Rules of Placement #2
Thursday, May 8 2014

Marisa Cranfill

The vertical buildings of Bangkok’s metropolis often pose a supernatural dilemma for Thai people. Here two spirit houses have been placed on the second floor balcony of a restaurant at a popular intersection in Bangkok. Although it appears to be a charming choice, the person behind this spiritual landscaping has ignored an important rule of spirit house placement.

 Rule #2: Always place the spirit house for the land guardians on the earth

 The most common types of spirit houses are the san praphoom and the san jaothi. The style of the spirit house corresponds to the energy or the spirit that lives there. The san praphoom (right side) is a palatial dwelling of a protective angel whose power comes from heaven. Since his energy is like a radio wave, the higher floors of a building are an acceptable location for this type of spirit house.

On the other hand, the spirit house of the land guardians is called a san jaothi (left side). Inside resides the great grandmother and grandfather ancestor energies of the land. The architecture of a san jaothi has four legs that root it into the earth and a ladder so that the land guardians can get in and out easily. The legs of the san jaothi should have contact with the earth, like a grounding rod, to connect to the helper spirits that live in the underworld and allow them to come and go as they please. If the san jaothi is floating above the earth, it will be much more difficult to convince them to live in the spirit house and they may accidently wander inside the main building, causing the human inhabitants much dismay.

But maybe you can teach on old land guardian new tricks. Look at the bigger picture and you will see a large electricity pole. It is most likely that the priest has used this pole as a grounding conductor for the san jaothi, showing us the human gift for spiritual ingenuity.



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