Friday, December 4, 2009

Journey : Ise ~ Kumano to Tenkawa 2&3

After arriving to Ise, I went straight to Gegū. It was a nice sunny day. The sando path way was well swept which made me feel even better. I went to the honden main shrine and requested a mikakiuchi-sannpai (御垣内参拝). This type of visit allows you to go inside the fence with a priest leading you to the front of the honden. I like this walk. As I walk on the pebbles, every step I feel cleansed. The donation for this visit can be from 1000 yen and up. I think it’s reasonably priced and worth the experience. Spiritually, this is priceless. The pebbles on this sacred ground is an iwakura*(磐座) and it is like an electric field of god’s energy. To apply for this type of visit, you can go to the shrine office. You should wear formal. Men should wear a suit with tie. Women should wear a simple modest outfit either all black or all white.

As always, our family applied for the seishiki-sannpai (正式参拝) , the formal visit, at both Gegū and Naigū. At both shrines, a young priest attended the ritual, but both of them were very impressive with their performances. I can see how hard they have trained. If you are working in the guest service field, I highly recommend you to see how they attend and move. It is not easy to train the young people these days to this high level. It was interesting to see the difference in feature of the priest of Gegū and Naigū. It must be the god’s will, to whom is chosen to be at the particular shrine. The priests at Gegū looks gallant and clean-cut, where as the priests at Naigū looks more friendly and warm. Their features reflect the god worshipped at each shrine.

At Gegū, I applied for the shinon-kansha (gratitude sending to the god) as a representative of Ise-Hakusun-Do. As we went inside the ceremonial hall, the first thing I recognized was the sakaki branches offered on the big altar. It was about two meters high beautifully growing to all directions. I heard there is a sakaki forest within the sacred ground of Ise specially grown for the rituals held at the shrines. This time, I was happy to see the sakaki leaves looking much healthier than last time.
The priest who chanted the Ooharae-no-kotoba showed dignity in his attitude. The priest of last time had a softer image and his voice was soft as well. The chant was chanted as if he was speaking gently. This was very unusual.

During the ritual, the movement of this priest gave me a vision of a rooster. It was the white rooster with a long tail, which resides at this sacred ground of Ise. When we were here last time, I didn’t see it on the other priest. He looked human until the end of the ritual. However, the priest of this time was different. I recognized that he had become one with the god. As I continue to use my psychic vision to look at the musicians in the back, four of them were regular human figure and the two in the back lane were sparrows.

The other figure of the priest being the white long tailed rooster signifies that he has attended the path in a serious and sincere manner for many years. He has become a true high priest.

A thought came into my mind, if I was able to view the Emperor in this way, I am sure that he will be more than a white long tailed rooster, but a phoenix.

In Shinto, birds have always been the messenger of the gods from the ancient times. The mythology tells about a three legged crow and at The Grand Shrine of Ise, the white long tailed rooster greets the sun. Even the costume of the priests l think originates from the rooster. (see photo of rooster at Naigū). 

Next place to visit will be the forest of Ise.
To be continued..

(the other photo is at the new Uji Bridge at Naigū. I felt strong energy in my gut.)

Ikashite-itadaite arigato-gozaimasu
Thank you for letting us live

*Iwakura – to see a giant rock as a form of god

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