Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Universal Prayer - Timeless GOOD SHEPHERD Prayer

Where have all my SVD mentors gone?
Dedicated to my SVD*Mentors at Colegio de la Immaculada Concepcion (CIC 1950's), now Divine Word College of Vigan, on The Good Shepherd Sunday, April 22, 2018 (update of May 7, 2017 article)
*Societas Verbi Divini (divine word missionaries)

The Good Shepherd and Children

Where have all my SVD mentors gone?
since then a long time ago. 
Fathers Liesring, Creder, Salzman, Guianan -
guru, guide, my heroes too.
Oh, I found them again in the hearts of children
I watched as they grew.  (AVR)

The Universal Prayer
by Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

FATHER of all! in every age,
In every clime adored,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!

Thou great First Cause, least understood,
Who all my sense confined
To know but this, that thou art good,
And that myself am blind;

Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
To see the good from ill;
And, binding nature fast in fate,
Left free the human will:

What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than hell to shun,
That, more than heaven pursue.

What blessings thy free bounty gives
Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when man receives,
To enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to earth’s contracted span
Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think thee Lord alone of man,
When thousand worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land
On each I judge thy foe.

If I am right thy grace impart
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, O, teach my heart
To find that better way! * 

Save me alike from foolish pride
And impious discontent
At aught thy wisdom has denied,
Or aught thy goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another’s woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quickened by thy breath;
O, lead me wheresoe’er I go,
Through this day’s life or death!

This day be bread and peace my lot;
All else beneath the sun,
Thou knowest if best bestowed or not,
And let thy will be done.

To thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar, earth, sea, skies,
One chorus let all Being raise,
All Nature incense rise!

The Good Shepherd and the Faithful

*Stanza I always include in my daily prayer. AVR

Earth Day 2018: Apostles for the Environment

In celebration of Earth Day 2018
Update of Earth Day 2016: Apostles for the Environment
 Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog []

Graduate students in Environmental Science pose with their professor ( second from right) on a field lecture on the university campus.

UST Botanical Garden is the oldest plant sanctuary in Manila, originally UST Pharmacy Garden.  

Apostles for the Environment

1. When spring comes without stir, “don't go gentle into the night,” rise and find out where have all the birds gone that herald the new season, and the new beginning of life.

2. When the monsoon ends too soon, summer sets early, the land scorched, the rivers and ponds dried up, warn of the coming of a severe El Niño, a cyclical phenomenon.

3. When algal bloom in make-believe proportion spreads in lakes, sound the alarm of fish kill coming in order to avert losses and hunger, and to save the ecosystem. 

4. When people move to cities in exodus, convince them, advise government, it is a tender trap that takes them away from the real Good Life on the countryside.

5. When clouds simply pass over the landscape, take the lead to reforest the hills and mountains, restore the watershed with a million and one trees.

6. When flood sweeps the land taking with it lives and properties, and eroding soil fertility, be part of rehabilitation and planning; believe that flood can be tamed.

7. When you find an abundance of lichens of different types on trees and rocks, and fireflies at night, assure residents of the pristine condition of their environment, and help them in preserving it.

8. When and where wildlife areas are shrinking, backyards and idle lots can be developed as alternative wildlife sanctuary, initiate this as a community project.

9. When asked what vegetables are safe from pesticide residues and chemicals from fertilizers, promote native species like malunggay, kamote tops, gabi, saluyot, and the like, they are also more nutritious and easy to grow. And promote natural or organic farming, too.

10. When asked of Nature's way of maintaining the ecosystem, explain the role of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms, composting, symbiosis, and the like.  These  natural processes and cycles have been taking place even before the arrival of the human species.

11. When additives are found in food - MSG, Nutrasweet or any artificial sugar, salitre in sausage, sulfite in white sugar, melamin in milk, formalin in fish, warn the public against taking these, initiate through legislation and campaign to ban these additives.

12. When children spend too much time before the TV, on computers, and other gadgets, offer alternatives more favorable to their upbringing and well-being by getting close to nature like camping, gardening and other outdoor activities.

