Tuesday, November 25, 2014

About Evil Winds (邪风)

In Chinese folk belief, perhaps the so called ‘evil wind’ can be grouped into two types: spiral wind (small tornado if you like) and ghost wind.


In fact, the sightings of spiral winds are pretty common in the street or in open areas: these types of small tornados would stir up paper shreds and tree leaves plying to and fro freely. The unwary folks thought it is fun to watch but in reality, these small tornados can be pretty harmful to a few unlucky souls especially the young ones. So, one should not come into contact with them or troubles would arise pretty soon.


About 20 years ago, my neighbour’s kid liked to play with these types of small tornados; one day he did the same thing when he noticed a small wind spiralled up some tree leafs outside of his house. After this kid returned home, he suddenly became blind. Unfortunately this kid never recovered from his illness and succumbed a few years later. To tell you honestly, I am not sure if it is due to this spiral wind or something else.


I think, the size of these tornados reflect the power of the spirits that caused the tornado: the small wind would be caused by small spirit and the strong ones are perhaps stirred up by more powerful demonic forces. If a place has not been frequently visited by tornado, and suddenly it is besieged by tornados suddenly; then we can assumed that the luck of that place is declining. As the saying goes:


“When a country is near ruin, then demons will appear”!


Another type of evil wind in our list is the ‘ghost wind’. Ghost winds can easily be encountered by those folks who are experiencing bad luck and they like to go out at night. At the place where ghost wind is present, we would feel cold and goose bumps would be produced. Ghost winds are normally harmless unless one ‘collides’ head on with them. When a person collided with ghost wind, the luckier ones would experience numb face or craniofacial skew. For the unlucky ones, his/her eyes would roll back or his/her eyes would shut tight, fainted or unconscious. Some people would vomit or diarrhea.


The ones who understand Taoist magic would use ‘thunder ritual’ (雷法) or other exorcism rituals to cure victims. For a Taoist, the method is to draw a Han character of thumder ‘’ on his/her left palm and then release this ‘thunder’ towards the victim. If the condition is serious, then mantra for soul retrieval (收魂) or nerve calming (收惊) should be recited. Of course, these types of rituals should be done by more capable hands.


Of course, if you do not believe in ‘evil winds’, then just treat them as just another metrological phenomena or just some old folk superstitions.


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