After the suicide of a loved one, can shamans staunch the pain of those left behind?

After the suicide of a loved one, can shamans staunch the pain of those left behind?With hopes of employing folk religion in providing relief to bereaved families of those who have committed suicide, the Japanese government has begun funding research on shamans known as "itako."

The study was launched this past August by a group of researchers including Aomori University of Health and Welfare Professor Hirohide Fujii, with funding provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

Breaking Out: Bear in Heaven

Breaking Out: Bear in HeavenThree years ago Adam Wills was working as a motion graphics artist for a film company and wondering how to kick-start his music career. Looking for some kind of guidance, he contacted a shaman to lead him through a sweat lodge ceremony in upstate New York. "I went two weekends in a row to a teepee, and it was like a one-way ticket through 20 years' worth of meditation," he says. "It was really beautiful. Then, a few weeks later, I got fired."

Medical Marijuana: The Pros and Cons of Legal Cannabis

Medical Marijuana: The Pros and Cons of Legal CannabisWith eight states looking to legalize medical marijuana through legislative initiatives or ballot measures this November (Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Dakota)(1), I wanted to review some of the pros and cons, as I see them, of marijuana use and abuse.

On this day: Aborigines get Uluru back

On this day: Aborigines get Uluru backLYING AT THE PHYSICAL and cultural heart of our nation, the great monolith of Uluru is sacred to Australia's Aborigines for its place in the Tjukurpa - the 'creation period' - as well as a mecca for trourists drawn to this most iconic feature of the outback.

Twenty-five years ago, on 26 October 1985, it was the focus of a ceremony held to transfer custodianship of Uluru and neighbouring Kata Tjuta to its Anangu traditional owners. The ceremony, performed in the shadow of the immense rock, remains one of the most significant moments in the Aboriginal land-rights movement.

Winfrey to promote Aboriginal art

Winfrey to promote Aboriginal artOne of the secret destinations on Oprah Winfrey's Australian tour is a stunning collection of Aboriginal rock art that has been seen by only a few non-indigenous people.

Plans are under way to show Winfrey's worldwide audience an Aboriginal shelter in a remote part of the Northern Territory's west Arnhem Land, which is only accessible by helicopter.