13. When old folks talk about traditional wisdom and values, demonstrate native skills, listen and translate them into useful applications, disseminate these in school and through extension. 

14. When animals are restless, reptiles and rodents coming out of their burrows and dens, fish attempting to escape, fowls noisy, suspect the coming of a force majeure such as  earthquake.  Be alert to face possible consequences, and to extend assistance.  

15. When epidemic threatens an area, say bird flu, hepatitis, dengue, cholera,  initiate community cooperation with health and other institutions to arrest the spread of these diseases.

16. When a child has little concern about the environment, teach him, guide him to explore the beautiful world of nature, and make him realize his importance and his role in maintaining a balanced environment.  

17. When there is a worthy movement to save the environment, such as Clean and Green, Piso sa Pasig, or any local campaign, lead and extend your full support.

18. When there are farms and fishponds neglected or abandoned, find out how these are put back to their productive conditions, or converted into a wildlife sanctuary.

19. When at rest or in confinement for health reason, explore natural remedies with herbals, through  pet  therapy, aromatherapy, and other proven remedies, in  consultation with your doctor.  

20. When in doubt if civilization is disguised evil, which is the root of war, poverty, environmental degradation, and the like, remember that it is also civilization that is responsible in building the great institutions of mankind, so that it is the obligation of each member of society to maintain the integrity of these institutions – indeed a noble mission to lead.

21.  When appreciating the vastness of creation such as the seas, valleys, mountains, and entertain the idea that their resources are unlimited, view these in their  microcosm like a pond or hill - for what can happen to this minuscule could be the same on a larger scale and proportion – be the prophet, but not of doom.

22. When you shall have found success in scholarship, wealth, power, family, etc., the task of integrating all these for the purpose of sharing with those in dire need, and for posterity and sustainability, becomes a greater challenge, indeed  this is the price of success. 
23. When devoting your time and energy and talents to the service of community and environment as dictated by your profession and as a good citizen, do not neglect your obligation to yourself and family, and by so doing, build a model on which you are looked up to by those you serve.
24. When hope dims in this troubled world, with continued disregard to protect Mother Earth, human abuse and indifference in pursuit of economic gains and affluence, violation of order and harmony of society, degradation of values, “don’t go gentle into the night” – be the sentinel ever vigilant, the guardian ever righteous, for opportunity awaits you in your greatest hour. 

25. When on a fine Sunday morning you hear birds in the trees, fish splashing in a pond, and plants blooming, say a prayer of praise and thanksgiving in music and verse, painting, or simply through reflection of the magnificence of creation. ~

University of Santo Tomas – The Graduate School First Semester, 2012-2013
Environmental Science – Professor: Dr Abe V Rotor   
1. ADIVOSO, Angelica Cyril Cruz  “AC” Faculty, College of San Benildo, Cainta, Rizal,

2. ARENAS, Minerva C “Mines”  Faculty, Nueva Ecija High School, Cabanatuan City

3. CALIPJO, Arleen M “Arlene”  Faculty, Cavite State University, Silang, Cavite          
4. CHAO, George Y “George” Faculty, College of Engineering, UST

5. DE GUZMAN,  Romualdo B Jr “Jun” Faculty, Bataan Peninsular State University

6. DELIMA, Precila C “Precy” Faculty, Isabela State University,  Cauayan City, Isabela

7. DEMAUSA, Mary Joy C “Mary Joy” Staff Laboratory, University of the East, Caloocan

8. MANUBAY, Frederick Ray A “Fred”  Faculty, High School,  UST

9. ORDOñEZ, Maria Manuela P  “Marie” Faculty, San Sebastian College,  Recoletos, Cavite City

10. PANGANIBAN, Citadel  Faculty, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Batangas

11. SANTOS, Hetdiliza  A “Hydie” Faculty, Navotas National  High School
12. VILLANUEVA, Laarni M “Lani”  Faculty, Lyceum of the Phil U,  Batangas

NOTE: To my students in particular, please recruit twelve (12) followers from your family, community and organization, who believe and are willing to carry on the tasks we have set. Send the list with basic information through or through the Comments of this Blog, or through Mail. These 25 tenets serve as guide in your recruitment and selection.  This invitation is open to all viewers here and abroad.

Autumn in a Forest in acrylic by AV Rotor 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Bes - Country Church Guitarist

Bes - Country Church Guitarist 
 Through his music he leads people in prayer, exults them to look up to heaven, never in mendicancy, passivity, and self pity. Church music is thanksgiving. It is exultation to be alive.  It is sharing most of all.  We are reminded that one cannot go to heaven alone, or  gain favor from God without others deserving the same - through  the goodness of each one. 
Dr Abe V Rotor
Dawn and church music: scene from the author's residence
 Vicente, Ilocos Sur 

I wake up and meet the dawn from my window - a silhouette of an old church, some tree tops, and the Cordillera mountain in the distance.  Vernacular psalms in Ilocano accompanied by guitar come piping through the stained glass windows of the church.

It is spectacular, a holy scene to start the day. 

Go, join the faithful singing, participate in the offering in chants, traditional and new church songs in  beautiful accompaniment on the electric guitar played like a hybrid of the organ, the harp, and the traditional Spanish guitar, with muffled bass of the  viola. No other instrument today surpasses the electric guitar in versatility and popularity in public concerts, particularly in open space filled with a huge crowd.  

But the man leading the faithful has tamed the electric guitar into a solemn and dignified instrument with a touch of the classical church organ in the time of Johann Sebastian Bach, and the historic bamboo organ at Las Piñas Rizal.

Bes, as he is popularly known, is  a scion of well-known musicians of the place, principally professionals in later life: Natividad the teacher was an an accomplished pianist, Antonio the engineer, Nicholas the reverend priest, and Elias the businessman, were all expert violinists.  Elias was Bes' father. 

I remember, as a child, I used to go to the ancestral home of the Rosals which was in the same neighborhood as ours, to watch and listen to the family quartet ensemble. I would then join their parents - Lolo "Escribano" and Lola Matilde with their guests and a good number of passersby as audience. instantly converting the spacious second floor of their colonial house into a concert hall of sort.  

Through its wide open kapis windows spilled the melodious compositions of Beethoven, Liszt, Mozart, famous Filiino composers like Santiago, Molina and Abelardo, and those by home-bred Maestro Selmo Pelayre, a contemporary composer of Ilocano songs. Maestro Selmo was my teacher in Grade 6 at the town's public elementary school, and my tutor in violin. (Visit Maestro Selmo Pelayre, San Vicente Series in this Blog)

That was a generation ago.  Our town's vanguards in the musical world are gone, and few of us in my generation, more so in Bes', inherited their art and vocation. Bes is a rare disciple. I say disciple because his music is an  answer to a calling that seems to be losing a rightful place in our postmodern lives, fading out of place in modern music - the music of spirituality.

But to Bes - and his kind - keeping with religious tradition has been a long climb and wait.  He remains humble and simply declines any comparison with popular artists, or association of his music with the classics and virtuoso compositions.  Church music is simple yet meaningful, soulful, ascendant and universal. It emanates and grows in the mind, heart and spirit,  flowing out altogether as one into a distinct form we call psalm. It is a story of man's holy relationship with his Creator in the imagery of Michelangelo's mural on the ceiling of Sistine Chapel. (photo)

I am reminded of the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein in The Sound of Music, a neat and simple composition of basic notes, in like manner the bible for one, is a composition of simple words. I would add, the masterpieces of  a  Da Vinci, Monet, van Gogh, our own  Amorsolo, Luna et al were painted from just three primary colors - red, blue and yellow in an almost limitless combinations. 

Sing with your heart's content in DoReMi, a solfio of the governess Maria to the seven Von Trapp children reverberating across the majestic  Alps.  Write your thoughts and ideas like Henry David Thoreau by the Walden Pond  and make a song out of some passages like lyrics.  Paint the rainbow above your head and sing Over the Rainbow with seven colors.

The impact of Bes' accompaniment is that the faithful have no reason not to sing at all.  It  keeps the faithful awake, it takes out the feeling of lethargy in those who are used to going to mass as mere personal duty or obligation, vanity notwithstanding. 

