⟨ Nice Things ⟩

Precious Gift From Mother Earth

Dragon Blood Resin

Words & Photography / Omreg

人生不過匆匆一甲子,塵世間幾多無法解開的恩怨、無從掙脫的業報,纏繞着每個眾生,然而相比起恆常的物換星移、山河壯闊,又令人頓覺微不足道。在燃點着龍血樹脂的片刻,於一縷輕煙徐徐飄起的瞬間,思緒可幸找到了以上的依據,總算從人的渺小與無力之中,得到了那麼一點解脫。

立於非洲之角以東、印度洋西部的葉門索科特拉島,早自中新世(地質年代新近紀的第一個時期)起就從大陸分離,是以島上長滿了 700 多種極其罕見的動植物種,建構出一個讓人猶如置身外星的異域秘境。而今天不少人常用於靈性修行的龍血樹脂,也就正是來自島上的龍血樹。作為地球上最長壽的樹種之一,龍血樹的最高樹齡可達六千歲,透過如同漏斗一般的奇特形態,讓樹的枝幹引導着雨水流向樹根,從而克服了索科特拉島的熱帶沙漠氣候。而這奇妙的樹種,一旦劃開樹皮後更會分泌出殷紅如血的樹液,凝固後就成為帶着極陽特性的龍血樹脂。

今天,隨着新紀元運動不斷發展,龍血樹脂也成為不少能量學說信徒的寵兒,透過燃香方式的應用,來對應海底輪,以加強自身的生命力量,並淨化環境和情緒。追求身心靈成長的更會以原粒龍血樹脂作為擺件,並不時手持再配合冥想,以平衡中脈七輪的能量。然而從西元一世紀透過葉門的乳香之路引進到地中海的古希臘、古羅馬帝國開始,隨着時間與歷史文化的推移,龍血樹脂在用途、價值上也不斷被賦予新的意義:由作為於古時深受巫師和煉金術士歡迎的火元素魔法樹脂、到宋代蘇頌即在《唐本草》中的相關記載、成為中國專治跌打損傷的活血聖藥「麒麟竭」,甚至還往戰爭中摻一腳,於越戰期間作為止血特效藥之用。

雖然在不同的文化、時代背景中有着不同的功用,但時至今天,索科特拉島上的住民仍舊會將龍血製成染料,或作為治療呼吸道及腸胃問題的藥物。而龍血樹也始終如一地屹立於炎熱、乾旱之地,逢十數年開花一次,沒有催迫自己去追上時代,無語靜默經歷每一個寒暑,始終流出如血的樹液,見證着大自然的宏大,也恍如訴說着:「所有別人曾經賦予的,與我無關。」

從散亂思緒中抖擻回神過來,看着龍血樹脂的焚煙走勢,不禁對天地山河的敬虔純淨肅然起敬。而這夥敬虔純淨的心,或許也就是人由渺小通往宏大的唯一之途。今天置身天地洪爐的人們,則透過重回焚燃脂香,嗅到敬虔的氣息。


Life moves fast and is bound to leave us with unsettled gratitude and resentment, which inescapably serves our own karma. Yet we feel our insignificance when we contemplate the whole universe and the infinite wheel of worlds in the passage of time. Your mind can perhaps find a place of peace the moment when you light up the dragon blood resin incense. As the thin wisp of smoke spirals up into the air, it will, after all, soothe and bring relief to your insecure souls.

Lying east of the Horn of Africa and north-western part of the Indian Ocean, the Yemen Island Socotra was detached from the supercontinent during the Miocene, the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period. This is why the island has such a unique assemblage of more than seven hundred animal and plant species found nowhere else on earth, contributing to its otherworldly landscape. The dragon blood resin that is commonly used in spiritual rituals nowadays is originated from the dragon’s blood trees on the island. As one of the longest-living tree species, the dragon blood trees can live up to six thousand years. With an umbrella-shaped crown, rainwater can effectively funnel through the numerous tree branches to reach the roots. This helps the trees to survive in the tropical desert. When cut open, the bark and leaves would secrete a reddish sap, which will then solidify and become the dragon’s blood resin.

 With the constant development of the new age movement today, the dragon blood resin has become a precious product sought after by many followers of the spiritual energy. By burning incense corresponding to the right chakra points, not only is your life energy boosted, the environment and emotions will also get purified. For people who pursue spiritual growth, they would even place pieces of dragon’s blood resins around in the living space as decoration. When meditating with the resin pieces in hands, one can also balance the seven chakra energy centers of the body. 

Ever since the dragon’s blood resin was introduced via the Frankincense Trail in Yemen into ancient Greece and Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Sea, the substance has been given new usage and new values as time changes. From a substance that was used in medieval rituals of magic and alchemy, to being recorded in the Illustrated Pharmacopoeia compiled by Su Song in the Song Dynasty, dragon blood resin also serves its medical purpose in traditional Chinese medicine to aid blood circulation. There were even records that during the Vietnam war, dragons blood is used internally and externally to stop bleeding, help heal wounds.

Despite its various applications in different cultures and epochs, dragon blood is still used by inhabitants on Socotra island to produce dyes, as well as medications to cure respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. Dragon blood trees are surviving well on the hot and dry land, they even bloom every ten years or so. The trees live peacefully over time and solemnly witness the passing of seasons. The sap it releases is in a drastic red color to remind us of the mighty power of nature. 

Recollecting my wandering mind, I stare at the traces of incense smoke and cannot help being overwhelmed by the purity of nature. This enormous respect for nature is perhaps the key to connect our small existence to the grand scheme of things. Living in a mundane world, we can at least resurrect our spirits through the power of incense. 

Dragon Blood & Rose Cone Incense $168 / 10pcs

Machuland  Unit 601 , 6/F, Island Centre, 470 Reclamation Street, Mongkok