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All posts for the month Abril, 2012

The Eight Immortals

Published Abril 18, 2012 by jptan2012

One of the most revered and considered superior beings of Taoist legend are the Paht Tai Shien Cho or the Eight Immortals. It is unclear whether they have really lived at various times because no official record of them has been ever found. Most of the documents found that refers to the Eight Immortals are mostly religious texts and/or oral transmissions of their story.

The 8 Immortals is comprised of six men and two women. They are said to have attained immortality under various and different circumstances, but some Taoist texts states that they all received immortality when they bite into the Peach of Immortality, which is maintained by the Queen Mother of the South, or the mother of the Jade Emperor.

Collectively, they are considered to bring various luck and protection. To some extent they can be compared to the 18 Arhats of Buddhism and/or to the 12 Disciples of Jesus Christ in Christianity. Only the Arhats and the Eight Immortals are much older than the disciples of Jesus Christ.

Both the The Eight Immortals and the 18 Arhats (more on the Arhats on a later post) are said to possess magical and supernatural powers.

Having the image of the Eight Immortals in our homes will deliver protection from negative energies, and they will also bestow good health, good fortune, wonderful opportunities, and various blessings, especially to those who honor them by offering incense, fruits, and flowers.

Each of the Eight Immortal carries a special implement that they use as a tool to help bestow their protection and blessing.

The Eight Immortals are Chung-Li Chuan, which is said to be the chief of the Eight Immortals, Kuo-Lao Chang, Lu Dongpin, Guo-Chiu Tsao, Tieh-Guai Li, Hsian-Tzu Han, , Tsai-Ho Lan, , Hsien-Ku Ho.

I’ll talk about the different immortals in my succeeding posts.

 

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The Curse of a Wandering Husband and a Missing Father!

Published Abril 16, 2012 by jptan2012

A few weeks ago a reader sent a private email that sounded a little desperate. She said she needs to talk to me about a ‘family curse’. To be honest, I hesitated replying to the email because it sound a little melodramatic and the secrecy of the problem, which ‘can only be shared in person’ seems a little sinister. It’s okay for me to share this now because I actually mentioned this to M when I got to talk to her.

Two days after I’ve read the email, I decided to sent a reply and told M that I can only talk to her over the phone if she’s able to give me more information about the ‘family curse’ she mentioned on the email. I also clarified that my knowledge is limited to Feng Shui, and some aspects of Buddhism and Taoism if they are largely related to Feng Shui.

M emailed me again this time giving me more information, however, she said that she’d be able to express herself better through a conversation. She included her mobile number in the email and I decided to call her.

M is a widow of a politician; she is in her early 60s. Both M and her husband belong to rich, famous, devout Catholic families.

The first thing she mentioned to me is that she doesn’t really believe in Feng Shui but is quite desperate. She also clarified that she is a devout Catholic and that she’s an active member of various Catholic groups and personal friends with some of the most famous priests in the country. She also clarified that she has met then Pope John Paul II. I really don’t know how to react and part of me regretted that I called her. I wondered whether she’s one of those devout Christians and/or Catholics who would email me and tell me that I’m espousing evil worship. I cut her short and told her that I don’t see her point and that I would rather that she goes direct to the point. I heard her took a deep breath and told me that my blog was recommended to her by a friend and that she decided to email out of desperation. It was at that point that I realize that she’s not one of those anti-Feng Shui Christians that believes Feng Shui is the work of the devil. I also realize that I should give her time to talk. It’s a good thing that it was already evening and I don’t have to worry about a meeting or anything that might interfere with our conversation.

As it turns out, M believes that her family or her husband’s family is cursed to be unhappy. She said that her father-in-law, was a wandering husband, and had kids with other women; he also had violent early death. This cause great sadness not only to her mother-in-law, but also to the whole family. Her husband, was also a wandering husband and fathered three more children from two different women, furthermore, her husband also had an early death because of a heart attack. About a year ago, she discovered that her 30-year-old married son is involved with another woman. Her friend discovered this. She clarified that she loves her daughter-in-law but is unable to be honest to her about it. She confronted her son, and the son replied that it runs in the family. This sort of made her realize that it really runs in the family! She knows that her father-in-law was seldom home, her husband was also seldom home, and now his son, like his grandfather and father before him is also seldom home. She can’t understand what happened to his son; because when he was still single, her son showed signs that he can be a very good husband. The change started only when her son got married.