To Bes, every one during the mass must sing - young and old, singer or amateur, even those with imperfect pitch. (They will ultimately adjust.)  Singing church songs is easier than videoke singing.  Besides, you always get rewarded by the Lord. Just be keen and follow Bes' accompaniment. The choir leader, like a conductor in an orchestra, unifies the singing. Be attentive and active.  Be a living element in a kind of collective consciousness, vibrant and spontaneous.  Spontaneity is an important element of spiritual music. 

To the scholar, studying church music leads to a biblical origin. Psalm 5 laid down a common denominator of worship in its h
umblest and basic aspect. David played the flute and composed Psalm 5, summed up, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."  I can imagine the pastoral ambiance of David's music.

On the contrary, Peter cried “Lord, save me!” as he began to sink one stormy night 
at sea and Christ took his hand. Music calms down fear, mellows rage, strengthens bond of master and disciple.

Music is experience.  Experience is not only the best teacher, it is a bridge, a bridge of reality and idealism, knowledge and skill, theory and practice, the self with others.
Music of the people is not composed on a swivel chair, but in the field (Planting Rice), on the sea (Rowing Song), in war (The Drummer Boy), along a river (Mutya ng Pasig), 
in remembering a loved one (Maala-ala Mo Kaya), in professing deep love (Minamahal Kita.).  

St Cecilia, patron saint of musicians

Church music is a holy experience and alliance with our Creator. We can be in our own right in simple ways a David or a Peter, or a Cecilia or a Therese - well-known musicians of the church. And countless beautiful souls whose music they handed down to us. Renaissance owes its rapid spread to all parts of the globe to music, generating subsequently, the great classical compositions, led by Handel's Messiah Chorus, Johann Sebastian Bach organ music in huge volumes, Beethoven's Hallelujah Chorus, and our very own Francisco Santiago's Ave Maria.

Bes may not be a moralist but through his music he leads people to their knees in prayer, exults them to look up to heaven, never in mendicancy, passivity, and self pity. Church music is thanksgiving. It is exultation to be alive.  It is sharing most of all.  We are reminded that one cannot go to heaven alone, or  gain favor from God without others deserving the same - through  the goodness of each one. 

There is no holy mass without Bes, literally speaking. Every day, twice a day, he is there anticipating the start of the holy celebration, keen at every part of the mass, leading the faithful, making them truly participants through songs that fill the huge 17th century Baroque church of one of the most learned and miraculous saints, San Vicente Ferrer. Without sign of fatigue or weariness Bes leaves the church last, after the faithful have gone.

But his music remains in an  inner sanctuary, in the faithful who pray and sing as one lively and harmonious choir.~
San Vicente (Ilocos Sur) Parish Church built in the 17th century.  Donato "Bes" Rosal, is the church guitarist in this church for a decade now.  Below, Bes.takes a break after mass.  Here he poses before a wall mural and collection of paintings by the author at the latter's 

Among the church songs Bes popularized is a composition by Rev Fr Flor Escalona of Santiago, Ilocos Sur, O Katalekmi, San Vicente.  It is Bes imprimatur as a church musician. 

O Katalekmi, San Vicente
(Oh, Our Savior, San Vicente)

Nabilegka O, katalekmi
dandanunenda daytoy ilimi
kakabsat mi a nagapu't
kabangbang nga ili-ili.

O katalekmi, San Vicente
ikakaasinakam kadi
iti Dios nga Amami,
Iti Dios nga Amami. 

Naidumduma, naipamatmat
pannakabalin a naited kenka,
innakam tinulungan
iti ingkam pagsayaatan.

