Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Putting Thai Magic Into Correct Perspective

On the surface, people in Singapore and Malaysia only thinks tattoo, love magic and amulets represent the actual practice of Thai magic. This is indeed a misconception and I can only try to put the authentic Thai magic into correct perspective.

Overall, Thai magic has a relatively tight structure to follow and according to various fields of study: herbalist, tattoo, arts, martial arts, culinary or even education. It is quite impossible to go into details of individual fields, since I was trained as a herbalist; I would just explore into Thai magic in herbalist.

Whatever school of magic one follows, the first ritual would be the 'wai kru' or the teacher's ritual. There are major invocation of teachers of the lineage and daily ritual opening prayers to the lineage teachers and spirits.

A prospective herbalist must also recites mantras to empower all his/her herbs so that their healing properties can be increased. After that he/she must also recites mantras for curing various injuries or illnesses so that all can be learnt by heart.

In traditional Thai medicine, 'kata' or 'mantras' are used in treating illnesses, massaging or applying medicines.

After the general morning ritual, an apprentice must go into the herbs garden or forest to collect herbs. There are about 100 to 200 types of herbs listed according of four elements: earth, air, fire and water. These herbs are combined to cure diseases caused by those four elements.

Other than mantras and rituals for herbs, a traditional Thai herbalists must also learn to control wild animals or treat poisonous animal and insect bites. In that he/she would also need the help of mountainous spirits as a servitor spirits.

The main functions of this servitor spirits is to protect the herbalist and also to guide him/her in finding the required herbs.

At times, a Thai herbalist must go into the forest to meditate in order to find new healing knowledge from the spiritual world. The mysterious 'lek lai' (molten iron) is just one of those discoveries by previous hermits but the usage was blown to sky high by Singaporean and Malaysian in the 90's.

The so-called 'corpse oil' is one of ingredients in traditional Thai and also Tibetan medicine. There is no record in saying that such oil can be used in love magic proper.

I only came to know about Kumanthongs, Phra Ngans and other gods and goddesses after the fact. Traditionally, an herbalist only worships Lersis and the Buddha and nothing else. The traditional altar is very simple. You will be able to see very simple altars in areas around Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand now days still.

Perhaps after reading this posting, Thai magic has become very unfamiliar to you?

1 comment:

  1. Only expanded the definition of Thai Magic.
    If Magician grow on trees we would have plenty of them but we haven't, they are rare, mostly in secrecy little popular as you said and have better things to do. One of reason one want get involved magic is to see another side of world. It is like romance a longing to see. Who doesn't want see pixies, elves, gnomes and mermaids? The possibility is that creates the adventurer.

    'The ego of the adventure is to seek out in the unknown for rumor of and existence because he doesn't stop to dream and believes there is something else of what we know and believe there is. Those who archive it are called pioneers and those who fail are called fools'