Palad Khig is a kind of Thai talisman that is shaped like a penis. The phrase "palad khig" means "honorable surrogate penis". These amulets range from a few inches to several feet long in length. The smaller versions are usually worn on the body while the larger versions are displayed in shops and other establishments.
Palad Khik originated in India and relate to the Hindu god Shiva, who is usually represented by Shiva Linga. They were brought to Thailand from Cambodia hundreds of years ago by the Khmer. The Chinese concept called Yang is similar, where Shiva is represented abstractly in the form of Linga (male genitalia). Sometimes the linga are accompanied by Yoni (female genitalia). Together, the linga and yoni symbolize unity and the powers of creation and destruction.
The Palad Khik, as a phallic representation of Shiva, is also an animistic symbol of fertility. It is not uncommon in Thailand to see a penis amulet hanging on a convenience store a restaurant, or even being sold by old women on the street. Although outsiders may regard these as offensive, ordinary Thais are deeply superstitious and lucky charms and talismans are still regarded as important.
Palad khiks can be made from wood, metal, bone, horn or ivory, and they are created by monks who specialize in them. Engraving the sacred inscriptions is an important ritual and can take many days to complete. Cast metal palad khiks do not always have these inscriptions, but they may have animal symbols.
Palad khik amulets must be empowered by the repetition of incantations, which Thais call 'Kata Bucha', The incantations depend on the crater's lineage in each school of traditional non-Buddhist animist magic.
Variations of use and purpose
Palad Khiks are usually worn by males on a cord around their waist under the clothes and off-center from the real penis. It is not unusual for a male to wear many palad khiks at the same time, in the hope to attract women, increase gambling luck and protection from dangerous objects such as bullets and knives. At times, women in Thailand also carry it in their purses to protect them from rape and mugging. Shop owners display them in their shops or in the cash register area to protect their business and also bring good luck and sales. A notable feature of this type of amulet is it can be worn in places considered as lowly or unclean such as bars, gambling casinos and brothels. Normally, you cannot bring such talisman inside such establishments.