…then you have to throw six more handfuls of soybeans at it to dispel its impurities.
Today is too many things:
1) Setsubun at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America.
2) Groundhog Day.
3) Superb Owl Sunday–so, apparently, a day to honor Athena, Lilith, and other deities?
The above photo is from a previous year, but you get the idea of the main feature of this festival from it. The attacking oni this year were both very tall and very thin, but also not as enthusiastic in their menacing of the crowd as in previous years…and, I have to say, there is less enjoyment in pelting them with natures bee-bees while yelling “Oni Wa Soto!” if they don’t seem to be as into it as they should be. The stationary oni target really got it good from Sensei this year, as the first misfortune-dispelling arrow (for the past) hit it in the lower right lip, the second (for the present) hit it in the upper right forehead, and the third (for the future) hit it square between the eyes. So, that’s a dead oni, for sure.
And, the Groundhog saw its shadow. And I saw this amusing graphic being used in a promotional e-mail:
It’s cute, but the title of it kind of makes me worry…many of you will know why.
In a few moments, one of the secular United States’ most sacred athletic competitions begins, and the Seattle team has a stake in the game this year. As their symbol was likely inspired by a Kwakiutl mask now in the Burke Museum in Seattle, I’m rather in favor of them as a non-exploitative use of Native American symbolism as a sports mascot…and their colors aren’t bad, either. I won’t be too upset if they don’t win, but it would be nice for this area if they did, I think, for a variety of reasons.
But, I won’t be watching the game actively, because I have a lot of other stuff to do.
I hope everyone is doing well today, no matter how you spend it!