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More Than Oxygen

Voodoo & Hoodoo’s Double Mirror

Hidden Secrets from the Forest

Healing with Water

Traditional Medicine from Across the World

Curanderismo #ThroughGlass


2 | ORIGINS

using energy in your life Elemental compass by Karina Buttler. North is earth, east is air, fire is south, and west is water.

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This issue’s cover art was created by Ethan Kellogg. So what is it? Modern medicine is represented by a symbol called a Caduceus. Themed traditional medicine, our caduceaus is made of plants symbolizing the herbal nature of this ancient practice still alive today. Issue 6 | Fall 2013 © 2012-2013 Origins, founded by Melanie E Magdalena in association with BermudaQuest.

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permission of the authors is required for derivative works, compilations, and translations. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or views of Origins. The publisher, editor, contributors, and related parties assumes no responsibility of loss, injury or inconvenience of any person, organization, or party that uses the information or resources provided within this publication, website, or related products.

www.knowyourorigins.org

ear th my body

w a te r m y b lo o d a i r m y b re a t h f i re m y s p i r i t

From 2012, Spring Equinox Ceremony in Austin, Texas

FIREWALK THE EQUINOX

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ORIGINS & BERMUDAQUEST HAVE MERGED!

IN THIS ISSUE:

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ALL RESEARCH AND DATA FROM THE TWO SITES WILL BE ACCESSIBLE AT: WWW.KNOWYOURORIGINS.ORG NEXT ISSUE’S TOPIC: IN THE NAME OF PI: MATH IN OUR LIVES!

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An Ancestral Celebration Halloween Before revealing costumes, a look at an October festivity from the Celts and Japanese margaret smith

Forests

There is more to forests than oxygen - discover their natural remedies. karen meza cherit

CURANDERISMO

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A #ThroughGlass Experience from New Mexico Melanie magdalena

What is this plant? Explore through glass

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Energy Work and Healing with Water

36 46

Double Mirror

An introduction to an alternative practice and lifestyle. karina buttler

What do your actions reflect? MORGAN V COURAGE

Japanese Remedies

From ancient times until now, traditional medicine from Japan. Margaret smith

DEPARTMENTS

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4 28

From the Editor Review It

Origins Scientific Research Society


4 | ORIGINS

From the editor... A year and a half later, Origins has expanded across the globe. Now encompassing all the sciences, we’re not just about anthropology anymore: it’s all about knowing our origins. Where did we come from? Why do we do the things we do? And in this issue, how can we revive ancient medicine using herbs and nature?

STAFF MELANIE E MAGDALENA Editor-in-Chief & Creative Designer

The Founder of Origins and BermudaQuest.

MARGARET SMITH Copy Editor

Traditional medicine is not the same as alternative medicine. This does not mean you should stop going to see your doctor, nor does it mean you should go isolate yourself in a cabin on an island and cut yourself from the technological grid. Traditional medicine looks at nature and uses it to create remedies using herbs and realization that we are part of nature and should therefore respect it.

Anthropology undergraduate focusing on Japanese studies for her career in archaeology.

As a special feature, it is a pleasure to announce this issue has been enhanced by Google Glass. At the University of New Mexico over the summer, I had the opportunity to partake in a Curanderismo course with traditional healers from the American Southwest, Mexico, Gabon, and Uganda. Recorded #throughglass, now I can share the first hand experience enhanced with video footage and photographs — a unique way to share in my explorations as an Anthropologist.

ALEX VOSBURGH

In case you have not seen our website changes, bermudaquest.com is slowly merging with our new Origins site with a new name, Explore! inspired by being a current Glass Explorer for Google. Feedback for enhancing this feature for you is very much wanted. Finally, we also appreciate your feedback so we can continue making Origins better for you. And as a sneak peak, prepare yourself for our winter solstice edition “In the Name of Pi: Math in Our Lives” tackling the mystery of why on Earth we need to learn college algebra! Melanie E Magdalena Editor-in-Chief, editor@knowyourorigins.org www.knowyourorigins.org

ETHAN KELLOGG Graphics

Providing a creative kick to our graphics and videos.

Marketing & Public Relations Our newest recruit eager to take on challenges and explore the scientific world.

FIDEL JUNCO

Director of Donor Relations Specialist in marine animals and other exotic reptiles, birds, and amphibians.

CONTRIBUTORS KARINA BUTTLER Psychologist & Scientist who enjoys writing racey haikus about snow. MORGAN V COURAGE Word architect and mathmatician. KAREN MEZA CHERIT Undergraduate studying Business Management at ITESM.


