KyKye is an eclectic pagan witch, writer, yogini, and self-taught holistic health guru. Spirituality, Philosophy, and Art are mediums through which she chooses to express the dual nature of her free, yet centered spirit. She attended The Academy for Performing Arts in Scotch Plains, New Jersey as a theatre major and is currently working towards a BFA in Creative Writing at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. If you find her words resonate with you, feel free to follow her personal IG account @_eclectickye and her daughter, a feisty two year old mini-potbelly pig @badass_piggy_noelle.
As a multiracial spiritual woman, of Isan Thai and Irish descent, I feel it is essential to research the beliefs, practices, and ancient folklore of my ancestors on both my maternal and paternal sides. By learning more about my cultural past, I gain a better understanding of which innate magickal abilities lay dormant in me and unlock my potential to fully awaken them. Today I will give you a glimpse into the sacred wisdom of my Thai ancestors and thereby encourage you to seek the wisdom of your own.
Thai people are known to be extremely superstitious, regardless of their religion or social class. While the dominant religion in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism, all ancient Thai magick is deeply rooted in Animism, Brahmanism, and Black Magick. From their superstitions and folklore to their rituals and spells, magick is still widely practiced today, especially in the more rural areas of Thailand. In fact, the belief in the supernatural is considered to be an essential part of a Thai person’s identity (as demons, spirits, ghosts, and other deities are held to the highest regard). Many Thai people associate auspicious/inauspicious meanings with specific dates, numbers, shapes, animals, and colors.
SAN PHRA PHUM (GHOST HOUSES)
A Mau Pii (spirit doctor) is consulted to help determine the best location for a spirit house to be built as well as the best date to hold an invitation ceremony to welcome the spirits into their shelter. Thais believe that by providing the spirits with a place to call their own-adorned with incense, garlands of flowers, food and drinks- they are calling upon their deceased ancestors and other prominent figures or deities to protect them. Soda, fruit, water, cigarettes, alcohol, amulets, and statues are common offerings brought to the spirit houses everyday to keep the spirits happy and prevent future hauntings.
(Anthony Pioppi, 2010)
BARANG (THAI VOODOO)
Black Magick amulets are sacred gifts both created and blessed by Monks, many of which are traditionally bestowed upon donors who have made significant or frequent contributions to the Temple. Each individual amulet is infused with specific powers that are believed to bring the wearer good luck and protection. These amulets can be made from a variety of different materials, including bone, ash, dirt, teeth, herbs, oils, metal, hair, skin, and blood. An image of a Buddha, Monk, demon, animal, or deity is often depicted.
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- Kuman Thong (koo-mun-tong): an unborn male fetus/demonic child spirit that is said to protect a household so long as the amulet is properly cared for. The spirit is said to have an exceptionally strong sense of sight and hearing, which it uses to protect the owner when specific guidelines are followed, some of which include offering it sweet drinks and scheduling certain times to talk to it throughout the day. When and if the spirit becomes too difficult to care for, it must be properly disposed of at a Temple.
YANTRA (MAGICK SPELL)
The Thai Yan is extremely complex, containing a mystical amalgamation of ancient scripts, sacred geometry, holy texts, and Divine power invoked by Monks. It acts as a supercharged magick spell that is designed for the individual, according to their desired purpose or intent. Most times, one seeks to receive the Thai Yan for protection and strength, but it is known also bring forth love, luck, and wealth.
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Whether ink to cloth or ink to skin, the tradition of the Thai Yan has been carried on for centuries. Sak Yant tattoos are gaining popularity in the West due to recent exposure by tourists and celebrities drawn to their unique beauty. Please note that the Sak Yant tattoo is not meant to be worn as a fashion statement, as there are karmic repercussions that will follow. Those who seek to receive its power must never disrespect or disregard the great spiritual significance it holds, especially for the Thai people.
Listed below are some (but not all) elements that a Monk, Ajarn, or Master would have the knowledge of how to combine and use to create the Yan, though the specifics of the Yan’s design-making process and its exact interpretations remain esoteric to non-initiates. I would highly suggest further research be conducted to fully understand all that the Thai Yan entails.
Sacred Geometry & Astrology
- -Magic Squares: number puzzles that contain mathematical magic sequences
- -Elemental Triangles: triangular symbols that signify the four physical elements
- -Trikaya: the Buddhist trinity
- -Circles: can represent the Dharmachakra (auspicious buddhist symbol), planets with astrological significance, the Sun, and the Moon
- -Bodhi Leaf: from the tree under which the Buddha sat and attained Enlightenment
- -Numbers: 9 is auspicious, 7 is inauspicious, 8 can be both
- -Dates: colors, planets, and gods correspond with specific days of the week
- Pali Literature & Post-canonical Pali Literature
- -Traiphum Phra Ruang (Three Worlds According to King Ruang): descriptions of death and fate according to cosmic destruction and creation, an analysis of the ethical and spiritual progress of beings in the universe
- -Tipitaka (Pali Canon)
- *Vinaya Pitaka (basket of discipline): contains rules and customs
- *Sutta Pitaka (basket of discourses): contains sermons of the Buddha and his close disciples
- *Abhidhamma (basket of high doctrine): contains a psychophilisophical analysis of The Law of Nature and cosmic order according to Buddha
- -Buddhaghosa’s Expositions & Commentaries
- *Visuddhimagga (Way of Purification): easy to follow guide to practicing Theravada Buddhism, elaborates on Buddha’s Path to Liberation through strict discipline & meditation
Materials & Utensils
- -Cloth: created on specific days of the week in auspicious colors with corresponding gods and celestial bodies of those days and colors
- -Ink: a secret blend of ashes (human and/or animal), natural dyes (such as chinese charcoal), snake venom, oils, powders, and other ingredients
Whether we choose to or not, believing in the magick of our ancestors and following in their footsteps is entirely up to us. In cultivating awareness of ourselves and others, we are challenged to turn inwards and explore the realms of our being that our physical body and mind do not have access to. There is knowledge, wisdom, and ancient power that runs deep in our blood, that connect us to the Divine, through the Earth, through our Spirit.
It is time for us to return to our roots. It is time to expand our consciousness and invite ancient wisdom and magic back into our blood. As spiritual beings, we are being called upon to add yet another level of depth and meaning to our magic, to our purpose. While it is not our fault that we have fell out of touch with our roots and our magical lineage due to cultural repression and societal conditioning, it is now our choice and our destiny to find the answers our souls are desperately seeking, and to fill in the missing pieces of our puzzle.