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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Marrying To A Banana Spirit
Photo from Cambodian Ghost Banana Tree movie.
This is a
ritual narrated to me by a friend from Vietnam.
spirit is known to exist in many Southeast Asian cultures. In Thai magic, it is
known as Phi Phop and it is believed that Phi Phop can bestow the practitioner
with fortune and magical power. The Chinese also has a set of ritual meant to
get fun with the banana spirit or ask for favor. Below ritual is somehow new to
me. So I just described as it is and hopefully to draw more elaboration from
purpose for carrying out this ritual is to achieve invulnerability and good
life. The prerequisite is that you must first be a single person and once you
are married to a banana spirit, you can never marry again. If you break this
taboo, then you will have to bear for the consequences.
must prepare a banana plant. Then you must take care of it carefully every day:
water it, talk to it and even sleep with it. The idea is to get as close as
possible to the banana plant as if it is your wife.
You must do
the ritual consistently until the banana plant flowers.
a full moon night, tie the end of a red string on the banana blossom while the
other end onto your ring finger. Cut the banana blossom and bring it together
with some incense, candles and food offerings to a sea, lake or river. Now, you
must swear to heaven and earth that you and the banana plant will live and die
together as if a pair of real human couples.
After the ritual,
throw the banana blossom and offerings into the water and let it flow away
signifying that the gods and goddesses have accepted your union. What left now
for you is to take very good care of the banana plant. Whatever you do, don’t
let the banana die.
It is said
that the practitioner of this ritual can fight like no man fight and when he
feels tired. He only needs to lay flat onto the ground and he will recover
almost immediately. Personally I think this Vietnamese ritual is somehow similar
to marriage to spirits for wealth: