Burning Incense Is Psychoactive:

This may be an older article, but I am glad, that science is FINALLLLLY catching up to ancient – and shamanic knowledge 🙂

Article from Science Daily:

Burning Incense Is Psychoactive: New Class Of Antidepressants Might Be Right Under Our Noses

Date:
May 20, 2008
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
Burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.
incense burner in Nepal.

incense burner in Nepal.

Religious leaders have contended for millennia that burning incense is good for the soul. Now, biologists have learned that it is good for our brains too. An international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describe how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. This suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.

“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam, one of the research study’s co-authors. “We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”

To determine incense’s psychoactive effects, the researchers administered incensole acetate to mice. They found that the compound significantly affected areas in brain areas known to be involved in emotions as well as in nerve circuits that are affected by current anxiety and depression drugs. Specifically, incensole acetate activated a protein called TRPV3, which is present in mammalian brains and also known to play a role in the perception of warmth of the skin. When mice bred without this protein were exposed to incensole acetate, the compound had no effect on their brains.

“Perhaps Marx wasn’t too wrong when he called religion the opium of the people: morphine comes from poppies, cannabinoids from marijuana, and LSD from mushrooms; each of these has been used in one or another religious ceremony.” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Studies of how those psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incensole acetate, purified from frankincense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system. This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion–burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!”

According to the National Institutes of Health, major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people ages 15–44, affecting approximately 14.8 million American adults. A less severe form of depression, dysthymic disorder, affects approximately 3.3 million American adults. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million American adults, and frequently co-occur with depressive disorders.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm

 

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Wings of Spirit

July is always a very hectic month for us. The Markets and craft shows are busy with eager customers looking for our handmade jewelry, and many of my patients and clients are “up at the cottage” for the holidays and want to see me , discuss problems or learn a little more about the Medicine ways.

For the last few days it was a mad rush at our house, to get “everything ready for the Muskoka Arts and Crafts annual Summer Show, that will take place from Friday to Sunday in Anny Williams Park here in Bracebridge.

Apart from numerous bracelets, pendants and earrings I also managed to work on 3 large smudging fans.

One is a large Heron wing fan, the other 2 are Ruffed Grouse, a wing feather fan and a tail feather fan.

It usually takes about 5 to 7 hours of work for each of them to get “dressed”

OK, first of all you have to expertly prepare them and let them dry properly – for anywhere between 3 and 5 month. ( You also could send a wing of to a taxidermist and have it done in about 5-10 days for upwards of $ 100.00, but I do not have that kind of money to spare…)

Anyway

Here they are:

Heron Wing Fan for smudging

This wing comes from a beautiful Heron who met a tragic end on Hwy 11; flying into an oncoming truck. I carefully and lovingly took the wings and feathers, preserved them in order to give this majestic bird a new life and transform its wing into a ritual tool infused with love and respect.

Materials:
Gichi Mooshka, the Heron -stands for order and patience, the pragmatist, leader of the Medicine Circle
For Celtic People Liilh the Heron laid the first ever egg = the egg of creation. She is the guardian of life and incarnation as well as for secret knowledge of longevity. A so called “Crane bag – a druidic medicine pouch was made of the feathered skin of a Heron or a Crane.
Deer leather = Wa-washkesh-shi symbolizes grace, swiftness and gentleness It lives in the dawn of morning. – Red = East, life force, black= West bridge across the void of fear
Hand carved bone Turtle with beads = Mother Earth
Wood, pottery and fashion seed beads,
Turquoise = healing gem of the Apache and Navaho People =prevention of injuries and harm
Fox Fur – recycled – Wagish, the Fox is smart, silent and a good provider and always has a smile on his face. He sees everything and chooses, when to be seen

Petroglyph drawings:
Spiral of Life= continuation of the life cycle

Feathers:

Spruce grouse = drumming, chanting, ceremony
Raven = mystery, lore, legend,ritual teachings
Pheasant = Pride in your own heritage
Heron – see above
Hawk = east, discernment, independence
Turkey = giving thanks for the abundance provided by Mother Earth
Hairy Woodpecker = little brother of the Thunderbird, dexterity, magic
Blue Jay = Messenger of the Forest People
Parrot = blue – truth

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Ruffed Grouse Wing Feather Fan: 

There she was! In the middle of the road. and there was NOTHING I could do.
Other than gently pick her up and carry her home. Her Spirit had long since left…
but left behind were her beautiful tail feathers and one perfectly intact wing. I decided, to preserve these pieces and bring honor and meaning to her life and her species. For Month I hmmmed and haaawed as to how best to mount the wing – then there was this bit of Fox fur and the idea was born….

Materials:
Spruce Grouse Wing: Grouse stands for drumming, dancing, Spring ceremonies
Deer leather = Wa-washkesh-shi symbolizes grace, swiftness and gentleness It lives in the dawn of morning. – Red = East, life force,
Hand carved bone face of Kikeebik, the Hawk with beads
Wood, pottery and fashion seed beads,
Turquoise = healing gem of the Apache and Navaho People =prevention of injuries and harm
Fox Fur – recycled – Wagish, the Fox is smart, silent and a good provider and always has a smile on his face. He sees everything and chooses, when to be seen

Petroglyph drawings:
Midewiwin medicine lodge mnemonics
Spiral of Life= continuation of the life cycle
Lattice grit = trance and visions
Turtle – Mother Earth, long life, patience

Feathers:

Spruce grouse = drumming, chanting, ceremony
Raven = mystery, lore, legend,ritual teachings
Pheasant = Pride in your own heritage
Heron = Gichi Mooshka, stands for order and patience, the pragmatist, leader of the
Medicine Circle
Hawk = East, discernment, independence from a cooper’s hawk I found a few days later
– on the same road…  😦
Turkey = giving thanks for the abundance provided by Mother Earth
Hairy Woodpecker = little brother of the Thunderbird, dexterity, magic
Blue Jay = Messenger of the Forest People
Great Gray Owl = Wisdom of Night, dreams and visions – guide to the shaman who heals and knows how to traverse into the land of the dead to call back a lost Soul

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Ruffed Grouse Tail Feather Fan:

Since this is  the tail of the same Bird, I dressed it with much the same attributes and accompanying feathers.

It however has a different Hawk design for a Center piece.