Monday, January 24, 2011
Spirits Blog 2~ Working with the Spirit Ma Zu
This is my 2nd installment on my Spirit based blog. Working with spirits can have such an amazing impact on your life. I do think that you should be informed about spirit contact and spirits themselves before beginning any spirit workings. Spirits are powerful, independent entities that have their own unique and distinctive personalities, they have likes and dislikes, before calling on a particular spirit you should learn all you can about them.
Many people dont realize that anyone can have direct contact with spirits, you do not need someone to mediate for you. Spirits are assessable and as I stated in my previous entry, there are many benefits to working with them.
A common synonym for spirits or deities is mysteries. Spirits are among the universe's true mysteries. Spirits are alive in their own way. They are animated, capable of communication, react to stimuli, and demonstrate individual personalities and emotion. Spirits are generally invisible, although they can choose to make themselves visable. Look around you, see all that open empty space, many claim that it is actually filled with all kinds of spirits. The Talmud suggests that it's a good thing that spirits are invisible, if we could actually see all the different spirits constantly surrounding us we'd drop dead from shock, awe, or fright.
Spirits most often show themselves to us in dreams, but some are able to see them while they are awake. There are some who possess the power to see spirits all the time, with or without a spirit's permission. Sometimes people welcome or actively seek this power, which may be the conscious result of intensive spell and rituals. (some spirits also bestow this ability) Others just see spirits, whether they want to or not.
Some cultures and traditions perceive this power as a sacred gift. They are taught to use and control their abilities for their own benefit as well as for the community at large. Other cultures and traditions perceive this ability as dangerous, scary, a mark of Satan, or a sign of mental illness.
It can be very traumatic to see what others cannot, especially if living among those who fear, despise, or disparage this talent, and especially if the person lacks the knowledge on how to control this ability.
Now I will open to a random page in my Encyclopedia of Spirits book and write about the spirit that calls to us today....
Today we will learn about:
The Sea Angel, Lady of Heaven, Princess of Supernatural Favor, Heavenly Mother, Grandmother Ruby, Princess of Tides
Also known as: A-Ma, Matsu, Ma Zhu, Mazu, Tien Hau, Tin Hau
Ma Zu (960-987CE) currently claims over one hundred million devotees. There are over fifteen hunderd Ma Zu temples worldwide with over four hundred in Taiwan alone.
Before she was a Goddess, Ma Zu was a girl named Lin Mo from a fishing village on Meizhou Island in Fujian. Her spiritual gifts manifested early. Local people called her the Dragon Girl because of her psychic ability to predict changes in the weather. Sailors sought her advice before going to sea. At age thirteen she began training with a Taoist Monk who gave her charms and taught her secret lore. (She is also described as a devout Buddhist who began praying and lighting incense twice a day when she was ten, but this may be a later attempt to bring a Taoist Goddess into the Buddhist fold.)
When Lin Mo was around sixteen she and her girlfriend were gazing at their reflections in a well and saw a fairy looking back. The friend panicked and ran away but Ma Zu knelt in reverence. The Fairy emerged and gave her a copper scroll inscribed with mystic symbols and taught her the magickal art of life saving.
At age sixteen, Lin Mo was praying for her father and six brothers who were caught in a typhoon at sea when she fell into a trance. Her soul traveled out to sea where she manifested to them and helped them stay afloat. Meanwhile, her body lay at home in a trance so deep her Mother thought she was dead. Grief stricken, she shook Lin Mo, rousing her. ( An alternating legend is that Lin Mo's soul could not bear her Mothers grief and flew back to comfort her.) Lin Mo had time to rescue her brothers who later desribed their experiences, but the trance did not last long enough for her to save her Father.
In 987, people saw Ma Zu ascend to Heaven from Mount Meifing on Meizhou Island accompanied by an escort of Fairies. Ma Zu may have become an immortal without dying, or her ascension may have followed her death. There are different versions of her possible death:
~She committed suicide at twenty-seven rather then submit to an arranged marriage. (she may have taken a vow of chastity)
~She drowned at age sixteen while searching for her Father's drowned corpse.
Rather then resting in peace or dallying in Heaven, having departed the mortal plane Ma Zu became even more active. Over the years an ever increasing number of eye witnesses have claimed to see her apparition appear in the middle of the sea to perform emergency rescues. By the twelfth century, she was incorporated into the Chinese Pantheon.
Considered an exceptionally active and responsive Goddess, Ma Zu protects travelers on the seven seas as well as on the turbulent seas of love and life. Riding clouds or traveling over oceans at high speed on a kind of magic flying carpet, Ma Zu can save people anywhere.
If you are caught in a violent storm call out Ma Zu's name, ideally with incense in your hand.
If she rescues you throw a feast in her honor. Invite guests and tell your story, don't forget to set a place of honor for Ma Zu.
Although she began as a goddess of sea safety, she has evolved into an all-purpose goddess, fulfilling all her devotees needs. She performs miracles of healing and fertility and has domain over commerce. Ma Zu will banish ghosts and evil spirits. She spiritually cleanses areas where tragedies have occurred.
Favored People: Sailors, maritime merchants, those who fish, travelers at sea
Manifestation: Those rescued by Ma Zu constantly describe her as dressed in red. During storms she sometimes manifests as a fire ball traveling up or down the mast.
Iconography: Ma Zu is often depicted with a black face like a Black Madonna
Spirit Allies: Ma Zu and Kwan Yin are compatible and will share altar space. Among those spirits traveling in Ma Zu entourage is Me Sanh, Chinese Goddess of Childbirth.
Dates: Her birthday on the twenty-third day of the third month of the Chinese lunar calendar.
Her ascension to heaven on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.
Sacred Sites: There are many shrines to Ma Zu, this is just a sample.
Heavenly Empress Palace on Meizhou Island, a temple complex built where she ascended to heaven.
Tien Hou Temple in San Francisco's Chinatown, established in 1852, is the oldest Chinese temple in the U.S.
Chua Thien Hau Temple in Los Angeles' Chinatown was established in September 2005.
Offerings: Incense, fresh fruit, objects expressing marine or nautical themes. To invoke her powers as a fertility Goddess, offer images of animals playing with their babies.
That completes todays blog. I hope you have enjoyed reading about Ma Zu and I would love to hear your thoughts. I thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my blog.
Note~ Information from this blog was taken from The Encyclopedia of Spirits. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Spirit world or if you are looking to establish a relationship with spirits and their world then this book is for you.