Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wind and Water

In this age of chronic materialism and widespread spiritual starvation, perhaps it shouldn't be too surprising that more and more people are turning to the supernatural to deal with life. Even though most of the various popular TV programs dealing in "paranormal phenomena" here in Japan have long since switched to a crime story format (is crime paranormal??), superstition seems to have moved closer to center stage in everyday life. My regular morning news program dedicates nearly five full minutes of its half-hour slot to a horoscope reading, and the horoscope section on my Sunday funnies page, which used to occupy a small box in the corner, now takes up fully half of the page.

Tarot cards, which came in big in the late 80s and then quickly faded out again, seem to be coming back in again, as evidenced in part by the Tarot theme in Rush's Vapor Trails album (strangely echoing a similar theme in my own Diminished Arcana album). I'm also seeing more and more students practicing various forms of divination that use everyday playing cards and dice. Some of them are pretty obsessive about it, too.

Still, the most interesting feature of the recent vogue for paranormal phenomena (doo dooo doo doo doo) is the sudden, unexpected rise in people seeking to purify their homes. Apparently spiritual purification is a rapidly-growing industry right now. There are actually many ways to rid your home or business of unwanted spiritual clutter (and it's amazing how similar they really are...even coming from such diverse groups as the Wiccans and the Nez Perce tribe). However, by far the most popular method is the ancient Chinese system known as "Feng Shui".

"Feng Shui" literally means "wind and water", and it dates back some 4000 years. It mainly concerns itself with placement of objects and the facings of a building's features so as to ensure spiritual harmony. According to its rules, putting a certain item of furniture against the wrong wall can throw everything out of whack, creating a higher amount of stress and discomfort inside the building. It's no laughing matter, either. Since ancient times, Chinese have gone to an awful lot of trouble and expense to make sure everything is in spiritual harmony indoors. The Maoists tried and failed to stamp it out. Now it has become a very profitable growth industry.

Do you fail to unwind adequately after coming home from a stressful day at the office? Perhaps you need to change the facing of your bed or add a plant in a ceramic planter to a certain corner of the house to get your yins and yangs in their proper order. While you're at it, maybe your work environment could be improved by rearranging your office furniture a little...and perhaps burning some incense or aromatic oil for good measure.

Feng Shui is an interesting and increasingly profitable practice. It also seems a lot easier and painless than casting a magic circle and then warding every room in your house, but I don't think I'll get into that right now.


Susanne said...
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Don Snabulus said...

I am in touch with the Ancients. I have been instructed to purify my home in the following ways:

1. HEPA filter on furnace
2. Vacuum out my heating ducts
3. Use a mild bleach solution to kill and remove mold from window sills.
4. Do not allow dishes to accumulate in the sink for long periods.
5. Vacuum and dust frequently.
6. Do not allow pets into the house.

These are difficult things, but I am convinced that when I have mastered them, my home enter into a state of harmony and my sneezing will subside.

Vulgarius said...

Dont you know what you have done! You have disturbed a complex and delicate spirtual ecology! You may have inadvertantly placed your chlorinated shui all over some one elses feng. Just think whats going to happen when all of those poor dust mites and mold spores cannot unwind after a hard days work. It'll be chaos I tell you! And they will all come looking for you and your newly fenged shui to settle down in for a good cozy nights meditation!

Don Snabulus said...

Hey, easy fella. This was the Ancients' idea, not mine. If they destroy my relationship with the dust mites, I will be quite angry.

Anonymous said...

Are sexy ghosts pheronormal?

Vulgarius said...

Pheronoia, the destroyer.
Pheronoia, the destroyer.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Are you sure you're not just being pheronoid?

Anonymous said...


I thought "paranormal" referred to a woman who doesn't have breast implants.