mugwort artemisia

Mugwort Wanderings on Forgotten Paths

It is on these cold days, where the dim light grows ever stronger and the woods seem to sigh in the evening’s early twilight, that I find myself thinking about the edges of the landscape. That subtle form that is just beyond our reach, just outside of our touch. Those moments we linger at the edge of a glade, or near a fallen tree in the bracken. Hearing the silence that is full of noise, a quiet rush of unexpected sounds hiding under the frequencies of our breath, behind the rustle of the leaves, taunting us from the treetops and river’s edge like a youthful lover.

The walks I take are often accompanied by my pipe. Full of some herbs gathered here or there depending on the time of year (and never tobacco). One herb that I find helps me come closer to the landscape’s edge is Mugwort (artemisia vulgaris).

A timeless herb used by men as far back as we have stories to tell, mugwort is mentioned by name in the Nine Herbs Charm as a favorite of Odin. Listed in herbals since the dawn of printing, mugwort is a versatile herb whose uses range from beer flavoring to medical treatment. But I find that a pipeful of mugwort is a perfect harmonizer with the natural landscape. It has a mild calming effect that syncs ones thoughts to the rustle of the trees, the conversations of the birds and the yawning decay of the forest floor.

“Remember, Mugwort, what you have revealed,
What you set out in mighty revelation,
‘The First’ you are called, oldest of herbs,
You have might against three and against thirty,
You have might against venom and elf-shot,
You have might against the darkness that fares over the land.”

- 'The Nine Herbs Charm’, from the Lacnunga

The entheogenic uses of mugwort are reported as early as Pliny, and throughout Europe its fame as a curative, spirit ward, and tonic are well known. It is in its chemical similarity to its cousin, wormwood (artemisia absinthium), that we find its power. Thujone, an active ingredient that affects the cannibinoid receptors in humans is the culprit responsible for much of the activity reported in absinthe, as well as in mugwort. Little surprise that absinthe was marketed under the title “the Green Fairy”.

There is quite a conscious connection between the shifted paradigm of thujone and the folklore of that land of the sidhe. Mugwort is not strong as far as contemporary entheogens go, but its understated effect is belied by its ability to tune one’s thoughts directly to that shimmering field of energy we stumble upon in forest and seashore. It is a key, able to open the doors in the landscape, for those who seek to walk on the other side of the mirror, so to speak.

After a pipe of mugwort on a winter’s day the landscape opens up, reveals itself like a crack in the world. The birds and trees telling a story, the ferns and fungi preparing a path on which to explore that vast terrain of myth. The sky itself seems to laugh as you glide along, footsteps a drum rhythm beating the skin of the world. A brightness in the air, followed by a listless energy and a desire to explore.

It fades, as all things must, after a short while. We find ourselves once again on this side of the hedge, the sounds of the world familiar again and full of nonsense and pomp. The whispers of the woods having moved on, seeking others who stumble on its forgotten paths.

Nine-Herb Charm: Mugwort

Artemisia vulgaris 

The first herb mentioned in the Nine-Herb Charm. It is a very old healing herb known to the Anglo Saxons. 

Magical Uses

  • The herb works very well against fevers and sicknesses. 
  • The herb has protective properties also. 
  • Historically used in association with superstition and witchcraft
  • Protective charm against evil and danger

Medical Uses

  • Traditionally used as a womb tonic for painful or delayed menstruation
  • A treatment for hysteria and epilepsy
  • Used to expel worms, control fever and cure dyspepsia
  • Used to relieve gout and rheumatism

Historical Uses

  • The gathering of mugwort on St. John’s Eve (June 23) and wearing the sprigs as a crown is one example of the folklore surrounding around mugwort
  • If you wore a mugwort crown on this day, you would be protected against illness, disease, and misfortune. Also protected against evil possession.
  • Legend has it that St. John the Baptist wore a girdle of the leaves while he lived in the wilderness


  • Avoid using mugwort during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Essential Oil Use

The following is based on the Améo Essential Oils, a clinical grade oil. This brand of oil has a proven cell activity level, proven cell permeability, and Cetri-5 endorsed. You should always use 100% pure essential oil before using on your body. Contact a certified homeopathic practitioner for more information. 

