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Author Topic: Moxibustion (burning mugwort) to deter bad spirits  (Read 4407 times)
Winged_Wolf
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« on: March 22, 2002, 06:11:05 »

I don't know, I've burned plenty of mugwort, and sage and cedar smudge sticks, and the sage and cedar were a great deal more effective at clearing patterns.
By the way, IF you can find a place that sells mugwort seeds, and you really like the stuff, it will grow nearly anywhere in the US.  In fact, it's a thriving weed--it gets like 4 or 5 feet tall at the speed of lightning, and blooms fast.  It'll come back year after year, self-seeding, but beware it may spread too of course.  You could have more mugwort than you could ever use...


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Arulok
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2002, 10:17:51 »

In ancient time, before Chinese Medicine evolved, the reason for dis-ease was often invasion/possession of bad spirits.  The use of the acupuncture needle was designed to 'stab', 'injure' the neg. that had attached itself.  Once gone, the normal flow of energy corrected itself.  Today this is looked upon with disdain, but traditional treatment was very shamanistic in nature.  I say this because moxibustion is used in a variety of treatments, and combined with its strong scent likely falls into a similar catagory as garlic (as Robert mentions).  Moxa comes in a variety of forms, but the sticks are the easiest to use.  I haven't used it to repel spirits, but it does clear a room in a similar way to smudging!!!

Michael

 
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SteppenWolf
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2002, 08:33:11 »

Actually I am growing mugwort and it seems very hard to kill as I forgot about it for ages.

So what's a cedar smudge?  I've found native american sage or sage/cedar smugdes for sale on the net, but can you get them only in the US or are they available in Australia and NZ as well?  Better still - how do I make them as I grow lots of herbs.  And do you just smoke it like a moxa stick around the house?

Cheers!

Edited by - SteppenWolf on 26 March 2002  10:35:29
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2002, 08:33:11 »



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Winged_Wolf
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2002, 05:55:49 »

They appear to be a mix of sage stalks and cedar twigs.  I don't know about acquiring cedar outside of the US--that's something you'd have to check locally.
Anyhow, the stalks are bundled into a smudge stick about 4 or 5 inches long, and about 1 to 1 1/2 inches around, tied in two or three places with cotton string.  You simply light the end, and it should smolder and smoke--I expect you use it like a moxa stick at that point.  (I have to admit I've never seen a moxa stick. ).

--Winged Wolf
"I will stare at the sun until its light doesn't blind me, and I will walk into the fire, 'til its heat doesn't burn me, and I will feed the fire...."
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jo
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2002, 08:44:25 »

Just for the record, moxa sticks ARE different from the bundles of sage, cedar or sweet grass. They are a wonderful additive to acupuncture.
   Of course sage, cedar and sweetgrass are also great. I love burning them.It's easy to grow them in NZ and Australia. I grow them in my garden in Melbourne.

jo
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SteppenWolf
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2002, 21:57:43 »

That's nice to hear but dammit I can't seem to find anyone to supply sweetgrass locally...  I guess it's just not a big thing in New Zealand.

Problem with moxa sticks is that your house smells REALLY smokey after you've smoldered them a bit around the place.  Nothing like incense at all - more like pot if anything.  I hope these sage/cedar smudges smell better!!!

Edited by - SteppenWolf on 29 March 2002  23:58:11
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2002, 21:57:43 »



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jo
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2002, 02:38:05 »

Steppenwolf I have an idea for you. When I lived in Sydney (not been in Melb. long enough to hunt out a similar outlet yet) I avoided buying the sage bundles in New Age shops because of the expense.(At the moment here, I'm growing my own sage and sweetgrass...and happen to have cedar trees growing in the backwayd as well).Anwyay, I discovered a huge  Italian food wholesale market and they sold dried sage ..in the form of full-leafed branches...in enormous plastic bags for practically zilch. They'd obviously been picked, dried out and stuffed into the bags. I know it's not the same as growing your own, but it's a million times cheaper than buying in New Age shops. It'd probably be worth looking up Yellow Pages for wholesale Italian delis.

jo
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Winged_Wolf
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2002, 05:28:49 »

Unfortunately sage and cedar smudges also smell exactly like pot.
Hey, one time when I was pulled over for a taillight out, the officer looks in my car, and starts staring, and he goes "is there anything else you want to talk to me about".
I just looked at him blankly in utter incomprehension, until eventually I followed his gaze to my car's ash tray--where sat a partially burned smudge stick.  My eyes widened, and I just blurted it out "it's a sage and cedar smudge stick!"
Whatever he thought of that, it seemed to satisfy him.
So, I suppose it not only smells like pot, but apparently looks like it as well....


--Winged Wolf
"I will stare at the sun until its light doesn't blind me, and I will walk into the fire, 'til its heat doesn't burn me, and I will feed the fire...."
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--Winged Wolf
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"I will stare at the sun until its light doesn't blind me, and I will walk into the fire, 'til its heat doesn't burn me, and I will feed the fire...."
jo
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2002, 20:18:15 »

