Monday, July 22, 2013

Eaten Alive By Bach Ho (白虎)

‘Bach Ho’ or white tiger can mean a lot of things. In Chinese astrology calculations, it means the yearly star in conflicts with the white tiger star. In serious case, this may result in bloodshed injuries or even death; or in lighter case a person may be involved with court cases, robbery or slander.


There is another type of white tiger; this type of white tiger means the wandering spirits especially the forceful ones. Anyone who met with these types of spirits will be in bad luck or suffer strange illnesses. Normally the spirits are not really white in color; they are grayish white or even grey. They like to hide in a person’s shoulder, back and waist. This will cause a person to suffer from sickness and unknown body pain. In this case, a Taoist should be employed to perform a ritual to cast off white tiger and send the tiger off far away.


In Vietnamese magic, Bach Ho Ngai is a type of ginger plant said to be as fierce as a white tiger. The below story is told to me by Andy Lau, a Vietnamese Ngai master living near Ho Chi Min City. Ngai magic is pretty much feared off in Vietnamese society still. The Ngai plants are believed to be able to consume eggs or even live chicks. I have heard of the story that live chicks are left amongst the Ngai plants at night and only feathers left in the morning. Although there are no records that an Ngai plant can consume real human, they are believed to be harmful to children.


Another story has it that a young mother brought her 3 year old child to see Andy for a favor. The mother presented all her offerings to the gods, goddess and the Ngai spirits. To prevent her child from wandering off, she asked her child to sit beside the food offerings so that she can have a watchful eye on the child. When everything is ready, Andy started to chant to call upon the spirits to come and consume the offerings and grant wishes. As the chanting was progressing half way, the child suddenly collapsed onto the floor and that caused a commotion. Everyone hurried to the child but only found the child was not breathing and apparently he was dead!


As everyone was wandering on what had caused the mishap, Andy fell into a trance. Apparently a Bach Ho spirit has possessed Andy. So an elderly man approached the Bach Ho and asked about the fatality. The Bach Ho spoke through Andy’s mouth: “I thought the child was my food!”


Hence, Andy always cautions people not to bring a child near a Bach Ho Ngai plant. I supposed the warning applied to all sorts of spirits as well.


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