A n A n c e s t r a l C e le b r a t i o n

H a l lo w e e n Margaret Smith

The ancient holiday and customs of Halloween have changed in many ways over the centuries, but before these occurred the Celts celebrated this time in their own way. The Celts celebrated this festival as the beginning of the New Year on November first and called it Samhain. Representing the end of the harvest and the beginning of the cold and harsh winter, they considered this time to have many ties with the dead because the eve of the new year was the day they believed the veil between the world of the dead was thinned and those who had passed away could return to earth. During the festivities Druids built large sacred bonfires where they burned crops and animals as sacrifices to their deities. The Celts would dress up in costumes of animal hides in order to hide from unwanted ghosts or other spirits. For friendly spirits or dead relatives the Celts would set places at the dinner table and leave treats on their door steps. In order to help guide these spirits back to their homes and to the spirit world the Celts would light their way with candles. These customs have similar characteristics with a Japanese festival called Bon Odori. During the summer months, the exact date varies among different regions; ancient Japanese celebrated the return of their ancestors from the spirit world. They would light their way from the mountains, they believe this is where their ancestors’ spirits and gods dwell, to the villages. Then the Japanese would set places at their tables and present their ancestors with a meal. Also during this festival they would set bonfires and offerings for their ancestors and while they were lit say prayers or sutras to honor their dead relatives. In addition the Japanese would do this for unrelated spirits because they believed if any spirit with unresolved issues i.e. died violently, have negligent relatives, or have no living relatives they would haunt any person who crosses their path. So many families would offer sutras and food in order to correct any imbalance a wandering spirit might have. Halloween and the festival of Bon have many similarities in their origins which is surprising considering the great distance between the cultures the originated from. The time of the year although different does not detract from the purpose the festivals set out to. They both set out to honor dead relatives while also having similar ritual activities. Could this be a coincidence, evidence of similar ancestors, or just a similarity in belief systems?


simon cozens | cc by-nc 2.0


FORESTS

producing more than just oxygen Karen Meza Cherit Around the world there are many forests and jungles, paradises, which hide within secrets and medicines some of which you will meet today.


moyan brenn | cc by 2.0


AMAZON :: location

northern south america

dallas krentzel | cc by 2.0

The Amazon Rainforest is one of the lasrgest forests on Earth with a diverse collection of plants and is home to a large amount of South American tribes. Much of this forest remains unexplored (at least in written records today). The rainforest is treasured by scientists, who actively promote preservation, because only 1-2% has been discovered when it comes to flora and fauna. There is much more to discover in northern South America and time is passing by faster than new discoveries are made.


LAS ::CAÑADAS , location

yucatán mexico

Located in Yucatán, this edible forest is one of few in Mexico’s portfolio of natural resources. The forest is a natural home to an abundance of edible plants and sustains itself all alone. Here at the heart of the peninsula, agriculture is not needed for food. This auto-sustainable treasure deserves to be protected and used with caution.

lara danielle | cc by-nd 2.0


LA ALPUJARRA :: , location

andalucĂ­a spain

Another spectacular edible-medicinal forest lies in Spain. Within it over 20 medicinal plant species are believed to grow. These plants are at the center of the carefully balanced ecosystem, home to many other plants and animals, and may be in danger in the years to come with the continued growth of city centers.


chris | cc by-nc-nd 2.0


haplochromis | cc by-sa 3.0


AGUARONGO :: location

equador

Bosque de Aguarongo (Aguarongo Forest) receives its name after the enigmatic flower of the aguarongo plant which blooms only once every five years and can be as tall as three meters (about nine feet). When this stalk begins to dry, millions of turquoise flowers blossom from it. This flower is a national symbol but not the only part of the forest: medicinal plants, trails for excursions, and natural freshwater also surround the nearby communities.


SAN ROQUE de CUMBAZA location

:: equador

At 17 kilometers from Peru’s province Lamas, San Roque de Cumbaza offers trails for explorers to experience the huge diverse flora used in traditional therapies of the region. There are also tours you can sign up for in order to learn what different plants are used for and what possibilities are out there in the wild.


rafael perez risco | cc by-nc-sa 2.0


pfainuk | cc by-sa 3.0


LANĂ?N :: location

argentina

Sitting along the Andes foothills, in Argentina, LanĂ­n National Park, offers a variety of both exotic landscapes and plants. From the rise of the Inca to modern day, medicine is still derived from the Andes. Medicinal properties are the most common for plants of this region. Even with the growing spite of the scientific community, rural doctors and native medicine men explore old trails for their medical bags.


