Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Four Gods of Purification

- Following on the article of Dec. 20th about Haraedo Yonshin-

Ōharae-Norito, The Grand Purification Chant is the core essence of Shinto. The climax of this chant is where it explains the Haraedo-Yonshin purifying all sins (tsumi) and impurities (kegare). God Seoritsu-hime washes away all curses, sins, and impurities from the river to the ocean. God Hayaakitsu-hime awaits under the deep ocean to swallow all those curses, sins and impurities. God Ibukido-nushi make sure all the curses, sins and impurities are swallowed. And then he would shoot his breath toward the subterranean world, Ne-no-kuni Soko-no-kuni. At the end, Hayasasura-hime disperses the curses, sins and impurities that were brought into the subterranean world.

Seoritsu-hime is at the shore of the river that runs very fast. It is quite a task to pick up all the sins and impurities from this fast running river and bring them to the ocean. Out of the four secret steps of the Grand Purification process, I find the first step to be most important. At this process, the sins and impurities from the reality world are conversed to a spiritual energy. Without this process, the later three gods would not be able to do anything. Seoritsu-hime is a goddess with a special ability to convert a material from the World of Reality to the World of the Gods.

When I did a reading on these Four Gods, at the end Susanoo appeared. The Four Gods of Purification are the derivatives of Susanoo. Oppose to the soul of a healing mother, Goddess Amaterasu-Ohomikami (yan side of the sun), God Susanoo (yin side of the sun) has a significant job of purification who slaves behind the scenes.

Ikashite-itadaite Arigato-gozaimasu

Thank you for letting us live

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter solstice - An End and a Beginning

December 21-22nd is the winter solstice. The shortest day and the longest night of a year. In the super ancient times, when people worshipped the sun, the day of winter solstice was a very important day.

Spiritually the 22nd will be the Eve and the 23rd is the New Year. After birth, humans keep growing until they reach a turning point. After the turning point, they start to decline and eventually die. It is the same for the sun. After one year, sun dies on this day. And on the 23rd , it is reborn like a new born baby.

The 23rd of December is the birthday of our present Emperor. He was born on a very significant day. He was born on the same day as the sun’s rebirth. During his youth as a prince, his face did not yet show any sign of kami-gakari(divine possession). But now he has grown into a true okina, a face of divine grace. This is a face with a god spirit in possession.

As long as Emperor of Heisei is in our presence, he will continue to engage on his daily Shinto rituals that will bring the power of the Sun God to our country. The Sun God will protect us with all its utmost power. This shall result in contributing to the rest of the world in some way. And we must strongly choose to act on it for the world to survive.

If sickness or bad things happened to you, the winter solstice could bring a change into your life. When the Yin energy is taken to its max, it can only turn into a Yan energy.

This is a big chance for you to change your life. After the 23rd, there is a big possibility for you to make a big shift. Use the big shift of the energy of the sun. As it dies and rebirth, there will be an enormous shift of the spiritual energy that could help you make a shift in your own internal universe. Commit yourself to say goodbye to your past (negative emotional baggage). For example, if you have been trying to quit smoking and failing for a long time, this is a good time to try it again. It should come easy for you by using the sun’s shifting power.

To utilize the law of the cycle of the sun for regeneration and commitment is one of the esoterics from ancient Shinto teachings.

Ikashite-itadaite Arigato-gozaimasu

Thank you for letting us live

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Matrix to be in Oneness

Around Meiji era (1868-1912), the form of 二礼二拍手一礼 “two bows, two claps, and one bow” started to become the official form of worship when visiting a shrine. It became the official form through out the Chain of Islands of Japan.

When you come to the front of a shrine, you first bow twice then clap your hands twice, and bow again at the end. As for the priests, the numbers of clapping hands may differ due to the tradition of the area. For example, the Izumo chain shrines where God Kunitsu-kami (国津神) is worshipped, the formal way is to clap four times. The formal way in Ise Jingu or The Grand Shrine of Ise is to clap four times x 2, which makes it eight times. It is called yahirade(八開手).

I am sure that Izumo Shrine has their own story of how it became four claps, but in my vision I see that it is worshipping the Four Gods of Purification, Haraedo-Yonshin (祓戸四神) lead by Susanoo. As for the eight claps of the Ise method, if you count four claps as one, it becomes two that is the original idea of the official form of today. In Shinto, the number eight has always been a sign of good omen since the ancient times.

People express their joy and excitement by clapping hands. It is an act of instinct seen all over the world. Babies clap their hands when they are having fun. It was the same in the ancient times. The ancient people clapped their hands to express their gratitude and sense of awe by the presence of god. They were actually able to see the gods. At an Iwakura (磐座)) - a landing place for the gods in energy form, the ancient people witnessed the energy form twisting and swirling up like it was dancing. The people naturally start clapping as they watched this magnificent thing happen. It seems that how many times you clap wasn’t really so important.

In my personal opinion, the reason why the offical form of worship settled to “two bows, two claps, and one bow” after much meandering, is because the “two bows” represents Izanagi and Izanami who are a husband and wife couple gods, and the official two gods who are the originator of the later gods. The “two claps” signifies to show respect to the two gods. The last “one bow” signifies that your innate god is one with the originator. It is a matrix to be in oneness.

Ikashite-itadaite Arigato-gozaimasu

Thank you for letting us live