Blending: The ratio 50:50, for example, means use 50% essential oil, 50% carrier oil. The ratio 5:95, for example, means 5% essential oil, 95% carrier oil.

  • Blends well with patchouli, rosemary, lavandin, pine, clary sage, and cedarwood 
  • Extraction: essential oil by steam distillation 

(Pénoël, 2014)


Pénoël, Daniel, Dr, comp. Integrated Guide to Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. 1st ed. N.p.: n.p., 2014. Print.

Robbins, Shawn, and Bedell, Charity. The Good Witch’s Guide. New York: Sterling Ethos, 2017. Print.


On a bed of flowers by TJ Gehling
Via Flickr:
A flame skimmer stops to rest on some mugwort flowers in at Canyon Trail Park in El Cerrito.


(Artemisia vulgaris) Do not take if pregnant.

Folk Names: Artemis Herb, Artemisia, Felon Herb, Muggons, Naughty Man, Old Man, Old Uncle Henry, Sailor’s Tobacco, St. John’s Plant.
Gender: Feminine.
Planet: Venus.
Element: Earth.
Deities: Artemis, Diana.
Powers: Strength, Psychic Powers, Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Healing, Astral Projection.

Magical Uses: Place mugwort in the shoes to gain strength during long walks or runs. For this purpose pick mugwort before sunrise, saying:

Tollam te artemesia, ne lassus sim in via.

A pillow stuffed with mugwort and slept upon will produce prophetic dreams. Mugwort is also burned with sandalwood or wormwood during scrying rituals, and a mugwort infusion is drunk (sweetened with honey) before divination.
The infusion is also used to wash crystal balls and magic mirrors, and mugwort leaves are placed around the base of the ball (or beneath it) to aid in psychic workings.
When carrying mugwort you cannot be harmed by poison, wild beasts, or sunstroke, according to ancient tradition. In a building, mugwort prevents elves and “evil thynges” from entering, and bunches of mugwort are used in Japan by the Ainus to exorcise spirits of disease who are thought to hate the odor. In China, it is hung over doors to keep evil spirits from buildings.
Mugwort is also carried to increase lust and fertility, to prevent backache, and to cure disease and madness. Placed next to the bed, it aids in achieving astral projection.

(from Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham)

anonymous asked:

I have a witchy question for you. I am a beginner witch and I want to know: if I hand whittle my wand, does the shavings I collect have any meaning to them? Like what spells could I use them in? The wood I made it out of was oak, btw. Also, I don't have any colored candles. Just white scentless ones. What kind of herbs or things could I sprinkle on them to represent the four elements?

ACACIA: (Acacia senegal)
Planet: Sun
Element: Air
Associated Deities:
Adonis, Apollo, Astarte, Diana, Ishtar, Osiris, Ra, Vishnu.

Magickal Uses:
Meditation, Relaxation, Protection, Psychic Powers.

AGRIMONY: (Agrimonia eupatoria)
Planet: Mercury
Element: Air

Magickal Uses:
To banish Negative Energy, Protection, Sleep, Psychic Healing, To cleanse the Aura.

ANGELICA: (Angelica archangelica)
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire

Associated Deities:
Michael, Sun Gods, Venus

Magickal Uses:
Exorcism, Healing, To cleanse the Aura, Cleansing, Protection, Psychic Workings.

BALM (LEMON) (Melissa officinalis)
Planet: Moon
Element: Water

Associated Deities:
Artemis, Diana, Moon Goddesses

Magickal Uses:
To connect with the Emotions, Friendship, Healing, Love, Success

BAY (Laurus nobilis)
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire

Associated Deities:
Adonis, Apollo, Aesculapius, Ceres, Cerridwen, Cupid, Daphne, Eros, Faunus, Ra, Vishnu

Magickal Uses:
Clairvoyance, Protection, Purification, To induce Prophetic Dreams, Inspiration,
Wishes - write you wish on the leaf then burn it for it to come true.