M was really desperate and believes that her family is cursed! She wanted immediate help. I asked her whether her son lives with her, and she said yes, she further added that they have been living in the house of her in-laws, which was inherited by her husband.

M wanted me to do a Bazi analysis of her whole family including that of her deceased husband and in-laws for me to see what’s the problem. Base on my discussion with her I told her that it won’t be necessary and doing a Bazi analysis of all of them will take a while and that I’m very busy with my business at the moment. I then told her that I suspect that her house might be missing its Northwest section. I told her to go to the center of the house, look for the Northwest and see what’s in there.

She called me up the following day and asked her daughter-in-law to talk to me. Before that she warned me that her daughter-in-law knows nothing of the real nature of M’s call to me and that she just told her she got interested in Feng Shui. Her daughter-in-law said that there house is almost a square shaped house, except that there’s nothing in the Northwest. What’s in the Northwest is an extension of the house that has become a storage room of their junk.

I knew then that it’s the problem. The Northwest represents the Patriarch. Traditionally, it refers to the father, however, in modern times some Feng Shui experts says that the Northwest also refers to women who acts as the head of the family. A missing Northwest is really bad because it means that there’s no head of the family. A missing Northwest, a dirty Northwest, or a big toilet in the Northwest is really bad because it will greatly affect the Patriarchal luck of the family. Some of its effects are the following:

WANDERING HUSBAND. The father or husband is usually the considered patriarch of the family. A missing Northwest will make the husband have relationships outside of his family.

BUSINESS COMES FIRST. It may also cause the patriarch to focus more on his work or business rather than the family.

WEAKEN PATRIARCH. It also may cause the family’s father to become a weakling. Unable to take care of the family properly.

MISSING FATHER OR HUSBAND. The worst effect of a bad Northwest may be that the father or husband will become sickly or worst is he may die a premature death cause either by an unexpected disease or illness, accident, or violence.

You must always ensure that you have a Northwest. Furthermore, you must always ensure that your Northwest is clean and avoid putting a big toilet in the Northwest.

I related this to M and told her that she has to fix her Northwest. She promised that she’ll do it immediately. I hope that it works.

Palaspas or Palm Fronds as Amulets?

Published Abril 3, 2012 by jptan2012

Growing up with a devout Catholic maternal grand mother, I’m quite familiar with how Catholics looks at a Palaspas or Palm Fronds. My Lola would always tell me that a palaspas is what saves us from the devil during Holy Week, because, she explains, this is the time when Christ is at his weakest. Like most superstitious Catholics, my Lola has a lot of beliefs that are technically not espouse by the Church.

My Lola, like most Catholics, would get several Palaspas not for it’s religious significance but more for it’s association with the supernatural. Her house, where I grew up, would have a Palaspas in each of the window and door where it would hang for the rest of the year until the next Palm Sunday. Before hanging the new Palaspas or Palm Frond, she would take out the old dried Palaspas and make several different amulets out of them. She would cut them up into small pieces and put them under our bed to prevent dwendes (dwarves) from visiting us. She would burn some of them and keep the ashes so that she can use them against the mananaggal (Philippine Vampire) should they decide to visit us. Still others would be cut into small pieces, put in a small red cloth and hang by the bed room doors, and by the bed, this is to protect us from bad spirits.

I know now that a lot of what she believes in and do are simply born out of superstition. However, I decided to write this post because just yesterday, in the front page, of all the 3 major national newspaper, it shows that the Catholic Church through one of its bishops has warned the people that a Palm Frond or Palaspas is not to be used as amulet.

I don’t really know the religious significance of going through the ceremony of waving a Palm Frond and having a priest bless them during mass if there is not special power in this act. I will not dare dwell on it. However, I would like to answer the question whether a Palaspas can be use as an amulet.

In Feng Shui, leaves or a leaf, especially if it has religious significance, is a great symbol and cure to be use in changing one’s bad luck into good luck. For Buddhism, the most common leaf used as a symbol to help signify the change of one’s bad luck into good luck is the Bodhi leaf. This is because of the association of the achievement of Buddhahood by the Historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, under a Bodhi tree. For Catholics, I believe that palaspas would also work in the same manner. However, at least for Feng Shui perspective, it is extremely inauspicious if you continue to keep a dead flower or leaf, and this is usually the case with Palm Fronds, we normally keep them even if they’d totally dried. Again, in Feng Shui perspective this is considered unlucky.

To directly answer whether a palaspas or palm frond is an amulet, the answer is yes, that is until they’ve dried out.

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