melanie e magdalena | #throughglass


curanderismo #throughglass Melanie E Magdalena


melanie e magdalena | #throughglass

24 | ORIGINS

It is amazing to look back at history and marvel at how traditions are passed down through generations for hundreds of years. Traditional Healing without Borders: Curanderismo in the Southwest and Mexico, at the University of New Mexico, was a brief glimpse into the modern uses of ancient or traditional medicine that has existed in the Americas since before the time of the conquest. Guided by Dr. Eliseo “Cheo� Torres, students were able to learn first hand the love and respect for history and folk healing in the ancient art of Curanderismo. Pharmaceutical intervention is not necessary for healing. People are more than capable of curing themselves by means of respect and becoming one with nature.

herbs, changes in lifestyle, and reintegrating the roots of ancient medicine tradition from both the Old and New Worlds. Now, for the past decade, Curanderismo is taught at the higher education level with over 15 curanderos annually.

This class was inspired out of the concept of fusing traditional and modern medicine. Folk healers are very popular in areas of the world where modern medicine is unavailable or unattainable. Curanderos are these healers, working long and hard for their clients often times without financial compensation. Traditional healers are a viable source for healing practices involving

Out of all the curanderos, I loved Rita’s enthusiasm. Rita Navarrette Perez is a curandera (traditional healer), temazcalera (guide for Mexican sweat lodges), sobadora (the use of energy and physical healing with the hands), councelor, herbalist, nutritionist, traditional chiropractor, and motivational speaker from Cuernavaca, Mexico. Her 28 years of practice in traditional healing provided all the course

www.knowyourorigins.org


attendees with insight on chronic illness and life coaching. From her biography on the University’s website, she says,

“Curanderismo is not magic, I cannot heal you, but I will teach you to heal yourself.”

Pictured left: Curandero quatripartite altar built for the opening ceremony, including copal incense in incesarios, fruit, photographs, flowers, and more as offerings for the cardinal directions and axis mundi.

She always had the most enter taining and useful exercises to reveal emotional stress and induced happy and joy ous reactions in her activities. There is no reason to bottle up emotions — they should be ex pressed. Sound can become an amulet of sorts. By finding a sound that expresses how you feel you can use it as your outlet.

an answer for this, but if I had to pick a response it would be naivety. We create comfort zones and fear to leave them, we are scared that someone else might be right, and we want to let our money fix everything. You cannot buy happiness or self acceptance.

It wasn’t until this course that I real ized how many impurities we intoxicate our bodies with on a daily basis. The food we eat, the stuff we drink, our collective laziness, and lack of self expression poisons our bodies and minds. One of my favorite anecdotes from the summer is the following:

My personal life philosophy has benefited from experiencing curandersimo first hand. As an anthropologist, I love learning about other people’s beliefs and world views. Davidou’s book was the cherry on top. Not only is it a recipe book, but the first section I will be using, referencing, and reflecting on in the future.

You know when you order a pizza, how soft and gooey the cheese is? The next day, when you pull it out of the refrigerator, the cheese is hard, stiff. Now go back to the night before when that pizza first arrived. You’ve just taken a couple bites and are halfway through your slice and guzzle some icy cold carbonated soda. Visualize that cheese in your stomach turning into that hard version you see in the fridge in the morning. You’ve just solidified all of that gooeyness. No wonder you have indigestion!

Aztec history has always been fascinating, but reading about their medicinal practices and cosmology followed by seeing the embodiment of those beliefs today in front of me by hundreds of people still sends a chill up my spine. These traditions are still very real and are not simply history. The sound of the beating drum, the Nahuatl chants, and the smell of smoldering coal has burned into my memory. I can see the ancient Aztecs performing these same rituals and ceremonies, or variants of, in the great plazas of Tenochtitlan and Teotihuacan. They have given me a new perspective of the past I will see play before my eyes every time I revisit those sites. The splendid architecture is not only archaeology, but a place of physical and spiritual growth that everyone can still experience.

We are a part of nature and we should respect nature. There is no way to avoid it because there is no other place to live but with nature. So why do we continue hurting ourselves? I do not have

People are social creatures. We cannot live without them. Social encounters make us grow if we will let them. I grew during my two weeks of curanderismo. I laughed and cried, learned and lost. I now know how to brew teas and make juices that will benefit my physical being, exercises that will relax both my body and mind, and which scents can influence my mind.

Origins Scientific Research Society


melanie e magdalena | #throughglass

Thanking the directions: East, South, North, and West, for their strength and guidance at the opening ceremony #throughglass.


28 | ORIGINS

Dr. Eliseo “Cheo” Torres has written two spectacular books involving research in his subject area: Curanderismo. Beginning with the herbal lore and healing he grew up with, thanks to his parents, Dr. Torres is able to tell the tale of what it is like to be a curandero, as well as traditions in healing with herbs and rituals.

Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing

Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, edited by Timothy L. Sawyer, Jr. University of New Mexico Press Growing up in the area of Corpus Christi, Texas, Dr. Torres learned the practice of folk healing at home but wanted to go out and learn more about the plants and rituals involved in Curanderismo. He ventured out to the town of Espinazo, in Mexico, where we underwent a lifechanging experience with curandero Niño Fidencio (1899-1939). His book Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing explores the pilgrimage, some of the knowledge learned, and proposes how curanderismo can approach as a medical practice for ancient problems.

Healing with Herbs and Rituals

Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, edited by Timothy L. Sawyer, Jr. University of New Mexico Press Looking at both the American Southwest and Mexico, Healing with Herbs and Rituals provides a remedy-based understanding of herbalism in curandero practices. Centuries of knowledge compiled into one paperback gives the reader a quick go-to guide to herbs and cures for this holistic health movement.

Infusions of Healing A Treasury of Mexican-American Herbal Remedies Joie Davidow Fireside/Simon and Schuster

Joie Davidow’s Infusions of Healing: A Treasury of Mexican-American Herbal Remedies does an excellent job at describing the Aztec history of curanderismo. The Aztec people did not divide the physical and spiritual like modern Western thought. For them it was one and the same. Nature was a key component to all beliefs. Medicine was the combination of plants and the supernatural. They did not limit themselves to one God; nature was plural and so were the spiritual deities. Remedies from simple kitchen herbs, like basil and rosemary, can be created today by brewing them into teas. Music and laughter can cure emotional illnesses. A massage for the abdomen can alleviate pain and move an unborn child into proper placement for a smooth birthing. Combining history and recipes, Davidow’s compilation is a fascinating read and a keeper for remedies that can be conjured up in the kitchen. www.knowyourorigins.org


Curanderismo #ThroughGlass | 29

EXPERIENCE CURANDERISMO

Curanderismo

Video Courtesy of Rebecca Gustaf University of New Mexico, Health Sciences Center

Healing Through Music

Mexico and Gabon unite with “La Bamba” #ThroughGlass by Melanie E Magdalena

A First Person View

Being a part of the Curandero ceremonies. #ThroughGlass by Melanie E Magdalena

Origins Scientific Research Society


melanie e magdalena | #throughglass

First person view #throughglass of the joyous interactions among ceremony participants one early morning.


melanie e magdalena | #throughglass


Curanderismo: Ritual and Healing is a current exhibition at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. This temporary exhibit, in both English and Spanish, is the first collection in the United States focusing on the traditional healing practices beginning in rural Mexico and its extension into the Southwest and beyond. It also takes a look at how Pop Culture has embraced curanderismo and engages with it.


34 | ORIGINS

Energy Wor k And Healing With The Rule of Energy Work

W a te r

The Rule of Return: Also known as the rule of karma, is the concept of an action which starts out the entire cycle of cause and effect. Any action or deed one takes part in, the defining factor is intent, will bring about an effect which can be positive or negative. Hurting someone will only bring back hurt on the individual who started the cycle.

A B r i e f I n t ro d u c t i o n

Before diving into the use of energy there are a few things to keep in mind.

Know What You Are Doing: In the realm of energy, you need to be careful. Wishing can become reality, therefore you have to be careful what you wish for. Make sure you know what you are asking for before you ask energy for it and think about the possible negative outcomes if you receive it. When you ask for rain, you are taking it away from somewhere else, taking water away from other plants that would have received it. Always think before you act: if you are okay with what could happen, you can do what you are planning with a clear head and full understanding. Everything Comes From Somewhere: When we wish for something, it will always come from somewhere else. Do not pretend this is not true. www.knowyourorigins.org

Karina Buttler Healing with Water

Different elements are better used to heal different things. However,  when people first start up with energy work its fairly easy to use anything. Energy can be used however wanted because ideas and trends are not set in our minds. Water healing is best for emotional healing and can additionally be used to overcome an illness. If you can imagine what you want the water to do, it is possible to achieve it. Water healing is easiest in the shower. Imagine that the water is not only flowing around you but through you. As it goes through you it takes with it all the pain or sickness with it down the drain. This is not a miracle cure, but it will help you feel better and more stable. Keep in mind that magick is not a one hit wonder. It can help you, but will not always be the only help you need.


