Spirit Proofing

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Is your home secure against attacks by evil demons?

 

These days everyone seems to be focused on zombie-proofing their property, or making it safe against over exaggerated dangers such as lurking pedophiles,  rampaging end of world hoardes, Syrian refugees or Mexican Taco Trucks.  The truth is that you are in far more danger from Ghosts, Demons, Spirits and other denizens of the underworld.

The good news is that a few well thought out and inexpensive architectural solutions will protect you from 99% of all spirit attacks and pretty much 100% of opportunistic intrusions by wandering spirits.  Let’s face it, no pre-prepared architectural fix is going to protect you when your nihilistic teenager paints a pentacle in chicken blood on the bedroom floor and summons a demon straight from hell.  Good luck with that.

Issue 1:  Foundations

Start with a good foundation and it is hard to go wrong.  When it comes to spirits foundations are critical.  It is for good reasons that children and family pets are nervous of entering basements, root cellars, coal holes and the like.  Spirits like to lurk in cool dark places.  What’s more, when they settle in to a comfortable hole in the ground it is very hard to winkle them out.

In ancient Celtic folklore it is well known that hollows of any sort are prime entry points to the under world.  Beware of caves or sink holes in the area of your home, also natural springs, wells, and even the hollows under thorn trees.  DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO UPROOT A THORN TREE!  It’s worse than building a house on an Indian burial ground.

In general avoid building your house on holes.  If you really must have a basement there is a solution.  In the Philippines they have found that you can spirit proof a basement by building an exit below the basement level.  The ghosts sort of just slide on down and out.  This incidentally is a useful practice for drainage too.  So you can build a basement as long as it has a door lower than the basement floor.  Think along the lines of a house on a hill.

Issue 2.  Water

Spirits don’t like crossing water.  If you can afford it you could copy the great architects of the middle ages and surround your home with a moat.  Handy for keeping out your enemies and even better for keeping out spirits, and vampires by the way.

However, moats are pretty expensive to build, and it needs to be wider than a single step across.  Local authorities in most countries seem to have a problem with home owners constructing moats around their properties.

The good news comes from the Sea Island Creole people of the Carolinas.  They built their homes on islands to protect themselves from spirits, but a few tenacious ghouls still tormented them.  Then they found out that spirits can’t tell the difference between water and blue paint.  So instead of digging a moat around your house you just need to use plenty of blue paint around any potential entry point.  Paint your door saddles, window sills etc with a nice shade of “Haint Paint”.  Even more effective is painting the ceiling of your porch blue.  This seems to confuse the ghosts, they think everything is upside down or something.  Anyway, it works!

Issue 3.  Straight lines.

As any Chinese Philosopher will confirm demons and spirits travel from point to point in straight lines.  They love straight houses, straight roads and straight paths.  If you want to prevent them from entering your property you need to build in curves.  Nice curving driveways are hell for demons.  Zig-zag pathways work too.  Those pretty curved Chinese roofs are designed to be demon proof.

Rounded windows and doors are good and nothing beats a good old roundhouse.    A demon will just keep heading off in tangents until they find your next-door neighbor in his Le Corbusier style architectural cube and settle in.

Issue 4.  Demon Gates

As everyone knows the denizens of the spirit world tend to come from one direction.  The Japanese call this the Kimon Corner.  It is a good direction in which to put a corner.  Any local spiritualist will quickly identify the origination point for spirits on your property.  DO NOT HAVE A DOOR FACING THE DEMON GATE.

If you are building the full on castle with the moat you should construct your strongest round tower in that corner.  The combination of round surfaces, moat and lack of entry points will deter the majority of ghouls.  For us more modest home owners just make sure you have no doors or windows on that corner.  Also avoid putting any kind of bathroom or toilet in the Kimon Corner.  Spirits make easy work of drainage systems, and will literally flow into your home.  Ain’t nobody need that!.

Issue 5.  Flat surfaces

Demons, spirits, ghosts etc all like to hang out.  Don’t let them.  They will make themselves at home on any flat level surface.  Garden walls need to be angled or curved.  Fences should have pointed palings so Ghosts can’t perch on them.  If you have a porch or a stoop make sure it has a fall off so they slide away from the house.  Windowsills should angle down and out.  You get the picture.  If it is comfortable for you to sit there it is ideal for them.

As good practice get into the habit of stacking your garden furniture on a regular basis.  Tip tables on their sides, or put them away for the winter in the shed.  Don’t let the ghosts feel they are at home!

