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Switch to Forum Live View House blessing/cleansing/etc.
3 years ago  ::  Dec 06, 2010 - 11:26PM #1
Ccamp89
Posts: 7

I was wondering if there was a house blessing or cleansing that a lay person could perform seeing as how I live on the other side of the continent from a priest.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

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3 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2010 - 4:29PM #2
Katsuninken
Posts: 67

Apologies for the delay in getting  back to you. Apparently I stopped getting notifications of posts.


If you are interested, there's an excellent book that has a great number of Shinto rites in it, both in English and Japanese. As the bulk of Shinto rites are concerned with purification in some way, shape or form, there's plenty that can be adapted for this purpose. The name of the book is Shinto Norito: A Book of Prayers by Ann Llewellyn Evans.


You will need some consecrated salt, sake and some aloeswood and/or sandalwood incense, as these are pretty essential items to pretty much any Shinto ritual. If you really want to get involved, you can craft a haraegushi, which is commonly used in purification rites.


Hope that helps, and if you want any further details, just ask. Hopefully I'll get the memo this time. ;)

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3 years ago  ::  Dec 21, 2010 - 11:05PM #3
Ccamp89
Posts: 7

I actually have that book in Kindle format (I don't know if that makes any difference).  I didn't see any thing on house purification.  I did see the section on offering the tamagushi and misogi.  I also had another question about ancestor worship and setting up a space for that.  I didn't know if you could help me with that or not.

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3 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2010 - 12:41PM #4
Katsuninken
Posts: 67

Dec 21, 2010 -- 11:05PM, Ccamp89 wrote:


I actually have that book in Kindle format (I don't know if that makes any difference).  I didn't see any thing on house purification.  I did see the section on offering the tamagushi and misogi.  I also had another question about ancestor worship and setting up a space for that.  I didn't know if you could help me with that or not.





Something that is interesting about Japanese is that there really is no distinction between any kind of house, so whether it's a shrine, warehouse or domicile, it's all essentially the same thing. All of these words even use the kanji for house in them. So any blessing for a purification of space applies.


Intoning some rite isn't really necessary either. When I moved my kamidana to a new room in the house, I cleaned the space thoroughly and then purified it with sandalwood incense and salt water. I then cleaned all the ritual items that go on my altar (the kamidana itself, the items I use as kamizane, and the shinki) with consecrated salt water and sake, set everything up again, left out offerings of rice and sake, and pretty much just sat full seiza and invited the kami into my home with my own words.


As for ancestor worship, I have my kamidana set up with a threefold design. My large, central kamidana is for the kami central to my beliefs, the one on the left is for other significant forces I venerate, and the one on the right is my shrine to ancestors. Now that's just the way I do things - not at all saything this is THE WAY it should be done. Some people like to put up a separate "spirit house" dedicated solely to the ancestors. Others just put a token representing the ancestors on their primary kamidana. There's no one right way for this sort of thing. It's whatever works best for you. I like the symmetry of the number 3, so that's the method that works best for me. :)

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3 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2010 - 11:44PM #5
Ccamp89
Posts: 7

Thank you so much!  The thing about the house/warehouse/shrine was very helpful, but even more helpful was the advice on the ancestor shrine.  I got to looking for info about spirit homes and the Thai shrines gave me some ideas.  I also found some pictures on Flikr.  So now  I have a good idea of what I'd like.  I'm sure it isn't orthodox, but if it works...  So again, thank you (domo arigato?) very much. Smile

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3 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2010 - 11:55PM #6
Ccamp89
Posts: 7

I'm sure you'll get sick of me soon, but I had another question.  In this picture:  www.flickr.com/photos/40295335@N00/50534...  there is a wooden, what looks like an ofuda.  I was wondering if it was or if it wasn't, if you knew what it was.  Thank you. 

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3 years ago  ::  Dec 23, 2010 - 8:37AM #7
Katsuninken
Posts: 67

Dec 22, 2010 -- 11:55PM, Ccamp89 wrote:


I'm sure you'll get sick of me soon, but I had another question.  In this picture:  www.flickr.com/photos/40295335@N00/50534...  there is a wooden, what looks like an ofuda.  I was wondering if it was or if it wasn't, if you knew what it was.  Thank you. 





Don't worry. I'm actually glad there's someone here asking questions. This place has been quiet for far too long.


Ofuda are specifically associated with shrines and the kami of that shrine. Based on the photo, I am going to guess this is an ihai, or spirit tablet, because this looks to be an ancestor shrine or perhaps even a funerary memorial.


As an aside, if you are interested in having any of these items in your home (ofuda/omamori, ihai, etc), there's only one place I know to get them without having to show up in person. This shrine offers them by mail. The other shrine in the US unfortunately does not. This link specifically goes to Oshogatsu regalia and an interesting article about the Eto.

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3 years ago  ::  Dec 23, 2010 - 8:06PM #8
Ccamp89
Posts: 7

That is awesome and so helpful.  Thank you.  I've actually been getting stuff from Tsubaki for over a year.  I actually just got my new ofuda and gofu this week.  As an aside to you or anyone who may be reading this I found a great website for the the "hardware" like the kamidana and the dish set (the name of which I've forgotton).  It's called Wafu Living www.wafu-living.com/default.asp  They have great stuff on the cheap too.  Anyway, thank you for all your help.  I'm sure I'll be back soon :)

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3 years ago  ::  Dec 23, 2010 - 8:22PM #9
Ccamp89
Posts: 7

Well, I'm back quicker than I thought.  I couldn't find any ihai on the Tsubaki shrine website.  I got to looking and I found one on Ebay, but it was blank.  So, I got to looking again, and found some info that said it usually has the name of a deceased ancestor or the family name written on it.  So I was wondering is there just a generic spirit tablet or is it sort of a DIY project and you write/engrave/burn the family name on it?

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2011 - 2:45PM #10
Katsuninken
Posts: 67

Dec 23, 2010 -- 8:22PM, Ccamp89 wrote:


Well, I'm back quicker than I thought.  I couldn't find any ihai on the Tsubaki shrine website.  I got to looking and I found one on Ebay, but it was blank.  So, I got to looking again, and found some info that said it usually has the name of a deceased ancestor or the family name written on it.  So I was wondering is there just a generic spirit tablet or is it sort of a DIY project and you write/engrave/burn the family name on it?




 


Typically an ihai would be crafted for you by a shrine, but in my case that would be nigh impossible considering the closest shrine to me is on the other coast. So yes, if I were to make one it would probably be from scratch using hobby shop preform wooden tablets, stain and a compu-carve to router out the kanji for me. I'd only use the compu-carve because I have less than zero artistic talent. ;)


Carving/engraving/burning is not the only option. You can take a wood form and put a picture on it using decoupage. Or I don't see why you couldn't just use a picture in a wooden picture frame. Don't just paint by the numbers. Do whatever will be the most meaningful to you. :)

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