CHAMOMILE: (Anthemis nobilis)
Planet: Sun
Element: Water

Associated Deities:
Cernunnos, Ra, Sun Gods

Magickal Uses:
To heal and regenerate the Spirit within, Relaxation, Sleep, Money, Love, Purification

COLTSFOOT: (Tussilago farfara)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water

Magickal Uses:
Can be used in smoking mixtures, Relaxation, Love, Visionary Work

DAMIANA: (Turnera diffusa)
Planet: Pluto
Element: Water

Associated Deities:
Artemis, Diana, Ganesha, Vishnu, Zeus

Magickal Uses:
Aphrodisiac, Divination, Lust, Love, All Psychic Workings, Tantric Magick, Visionary Work

ELDER: (Sambucus nigra)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water

Associated Deities:
Crone aspects of the Goddess, Dryads, Earth Goddesses, Fairies,
Holda Goddess of Winter, Venus

Magickal Uses:
Clairvoyance, To make contact with Fairies and Dryads, Exorcism, Healing,
Protection, Prosperity, Sleep

EYEBRIGHT: (Euphrasia officinalis)
Planet: Sun
Element: Air

Magickal Uses:
Inspiration, Mental Powers, All Psychic Workings

FEVERFEW: ( Chrysanthemum parthenium)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water

Magickal Uses:
Meditation, Relaxation, Protection

FRANKINCENSE: (Boswellia thurifera)
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire

Associated Deities:
Adonis, Apollo, Baal, Demeter, Hades, Helios, Moon Goddesses, Pluto, Ra,
Other Sun Gods, Venus, Vishnu, Yama

Magickal Uses:
Cleansing, Exorcism, Meditation, To generally Lift the Spirits, Purification,
Protection, Spirituality

GOLDENROD: (Solidago odora)
Planet: Venus
Element: Air

Magickal Uses:
Divination, Money

HAWTHORN: (Crataegus Monogyna)
Planet: Mars
Element: Fire

Associated Deities:
Blodeuwedd, Cardea, Creiddylad, Fairies, Flora, Hymen, Olwen, Thor

Magickal Uses:
Fertility and Growth, Sex Magick, Happiness

HOREHOUND: (Marrubium vulgare)
Planet: Mercury
Element: Air

Associated Deities:
Horus, Isis, Osiris

Magickal Uses:
Cleansing, Exorcism, Healing, Cleansing of the Aura, Mental Powers, Protection

IVY: (Hedera helix)
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Associated Deities:
Ariadne, Arianrhod, Bacchus, Cerridwen, Dionysus, Hymen, Isis, Osiris,
Persephone, Saturn, The White Goddess.
Magickal Uses:
For binding Luck, Love and fidelity to one’s self, Healing, Protection.

JASMINE: (Jasminum officinale)
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Associated Deities:
Artemis, Diana, Maternal aspects of the Goddess, Vishnu, Zeus.
Magickal Uses:
Love, Meditation, Money, Prophetic Dreams, Relaxation,
Psychic Protection to the Aura.

LAVENDER: (Lavendula officinalis)
Planet: Mercury
Element: Air
Associated Deities:
Cernunnos, Cirse, Hecate, Medea, Saturn, Serpent Goddesses.
Magickal Uses:
Cleansing, Chastity, Happiness, Longevity, Love, Meditation, Peace, Protection,
Purification, Sleep.

LOOSESTRIFE: (Lythrum salicaria)
Planet: Moon
Element: Earth
Magickal Uses:
Peace, Protection.

MARIGOLD: (Calendula Officinalis)
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Associated Uses:
Sun Gods
Magickal Uses:
Consecration, Divination, Legal Matter, Prophetic Dreams,
Protection, Psychic powers.

MUGWORT: (Artemisia vulgaris)
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Associated Deities:
Artemis, Diana, Hecate.
Magickal Uses:
Astral Projection, Clairvoyance, Divination, Healing, Prophetic Dreams,
Protection, Psychic Powers, Strength.

