At this time of year, one of our most beloved dreaming herbs is coming into full potency, springing up along roadsides the length and breadth of the land.
By mid to late August, the active part of the plant-associated to vital dreaming is rising up from the soils, through the stalks, and travelling into the leaves.
Mugwort is a witch’s herb, a stirrer of visions, and an opener of portals. It’s long been connected to dreaming, intuition, and visioning.
Taken as tea before sleep, she can fling the doorways wide open into deep and vivid dream realms.
She’s often found growing along borders, at the edge of things, by gates and styles, along the edges of roads, As an ally that can assist you to cross the border from wakefulness into the dreaming lands, her growing place feels very apt.
There’s an old saying the mugwort will remain hidden from you until it’s time for you to get to know her. When that time comes, a mist of unseeing clears and suddenly she’s everywhere.
Her Latin name is Artemisia, after Artemis- the goddess of the moon and protector of childbirth. The silvery underside of mugwort’s leaves shine like moonlight on a dark night and is a beautiful reminder of her connection to the moon and all its mysteries.
Mugwort tea was also traditionally used as a women’s herb. It increases circulation, warms up the uterus, and moves the blood through to ease cramping. It’s definitively not suitable to take if you’re pregnant.
WORKING WITH MUGWORT
Mugwort has so many layers of knowing. The more time you devote to getting to know her, the deeper your relationship will be.
- Take a walk in the wilds and see where she’s growing. Sketch her leaves, acquaint yourself with her shape, blossoms, and how she moves in the wind.
- Sleep with a sprig by your pillow, set an intention to connect to her wisdom, and see what dreams may come.
- If you’re picking some of her leaves with the intention of dreaming with her, pick just before her tiny white buds open in mid-late August.
- Gather and dry her leaves and bind them together to make a smudging stick to cleanse spaces before and after ritual, or add them to oil to make an anointing oil.
- Place a few leaves in a cup before bed, on a full moon even better. Go gently to begin with, the dream realms she can unveil can be strong.
”Mugwort opens up chambers of ancient memory within the brain, bringing to one’s dream life stirring visions of past and future that overflow with magical imagery. The symbols that dance through your mugwort-touched dreams pull out the cobwebs of our forgetfulness and assist us in remembering old, unwritten ways of healing and living that attend to the needs of spirit and soul.”
Judith Berger, Herbal Rituals