Friday, August 9, 2013

Magic Of Cockroaches & Crickets (蟑螂蟋蟀兵)

The Indochinese hill tribes have many magical rites that defy the imagination of ordinary modern people like you and me in that ordinary plants, animals and insects can be used to cast pretty power but weird magic.


Common plants such as ginger and lily families are empowered for magical and healing purposes; many of such plants are poisonous in nature. We have already come across a few types of ‘ngai’ plants in my previous postings. Amongst common animals used in Indochinese magic are: chickens, goats, toads, snakes, cats, tortoises etc. While on the other hand insects such as centipedes, scorpions, spiders, cockroaches and crickets are also common magical intermediaries.


Rumor has it that the late actress Pauline went to Thailand to learn how to worship cockroaches and crickets in the hope to regain her popularity. It was her hope that by worshipping cockroaches and crickets, her fan will increase at par with the populations of cockroaches and crickets in this world. But things weren’t gone as she has hoped for and her practice has made her to be not herself and hence the nickname ‘miss blur’ in the entertainment industries.


The ritual to worship cockroaches and crickets is not difficult. One only has to catch hold of a cockroach and a cricket. Stuff the insects until death and wind dry the carcasses. After that write the birth particulars of the person on a piece of yellow or red cloth and wrap the dried insects with the cloth. This package is then worshipped on an altar as it is; or it is tugged into a statue of Buddha so as to avoid queries from the passerby.


Besides used in gaining ones popularity, cockroaches and crickets are also used to curse a person. Same as above, a number of cockroaches and crickets are captured and put in a container. Then, a paper manikin inscribed with individual’s particulars together with his or her nails or hairs are thrown into the container. After that the container is sealed airtight. Couple with incantations, the spirits of cockroaches and crickets are sent to attack the person. It is said that the victim will feel as if insects are crawling in his or her body. In severe cases, the insects can even exit from victim’s mouth, ears and other openings.


Normally, these types of primitive magic work on the principle of “an eye for an eye”; such magic cannot and will not attack unprovoked except the notorious ‘phi phop’, ‘gu’ () or ‘santau’. It is learnt from old tales that the practitioners of this breed of magic must release their spirit to harm the innocents within 3 years or the owners will be devour by their own spirits.


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