Light in the Shadows: Entering the Dreamtime with Mugwort (Artemis Vulgaris)
Keywords: Ancestors, Forgiveness, Wisdom, Integration, Understanding, Light and Shadow Work.
Aloha and Welcome to the first of many Full Moon Flower Muse Features! This month spotlights Mugwort in all of her dreamy mystery.
I first encountered Mugwort during my herbal apprenticeship at the Boston School of Herbal Studies, almost seven years ago! She was easy to identify, and easy to connect to, as a woman’s herb with a silvery underside. When I was first getting to know Mugwort, I learned primarily of her use enhancing one’s connection to dreamtime. Folklore has it that a sprig of mugwort hung over your bed at night will result in enhanced lucid dreaming. Of course, I gathered some at the first opportunity and hung it over my bed to dry. I noticed I did dream quite a bit, and remembered my dreams, and that’s about as deep as I went at the time. I also enjoyed blending a bit of dried mugwort with catnip and rose petals and toking on visionary smoke. Having just begun on my herbal path, Mugwort shared with me what I was ready to integrate and learn, saving other aspects of her powers for the more developed herbalist and person I would become.
Years later, Mugwort began to enter into my waking life again, this time in a more mysterious way. I enrolled in a workshop series exploring the archetypes of the divine feminine. During one of the workshops, the facilitator, Alila Grace took us deep into our womb space through a combination of yoga, meditation, and sound. While in this space, Mugwort appeared to me, dancing in the shadows. I felt a deep connection to Mugwort’s presence, while she lingered in my awareness, vibrating her healing energy into my womb. I felt our connection deepen in these precious moments, and she instructed me to create and share a balm for clearing the womb space and connecting to the “womb grid”. The womb grid, as Mugwort and Alila explain, is the network of energy we share with our mothers, grandmothers, and sisters in blood and spirit. I felt the intimate connection Mugwort shared with me, even though I was thousands of miles from where I first met her, on an Island in the middle of the ocean, she came to me with her light.
As I worked with Mugwort more and more, I became intimate with her powerful abilities to move energy, to break up stagnation and release it, especially in the womb. Physically, Mugwort is an emmenagogue, which means that she brings on menstruation with her powerful abilities to move blockages and stimulate the blood flow. The energetic counterpart of this action is to bring on the shedding of our emotional and spiritual baggage, especially related to our womb space, our connection to our ancestors. Mugwort helps women to integrate what love we can, expelling what does not nourish us. She shows us where energy has become trapped, circular, or stagnant in our minds and body, and helps us to usher it where it should go, by processing it and integrating what is meant to be known by us on a conscious or subconscious level, while disregarding and releasing the rest.
Fast forward a few more years, to Halloween 2015. Mugwort came to me again, this time with powerful visions of and conversations with a beloved Aunt who had crossed over several years ago. That summer, while visiting my mother, I found a patch of mugwort growing in her garden, next to a rose bush that had been given to her by her sister, my Aunt Regina. I harvested several sprigs, dried them, and brought them back to Hawaii with me. On Halloween, I knew the time was right to start infusing her into medicine. I created ritual space by lighting a candle, and burning some of the dried mugwort I was working with. While gazing at the flame, I fell into a deep trance.
I saw myself fallen, completely in shadow. I was sitting at the bottom of a deep crevice in the ground, with stone all around me, and no path upward. Looking up from where I lay, I saw my Aunt appear, as a being of light. She lay her hands upon my head, and told me she was sorry for what happened to me. Although I did not know what she was sorry for, I felt so comforted by her energy, and overjoyed to feel our connection through the ethers. She filled me with light, and my body, clouded in shadow and darkness, once again became the light. She carried me with her angelic wings, out of the dark crevice, back up to the surface, and left me to lay on the grass in the sun. I thanked her and felt the light of the sun warm my face. My body lifted out of the trance as I opened my eyes and gazed at the candle once again.
Through this experience I integrated new levels of information and energy exchange with Mugwort, feeling deeply on a physical level, her abilities to connect one with the wisdom of her ancestors. We can call upon Mugwort to speak to a loved one, or feel their wisdom living within us. We are made of the DNA of our bloodline, where we are imprinted with the experiences of those before us. This is how we may intuitively know something without having learned or experienced it ourselves, it is written in our very cells. It is our ancestors light living within us.
During my most recent journey with Mugwort, her spirit told me,
“Everything is energy. Simply that. Pure Vibration. There is nothing that the vibration of Love cannot touch and transform. Evil is suffering disguised. It is love disguised. Forgiveness causes evil to take off its mask and show its light. Our Ancestors are pure vibration living within us at all times. That is why we have lifetimes of infinite wisdom within us, always. When we dream, we are really awake and connecting on the deepest levels to Love’s Light, doing our work of transformation.”
Mugwort is good for those who need protection, are living in the past, those who are living with fear or hatred, and those who wish to dream and transform.
Connecting with Mugwort
Our feet connect us to our roots and the path we have walked before through our ancestors. Ask Mugwort to help you connect with the ancestral wisdom living within you, as you prepare a ritual foot bath. Prepare a large pot or bucket (big enough to comfortably fit two fit) by filling it with clean, room temperature water. Add several sprigs of Mugwort, and an amethyst crystal (or stone of your choice). Add a few drops of Davana or Rosemary Essential Oil. Put the tea kettle on to heat up as you drop into your inner space. Light a candle, burn some Mugwort or Sage, and when the kettle is ready, add hot water to your bucket to your desired level of heat. Soak for 11-22 minutes.
A forgiveness Prayer: (Ho’opnono’pono)
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Thank you for taking the time to read and connect with Mugwort. Wishing you a peaceful and light-filled month!