Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

My Ngai plant production: Black Ngai, Snake Ngai, Tiger Ngai and Malai Ngai (Phi Phop). Interestingly no bats or birds would now perch on my railings ;-)
The Black Ngai family: (Left) mountain ghost (you can see the head, arms and two bulging eye balls), (Cener) the twins and (Right) Mother and son.

I think it is not too much to say the Ngai magic is simply the magic of binding spirits to selected plants be it ginger plants or any other plant of our choices simply speaking. This type of magic is still widely practiced amongst the Vietnamese occult communities with some variations. For the sake of my studies, I would classify the Ngai schools into three categories:


·         The Indo-Ngai

o   This type of Ngai magic is mainly influenced by Indian, Thai and Cambodian magic.

o   Example: Snake Ngai, Black Ngai

·         The Sino-Ngai

o   This type of Ngai magic mainly uses Taoist magic to bind the spirits.

o   Example: Tiger Ngai, White Tiger Ngai

·         The Indochinese Ngai

o   I lump any other Ngai magic that uses a mixture of Indo and Chinese magic to call and bind spirits.

o   Example: Malai Ngai (Phi Phop)


So, you may ask what are the purposes of keeping Ngai plants? Well, there are many reasons:


·         For protection from enemies and properties.

·         For healing purposes:

o   Traditionally Ngai spirits are sent into a patient’s body to detect and cure illnesses.

o   A Snake Ngai is said to be capable to cure a snake bite victim even after hours this person is pronounced dead.

o   A Snake Ngai and Tiger Ngai is said to be able to cure bone fractures.

·         For attacking enemies

o   Ngai spirits such as snakes, tigers, centipedes can be sent to kill enemies after properly trained to do so.


Personally, I think Ngai magic is another application of magic and traditional medicine that is worth the effort to have further investigations especially on the healing sides.


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