Energy Work | 35

Energy work (or magic, as other’s like to call it) can be difficult to understand without some help, but can be very helpful to a person once one takes the time to learn it and becomes one with the ideals behind it. Ahead are a few very simple concepts that can help anyone start their journey to better understanding and healing through nature. >> So mote it be. <<

Symbols

Deity Worship

Deity worship is not necessary for energy work. It is only really important if you personally feel like it needs to be a big part of your life. There is controversy about whether energy work should be mixed in with worship. Deities usually do not care about your little problems. Personally, I feel spells and worship should be separate things – don’t do a spell as part of asking some higher power to help you fulfill your desires. Secondly, only worship someone you want to worship. Just because your friend really likes a group of deities does not mean you have to make them the core of your belief system. Research as many gods and goddesses you can before making the final decision on who you want in your life. Be really picky. Let’s say you like drinking and you are going to worship Dionysus. You also have to embrace the other half of this god who likes going into the woods and tearing up little animals. Are you sure you want all of this deity in your life? Gods can be strange and demanding entities to us. You do not want to get into a relationship with one unless you really know who they are and what they will want from you.

Symbols are fantastic things because they, like magick, work based on what we want and what we believe. As mentioned before, energy work is that you want something to happen, believe it can happen, then let it happen. With symbols, it’s basically the same thing. You believe it can do something, then it does. It is essentially your belief, and your energy that actually keep the symbol doing what you believe it is supposed to do. With this in mind, don’t let people tell you that you are wrong. If someone special gives you a necklace, and you believe that it keeps you safe because they kept you safe, then it does and there is nothing wrong in believing that. What is special to you for one reason, may be special to someone else for another reason. My favorite necklace for example is a symbol that shows the relations of the elements. To me, it’s an informal compass and helps me with my general needs for it. However, I also realize that it may look something like a cross to others. I don’t mind. I just use it for what I need to and explain my use for it when people ask. If something is special to you, then don’t let someone take that meaning from you. However, don’t be afraid to use universal symbols that call out to you either. And remember, the more you believe in something, the more effective it is.  Origins Scientific Research Society


36 | ORIGINS

“The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.” — St. Jerome

The earliest mirror made of obsidian dates back to 8,000 years ago in Anatolia, now part of modern day Turkey. Spanning 4,000 years, Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, South and Central America, and other parts of the New World have left evidence of mirrors made of metals polished until they became highly reflective. In the first century, metal-coated glass mirrors were invented. The images in ancient mirrors and mirrors made today are a reverse image from the left side that distorts the features, the information in faces, and even personalities. The reflection is not real.

common household mirror, commercial mirrors and scientific mirrors are made with the same principles of glass and a reflective metal.

A mirror’s reflection creates self-recognition and awareness of humility and selfless desires, but for some vanity and narcissistic tendencies. Meaningless without people, the mirror can reveal or hide reality by reflecting the viewer’s own truth. Mirrors are associated with literature, science, art, religion, folklore, and magic. Like a mirror, people reflect the world internally in worship and religious beliefs that unite them with God the In 1887, a patent for a non-reversing mirror was Father or the spirit realm. Hoodoo, Voodoo and issued to John Joseph Hooker; however, mirrors Christianity evolved into a unique symbiotic belief were still made by coating a piece of glass with in one god, numerous spirits, saints, angels, and metallic silver. Mathematics Professor R. Andrew ancestors that are good and evil. Hicks, in 2009, created a non-reversing mirror using computer algorithms to generate thousands Hoodoo, an American term from the 1800s— of tiny angled mirrors which create a surface that means an evil spirit, a grotesque looking rock curves and bends in different directions presenting pillar, and a necromancer—is folk magic brought a true image with no distortion. The True Mirror®, with the African slave trade. Modern day combines made in New York, is a mirror with perfect optics. African and European folklore and American IndiIt presents a non-distorted, seamless image an herbology. Practitioners do not have a founenabling anyone to see through their eyes who dation for beliefs or religion, but rather, are free they really are. Hold two mirrors at exactly 90 to develop individual rituals using supernatural degrees and look into the angle. The reflection forces and manipulating the laws of nature as a in the mirror is not distorted or reversed, but a basis for solving daily health, wealth and emofacsimile duplicate of the original. Today, the tional problems. It is spiritual in nature. During the www.knowyourorigins.org


Double Mirror | 37

What do you see reflected back? Morgan Courage

slave trade the practices intertwined with Cathol- dislikes for rituals, songs and dance. They grant reicism. Today, Hoodoo is practiced in the United quests after they have received offerings. Not all rootwork involves the participation of the Loa. States, Haiti, and Southern Atlantic islands. The root work and spells in Hoodoo use roots, herbs, candles, oils, and incense, to name a few elements. Candles add power with the color always representing the nature of the spell. Anointing the candles with oils and powdered herbs creates a filter to make the spell much more precise. Selections from the Bible are read for the spell’s intent. For example, Psalm 91 is read three times to uncross someone or remove a jinx. The belief is Hoodoo and Christianity complement each other. Necromancy, the working with dead spirits, is closer to this plane of living and work faster than Angels and Loa. Angels are spiritual beings attending to God and minister and serve the living, His children on Earth. Psalm 91:11-13 tells us that “For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.” The Loa are spirits of Haitian Voodoo who serve as intermediaries between the distant Bondye, from bon dieu meaning good god, and humanity. These distinct spirits are served by the living according to their individual likes and

