Jinchok Song Hang or Two-Tail Lizards

The common house lizards are a species of non-venomous nocturnal gecko native of Southeast Asia. They usually hide during the day and searches for insects at night. Scientifically, lizards make noises to announce their presence and/or to attract mates but ancient belief deciphers good and bad omens from those noises.

In Thailand, it is believed that a Jinchok Song Hang or a two-tailed lizard is an ancient animal that brings good luck. Therefore, if a two-tailed lizard is found in a house, it is believed that the owner of the house will inherit a stream of good fortune; when it is found in a commercial place, it is believed that business will boom and money will keep pouring in. Therefore, when a two-tailed lizard dies, it is often framed and carried as a good luck charm.

Lanna Thai Sorcery

Talismans and spells of the two-tailed lizard have appeared in both Lanna and northern Thai cities ancient texts. It is recorded that two-tailed lizards are rare and, therefore, guru masters often carved figurines of a two-tailed lizard out of a host of materials including ivory, animal bones, horns, shells, and other magical woods such as Takhian wood, black swamp wood, Rakson, and et cetera. The more modern method uses metals to cast figurines of two-tailed lizards.

Examples of two-tailed lizard amulets created using the modern method include those from Luang Pu Liu, Wat Rai Tang Thong, Nakhon Pathom Province; Luang Pho Choi, Wat Sri Uthumphon, Nakhon Sawan Province; Luang Pu Chen, Wat Ta E, Buriram Province and et cetera.

Jinchok Song Hang Luang Phor Ruay

Jinchok Song Hang Luang Phor Ruay

Some twenty years ago, together with three Singaporeans and three Thais, we visited Luang Phor Ruay of Wat Kau Phrachuntheap up in a mountain in Chanwat Rayong. We were all seated on the floor in a wooden hut, the temporary Ubosot, as the temple was still under construction at that time. Incidentally, we talked about the subject of two-tailed lizards. My fellow Singaporeans who had never seen a two-tailed lizard in their lifetime were sceptical of its existence leave alone the supernatural powers inherent thereof.

“If I were to summon the lizards would you help build this temple?” Luang Phor Ruay asked.

Well, even if his venerable had not performed any magic we would still have made our donations for the temple construction. Luang Phor Ruay started chanting, sprinkling holy water exuberantly all over, and after about half-an-hour he entered into a state of meditation. We sat patiently as the clock ticked away. About another 10-15 minutes has passed and there was still no sight of a single lizard. My fellow Singaporeans became impatient and a little edgy. It was then that we heard chirps, squeaks, and clicking noises. Next, there were screams and commotion. The two ladies (a Singaporean and a Thai) were the first to run out from the hut as hundreds of lizards swarmed in from all directions.

Jinchok Song Hang Luang Phor Ruay, Contributed Dr Dharmmasugati Ng

From outside, we listened to Luang Phor Ruay’s chanting and saw him sprinkling holy water in all directions. Subsequently, he called the novices to collect and place those lizards on trays before we were called back into the hut. There were no more lizards in the hut besides those on the trays; about 50-70 of different sizes but what was amazing was they were all indeed two-tailed. Luang Phor Ruay had those two-tailed lizards dried, consecrated, and encased and used them to raise donations at SGD 313.00 per piece. We do not know why his venerable asked for SGD 313.00 and nothing more nothing less.

Some of you may have heard this reminiscence from the other three Singaporeans present on that eventful day and some of you may have made the donations through Regalia or directly to Luang Phor Ruay. Like most other animism objects, two-tailed lizards have been paired with Thai society for a long time and its popularity remains high to-date.