Inispalnakam ti pagpeggadan
ti bilegmo impariknam 
ar-ararawmi't ingka pinatgan
San Vicente dinakam binaybay-an. ~ 

-.Song for San Vicente
By Rev Fr Flor Escalona of Santiago, Ilocos Sur
Bes served under four parish priests  in a row, serving the longest under Rev Fr Alfredo Ancheta whose interest in music greatly influenced Bes' career as church musician. Bes trains and conducts and a choir of the Integrated Youth Ministry of 50 members.  He is happily married to Josie Silvano with whom they are blessed with two children. Bes has other talents as electrician, welder, and art painter, which other than his music, make him popular and respected not only in San Vicente, but in other places through balikbayans and tourists who come to ask for intercession and pay tribute to San Vicente Ferrer, particularly on every Tuesday. ~

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Condiments that enhance sexual vitality - Pandan Mabango, Luya, Paminta, Linga et al

The proven effects of herbals in improving one's sex life persist for a long period, and may be carried on in later years. The fast-working drugs, on the other hand, tend to suppress only the symptoms rather than treat the root problem.

Dr Abe V Rotor

While immediate effects may be produced in our bodies by purified drugs such as Viagra, herbal treatment may take some time before one sees positive results. The latter's advantage is that the body's system can be reached more deeply by the vital components of these herbals, resulting in the development of a more lasting health.

Pandan-Mabango - Pandanus odoratissimus

1. Pandan-Mabango or Fragrant Screw Pine
Family: Pandanaceae
Scientific Name: Pandanus odoratissimus Linn F.

Traditional Use: a decoction of the leaves is taken as aphrodisiac. Oil extracted from the leaves is a stimulant.

Phytochemicals: Aromatic essential oil

Other Properties/Actions: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, purgative for leprosy

Plant Description: Much-branched shrub to small tree with numerous branchlike stilt roots. Leaves are crowded towards the ends of branches, leathery, stiff, becoming pendant at the apex, swordlike, keeled. Male spadices are 10 cm long and fragrant. Female inflorescence is globose. Fruit is an oblong or globose syncarp.

Plant Description: Linga is an erect bushy annual with densely hairy stem and broad, often lobed lower leaves and more or less lanceolate upper leaves. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pink, and mauve flowers. The seeds, small and numerous, are contained in hairy, oblong and deeply grooved capsules with triangular beaks.

2. Luya or Ginger
Family: Zingiberaceae
Scientific Name: Zingiber officinale Roscoe
Synonyms: Amomum zingiber L., Zingiber blancoi Hassk.

Traditional Use: Tahu or salabat prepared from the rhizome is the native popular beverage among Filipinos. Fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced or grated, is added to stews, sauces and Oriental Dishes. The ground root is also used in making ginger bread, cakes, biscuits. It is also used in wine, liquor and cordials. The root has a reputation in Asian medicine as a digestive aid, stimulant and diuretic.


Other Properties/Actions: Analgesic, anti-emetic, anti-flatulent, anti-microbial, anti-pyretic, anti-rheumatic, antitussive, cardiotonic, carminative, diaphoretic, revulsive, rubefacient, sialogogue, stimulant, stomachic; for asthma, colds and coughs, colic, diarrhea, dyspepsia, indigestion.

Plant Description: Tender, creeping perennial with thick, aromatic, fibrous, knotty, buff-colored tuberous roots that produce erect stems bearing long, narrow to lance-shaped leaves. Sterile, fragrant, white flowers with purple streaks appear rarely.

3. Paminta or black pepper
Family: Piperaceae
Scientific Name: Piper nigrum Linn
Synonym: P. glabrispicum C.D.C.
Other Common Names: Pimienta, pepper

Traditional Use: the use of pepper as a spice or condiment for flavoring dates from early times. It is also used in large-scale preservation of food (e.g. sausage-making).


Other Properties/Actions: Abortifacient, anti-arthritic, anti-bacterial, anti-periodic, anti-vomitive, astringent, carminative, counter-irritant, digerstive and anti-flatulent aid, diuretic, embroactive for sprains, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant, stomachic; for colds and asthma, constipation, dyspepsia, nausea and vertigo, gonorrhea, hemorrhoids, intermittent fevers, throat affections, scabies, mouthwash in toothaches.

Plant Description: Climbing herb with strong, woody, twining stems that bear broad, oval, glossy, dark-green leaves having prominent veins. White flowers clusters appear in summer, followed by aromatic wrinkled fruits that are rounded and crowded in pendulous.

