One of mankind’s first relationships was with spirit, before negotiating the ancient relationship with dogs, cats, or even plants, we looked up to the heavens for guidance and buried our dead with great respect. Spirit has always been a part of human experience -until recently.
The introduction of materialism and rationalism to the Western mind has replaced the ineffable world of spirit with hideously predictable machine logic and our experience of life has dulled as a result. Now with atheism on the rise, and spirit all but relegated to the asylum of history, there is little room for the numinous in our perception of reality,
Yet, it is there all the same, and the old ways are still practiced in places where new legends are still being formed…it just isn’t in the West. Those of us who feel like we lost something in the transition to modernity can still turn away from its dead, soulless world and return to the ancient practices that kept us in right relationship to spirit, place, and each other.
This is exactly what my wife and I are trying to do as we build sanctuary on undeveloped jungle land in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Before we bought our land, we bought dirt from a local crossroads and have spent the last 2+ years building a magical relationship with the spirits of the place where we want to live -and with good results!
As we approach the start of our construction project, it’s time to follow the local tradition of building an Alux (pronounced: AH-LOOSH) house for our land’s guardian spirits before we begin on our own home.
Join me on an exploration of spirit house traditions from around the world as I research and plan how to build a home for spirits on our land in the jungle.
Referenced In This Show:
“Spirit Houses Enshrine Pre-Buddhist Beliefs,” (2000) Phnom Penh Post
Cristina Maza and Vandy Muong, “A supernatural effort: building the homes of Cambodia’s spirit world,” (2016) Phnom Penh Post”
Patrick Winn, “In Thailand, blood sacrifice is out. Strawberry Fanta is in,” (2017) The World
Shashank Bengali, “The spirit houses of Bangkok keep watch over a frenetic modern Thai city,” (2019) LA Times
Mario Aste, “THE STORY OF THE ‘JANAS’ A Sardinian Folktale“, (1993) Merveilles & contes
Roldán Peniche Barrera, “Fantasmas Mayas,” (1982) Presencia Latinoamericana
“So what’s an alux, and did AMLO make it angry?” (2023) Yucatan Magazine
José Domingo, “Leyendas y Tradiciones del Camino Real” (1996) SECUD, CONAFE, PAREB.