Onmyoudou Awakening





The Hidden World

Worlds exist hidden from the untrained eye, and a world may be hidden in a flower or looming in the shadows of a mountainside.  The portal to other worlds may be in our closet or just down the road.  Likewise, many inhabitants even of this world often go past the untrained eye unseen and unnoticed.  Occasionally their effects may be noted, and usually in panic if those effects happen to be fearsome.  It is because of this that knowledge is essential to dealing with the situation.

Everything you have heard and read is most likely true in some way, regarding supernatural entities.  There are more of these than there are grains of sand on any given beach, and there are so many categories and classifications for them.  Many resources online exist to assist seekers of information.

The most common occurrences encountered by onmyouji in their practices tends to relate to human emotions.  Although often mistaken for ghosts, spirits, monsters, and everything else under the sun, many times a strong emotion is enough to leave an impression in a place and disturb others who might be there.  This can, in its own way, be a sort of ghost in that it is an image that remains after the person from which it was derived is no longer in that place.  The person may still be living, and may even be living in that same structure, but they may not have realized what they have done.  Sometimes the person who calls upon your assistance may be the person responsible for the ghost, and he or she may have forgotten the circumstances until you point this out.  It is often as simple as making them realize what has happened, then performing a simple cleansing of the negative energies to make the area as good as can be.  It could also be the remnant of a traumatic event that occurred there and was forgotten, or even one that happened decades or centuries before, perhaps even in a structure that no longer stands, which the present one was built over.

Sometimes the feelings will remain, however, due to the person feeling so strongly about whatever caused the incident.  This is also a possibility even with other people, if the original person is no longer there.  If the incident surrounding the ghost leaves such a bad impression, it may take some time for the feelings to fade.  If it is an extreme enough impression, it may never totally leave the person or people who experienced it.

All you can do in any situation is try to cleanse the area of negativity and assist the people in reclaiming some semblance of balance in their lives.  It is up to them to follow your advice and fulfill their responsibility in resolving the problem.  It is almost never as simple as the onmyouji walking in, banishing a single and easily-perceived negative force, and then leaving without involving those who had been affected.

If the ghost is a discernible being, it could also be a product of extreme emotions as discussed above and not necessarily a restless spirit.  But if it is a spirit, youkai, or other being, there usually will be a reason it is there.  Attempt to communicate with it first, and find out more about it.  Use whatever methods make you comfortable, but never leave yourself entirely undefended.  Even if an entity may appear initially gentle or kind, many of these beings are called 'bakemono'...'changing things'...for a reason.  Never let down your guard until you are sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that the situation has been totally resolved in every way and you are entirely out of danger.

After attempts at communication, usually you will feel impulses.  It helps to talk with those who have experienced contact with the spirit and see what they have felt and the impulses that have flashed into their minds.  Sometimes they will see images, and sometimes you will too.  After this you may wish to do some research, either by trying to find out more from the people around the affected area or by other research, by talking to others, taking advantage of online data, or even that of libraries or records.  Something may strike you as helpful, and knowing more about the situation usually helps to resolve it.

With youkai, often they will be certain types that only do things in certain circumstances.  Some are entirely harmless and merely wish to peacefully inhabit a place, or perhaps play tricks every now and then.  Others have distinct reasons for being where they are, to answer for something or other.  Some are more dangerous than others, but all...youkai, spirits, or emotional ghosts...should be treated with respect and caution.  This approach will get you much farther than anyone blustering in tossing ofuda and waving a wand full of shime around wildly.

As with all things, experience will make dealing with these situations easier.  I have developed a step-by-step set of guidelines that may assist you until you feel comfortable deciding your own personal method.

~If you are contacted about any situation, first be sure to ask the circumstances.  It is important for the person to know that you are taking them seriously.  It is equally important for them to take the situation seriously, and to take you seriously.  Your time is valuable and should not be wasted by people playing pranks or trying to 'test' you.  Make sure you explain this and your terms very clearly so that they will understand what you agree to do and what their responsibility is as well.

~Get as much information as possible from the first contact.  If you have time before going to the site, do as much planning as possible so that you can optimize the use of your time once there.  It will make the best impression if you are organized and efficient.  You may wish to do preliminary research on the site in order to make a list of possibile causes and courses of action, which may make your job easier later.