Was amused by your experience with the police officer Winged Wolf. UUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMM...I want to share a similar funny experience and I'm just hummmmmming and haaaaahing whether to put this "out there" in public. Oh well, why not? I'm sure prison officials don't click on to this website.(Oh dear, I hope I'm not going to cop some repercussion over this.......) Anyway, when I was in Sydney and doing some work in a Maximum Security prison there, I told the inmates about burning sage for purifying. I had already used it, with permission from a very open-minded Education Officer, to cleanse some "dungeon cells."(They were cells underneath the ground. When the first women convicts were deported from England out here, the sailing ship went up the Parramatta River and moored on the banks of what is known now as Parramatta. Deemed unfit to be seen by good, wholesome folks, these women convicts were taken along an underground tunnel to some dungeons underneath this prison. Here they remained, often shackled to the rock walls. To cut a long story short, the girls at this prison when I was there,were told they could open up the dungeons to do pottery classes. but they reckoned the dungeons were haunted by these earlier women convicts and were too frightened. But they DID want to go ahead with the pottery classes. In my meditation classes, we'd been talking about how the Native American Indians saged areas to clear away evil spirit etc. So the girls decided if we could sage the dungeons, they'd go ahead with their pottery classes. This we did and all was fine.)Anyway, the same enlightened Education Officer operated out of the maximum security prison and I gained permission to bring sage in, to show the girls in there how to "cleanse" and area and we embarked on a project studying the spiritual culture of Native American Indians, Aborigines etc. But I was never allowed to leave anything behind. Even when I brought the materials in to make Talking Sticks, the girls weren't allowed to actually keep them.Anyway, now the girls decided they wanted to sage their own personal cells.I was not allowed into this area and I was forbidden to hand over even a tiny twig of sage. But one day, i smuggled in some very small bundles of sage and cedar and the girls hid them in their bras.They'd decided to sage their cells much later that night. They were allowed to smoke cigarettes so planned to all light up their ciggies at the same time and do a quick "clearing" at a time when minimum staff parolled the area.But the smell of sage and cedar rapidly overwhelmed the smell of the ciggies and every inmate in that block was hauled out and given an on-the-spot urine test for marijouna.Because of the officers' mistake, the girls were laughing uncontrollably, which in turn had the wardens convinced they were all as high as kites. They even had the sniffer dogs brought in. The more action there was, the more the girls laughed and the more the officers believed it was dope. It's a wonder I didn't lose my job. I think I was protected by the open-minded education officer. So yes, Winged Wolf, I could relate to your story 100%... altho I think a dedicated pot smoker might not concur that sage smells  EXACTLY like  pot.

jo
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jo
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2002, 20:25:12 »

Wasn't clear in my last post that the clearing of the dungeons was at a minimum security prison at Parramatta and the incident with burning sage in cells was at another prison ...maximum security... situated at nearby Silverwater. (Same education officer for both prisons.)

jo
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SteppenWolf
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2002, 20:53:01 »

That's a very funny police story!  And amazing the shenanigans you get up to Jo...

Ah well, it sounds like moxa is just as good and as I said the sticks are dirt cheap at the local Chinese medicine store.

And I agree, I actually don't think they smell much like pot (which is pretty weird smelling) but are just smokey.  For some reason a friend thought my house smelled of pot.  And I don't think we have many bad spirits around here anyway, but it's always good to know what to do just in case!

Cheers!  
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Winged_Wolf
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2002, 05:36:59 »

It's quite true, they don't smell exactly like pot, but without a relatively recent comparison, it's easy for someone to confuse the two.  The smell is somewhat similar.


--Winged Wolf
"I will stare at the sun until its light doesn't blind me, and I will walk into the fire, 'til its heat doesn't burn me, and I will feed the fire...."
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--Winged Wolf
http://www.lulu.com/wingedwolfpsion
"I will stare at the sun until its light doesn't blind me, and I will walk into the fire, 'til its heat doesn't burn me, and I will feed the fire...."
SteppenWolf
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2002, 03:08:16 »

Wow!  I just tried lighting some dried purple sage leaves which I'd made tea out of and I was amazed how well they burn and smoke.  Incredible!  Each little leaf just burns slowly and thoroughly.

But smudges are said to be of sage stalks, so I was wondering - are the stalks with leaves ok to use?  Or shouldn't the leaves be involved?

Cheers!  
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Winged_Wolf
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2002, 12:22:54 »

Sure, you could....but dried sage is crunchy and crumbly...  The smudge sticks are tightly bundled.  I'm not sure how you'd prevent the leaves from turning to powder if you tried to bundle them in.


--Winged Wolf
"I will stare at the sun until its light doesn't blind me, and I will walk into the fire, 'til its heat doesn't burn me, and I will feed the fire...."
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--Winged Wolf
http://www.lulu.com/wingedwolfpsion
"I will stare at the sun until its light doesn't blind me, and I will walk into the fire, 'til its heat doesn't burn me, and I will feed the fire...."
SteppenWolf
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2002, 10:44:56 »

Nah - my dried sage leaves (ie left lying around in the kitchen for a day or so) are not so dry so they would be fine.  Perhaps after a month or more they'd get pretty crappy, but I reckon if people pick them and burn them within a matter of days they'd be fine.  Just made me wonder why they always sayd "sage stalks" - but perhaps this is exaclt why - because the leaves get too crumbly after a long while....
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SteppenWolf
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2002, 23:25:11 »

Gre!

Anyone heard of burning moxa sticks to keep bad spirits away?  

A Chinese herbalist mentioned the idea to me yesterday when I was buying some moxa sticks for a dream pillow - as the sticks are the cheapest way to buy dried mugwort (one of the more amazing and lesser-known herbs).  

The idea was that tastes and herbs are divided into hot and cold, and spirits prefer cold - so burning mugwort (moxa) is heating and supposed to create an atmosphere that spirits just don't dig.

Take a peek:
http://www.ancientway.com/Pages/Moxabustion.html
(Note that the individual sticks are cheap as!)

Also found this on another page about artemisia (referred to as "wild sage") - ie Artemisia argyii or Artemisia vulgaris, both being common mugwort:
Sweetgrass... was used for perfume and was burned as an incense in any ceremony or ritual to induce the presence of good influences or benevolent powers, while wild sage, a species of Artemisia, was burned to exorcise evil influences or malevolent powers.
- taken from http://www.itmonline.org/arts/borneol.htm (search for "demon chasing")


Cheers!
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