4. Linga or Sesame
Family: Pedaliaceae
Scientific Name: Sesamum oriental Linn
Other Common Names: Langis, Lenga, gin-gely-oil plant, langsa, beniseed
Traditional Use:
 The oil is used mainly for cooking and as an emollient. A decoction of the leaves or the seed mixed with linseed is taken as an aphrodisiac.


Other Properties/Actions: anti-malaria, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, emmenagogue, lactagogue, laxative, nutritive; for coughs, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, snake bites, regulation of menstrual cycle.

Other plant condiments with aphrodisiac properties:

  1. Balanoi - Ocimum basilicum Linn
  2. Bawang or Garlic - Allium sativum Linn
  3. Dilau - Curcuma longa Linn
  4. Kintsay - Apium graveolens Linn
  5. Sibuyas or onion - Allium cepa Linn
*Philippine Herbs to Increase Sexual Vitality, Rotor AV, Ontengco D de C, and RM Del Rosario, 2000.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Surreal Art of Make-Believe

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
     A world of make-believe. Photo by Miss Iz Hilario

Oh, art, what is art, when deceived
     of reality in a living world,
when fantasy is reality conceived 
     of beauty in color and word? 

Where has the old familiar pond gone,
     willows hiding its island and shore, 
fish bubbling, splashing in the sun   
     to greet the day and sky's azure?

Ask the doomed ducks and their offspring -
     of what use a pond dies for, 
the artist surreal in thoughts and being, 
     who claims to be the Creator. ~

Friendly Monster

Dr Abe V Rotor

You hide in the dark and deep,
Then come out into the open;
You sail the seas along with ships;
Or stay lurking at the bend.

Seemingly you're tame and kind,
As you roam free in the wild,
Your music from pipe and lyre,
Tempting, lovely and mild.

Sometimes you come to our call
To scare naughty children,
To temper them brave and tall,
In finding you their friend. ~

Home, Sweet Home with Nature, AVR

Friday, April 13, 2018

Panacea from Doctrine of Signatures

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog

"I swear, calling upon Apollo the physician and Asclepius, Hygeia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses as witnesses, that I will fulfill this oath and this contract according to my ability and judgment."
                                                             --   .Opening of the Hippocratic Oath*
Panacea (Greek Πανάκεια, Panakeia) iGreek mythology was a goddess of universal remedy who brought about the concept of the panacea in medicine, a substance meant to cure all diseases. Figuratively, the term is also used  in solving a huge problem. 
 Panacea (center) administering medicine to a baby .

Examples of Panacea medicine  laid down the foundation of the Doctrine of Signature which became popular in Medieval Times or the Dark Ages. This is used in folk medicine even today. Snakes will make you aggressive, its poison will shield your body from disease, harm and extreme weather conditions. Cobra is a popular brand of products claimed to restore health. Rhino horn is elixir, it hardens your muscles and extremities. Liverwort (a bryophyte, relative of the moss) cures liver ailment. Ginseng root resembling a nude is aphrodisiac.

I can imagine how lizards and spiders transfer their power to man. I wonder if we get the agility of sharks and eels by eating a lot of them.

Then there is the belief of maternal impressions - pinaglihi-an. We can't explain the origin of looks and abnormalities through maternal impressions as we cannot scientifically attribute well-being to parallelism.

Both Belief in Maternal Impressions and Doctrine of Signatures have long been discarded by modern medicine and science. If however, there are testimonies to the contrary - there are other factors responsible, among them is faith. Faith is the fountain of hope, respect, self-esteem, and reverence to a Higher Principle. ~

Beware of promo products claiming wide range of healing almost to miracle heights. DOH does not endorse such products - from milk formula to multi-vitamins - as claimed. In fact, many of these are prohibited, but are clandestinely sold under various names. Cases of permanent disabilities and even death are not uncommon, such as the toxic effect of mahogany seeds, and the growth retarding effect of mimosin in ipil-ipil seeds adulterated in coffee. 
* Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. In its original form, it requires a new physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards. a new physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards.