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Wednesday, January 29, 2014
By Hook, By Crook, Or By Spook: Ghost Magic (鬼術)
are afraid of ghosts. There are basically two types of folks who are not afraid
of ghosts: the first are the Lower Mao Shan Taoists and the other are gamblers.
Mao Shan (下三茅) system works with spirits of the deceased, or
‘ghosts’ for short. Within the Lower Mao Shan School, there are many type of ghost
magic: the notorious 5 ghosts (五鬼混天), the willow kid (柳靈童), the shaman
ghost ritual (沙門練鬼), 5 legionnaires (五營兵) and etc.
speaking, Lower Mao Shan School is a dying art, i.e. you practically can’t find
Lower Mao Shan Taoists now days. So, only gamblers exist these days. If gambling
and money are two main objectives, we cannot pray to Buddha for money as the
Buddha said: everything is ‘empty’, empty and empty. Likewise we cannot pray to
Taoist masters as they said: “By doing nothing, people can do everything.” So
nothing is done indeed.
now are only two options: gods/goddesses and ghosts!
is a Chinese saying that goes:
“It is better to beg
the ghosts than gods.”
is useless to beg the gods and goddesses as they already possess everything
human has to offer. On the other hand, the ghosts have nothing to lose and they
will be happy to enjoy some food offerings and some joss papers in exchange for
their services. It is a win-win deal; why not?
So, if one
is a gambler and one has no Mao Shan background; and yet still want to use our
good brothers (ghosts), I will still list some simple rituals. But my heartiest
advice is not to try as these good brothers are pretty unpredictable.
Ritual 1: Asking the ghost for money (求陰財)
inspired, he/she must first choose a new grave; the grave must be within 49
days of those who died young yet violent. This ritual is best to be performed
alone at night, best if it is a full moon night.
time is right, go to the deceased’s grave with some food offerings, a long
piece of green bamboo, a hammer to strike the bamboo, incense, joss paper and a
pair of white candles.
lighting the candles and incense, arrange the food offerings on the floor and
then strike the bamboo into the grave. The tip of the green bamboo must touch
the top of the coffin cover.
is done, stand in front of the grave again and say out loud what help you
required from the deceased. Wait until the incense and candles are half burnt
then burn the joss papers too.
ghost does appear, do not be afraid for it will not harm the person who performed
variation of this ritual is to pick a new tomb of a woman died in childbirth. In
addition black dog blood is poured into the green bamboo to force the ghost to
comply with the requests.
It is said
that the later ritual is more powerful but the ghost will be difficult to
Ritual 2: Squeezing money from rich deceased (祭陰財)
believe that the rich once kicked the bucket, will still possess certain amount
of fortune (財氣) so if this fortune is not make use of within
49 days, then the fortune will be wasted.
must choose a rich guy’s tomb and that this person must also died of unnatural
offering stuffs as above, but this time there is no need to use the green
bamboo stick. Now one must prepare 5 pieces of color paper each for: green,
red, white, black and yellow. So there all 25 pieces of papers altogether.
paper will subsequently be buried in eastern corner, southern corner, western
corner, northern corner and center.
The idea is
to use the 5 legionnaire armies to gang up against the rich ghost for money.
ritual 1, one has to lay all of the offerings in front of the tomb stone, read
out loud of his/her wish and finally leave the scene without looking back.
ghost may or may not materialize in front of the person, but he/she will visit
the person in his/her dreams. Whatever the case may be, one must tell the ghost
explicitly what he/she wants.
1 and 2 are not suitable now days as most people choose to be cremated and
modern cemeteries are guarded at night. Having said so, we will never know when
we will have such opportunities.