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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’ (蠱) 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.