“Known to many as an herb of magic, mugwort allows us to live in several worlds at once, expanding and nourishing the habit of drawing our gaze before us to that which is visible, and behind us to that which is invisible.” -Judith Berger, Herbal Rituals
Mugwort is a powerful plant with a rich mythic history, containing potent medicine for both body and spirit. The Artemesia genus is revered around the world for its healing properties, and the native California Artemesia douglasiana is considered by some to contain the strongest medicine of them all.
Nothing tastes quite like mugwort. As soon as the leaf or flower hits your taste and scent receptors, an inner doorway opens. Ancient memory is stirred as the plant’s bitter components and strong volatile oils work their way through your being. This awakening often stirs images that have been gestating in the unconscious, and this is why mugwort is renowned as an herb that brings powerful dreams to those who use it with intention.
In many cultures mugwort is known to open the doors of perception, to act as Wayfinder, and to be a welcoming bridge to the realms of consciousness needed to cultivate a deeper relationship with the natural world and our own deepest selves.
Mugwort carries the ability to assist us in heightening our extrasensory perception while simultaneously dropping us deep into our center. It’s just where we want to be.
The bitter taste tells us that mugwort has a powerful effect on the digestive system, releasing gastric juices that help to streamline the process of breaking down and assimilating food. Named after the moon goddess Artemis, mugwort has an affinity with the cyclic nature of women’s bodies and seems to especially affect the womb area (pregnant women should do their own research before consuming it).
Mugwort can be used topically as a body oil, soothing the nervous system, relaxing muscles, and helping to carry the medicine of any other herb it is combined with deeper into the body. Internally it can be used as a tincture, vinegar, or tea, coming into contact with the taste receptors to bring its medicine throughout the body. When dried it makes a powerful smudge for creating liminal space or dream bundle for placing under the pillow.
The lore and the medicine of mugwort are rich and multi-layered, and many are feeling called to work with this plant at this time. As we catapult into a new age with the winds shifting constantly around us, this sacred plant provides grounding in the body, connection with the wild, and a doorway to remembering the earth ways of our ancestors.
To dive deeper into mugwort medicine, you can check out this herbalist blog post The Magic of Mugwort and her organic, wildcrafted herbal body oils Ancestral Communion: Redwood + Mugwort and As the Witches Teach: Yarrow + Mugwort.