View Full Version : Questions for Shintoists

08 Jan 2014, 17:24
Okay so as someone trying to become a Shintoist, there are some things I need to know I just can't find anywhere;

1. I know Shinto believes gods of all cultures and similar deities exist as kami, but do they hold certain kami up as gods? Like Amaterasu, who I personally worship above many other kami, basically do they have certain kami which are more of just the life force of something and others which are more of gods?

2. What are the purification chants???? No matter where I look I have to spend a minimum of $30 to buy books and they turn out to be about Shinto's fundamental beliefs and not hold any chants or prayers inside. I really need to purify, and as I live in the US I can't go visit a Shinto shrine any time. I read online that you can bathe by natural water or use these special purification prayers, if you know any of them could you please tell them to me?

3. Is it appropriate to write new prayers to ask the kami for small blessings? I was under the impression that as long as I am grateful and stay pure that this is ok, but I found nothing that confirmed it.

10 Jan 2014, 19:05
I can try to help you with a few of these.

#1: The way I understand it, there are kami who are seen as deities. They are very powerful and preside over very basic elements of nature / life. Examples are Amaterasu, Sun Goddess, like you have stated, Omoikane, god of knowledge, Susano-o, god of storms... etc. Other kami might preside over creationary forces and some kami are connected with specific places such as a mountain peak or river. There are many, many kami so this is understandable. There are kami all the way from very powerful like the deities to very minor. Even human spirits are kami if I recall correctly; ancestors are family kami.

#2 and 3: I can't help you personally, but I have a good idea. To ask about the purification chants, you could e-mail a Shinto priest. I know of one who definitely speaks English, Reverend Koichi Barrish of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Washington State. You should be able to find his e-mail or I could give it to you. You could ask him about #3 as well.