Based on the Hoodoo and Conjure’s Hoodoo Almanac 2012, Denise Alvarado writes that creation of magick lamps in Hoodoo is used by old time root workers because the power and effectiveness of magick lamps quickly produce results. The lamps are hotter than candles and can be mounted by the Spirits. Once the practitioner recites a Saint’s novena or utter the secret words of a Spirit over the lit lamp, that Spirit is drawn down onto the work. The types of containers used for the lamps must be fireproof and may depend upon the type of spell being cast. For example, a protection talisman can be a hollowed out barbed pineapple. A coffee can or tin could be used for general purposes. A hurricane lamp is built for heat and the base is filled with oils, herbs and anything else for the spell to ensure safe containment. Once the container is chosen, the ingredients have to be selected for the type of performing magick. Suggested Psalms from the Old Testament are used with the burning lamp. Psalm 81 is read for quick money and good health. Psalms 54, 61, 71 and 150 are used to attract money and success. Mirrors are Origins Scientific Research Society


This Voodoo temple stands in Ouidah, Benin, on the hallowed grounds of the Door of No Return. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site, the Door of No Return looks out at the Atlantic Ocean.

shubert ciencia | cc by2.0


40 | ORIGINS

used in reversing work to reflect a particular energy back to its source and the enemy reaps what they have sown. In a mirror everything is backwards, so the spell work is done backwards to send the conditions back. Voodoo, from the African Vodoun spirit, is a 6,000 year religion with roots in Benin, West Africa. The religion spread with the slave trade and has a noticeable presence in Brazil, the Caribbean, United States, and Haiti with about 60 million practitioners worldwide. The 1700s brought thousands of West African people taken into slavery to Haitian plantations. The slaves were baptized as Roman Catholics and Voodoo became an underground activity. Those that practiced traditional African religions were imprisoned, whipped or hung. Voodoo became a part of Catholicism as slaves continue to practice during the mass. Professor Bob Corbett, from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, says “It is a religion in the same way Judaism or Christianity is. Voodoo doesn’t have a sacred text, a church, or a hierarchical structure of leaders, but it is very similar culturally.” He writes in Introduction to Voodoo in Haiti the most basic concepts of Voodoo. Bondye is the distant creator who does not intercede in human affairs. There are three spiritual beings: the Loa, the twins, and the dead. The Loa interacts with people and causes good or bad things to happen to them. The twins are mysterious forces of good and evil. If honored in religious services, they will help you have the better side of life or vice versa. The dead are mainly family members who have died but not yet been reclaimed by the family: ignored deceased are dangerous while the honored and cared for are helpful. The central and key aspect of Voodoo is to heal people from illness. The priesthood of Voodoo contains both men and women that heal, perform religious ceremonies to call the spirits, hold initiations for new priests, tell the future and interpret dreams, cast spells, create protections and create potions for any problem in life. The types of Voodoo are Rada and Petro. Rada is a family spirit Voodoo and the Voodoo of the relatively peaceful and happy Loa. Petro is a black magic Voodoo and the Voodoo of angry, mean www.knowyourorigins.org


thomas quine | cc by-sa 2.0


dietmars temps | cc by-nc-sa 2.0


Engunguns present themselves in the form of human beings, after traveling from the underworld as ghosts, at ceremonies in Beninese Voodoo.


44 | ORIGINS

What do your intentions reflect?

and nasty Loa. Dangerous things happen in Petro including death curses, the making of zombies, and wild sexual orgies.

