Friday, May 18, 2018

5 Ghosts Sedan Chair (五鬼抬轿)

'5-ghosts carrying sedan chair' (五鬼抬轿) is a magic ritual that make use of the power of spirits to carry a sorcerer over a long distance. This is somehow similar to the Shamanic 'trance walk' or the Tibetan 'walking on air' (气行). The difference is that this '5-ghost sedan' method makes use of the power of 5-ghosts.

The 5-ghost sedan method is no more in practice nowadays because we already have modern transportation so why bother. This method was popular in old China when transportation between two spots was difficult.

Since such a method is deemed obsolete, I just want to skim over this ritual briefly.

The core power of this spirit transportation relied on the 5-ghosts. So, a person must first accomplished the 5-ghost ritual.

Once the basic sign of the existence of 5-ghosts are perceived, the first step is to command the spirits to move items in front of the sorcerer. Another more simpler ritual to this 5-ghost sedan ritual is the 5-ghost object transferring (五鬼搬运). The object transferring ritual is normally meant to steal money or valuable object.

When the object in front of the sorcerer can be seen float in the air, then the sorcerer can command the spirits to lift heavier object until finally the weight of the sorcerer himself.

Now the sorcerer can prepare a set of sedan chair and a piece of black cloth. He can then sit in the chair and covering himself with a piece of black cloth. Once done, the sorcerer can now command his 5-ghosts to lift the chair to wherever he wishes.

Needless to say that it takes a lot of time and perseverance to make the ritual a success. But the rewards are many obviously in our modern eyes: no need to pay for petrol, road tax, air fares etc.

One downfall of this ritual is that it can only be done at night after 11pm.

Since there is no more live case to share, I tried to put together a story told by my master about this 5-ghost sedan ritual.

When my master was still in Sichuan (四川) following his guru. Once they spent a night in the wilderness because they couldn't find any shelter. 

While master was keeping the night watch, he saw a lantern leading a sedan chair approaching. Before he could shout for his guru, the guru hinted him to be quiet and let the sedan chair passed through.

According to my master, he couldn't see anyone carrying the lantern or anyone in the chair or people carrying the chair. Everything just seemed to be so strange. Before master could have a second thought, the procession whooped by like a night owl and disappeared in night sky.

Later master's guru told him that if he makes any noises, the lantern will go off and the sedan chair will drop. This may cause the people inside the chair to be unable to return home.

Unfortunately, my master didn't venture to practise 5-ghost sedan ritual because his guru passed away not long after that. Of course, I am too old and too lazy to try this ritual now.

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