Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The Preserved Vege Ghost (荫菜鬼)
Carrots are normally consumed as vegetable... but do you aware of they other uses?
Preserved vegetables are popular foods in Asia. Having said so, not many people aware that vegetables too can be mediums for spirit conjurations and binding.
This conjuration method is known as the ‘preserved carrot ghost’ used to be quite popular in Taiwan and Minnan (闽南). Interestingly, the cousin of this ‘preserved carrot ghost’ is the Vietnamese ‘white tiger ngai’ utilises ginger species as medium. Surprisingly too, the person who wish to perform the ritual of ‘vegetable ghost’ or ‘white tiger ngai’ must first worship the ‘five legionnaire armies’ (五营兵).
Whoever wishes to perform this ritual must obtain a stillborn baby with known date of birth. After that he/she should bury the dead baby in his/her garden in the moonrise direction of that time. Next, the person should plant a vegetable seed, in this case, a carrot seed is normally planted on the baby’s grave. After the seed is planted, he/she should start watering and chanting conjuration mantra every day. The baby’s grave should be guarded by the sorcerer’s spiritual military until the carrot grows.
The empowerment ritual must continue until the carrot flowered and seeds are produced. The carrot seeds should be collected and carried along by the sorcerer wherever he/she goes. This will automatically bring his/her vegetable ghost pet along. At the same time, the carrot now fully grown must be dug out and wind dried in a dark place. When the carrot is fully dried, it is wrapped with a piece of red cloth and worshipped in a separate altar; or beside the earth spirit (地主).
At the beginning stage, this preserved carrot should be placed outside of the caretaker’s house every night to absorb the night dew. It should be brought back into the house before sunrise. The process should continue until the owner can communicate with the carrot spirit. After the initial ‘dew empowerment’, it is sufficed just to feed the carrot spirit with dew once or twice a month.
In previous years, vegetable ghost is kept mainly by fortune tellers to increase his/her fortune telling accuracy. Of course, I am not surprised that anyone would practise this method anymore today. On second thought, if you have a dead pet dog and you still longed for its company; this ritual maybe useful too.