In 2023 the Hungry Ghost period starts from 16th August and ends 14th September. In the Chinese Lunar Calendar this is the 7th month. The most important day falls on 31st August 2023 which is when prayers and offering are performed. In the month of the hungry ghost, it is said that Yin energies overpowers Yang chi. 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. Therefore homes that are not occupied for some time tends to attract them. A house with too much Yin energy starts to become dark and overshadows whatever sunlight that enters. Houses built over previous gravesites or near to cemeteries or hospitals 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 the doors of hell are open and releases hungry ghosts and wandering spirits 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 joss paper 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. This is usually offered on the night of the 15th day of the month which is the night of August 30th.
It is believed that Hungry ghosts can bring harm to those whose chi energy is depleted or low, bringing them bad luck or illness. 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 going swimming during this 7th month. It is believed that evil spirits that were 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 for them to wear seed syllable amulets of protection like the seed syllable HUM or HRIH. Alternatively they can also carry the Dorje Drolo Amulet with them.
- It is not allowed to move houses, start renovation, or to start 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, hiking or camping as these are places where spirits love to go! Chances of injuries, illness, 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. Hang up the Black Scorpion Dorje Drollo Sticker in your car to help ward off accidents.
- Protect the entrance to your home or office with Chung Kwei, Black Scorpion Dorje Drollo Sticker or the White Umbrella Goddess. These are the best protectors against ghosts and evil spirits.
- When burning joss paper and 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 anyone’s 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 their internal energies and increasing the chances of spirits possession.
- Keep your forehead clean and free of head cover. If you cover your forehead, this puts out the flame thus weakening your life force, increasing the possibilities of being haunted. Thus, this is not a good month to wear caps or hats at sundown.
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 some sandalwood or agarwood incense outside of your house to help appease the spirits nearby.
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, Agarwood 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 (repeat 108 times)
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.
2) Carry the PEACOCK FEATHERS MIRROR FAN
Peacock Feathers have the power to absorb all the poisons that cause life to be unpleasant. The Peacock Feathers Mirror Fan has the power to dissolve all poisons that cause you misery and suffering. The fan is also imprinted with a special talisman to protect against all forms of killing energy. It causes all harmful and unpleasant energies to evaporate and is strongly recommended for those who might be exposed to spiritual attack or black magic, or those with low levels of Life Force and Spirit Essence in your Element Luck Profile. Carry this protective fan if you suffer from the Yin Gate affliction. Thus for this month, place the Peacock Feathers Mirror Fan in 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 Protection 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.