Sunday, June 29, 2014

Conjuring The Spirit Of A Basket (菜篮仙)

Conjuring spirits of baskets is a folk game inherited in many Southeast Asian cultures. While the Chinese call it “the immortal of baskets” (菜篮仙), the Malaysian and Indonesian call it “Jailangkung”. Such game was once popular in villages and before the advent of electronic gadgets. We can occasionally come across people make use of this folk game to perform divination and also to ask for lucky numbers.


It is not difficult to conjure spirit of a basket but we will first need to make the effigy of the spirit and dress it first as shown above. When the effigy is assembled, the game can be started after dark normally after dinner. We will need 3 players. In old days, we will need two young girls holding the hands of the effigy and a third person as the conjuror.


The conjuror will stand in front of the effigy holding 3 pieces of burning incense sticks. While swinging the incenses to and fro, the person must chant the below mantra repeatedly until the effigy moves by a mystical force:




“Immortal of basket, god of basket, I invoke the basket to possess. I call once, twice and thrice, calling the god to possess me. Possess me and do wonders. I invoke you sincerely. As my will, so mote it be!”


Now that the spirit has arrived, interested parties can start asking what they want to know including lucky number picks of course. When the service of basket spirit is no longer desired, then it should be sent off by simply saying:



“I request the basket god to return to where you belonged.”


After the basket spirit is dismissed, the effigy should be stored in a quiet corner to be used later. Only when the service of basket spirit is no longer needed and the effigy is to be dismantled, then it is appropriate to prepare some food offerings and burn some incense to thank the spirit.


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