Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day Thirteen, Spell Fifteen

Here is a little banishing spell from TwoFeathers over at Gypsy Magic along with a little info about the tradition in Japan. We had a lot of fun doing this.

In Japan, today is celebrated as Setsubun. A Japanese celebration ritual designed to drive away the evil spirits of winter in preparation for the spring. Home-owners walk through their house scattering beans into the corners to drive out any demons hiding there. The beans are saved and eaten at the first clap of thunder in the spring. Pointed branches graced with sardine heads are placed over doorways to keep the demons from returning.

In temples and shrines through out Japan, purification rituals are performed to expel the sins of the people.

Devils out!
Good fortune in!"

This cry can be heard in homes and at temples and shrines around the country to mark the end of the old lunar calendar and herald the new. It is also a ritual to drive away evil spirits.

Each temple has its own way of purging evil from the land. Some temples perform spectacular stage battles between the oni (demons) and the defenders of good, while others invite well-known personalities such as sumo wrestlers and actors to scatter roasted soybeans into the crowd. Many temples simply hold services.

The bean throwing, in some cases rather boisterously, represents the sowing of seeds and the new growth that this brings forth. It has become common practice for well-known personalities born under the Chinese zodiacal sign for that year to be invited to throw out beans as a means of soliciting visitors.

This is a great day to do some bean throwing of your own, and working banishing spells, cleansing spells, and ritual bathing. You could even do something as simple as cleaning and then sweeping your house all the while chanting, "Devils out, Good fortune in."