Kail Wood is a densely knotted type of Juniper. In ancient times people used Juniper for the ritual purification of temples. The ancients believed the smoke aided clairvoyance. It was burned for purification and to stimulate contact with the Otherworld at the Samhain festival at the start of the Celtic year.
It is said that Juniper can also be used as a protective charm against troublesome spirits as well as thieves. The tree itself can be grown near the door or along the path to the house, branches spread out on the ground around the entrance or boughs hung above entrances.
In Tibetan culture the phurba is also called 'the magic dagger'. 'Phur' is translated from the Sanskrit 'kila' and it means peg or nail.
The phurba is a stake that is used in Buddhist rituals. Because Tibet has always been a nomadic culture, the tent is an important part of Tibetan lives, and placing the tent pegs into the ground is always seen as sacrificing the ground. The shape of the phurpa may have come from the stake used to hold down tents.
The style of the phurba comes from an ancient vedic tool used to pin down sacrifices. The Phurba has the power to transform negative energies. These energies are known as the 'three poisons,' and are attachment, ignorance, and aversion. The sides of the phurba also represent the three spirit worlds, and the phurba itself represents the axis of the three spirit worlds. The phurba brings the three spirit worlds together. The handle of the phurba represents 'wisdom', while the blade represents 'method'.
The phurba is often stabbed down into a bowl of rice or other grains in Tibetan rituals. Phurbas can be made from wood, bone, or metals such as copper and brass.
The Phurba symbolizes stability, and it is often used during ceremonies. The Phurba is often used by Tantric practitioners. The phurba can also hold demons in place. Only those who are empowered to use the Phurba may use it in these rituals. The Phurba can be used to tether negative energies during ceremonies, or as a stabilizer. The blade on a phurba is never sharp, it is only used as a ritual dagger, not an actual weapon.
The Phurba is also used by Dorje Phurba a.k.a. Vajrakilaya, who is the wrathful form of Vajrapani (who is one of the wrathful deities). Vajrakilaya is often seen holding the phurba on Buddhist statues and thangkas (Buddhist paintings). Vajrakilaya is a wrathful deity who removes obstacles. Vajrakilaya's consort is Khorlo Gyedunma, and she is a manifestation of the Green Tara.
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