~When planning a meeting with a client, it is essential that you let someone else know where you will be.  This is common sense for the most part, because having a contact is particularly useful in many circumstances.  If your method of transportation falls through, if you need to have something brought to you, or simply for peace of mind, it is always helpful to have someone you may call upon.  Set up one or more times where you will contact them.  For example, if you are meeting a client at their home at 2 PM, arrange to call your contact at 4 PM and let them know how the session is going.  Then before hanging up, arrange to meet them or call them from your home phone when you plan to return home, let's say at 6 PM for this particular session.  This lets your client know that you are expected and that you will be missed if you are not there, which is always something that you should be careful to do; you never know what anyone's motives are, so you can never be too careful or have too many backups.  As stated before, always be aware of your situation.

As well as this, being expected can give you an excuse to leave when you want to.  Setting a time to phone your contact can allow you, while on the phone, to set the time to meet them as soon or as late as you like.  If you feel that it would be best to leave immediately, then set an appropriate time with your contact to meet them and explain to your client you are expected.  Your contact can also be a courteous way of bowing out if your client is particularly courteous in return, in which case they will undoubtedly understand that you are expected elsewhere, which results in a positive closure to the situation and a greater likelihood that you will be highly-regarded and, if they talk to their friends about it, that you will be recommended.

In the unlikely chance that the situation was objectionable and you felt threatened by your client, or if you felt that it would be best to leave at once, you should leave at the first opportunity and make sure you are safely away before calling your contact.  If you felt in personal danger you should notify the proper authorities and let them handle the rest of the affair.

~If you can, arrange to meet the client in-person at a public place like a cafe or a bookstore.  Set a time that will be easy for you to keep, and arrive a few minutes before your appointment.  Dress as nicely as you can, while still remaining comfortable.  Wear clothes that you might wear for a visit to the site, unless you visit sites in traditional onmyouji attire.  Choose clothes that do not restrict your movement and that breathe well.

This is a time where you should carefully get to know the person and their situation.  Ask as many questions as you can so that you do not have to ask them later.  You can work off of the information you gather at this meeting as mentioned before, and prepare for the actual site work before getting there.  This is also a time where you can get a feel for this person and who they are.  If you have any immediate reservations about the situation, this is the time to voice them.  If you feel that you would not be comfortable taking this job, you have nothing to fear by communicating this to them during this meeting.  Be as courteous as possible, but be firm as well, especially if you feel uneasy or threatened.  If they attempt anything in a public place, it will not be overlooked.

If you find yourself connecting very well with the client, then all the better!  These are all important reasons to conduct this preliminary meeting, so that you may find out how well you are able to work with the person and what they have contributed to the situation.  This will, in turn, further enable you to act decisively when you visit the site, so that you are able to deal with the situation as well as you possibly can.

~After all this, set a time to visit the site.  It is important to get a first impression when you arrive both on the general premises and at the specific site itself.  Intuition is important, especially when feelings and impressions...not visual stimuli...are chiefly involved.  Take note of the area of the site, including where things are positioned.  Carefully note as well if anything moves without an obvious source moving it, and inspect any items that seem to attract you with their impulses.  Even if they end up contributing nothing to the solution of the situation, there's always a chance they could be important.

When you visit the site, be sure to have with you at least a few general-purpose ofuda or charms of some sort, or something similar that you may use to calm the situation or guard yourself or another.  Even the most experienced and powerful onmyouji know to have backups just in case they cannot act quickly enough; a handy ofuda, already prepared before arriving, may simply be put in its place to fulfill its role.

~Try to duplicate the last manifestation of whatever the ghost, spirit, youkai, or apparition in general is.  Ask the person who experienced it, if they are willing or present, to try and duplicate his or her movements at that time.  Observe and take note of the incident.  If they are unwilling, take their place yourself and be equally observant.  As noted before, be careful, cautious, and respectful in any dealings with any entities.  Familiarize yourself with as much as possible before trying to negotiate with them.  Most first contacts will simply be information gathering and nothing more.  Few situations will be resolved in the first session.

~Assess the situation clearly and, if necessary, ask further questions of those present.  If the entity can be confirmed as non-malicious, you may wish to communicate with it as well.  You may need to withdraw for a day or more and compile your information, to decide what your next actions will be.  If this is the case, try to arrange the site to be sealed off from the rest of the immediate area, so that nothing will be moved and nobody will disturb it.  If it cannot be sealed off, make sure that at least nothing will be disturbed if possible, because supernatural entities can at times be very touchy, and any change in the situation may require a complete reassessment by you the next time.