choice is to walk into the spirit, agree with God’s word and have alignment with Heaven to release its resources. Every situation encountered in life is to be used to express the goodness of God. All Ganyehessou K. Calixte, a member of the Occult circumstances, the good, the bad, the ugly are a Sciences and African Voodoo Force in Togo, says source of strength. The church, the body of Christ, “Voodoo is a misunderstood force for good, and is the only organization on Earth that exists for the without it the world would be overrun by evil benefit of its non-members. beings.” A student of the Holy Bible defines evil as awon meaning a perversion or awah meaning The Holy Bible, the word of God written through to be bent or to twist from the character of God, men, says “But unto this day, whensoever Moses is the Alpha and Omega, the Father to all human read, a veil lieth upon their heart. But whensoever kind and Pappa to those who return a relationship it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now He wants with us. People are a three part being the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the consisting of a body, a spirit, and a mind (com- Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled monly called the soul). The mind makes the face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the decision to know the Father and be reconciled Lord, are transformed into the same image from with Him through Jesus’s sacrifice on the Cross. glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit” God is fully satisfied for the one sacrifice and there (II Corinthians 3:15-18). Similar to placing a screen is no place for judgment in the world. A disciple before a mirror, people are blind until the Holy of Jesus is not judging humanity but acts as an Spirit dwells within you. When the veil is lifted, ambassador of reconciliation. Ambassadors move people reflect the Lord’s glory from within. with the grace, love, and mercy of Jesus. It is not about a person’s sin, but about reconciling with the Like a mirror, a person reflects their intentions, Father through much grace and mercy. The gifts thoughts, condition of the heart, spiritual growth God bestows on His children are miracles in and understanding of life in every endeavor and healing, prophesy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, relationship. The reflection in the mirror parallels discerning of Spirits, divers kinds of tongues and the reflection in the eyes of a person’s soul and interpretation of different tongues. These gifts spirit. All have a choice to believe or not believe are a reflection of who God is and how He loves in a religion, a relationship with the creator, an us. afterlife, a spiritual realm, or any of the numerous thoughts and ideas in the world. Majick, serving Those who walk with the Lord have the Holy Spirit spirits for favor’s, being served by angels sent by dwelling within and a choice to agree with the Holy a loving Father, building relationships, seeking the Spirit or grieve the Holy Spirit. The world has evil, self or living the selfless are many experiences a counterfeit realm to the kingdom of God. The considered good as well as the choice to be evil. www.knowyourorigins.org


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46 | ORIGINS

Otogirisou hyperici erecti herba

Uses and Abilites Otogirisou is used while bandaging a wound because it has the ability to activate blood, reduce swelling and pain, and adjusting meridian. It can also be used to treat menstrual disorders, lactation disorders, hematemesis, metrorrhagia, for adenoiditis, gout, athletes foot, rheumatism, and neuralgia,and cough. Although mostly used topically, it can also be digested. Origins Otogrisou is native to Japan, eastern Serbia, China, Sakhalin, and the Korean Peninsula because of how it populates there are over 110 different kinds of similar species in Japan alone. The use and name of otogiriso comes from a legend in the Heian period. In the legend centers around a falconer who had a secret plant he used to heal wounds on falcons, however his younger brother told his secret and he was killed. In the Edo period â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wakansansaizue,â&#x20AC;? written in 1713, indicated that otogrisou was considered a weed and used to treat cuts, sick falcons, and sick dogs. The entire plant is collected when the fruit is maturing, the roots are cut off, and the plant bound up, and then dried in the sun. The branches and leaves of otogiriso are used as dyeing agents. Liquor is also made out of the otogiriso plant. www.knowyourorigins.org

Kakidoshi glechoma hederacea

Uses and Abilities Kakidoshi has many uses within Japanese Folk medicine including antipyrectic, diuretic, weak constitution, nervousness, prevent convulsions, inflammation, calculus, diabetes, hepatitis, gallstones, eczema, and athletes foot. Kakidoshi is known to have some negative side effects when taken in large dosages or for long periods of time. Some side effects which can present themselves are palpitations and lightheadedness. However, kakidoshi has very low toxicity and because of its long use as medicine and as a food product it is considered safe.


Japanese Remedies | 47

Remedies From Japan Margaret Smith

Senburi swertiae japonica

Uses and Abilities Senburi is considered to have a cooling affect and is used mostly to treat stomach aches and baldness. It has also been said to treat hangovers, liver disease, kidney disease, hives, phthisis, high blood pressure, cardiopathy, and chest pain. It can also be used as a cleaning liquid for conjunctivitis and many women who experience cramps during menstruation put it in their bath water.

Origins Kakidoshi is native to Taiwan, Japan, China, Eurasia, and the Korean Peninsula. In Japan kakidoshi can also be referred to as rensenso jishibari, zenikazura, tsuruhakka, and kantoriso depending on how it is prepared. It is commonly served to babies in their first meals on plates with designs of a crane, a tortoise, and kantoriso. The entire plant can be used in staining to create a variety of brown colors. Kakidoshi is very easy to harvest making it accessible to the community.

