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Even the famous khat (Catha edulis) plant of Ethiopia and Arabia has been suggested as part of the psychoactive incenses of Delphi (Ratsch 2005; Elmi 1983).
These entheogenic incenses and "unmixed wines" (meaning spiked with any number of psychoactive plants and undiluted with water) had many common ingredients such as myrrh and frankincense, opium and ivies.
The components of the early Taoist incenses are encoded in many esoteric texts, sometimes overtly mentioning decidedly psychoactive ingredients.
Talking of the many poems and strange incenses, he says there is "all in all much reason for thinking the ancient Taoists experimented systematically with hallucinogenic smokes" (Needham 1974).
Sidestepping the debate as to the identity of Nagarjuna (Mabbett 1998), there are known examples of Tantric psychoactive incenses composed of Datura metel used in the Vajramabhairava Tantra (Ratsch 2005; Siklos 1995).
Thus both types of adept meditate in the smoke of their holy, magical and psychoactive incenses no matter if they ingest elixirs or not.
Although also an incense, myrrh was used in several different ways from frankincense in ancient times.
At Christmas time, though, perhaps the best way to evoke a calming and peaceful seasonal spirit is to use both frankincense and myrrh in their incense forms.
Ephrem stands at a turning point in Christian history, when the use of incense in Christian worship and prayer appears for the first time and Christian appreciation for the significance of sacred smells begins to deepen accordingly.
2: 4-16, early Christian writers had employed the language of incense offerings as metaphorical imagery for prayer, for the death of Christ, and for the self-sacrifice of Christian life or of martyrdom.
The use of incense in Christian worship affected Christian olfactory imagery because a ritual context enabled a far richer exploration of olfactory symbolism.
In such a context, Ephrem, must take care to distinguish the incense offerings of `true' religion--Christianity, and the Judaism that formed its antecedent--from those of `false' religions still active in the cities and villages of his day.
By contrast, Ephrem's references to the incense offerings of pagan worship are wholly negative.
Blessed is the one who sends up his sacrifices in Your hand and the smell of whose incense is sweetened by You.