~After this you will probably need to return to your own home, in order to properly assess the information you have collected and to prepare for resolving the situation if you can, or making another visit to conduct more experiments.  Be sure to communicate your intentions clearly to your client so they will not be further unnerved by not knowing what is going on.

~Compile your notes and impressions from the site.  Decide on all possible courses of action, and make sure you try to account for every possibility.  It's unlikely you'll be able to think of every possible thing that could happen, but it will be much easier if you have several different options just in case your favored method falls through.  Choose the solution you think is best and most sound based on your compiled information, and get together the things you need to perform it.  Make sure they are all together in one place (it helps if you carry a bag with you) and put them where you can easily find them when you are preparing to leave for the site.

~Set a time to visit the site again, and remember your supplies before you go!  Act decisively and make sure that no unessential people are in the immediate area.  Be concise, efficient, and decisive in resolving the situation.  Often a situation will not entirely be resolved even after an onmyouji acts.  It may take weeks or months of the people whose lives were affected, changing themselves and adopting new habits or purifying rituals.  This will be left to your discretion.  Being decisive and sure of yourself (but not arrogant or rude) will make it easier for most people to take your advice at face value, and it makes them more likely to follow through with your recommendations for them after you have finished your own work.


This should give you a good idea of the procedures in this sort of situation.  Specifics on certain types of entities are covered elsewhere, and your payment system is left up to you; some onmyouji require payment before any work is done at all, whereas others wait until after they feel their job is done, and still others accept half before they start and collect the other half after they finish.  You may wish to tailor your payment method to the specific client based on how you feel about them personally.  You may even wish to work for free in certain cases, simply to gain experience, reputation, or because you feel it is right.


Yuurei are spirits, and they are plentiful.  In many Eastern schools of thought, the departed stay with their families, loved ones, or simply choose to remain in the realm of the living as phantasmal beings for yuureian indefinite period of time.  Some remain due to unfulfilled matters, others simply out of curiosity or concern.  It is most helpful when dealing with yuurei to know the details of their previous existences, as this is often applicable or has some bearing on their present states.

Yuurei typically stay in a particular area due to personal reasons and will not usually leave it.  Some feel they are unable to leave it, for whatever reason, while others simply stay in an area as a personal choice.  There are, however, at least a few who feel no particular tether and wander as they please.  Be careful not to presume that you can always get away from any yuurei, because they are not necessarily bound to any place or time.  Some may wish to come with you because they find you interesting and because you can communicate with them!


The term 'youkai' encompass a huge range of beings, from tiny to massive and from the depths of the ocean floor to the twinkling stars of space.  Youkai are, put simply, supernatural creatures.  Many youkai have affinities towards certain objects, items, areas, or ideas.  For example, there are youkai who live in chests of drawers, and others who are shadowy creatures of swirling hair, whereas others are made of fleshy clay and guard sacred spaces.  There are really as many youkai as there are grains of sand!

Many youkai also have places that they are more commonly found in than others.  For example umibouzu, an aquatic creature, is obviously most often found in or near bodies of water.  Conversely Sunakake-baba, an old woman who throws sand at travellers, is most often found in sandy forests.  Many are harmless tricksters or beneficent outright, but there are some which are quite dangerous in nature and should be avoided.  A treasure trove of information about youkai exists online; please visit the links section for more information and, as always, go forward in caution, courtesy, and knowledge.


'Bakemono' is another blanket term that includes many youkai and yuurei, as well as other supernatural beings.  It is a word that means 'changing-thing', which is a description at the heart of the Japanese perception of the supernatural.  Most supernatural creatures are 'changing-things', which is to say they have the power to change their appearances.


This term refers to faeries, which are often mistakenly represented by pixies only; faery folk, like youkai, refers to many different kinds of beings.  The term 'faery' or 'yousei' may pertain more specifically to Western supernatural beings and other creatures, although this is not necessarily a universal guide to its usage.  Some youkai experts believe faeries and youkai to be one and the same, each a part of the other, whereas others divide them in lines according to their legend's country of origin, for ease in classification.  Yousei and youkai both appear the world over, despite their country of origin however; you're no less likely to find a youkai outside of Japan than you are to find any other supernatural creature, and vice-versa.


Some onmyouji prefer to work with youkai, yousei, bakemono, and yuurei as a matter of course.  Others simply deal with them as they make themselves or their presences known but prefer to deal in the immediate world.  Whatever your choice, try to learn as much as possible about the other beings that inhabit the world.  Sooner or later, you will come into contact with them.  For better or worse, you will have interactions with them.

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