Looks like a translation from Celestial Master Zhang Tianyu writing found in Dao Zang; who was a descendant of Zhang Daoling Celestial Master Daoism. A nice read rather a “how to” book most likely, good to see more traditional text still being translated from Daoist Canon.
Alchemists, Mediums, and Magicians
Here is a panoramic view of the many faces of Taoism and its intimate connection with Chinese culture and societywith intriguing accounts of the Taoist secret societies that carried out mystical exercises and powerful consciousness-altering techniques, including sensory deprivation, incantation, visualization, and concentration.
Alchemists, Mediums, and Magicians is a collection of sketches portraying more than one hundred remarkable individuals associated with exceptional knowledge, uncommon artistry, and spiritual leadership over a period of more than two millennia, from the eleventh century BCE to the thirteenth century CE. Compiled by Zhang Tianyu, a Taoist priest in the fourteenth century, the book introduces a broad range of personalities, professions, and pastimes of Chinas esoteric elite, from the most illustrious to the obscure. Among them are philosophers and scholars, strategists and statesmen, recluses and courtiers, magicians and mediums, philanthropists and educators, alchemists and physicians, seers and soothsayers, priests and paupers, artists and poets.
Clearys expert translation and numerous, informative footnotes make this collection a lively and accessible read.