Monday, October 26, 2015

Hawaiian Earth Blessing Ritual (夏威夷净土仪式)

I stayed with my pal Mr. Ho for a while during my vacation while waiting for his new hotel cum restaurant to be completed in Honolulu. I was told by a local architect Richard that it is still a must for local folks to ask a witchdoctor to perform an earth blessing ceremony before and after a house is built. Since Mr. Ho was then renovating new premises; he too adopted the local Hawaiian custom in employing a quite famous witchdoctor to bless his place.

Unlike the Taoist or Buddhist ceremonies, Hawaiian witchdoctors use only local available sea salt, sea water and a type of sacred leaf called ‘Lono’ leaf. The blessing ritual is pretty simple as what I have seen:

The witchdoctor stood in front of the place chanting mantra while his assistants swing a type of small drums while making some hand gestures in accordance to the witchdoctor’s chanting. Local sorcerers too do not use any types of mudra. For example:

When the witchdoctor said in order to exorcise evil spirits from an area, he/she would say something like: “If you do not leave this place, I shall summon moonlight to kill you!” The assistants would then use their hands first pointing forward, then into the sky, and finally making fists and release forcefully. All those gestures represent ‘you’, ‘moonlight’ and ‘die’.

After the chanting ceremony was completed, the assistants would then use Lono leaf water to sprinkle the circumference of the place and followed by Hawaiian sea salt. It is said that by encircling the place with sea salt there is no chance for evil spirits to stay put.

The final ceremony was the blessing of the property owner and the construction workers. Everyone in the construction area would be sprinkled with water for blessing. It is believed that only after the completion of this earth blessing ritual that all work can be carried out in peace.

I was told that many locals would refuse to start work if this earth blessing ritual is carried out. Like the Chinese, they believe that if no cleansing ritual being carried out, there are bound to be injuries or mishaps.

Coincidentally, during my stay with Mr. Ho; I witnessed a white worker fell from a height of less than 10 feet. After the fall he could still managed to stand up. As everyone thought that this fellow was okay; he suddenly collapsed onto the ground and died. Interestingly speaking, the deceased was the only worker refused to be blessed by the witchdoctor because of his faith.

Personally I would think it was merely an isolated case, perhaps the poor worker was having some kind of health issue. His death however, became the talk of the place for quite a while.

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