Lord Wrathful and the New Year

So what did I do to launch the new year? I brought home Lord Wrathful.

A few years ago, one of our sons gave us a mask as a Christmas present. It’s a garish thing, carved from wood and 16 inches tall. Thin metal — tin, bronze and copper — help define the facial features. Tiny metal masks or maybe they’re skulls or aliens dot its surface. His eyes bulge and his mouth is open wide. He looks like he’s yelling.

The mask came from Nepal and, according to the instructions, its magic is to dispel negativity. We were supposed to burn black sesame seeds at New Year’s to activate its powers. I happened to have black sesame seeds in the pantry that year. I threw the seeds inside the wood stove’s fire box and let them pop. 

I didn’t feel the mask had a place in our home so I brought it to work, where I hung it in my office. Then, something strange began to happen. Negative employees I inherited when I took the job began leaving unexpectedly. A coincidence? Perhaps. 

At one point I named the mask Lord Wrathful. I even contemplated giving him his own Facebook page, but haven’t. 

Lord Wrathful still hangs in my office, but I’ve felt lately he was losing his oomph. The employees are fine. But I welcome less negativity in my life.

So on Wednesday, New Year’s Eve, I brought him home. Late that night, I placed the mask near the wood stove and yes, tossed three handfuls of black sesame seeds in the fire.

Tomorrow Lord Wrathful returns to his usual spot at work. He hangs on the wall to the right of my desk. I’ll let you know if anything happens.


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