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Master Orthodox Occultist Oregon Chang, The 17th generation Disciple of Seven Stars Sword Master Hebei China

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jungle protection against supernatural beings

To the average villager the deep jungle is a fearsome place; not only do wild animals of every descrip tion lurk in its recesses, it is also a place over whose wide reaches a variety of supernatural beings hold sway. Nats or animistic spirits are believed to inhabit the jungle and to exercise dominion over various sections of it; for example the taw-zaunk-nat is the guardian spirit of the forest, the taung-zaunk-nat is the guardian spirit of the mountain, the ywa-zaunk-nat is the guardian spirit of the village, and the yokkerzoe-nats are guardian spirits that have taken up their abode in particular gigantic trees in the forest.

The pangolin, believed by many to be the shape assumed by the spirits of the jungle

The animistic spirits are either benign (nat kaunn) or malevolent (nat hsoe), and since different forests and different mountains have different guardian spirits there is room for considerable variation in this regard. Even the most ill-disposed of nats, however, may be won over by appropriate offerings of food and flowers, and since many are the infractions of taboos that may occur, the appeasement or propitiation of these minor deities becomes a major preoccupation of many jungle villagers.

Among the various pro hibitions and pre scriptions to be observed in the jungle are: don’t defecate or urinate at will and without regard to your surroundings; in particular avoid soiling the locality of huge trees that may harbour a tree-spirit.

Don’t call anyone by his proper name, otherwise the spirits will overhear and use it to call him farther and farther into the depths of the forest until he finally loses his bearings and is unable to return. The spirits in this case are believed to assume the shape of the pangolin (thinn-ngwae-chut).

In certain areas such as the Zeebingyi Range near Pyin Oo Lwin the number of persons in a travelling party should never equal nine. Any number above or below that is acceptable, but if exactly nine people go on a trip together they are bound to meet with dire consequences.

Accordingly, if it should turn out to be impossible to avoid having nine persons in the group, the shikari will pick up a piece of rock, name it Ko Kyauk Khair (Mr Rock), and take it along, bringing the total to 10 and thus averting disaster.

The jungle villager is a great believer in omens, divinations and prognostications: if a crow defecates on you it is a sign of good luck; if bees construct a hive under the eaves of your house it is an evil portent; if a snake crosses the jungle path in front of you it is a sign that you will have a long and fruitless journey; if you find mushrooms along the route of march you can expect good fortune; if a weapon that you have stood up against a tree or rock falls down, it is a bad omen, and so on.

One of the first things that your guide or shikari will do upon entering the forest is to “petition the jungle” (taw-taung-mair). This is done in a brief ceremony in which offerings of pickled tea, boiled eggs, rice and sundry items of food are placed on a makeshift bamboo altar, before which are laid all the weapons in the party including rifles, cartridges and knives. Lighted candles are placed on the altar and either the shikari or one of the older villagers will kneel before it to invoke the aids of the nats in bringing success to the day’s hunt.

Prayers are sometimes said, not only to make the guns more lethal but also to entreat the spirits to make the game appear. When asking for dangerous game such as tiger two modes of petition may be employed; the first is called lermaing-lay “the lesser spell” in which the presence of the tiger is requested, but without any of the attendant risks; the second called lermaing-jee or “the greater spell” calls for the production of the animal, regardless of the danger involved; in fact the phrase “thu-thae-ko-thae” “Let it die or let me die” is used in the invocation, embodying your request that only one of the two of you survive the encounter.

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