Bia Gae Amulets

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biagae thai amulet

History of Bia Gae amulets

The Thai Bia or cowry shell was an important form of legal tender during the Ayutthaya period. There was a lively trade in these white shells in South and Southeast Asia, being widely used as currency for small daily transactions. In fact cowry shells were still in circulation in the middle of the 19th century. Even today the financial term for interest is “”Daug Bia” literally translated, ”that which blossoms from a shell”.

Historically the cowry shell has been the symbol of wealth, and has been used as a currency, jewelry and as a religious object in almost every part of the world. In the realm of sympathetic magic the cowry is a powerful force, the shells representing the eyes of the gods and the womb of the goddess.

The Cowry was originally called the “concha veneer” – the shell of venus – by the ancients. The scientific name “Cypraea” came from Cyprus or Cyprian, the isle where the worship of Venus Aphrodite began. The women of Pompeii wore the Cowry to prevent sterility. The Aztecs associate the Cowry with pregnancy as do Japanese.

The Cowry is often used to represent the mouth of the Egyptian god Orisis. In Egyptian Mythology, the god Orisis “creates all living creatures by an infinite act of masturbation.”

The word cowry is derived from the Sanskrit Kauri, and is the same as Kali-Cunti, the Yoni (female genitalia) of the universe, the cowry shell represented the divine vulva and the idea of rebirth.

It was believed to have the power of conferring fertility and sexual potency. the vessel of life force and regeneration, the Cowry was the insurance of life’s continuance. It was the dwelling place for the Goddess who made fertile both woman and crops, and whose voice can be heard whispering in the sea shell her ancient wisdom.

The sacred sciences to create Bia Gae amulets can be dated to an ancient temple in Ayudhaya, “Wat Pradu Nai-Soengdharma” (400-500 years) and there is evidence to suggest that the practice is much older.

However, in the early days the designs and style varied considerably, that is until about 100 years ago when Luang Phor Rod of Wat Nai Rong designed the first Bia Gae amulet that has since become the prototype for all amulets since.

His design and that of his dsiciple Luang Phor Boon from Wat Klang Bang gaew was based on a very beautiful shiny tropical sea shell  with a humped back sometimes decorated with spots like a leopard skin, known as Bia Jun.

The very design of the shell with its  arched back was thought to deflect evil energy, but once filled with liquid mercury and blessed the shell talisman became immensely efficacous.  In fact Bia Gae amulets from this temple are famed throughout Thailand, and are widely believed to be an effective form of protection against all forms of evil.

Indeed is not uncommon for persons on their death bed to request such an amulet as protection from spirits that will endlessly disturb and torture the dying. It is said by some that such amulets will also help to set the soul free and give protection beyond the grave, ensuring a smooth passage into the next life.

The best known monks to create Bia Gae amulets are:

 

Luang Phor Rod, Wat Nai-Rong
Luang Phor Boon, Luang Phor Perm, Luang Phor Jeua – Wat Klang Bang Gaew
Luang Phor Iam – Wat Nang
Luang Phor Pak, Wat Bost, Angthong

Luang Phor Nuam, Wat Nangnai Angthong
Luang Phor Kum – Wat Bhoti Plum, Angthong

Four ways to hang Bia Gae amulets

Worshippers should hang Bia Gae amulets properly to optimize their sacred power:

Hang on the front of your breast when you need to encounter or face your enemies or protection from evil
Hang on the back of your breast when you want to flee from your enemies or other bad situations
Hang on the right side of your breast when you need to increase your charm.
Hang on the left side of your breast when you need to protect yourself from others’ weapons.

Important materials used in the creation of Bia Gae

Although Bia Gae amulets were created in various styles just as other types of Thai amulets, there are still four main materials usually associated with this kind of amulet:
2. Mercury. Although this substance was difficult to create there is an interesting account of how many monks obtained it. Apparently a rotten egg would be immersed in a polluted canal. Twenty four hours later, mercury could be extracted from the egg
3. Chamrong nest… A species of Thai insect similar in appearance to a bee but smaller. Excreta from these insects would be used to construct their nests. Very difficult to locate as they usually nest is deep forests.
4. Lead Plate & Red Cloth. Lead plate, inscribed with sacred spells would be used to cover the Bia Gae amulets prior to being bound in embroidered string. Red cloth similarly would be inscribed with sacred spells and was also popular.

 

(Note: Some creators of Bia Gae amulets often used copper, silver or bronze plates as an alternative to lead. It was assumed that the former three metals would attract wealth.


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