Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hmong Ghost Of Grass (草鬼)

Generally speaking, Miao or Hmong magic are influenced by animism. A Miao magician is known as ‘master of ghosts’ (鬼师). Casting Miao/Hmong magic is simple and only ordinary materials are used. For example can you imagine that a piece of weed can be used to harm a person?

I have seen when I was at my master’s place in Chiang Mai, a person came to my master’s place to seek help as he complaint that he was bullied by his landlord. Initially the visitor wanted to seek help from my master, but coincidently the master was not in. So happened that a Hmong lady was also there waiting for my master, she volunteered herself to mediate.

Since the person only stays across the street, I followed the Hmong lady who was perhaps in her early 20’s to the landlord’s place. The landlord saw that the incomer was a young pretty lady, so he tried to take advantage of the Hmong lady and also threatened to take over the person’s land.

The Hmong lady told the landlord seriously that he should apologize and retracted all his vulgar words that he has thrown on her within 3 days or very bad things would happen to the macho landlord.

After the not so pleasant encounter, the Hmong lady returned to my master’s place to wait for him. Before she entered the house, she plugged a piece of weed and cut it into a few sections while reciting some mantra that I couldn't understand. Just before we went into the master’s house, this Hmong lady buried the weed pieces in a hole just in front of the master's house.

My master finally returned from his herb collection trip and after some chat, the Hmong lady left and she told me where to find her in case of emergency. I couldn't catch her meaning then.

I was supposed to leave for Bangkok the next day, but my master asked me to stay for two more days as he said he want to show me some magic. So I obliged…

On the second day, the landlord was carried to my master’s place with a stretcher. As the landlord’s wife recalled, her hubby accidentally missed a flight and fell down from their main stairs and suffered multiple fractured on his legs. The landlord looked paralysed in the stretcher and apparently he was in great pain as he moans and groans continuously.

My master called the Hmong lady and she soon arrived. After some scolding and that the landlord repented with apologizes; the Hmong lady went out and plucked another piece of weed. After murmuring some mantra, she plugged the weed into the ground. To our surprised, the landlord recovered within half a day’s time.

According to Hmong lady, her incantation was to drive the spirit of weeds to possess a person’s body. After that, if she burns the weed with fire, then the person shall feel as if being burnt. If she folds the weed, then the person shall felt as if his body is folded by an external force. The best thing is that the magician doesn't need the target’s name or birth date; he/she only needs to memorize the person’s face will do.

Likewise, this Hmong magic can also be applied using wood, rock, paper or any other mediums. You know that I am a collector of magic ritual, so by hook and by crook; I managed to coax some secret from the lady.

The Hmong lady said that a ‘master of ghosts’ should first learnt how conjure ghosts. The master needs to use weeds, wood, iron, rock, water, water, lamps etc to represent all sorts of ghosts. He/she needs to continuously chant some mantras until the weed sticks onto the wood, and then the wood attaches itself to iron, the iron presses onto the rock, and the rock presses onto the paper, the water shall mysteriously be gone and the lamp flame became brighter. Only when one achieves this stage the magic is initially done… but this magic can only be taught to her future husband.

I haven’t the time to stay put with the Hmong lady for the ritual, but my master said that there is a similar ritual that calls upon ghost kings with weeds in Thai magic. Many people have overlooked this small detail… I had tried the methods a few times and instead of getting the weeds to attach onto other items, my lersi statue and other stuffs fell down instead. Perhaps a quicker way is to marry the lady?

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