging of state-run shamanic rituals. The last record that remains of this agency is that of an appeal made to King Jungjong in his first year of reign (1506) for the abolishment of Seongsucheong and the Taoist agency Sogyeokseo, and it is assumed that the agency was closed soon after.