I do hope you profit from all this good advice.  Sleep safe!

 

 

 

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Happy Hallowe’en.

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Today is Hallowe’en.  This is one of the few failed cases of a pagan festival being hijacked by the Catholic Church.  The word “Catholic” means “all encompassing”.  If you have catholic tastes in reading it means you will read anything.  The Catholic church “encompassed” elements of pagan religions, and overlaid the pagan holidays and high-days with a similar Christian rite.  Mid-winter solstice became Christmas – the birth of the Christ.  Beltaine/ Oester, the spring fertility festivals, became Easter, birth replaced by re-birth.   Imbolc became St Brigets day, replacing a Celtic goddess with a Christian saint.

Samhain was the biggest of the Celtic Cross-Quarter days.  The Celts celebrated 8 significant dates – the Solstices, the Equinoxes, and the 4 cross-quarter days that lie between (Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasa & Samhain).  There were three harvest festivals in the Celtic calendar.

Lughnasa (the grain harvest) is a cross-quarter day, and traditionally bonfire night – now celebrated as St Johns Night in many rural areas.

Fomhair is the harvest of fruits and nuts, and aligns with the autumn equinox.

Samhain is the blood harvest.  The Celtic farmers had to choose the animals that would overwinter and be fed.  The other animals had to be slaughtered and the meat preserved.  Any meat that could not be preserved would be feasted upon as fresh meat.  So it was a huge celebration of eating.  People who were too poor to eat meat at any other time of year were bound to get something.

Because of the number of animals slaughtered villages were awash with blood and guts.  Hence the link between hallowe’en and things bloody like vampires, zombies or werewolves.  The Celts believed that so much blood attracted the souls of the dead, and this was a time when the boundary between life and death was thin.  You could commune with the dead.  Hence the association of Hallowe’en with Ghosts and Ghouls.

Finally, in the Celtic Pagan Calendar, this was the celebration of the New Year, the biggest feast day of the year.  They marked the year end by the success of the harvest, at a time of plenty and excess.  To this day children celebrate Hallowe’en by eating as much as they can possibly eat, of all the things they really love.  It is a day when adults step back and permit kids to eat all the “bad stuff”.

The Christians tried to take over Hallowe’en by tying into the element associated with the dead, and created “all hallows eve”, the night before the celebration of “all souls day”.  But they failed miserably.  The Samhain festival was too multi-layered for the Christians to subsume.  All they managed to claim was the name itself.

Puritans in England were more successful.  They cracked down on all pagan style dancing and drinking and celebrating in the 17th century.  When Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament in 1605 in the Gunpowder Plot, he became a perfect distraction from Samhain.  The puritans converted the pagan feast into a bonfire immolation of effigies of the Catholic plotter.  They harnessed public outrage to kill off Hallowe’en and replace it with “Bonfire Night”.  Only in recent years is Hallowe’en making a comeback in England.

Mass immigration of Irish and Scottish to the USA in the 19th century brought the festival to the new world.  There it was commercialised, re-branded and sold back to Europe as an American holiday.

Here I give you a poem that gives a flavour of the dualism of Irish belief, a heady mix of the pagan and the Christian, with a strong fixation on ownership of land and kine.

The Banshee; by Alice Guerin Crist

As we came down the old boreen,
Rose and I – Rose and I,
At vesper time on Sunday e’en,
We heard a banshee cry!
Beyond the churchyard dim and dark,
‘Neath whispering elms, and yew-trees stark,
Where our star shone-a corpse-like spark-
Against the wintry sky.

We heard and shuddered sick with dread,
Rose and I- Rose and I,
As the shrill keening rang o’erhead
Where cloud-wrack floated high.
Our two young hearts long, sorely tried,
By poverty and love denied
Still waiting for some favouring tide,
And now! Death come so nigh.

‘Which of us two is called away
You or I-You or I?”
I heard my patient poor love say,
With bitter plaintive sigh.
‘Neither, dear girl,” I bravely said,
‘To Mary Mother bow your head,
And cry for help to Her instead,
Nor heed the Banshee’s cry’.

We raised our hearts in fervent prayer,
Rose and I-Rose and I,
Nor knew our troubles ended there,
Our happiness came nigh.
For ‘twas the grim old farmer, he-
My only kin, rich, miserly,
Who, dying left his wealth to me-
For whom the banshee cried.