Page:Occult Japan - Lovell.djvu/167

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INCARNA TIONS. 1 5 1 �themselves suddenly into clouds of opal smoke, that, surging, floated off, and then slowly settled down. Through the flame the maeza passed the written sheets emblematic of disease ; passed them as usual to and fro unharmed ; till, letting each stay still a mo- ment there, it caught and was carried up into the crannies of the room. Many ills of life thus vanished into thin air. �Other things were likewise passed through the flame to gain like virtue ; each man thus purified his rosary, with which he afterward rubbed what part of his body he wished to be pure and strong ; and finally the gohei itself, for quintessence of purification, was taken from the altar, purified by the fire, and put back in place. �This finished the first service. The in- cense altar was then removed, sheets of pa- per were spread on the mats in its stead, and the gohei-^2cci^ was taken from the shrine and set upright in the midst. Plain pa- per ! plain pine-wood ! plain pilgrim dresses ! Truly the neutral tints of self-effacement as near nothing as symbols can well show ; the very apotheosis of vacancy. �All the performers except the nakaza ��� �