Issue 6: Curanderismo, Folk Healing & Traditional Medicine

archgirl

Throughout generations, people cure ailments through chants, specific lifestyles, local herbs, and more. Today, pharmaceuticals have taken priority over traditional remedies. For this fall's issue we're going to focus on looking back at these other remedies and the pros and cons of modern practices. As always, we strive to relate the past and present and show the good and bad sides of both.

More Than Oxygen

Hidden Secrets

from the Forest

Traditional Medicine

from Across the World

Voodoo & Hoodoo’s

Double Mirror

Healing with Water

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.

34

earth my body

water my blood

air my breath

fire my spirit

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.

From 2012, Spring Equinox

Ceremony in Austin, Texas

FIREWALK

THE

EQUINOX

1

www.knowyourorigins.org


ORIGINS & BERMUDAQUEST HAVE MERGED!

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!

6

What

is

this plant?

Explore

through

glass

22

IN THIS ISSUE:

6

8

34

36

46

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

A #ThroughGlass Experience

from New Mexico

22

Energy Work and

Melanie magdalena

4

28

Healing with Water

An introduction to an

alternative practice and

lifestyle.

karina buttler

Double Mirror

What do your actions reflect?

MORGAN V COURAGE

Japanese Remedies

From ancient times until now,

traditional medicine from

Japan.

Margaret smith

DEPARTMENTS

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?

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.

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.

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

STAFF

MELANIE E MAGDALENA

Editor-in-Chief &

Creative Designer

The Founder of Origins and

BermudaQuest.

MARGARET SMITH

Copy Editor

Anthropology undergraduate

focusing on Japanese studies for

her career in archaeology.

ETHAN KELLOGG

Graphics

Providing a creative kick to our

graphics and videos.

ALEX VOSBURGH

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.

www.knowyourorigins.org


An Ancestral Celebration

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

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.

dallas krentzel | cc by 2.0


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 :: andalucía, 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.


afael perez risco | cc by-nc-sa 2.0


pfainuk | cc by-sa 3.0


LANÍN

location :: argentina

Sitting along the Andes foothills, in Argentina, Lanín 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


24 | ORIGINS

melanie e magdalena | #throughglass

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.

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

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.

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.”

She always had the most entertaining

and useful exercises to

reveal emotional stress and

induced happy and joyous

reactions in her

activities. There is no

reason to bottle up

emotions — they

should be expressed.

Sound

can become an

amulet of sorts. By

finding a sound that

expresses how you feel you

can use it as your outlet.

It wasn’t until this course that I realized

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:

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The Rule of Energy Work

Before diving into the use of energy there are a

few things to keep in mind.

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.

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.

Energy

Work

And

Healing

With

Water

A Brief Introduction

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.

www.knowyourorigins.org


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.


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.

In 1887, a patent for a non-reversing mirror was

issued to John Joseph Hooker; however, mirrors

were still made by coating a piece of glass with

metallic silver. Mathematics Professor R. Andrew

Hicks, in 2009, created a non-reversing mirror

using computer algorithms to generate thousands

of tiny angled mirrors which create a surface that

curves and bends in different directions presenting

a true image with no distortion. The True Mirror®,

made in New York, is a mirror with perfect optics.

It presents a non-distorted, seamless image

enabling anyone to see through their eyes who

they really are. Hold two mirrors at exactly 90

degrees and look into the angle. The reflection

in the mirror is not distorted or reversed, but a

facsimile duplicate of the original. Today, the

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

Father or the spirit realm. Hoodoo, Voodoo and

Christianity evolved into a unique symbiotic belief

in one god, numerous spirits, saints, angels, and

ancestors that are good and evil.

Hoodoo, an American term from the 1800s—

means an evil spirit, a grotesque looking rock

pillar, and a necromancer—is folk magic brought

with the African slave trade. Modern day combines

African and European folklore and American Indian

herbology. Practitioners do not have a foundation

for beliefs or religion, but rather, are free

to develop individual rituals using supernatural

forces and manipulating the laws of nature as a

basis for solving daily health, wealth and emotional

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 Catholicism.

Today, Hoodoo is practiced in the United

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

dislikes for rituals, songs and dance. They grant requests

after they have received offerings. Not all

rootwork involves the participation of the Loa.

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

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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.

Ganyehessou K. Calixte, a member of the Occult

Sciences and African Voodoo Force in Togo, says

“Voodoo is a misunderstood force for good, and

without it the world would be overrun by evil

beings.” A student of the Holy Bible defines evil

as awon meaning a perversion or awah meaning

to be bent or to twist from the character of God,

the Alpha and Omega, the Father to all human

kind and Pappa to those who return a relationship

He wants with us. People are a three part being

consisting of a body, a spirit, and a mind (commonly

called the soul). The mind makes the

decision to know the Father and be reconciled

with Him through Jesus’s sacrifice on the Cross.

God is fully satisfied for the one sacrifice and there

is no place for judgment in the world. A disciple

of Jesus is not judging humanity but acts as an

ambassador of reconciliation. Ambassadors move

with the grace, love, and mercy of Jesus. It is not

about a person’s sin, but about reconciling with the

Father through much grace and mercy. The gifts

God bestows on His children are miracles in

healing, prophesy, wisdom, knowledge, faith,

discerning of Spirits, divers kinds of tongues and

interpretation of different tongues. These gifts

are a reflection of who God is and how He loves

us.

Those who walk with the Lord have the Holy Spirit

dwelling within and a choice to agree with the Holy

Spirit or grieve the Holy Spirit. The world has evil,

a counterfeit realm to the kingdom of God. The

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

circumstances, the good, the bad, the ugly are a

source of strength. The church, the body of Christ,

is the only organization on Earth that exists for the

benefit of its non-members.

The Holy Bible, the word of God written through

men, says “But unto this day, whensoever Moses is

read, a veil lieth upon their heart. But whensoever

it shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now

the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the

Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled

face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the

Lord, are transformed into the same image from

glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit”

(II Corinthians 3:15-18). Similar to placing a screen

before a mirror, people are blind until the Holy

Spirit dwells within you. When the veil is lifted,

people reflect the Lord’s glory from within.

Like a mirror, a person reflects their intentions,

thoughts, condition of the heart, spiritual growth

and understanding of life in every endeavor and

relationship. The reflection in the mirror parallels

the reflection in the eyes of a person’s soul and

spirit. All have a choice to believe or not believe

in a religion, a relationship with the creator, an

afterlife, a spiritual realm, or any of the numerous

thoughts and ideas in the world. Majick, serving

spirits for favor’s, being served by angels sent by

a loving Father, building relationships, seeking the

self or living the selfless are many experiences

considered good as well as the choice to be evil.

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drew mackie | cc by-nc-nd 2.0

Origins Scientific Research Society


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 “Wakansansaizue,” 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.

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.

www.knowyourorigins.org


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

San’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

Yourself

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.

cookbookman17 | cc by 2.0

www.knowyourorigins.org


Jump into a mythical adventure with Plato’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

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