Sunday, September 26, 2004


Yesterday I was out front moving old deck scraps toward the roadside and in the process gathering leaves of yomogi (mugwort; Artemisia vulgaris, a member of the wormwood family) for an experiment in making mogusa. I'll dry it and then try to make that frothy duff I've seen it be, in the long thick sticks of the mogusa Echo used on my sciatica some years ago, when it felt wonderful on that long, deep, ancient ache and was very healing, both in fact and feeling, since it alleviated the pain in a very authoritative way, as though that certain pain and that particular warmth had known each other very well from long before I came along.

That mogusa was packaged in sort of a well-packed-- but still soft-- stick form, a long punk about an inch in diameter. The end was lit to a steady glow and touched to a wet biwa (loquat) leaf laid upon the affected area. Odd as it seems, the heat generated by the mogusa stick is very kind, and doesn't burn or scald the skin through the leaf, since the glow burns back into the punk and away from the skin upon contact with the wet leaf, sending a mild burst of heat into the skin. Similarly, I also used pinches of mogusa duff atop slices of ginger or garlic. Nothing like a little ginger or garlic steam to let those aches know who's boss.

I don't need moxibustion at the moment, but like all beings who move through time I undoubtedly will, so it would be nice to know how to make mogusa. Anyway, I'm curious as to how that fine fluff is made, and the wherewithal is free, yomogi growing in tons up here on the mountain. Also a bag of the leaves is exceedingly great in a hot bath, as I am.


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