This year, the Hungry Ghost period starts from August 11th and ends September 9th in the 7th month of the Lunar Calendar. The actual day falls on 25th August 2018. In the month of hungry ghost, it is said that the yin overpowers the yang. The yin forces are thus very strong during this period. When yin chi dominates a house, it starts to attract ghosts and wandering spirits who thrive in such places. A house with too much yin energy starts to become dark and overshadow whatever sunlight that enters. Houses built over gravesites are also attractive places for ghosts to convene.
During the month of the hungry ghost, the Chinese believe it is important to be extra vigilant and careful, particularly during night time. This is the time of year when hungry ghosts and wandering spirits are released from “hell” to roam freely, making it a very dangerous month. The gates of the ghost realms are thrown open and souls of the dead will return to visit their living relatives, while the wandering spirits will roam about the streets.
To appease them, joss sticks and meals are left outside for the hungry ghosts and dead relatives to enjoy. Prayers and ritual prosperity items are offered to the deceased through the medium of fire, i.e. paper money, paper houses, paper transportation, paper accessories and joss sticks. This brings great relief to the spirits and affords them some material comforts when they return to hell at the end of the month. The Chinese believe that great merit and good fortune is attained by offering these poor hungry spirits some food and shelter during this time.
Hungry ghosts can cause harm to those whose chi energy is depleted or low. To counter this one should wear amulets and ensure that there is an excess of yang energy. Wear bright colours and play music! This why Chinese Temples will put on feasts and opera shows to distract the wandering spirits and perform prayers for them.
WHAT TO AVOID:
- Avoid swimming during this 7th month. It is believed that evil spirits that previously drowned will look for souls to claim in exchange for a passage ticket to rebirth.
- Children and young adults are also advised to stay indoors after dark and avoid wandering alone at night. Children are particularly susceptible to spirit possession so it’s advisable to wear seed syllable amulets of protection like the syllable HUM or HRIH.
- Avoid moving houses or officiating new businesses this month. It is considered an inauspicious month for such activities.
- Avoid getting married this month. Weddings are vulnerable to attacks from jealous female spirits who may retaliate by casting curses and bad spells on the couple. AVOID at all costs!
- Do not go jungle trekking or camping as these are places where spirits love to go! Chances of injuries, spirit possession and death are high.
- Drive carefully to avoid accidents. Wandering spirits who died of accidents are on the prowl for new victims they can exchange for reincarnation.
- Protect your entrances with Chung Kwei or the White Umbrella Goddess. These are the best protectors against ghosts and evil spirits.
- When burning paper “hell money”, spirits will gather around you to receive the “money”. It is advisable not to jump or run around while doing this as you risk offending them. Aggravated spirits can become dangerous.
- Avoid placing your hands on your shoulder. Everyone is said to have three flames on the body; one on the forehead, two on the shoulders. Placing a hand on one’s shoulders is said to “put out” the flame, weakening your internal energies and increasing the chances of spirits possession.
- The forehead must be kept clean and free of head cover. If you cover your forehead, this puts out the flame weakens your life force, increasing the possibilities of being haunted.
- There is a belief that if you throw knives or scissors towards a thunderstorm, this can prevent spirits from entering your house.
APPEASING WITH INCENSE
The best method to stay protected is to wear the right amulets and appease these spirits with regular incense offering. Incense appeases the local spirits and hungry ghosts tremendously. Burn the incense pellets and leave your incense outside the house to complete burning.
The Incense Offering Ritual is a very POWERFUL way to remove obstacles caused by wandering and local spirits of the land. It is done about 2-3 times a week, but during the Hungry Ghost month, it is beneficial to do this every evening or as often as you can. The best time for this is around dusk, just after sunset. Light up sweet smelling incense (like kemenyen or sandalwood) and chant this special incense offering mantra as you walk clockwise around your rooms and outside your home while holding your incense burner:
NAMAH SARVA TATHAGATHA AVALOKITE OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA HUNG
After completing the walk-about your home, dedicate all the incense and offerings to the holy beings, dakinis, angels, spiritual protectors, local landlords, and wandering spirits around you and request that they look after you instead of harm you. Let the incense burn till it has finished burning
SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH PROTECTIVE ENERGIES
When billions of wandering spirits roam the earth, the likelihood of accidents, mishaps and robberies increases exponentially. Thus the only way to prevent this from causing you problems is to rely on spiritual protection to avert negative vibes that shroud the earth this month.
This is easily achieved by displaying appropriate house amulets and images of powerful cosmic guardians near entrance areas. If possible, always wear some kind of cosmic protection on your body – i.e. especially amulets that are embellished with specific protective sigils or carry special mantras. Make sure that these the amulets touch your body, as this is what ensures your body does not get hurt.
1) DISPLAY THE WHITE UMBRELLA GODDESS in your HOME
The White Umbrella Goddess is also known as Ushnisha Sitatapatra – the powerful goddess to completely annihilates spirit harm and black magic. She has a thousand arms that each carry a white parasol, to protect you against a thousand dangers caused by many classes of harmful spirit beings. You can invite her image that has been beautifully glorified on a plaque, or engraved on a mirror.
This special amulet contains the powerful image of Lord Chung Kwai, the famous Chinese Ghost Catcher. It is believed that spirits shudder with fear and run for cover at the mention of his name or his image, and thus his painting is often displayed prominently near the entrance of businesses and wealthy mansions to protect against harm caused by bad spirits. He is particularly skilled at catching ghosts that bring BETRAYAL, ROBBERY and THEFT. Thus for this month, clip the Night Safety Amulet onto your handbag, or inside your car to guard against this type of spirit harm.
This sparkling amulet prayer wheel contains eight complete sets of the powerful Diamond Cutter Sutra! It provides excellent protection against physical and spiritual harm. Twirl clockwise daily to benefit from the power of the Diamond Cutter Sutra. Wear it daily as a incredibly powerful amulet for protection against natural disasters, epidemics, physical dangers, spirit harm and untimely death.
An easy way to stay protected against mischievous spirits or bad feng shui is to out on sacred scarves that have been empowered with powerful protective mantras. The Dharmachakra Wheel Protrection Scarf has a special amulet that protects you from accidents and dangers caused by spirit harm and is particularly powerful for those who stay out late. If you are travelling, wear the Namgyalma Scarf or the Travel Scarf to ensure that you are protected while you are not within the confines of your own home.