Origins Senburi is a native plant to Japan that grows on sunny hills and low grass covered mountain tops. It can also be found along the Korean Peninsula and China. When the plant blooms its later produces fruit which splits in half when they mature. Senburi does not fall under Kampo medicine, but instead is considered as typical Japanese folk medicine. It has been used since Muromachi era, but originally it was used to kill lice and fleas. Japanese people would soak their undergarments for protection against bugs, put it in their hair to kill lice, and make a paste of it and place it onto folding screens and sliding doors. This practice continued into the Edo period. Afterwards they began using senburi to treat stomach aches. Senburi is difficult to cultivate, but due to high demands the Japanese managed to cultivate and a new breed was made from 1975 to 1980. Origins Scientific Research Society


48 | ORIGINS

Goo bezoar bovis

Uses and Abilities In general Goo is well known for increasing energy levels and its life extending effects, but Goo actually has a variety of effects on the human body. Goo can be used to treat high blood pressure, inflammation, applied as a sedative, cardio tonic, cholagogic, and many other conditions. In the Fifteenth Japanese Pharmacopeia of Practical Guide. Goo is also used as material in order to combine different drugs. So far there have not been any reports of serious side effects from ingesting Goo, but those who are pregnant or suffer regularly from diarrhea should be careful when taking it. Origins Goo’s first mentioning is in China’s oldest medical literature called the Shennongbencaojing. Within this book Goo is referred to as a ‘life support medicine’ and ‘perpetual youth and longevity medicine’ because of its ability to increase a patient’s energy, reduce ageing affects, and promote longevity. Because of Goo’s rarity all over the world it has always been expensive including in ancient China when it was considered more expensive than gold. So far it seems Goo came to Japan sometime during the Asuka period at around the same time Buddhism traveled through the Korean Peninsula because it was mentioned in the Mahayana Buddhism scriptures. In Japan Goo is the most expensive folk medicine because of its rarity, variety of uses, and lack of any severe side effects. www.knowyourorigins.org


Japanese Remedies | 49

Obaku

phellodendri cortex Uses and Abilities Obaku has been used in Japan since ancient times because of its strong antibacterial effects and use for gastrointestinal disease. Many medicines in Japan that are still used today are just an Obaku and water mix including: nerikuma used in the Sanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;in region; daranisuke, used in the Nara prefecture and Yoshino region; and hyakuso is used in the Ontake Moutains of Shinshu. Daranisuke was used by high priests to stimulate their pupils while learning Buddhist sutras. Other uses for Obaku are to treat gastritis, duodenal catarrh, indigestion, food poisoning, diabetes, jaundice, paraplegia, bloody stool or vaginal discharge, hemorrhoids, painful red eyes, eczema, cystitis, swelling, and weak digestion. The effects of Obaku are similar to those of Coptidis Rhizoma because they both contain high amounts of a compound called berberine. The initial effects of obaku are an increase of blood glucose levels which then decreases after six hours. It also causes an increase in pancreatic secretion, depression of the central nervous system, an increase in acetylcholine level, lower blood pressure, weak diuretic effects, and a choleretic effect. Origins Obaku is the bark from a tree species called kihada in Japanese, but also known al Phellodendron cortex. Kihada grows in the mountains of Hokkaido through to Kyusyu along with areas in the Korean Peninsula like the Amur area, northern China, and the Ussuri region. In order to make Obaku the Japanese peel the bark off a kihada tree of 12-13 years of age during the hottest season and then left to dry out in the sun. There are other Phellodendron trees within Japan in Hakone, the Chugoku region, and northern Honshu. The Japanese also use the kihada tree to make kihada liquor as a health drink and yellow dye. Origins Scientific Research Society


50 | ORIGINS

Do It Yo u r s e l f Kari Caldwell Do you know someone with smelly feet? Perhaps your bed is a little too warm in the summer and you want to freshen it? Or maybe you want a cheap carpet deodorizer. Well here is a fairly easy at home remedy for these issues in a couple of easy steps. First you are going to need rice flour. If you dont have rice flour laying around your house, there is an easy way to make it at home. Take some rice and grind it in your coffee grinder. In just moments you will have a clean coffee grinder and some rice flour. Now that you have the rice flour you can make this quick mixture. 1 cup rice flour 1/4 cup baking soda 1 tablespoon of cornstarch 3 to 4 drops of essential oil of your choice Mix these ingredients in a container that will not be used for food. You can then put them in a shaker to make it easier to use around your house or in your shoes. If you use eucalyptus and mint essential oils in the powder it will also help prevent as many bugs from crawling unwanted into your abode if you use it on the outer edges of the rooms you wish to keep bug-free.

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Jump into a mythical adventure with Platoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mysterious Atlantis as Nicholas Pedrosa participates in an archaeological dig on the island of Santorini.

Check out our book review for Travels in Elysium on October 1, 2013. www.knowyourorigins.org



Origins | Fall 2013