Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Attracting Special Customers (招客法)
Hookers of old time uses a lot of methods to attract lustful customers. Before the advent of Thai amulets in Hong Kong, the standard method prostitutes used is through the worship of the Pig Immortal (猪八戒). This Pig Immortal is only a fable character in Chinese epic ‘Journey To The West’ (西游记) and he is depicted as extremely lustful and a womanizer. It is hoped by worshipping this Pig Immortal, he will bring in those lustful ones to patronise those hookers. I once saw a statue of this Pig Immortal being sold in one of those shops selling Taoist items in Penang downtown many years ago.
A rarer statue once worshipped by hookers of old days was that of the statue of a Guan’gong (关公) with a twist. Standard Guan’gong holds a machete with his right hand; this special one holds the machete with his left hand. Ordinary people would not be able to differentiate the difference if they are not careful. However, I have not seen any of this special statues being sold out there.
Whatever statue prostitutes chosen to worship, there would always a stack of handkerchiefs or tissue papers underneath the statues. In order to make a new customer to return to this hooker; she only need to hold a piece of handkerchief/tissue under her armpit. Then this hooker would find a reason and jokingly put the handkerchief/tissue onto the head of her customer. It is said that this spell is valid for 100 days. So, if a prostitute wants to keep this customer from returning; she must recast the spell before the spell expires.
The worship of either Pig Immortal or Left-hand Guan’gong can only retain customers. In order to attract more lustful customers; there is another more primitive method.
First of all, the premise where prostitutes work must worship a land god (地主) and a piece of ginger stabbed with a sharp knife would be placed beside the tablet of this land god. Incense and joss paper (溪钱) are burnt three times a day: morning, noon and night. Once this piece of ginger rhizome starts to produce new shoots, it is transferred to a pot and then planted behind the building. Another new ginger rhizome would be used to replace the old ginger.
It is generally believed that by stabbing a ginger rhizome with a piece of sharp knife means that whoever passing by the premise, this man did-die must go to visit the prostitutes. The ginger must first be empowered with a process similar to the Vietnamese Ngai magic. Maybe the ones used in Hong Kong is related to Vietnamese Ngai, that I cannot be sure.
A more advance prostitute may resort to worship Five Ghosts in addition to the ginger stabbing. Of course, fostering ghosts is not the proprietary of Chinese; people in Indochina are masters of the art too. I would not go into too much details about Indochinese magic since we only discuss about the rituals once used by Chinese hookers in Hong Kong mainly.