MYRRH: (Commiphora Myrrha)
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Associated Deities:
Adonis, Demeter, Freya, Hathor, Hecate, Hera,
Isis, Juno, Marian, Neptune, Nephthys, Poseidon, Ra, Rhea, Saturn.
Magickal Uses:
Exorcism, Healing, Protection, Spiritual Awareness.

OATS: (Avena sativa)
Planet: Venus
Element: Earth
Magickal Uses:
Money, Prosperity, Sexual Magick.

POPPY (OPIUM) (Papaver somniferum)
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Associated Deities:
Anubis, Demeter, Freya, Hecate, Hera, Isis, Mut, Neptune, Rhea, Saturn
Magickal Uses:
Fertility, Invisibility, Love, Luck, Money, Relaxation, Visionary Workings.

ROSEMARY: (Rosemarinus officinalis)
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Associated Deities:
Magickal Uses:
Cleansing, Exorcism, Healing, Love, Lust, Mental Powers, Purification,
Rites of Passage, Repels Negativity, Relaxation, Use to attract Fairies.

ROWAN: (Pyrus aucuparia)
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Associated Deities:
Brigantia, Brighid, Cuchulain, Thor.
Magickal Uses:
Healing, Invoking Spirits, Familiars, Spirit Guides and the Elementals,
Power, Protection, Psychic Powers, Success.

SAGE: (Salvia officinalis)
Planet: Jupiter
Element: Air
Associated Deities:
Consus, Jupiter, Zeus.
Magickal Uses:
Cleansing the Aura, Immortality, Longevity, Protection, Purification, Wisdom, Wishes.

SKULLCAP: (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Planet: Saturn
Element: Water
Magickal Uses:
Fidelity, Love, Meditation, Relaxation, Peace.

THYME: (Thymus vulgaris)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Associated Deities:
Ares, Fairies, Mars.
Magickal Uses:
To help focus Personal Energies, Courage, Healing, Health,
Love, Purification, Psychic Powers, Sleep.

VALERIAN: (Valeriana officinalis)
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Magickal Uses:
Calming, Healing, Bonding with Cats and attracting Cat Familiars,
Love, Purification, Protection, Relaxation, Sleep.

WILLOW: (Salix alba)
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Associated Deities:
Artemis, Belili, Brigantia, Brighid, Ceres, Cirse, Hecate, Hera,
Hermes, Isis, Mercury, Moon Goddess, Osiris, Persephone, Poseidon, Zeus.
Magickal Uses:
Healing, Initiation Rites, Love Divination, Love, Protection.

YARROW: (Achillea millefolium)
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Associated Deities:
Cernunnos, Herne, Pan.
Magickal Uses:
Courage, Exorcism, Love, Psychic Powers.

Here’s a list of herbs and their properties and links to elements etc, as for your wood shavings, try using them in spells that bring knowledge, truth, prosperity and bravery as that’s what oak wood is great for in magickal workings.

I hope this helps in some way!

Blessings, Morgana 🔮

The Herbalist's Must Have 30 Herbs

This list was compiled by the California School of Herbal Studies (CSHS) in the 1980s by the six directors. Each made a list of what they believed would provide an herbalist with pretty much any and all the herbal actions and uplifting virtues required to provide good health care in a home and community. (These are not meant to replace medical care and you should always be cautious with trying anything new because you or your loved ones could be allergic. Research each herb and see what side effects or restrictions might be listed.)

  • Blackberry (Rubus villosus)
  • *Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)*
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
  • Chamomile, German (Matricaria recutita)
  • Cleavers (Galium aperine)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
  • Crampbark (Viburnum opulus)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • *Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)*
  • Elder (Sambucus nigra)
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • *Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)*
  • Gumweed (Grindelia spp.)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacanthus)
  • Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)
  • Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
  • Mullein (Verbascum spp.)
  • Nettle (Urtica spp.)
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
  • *Pipsissewa (Chimaphilla umbellate)*
  • Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • Scullcap (Scutellaria spp.)
  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
  • Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus)
  • Willow (Salix alba)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)

All those with astericks are Endangered or At Risk herbs, so make sure your source is cultivating their own and not wild harvesting.

Source: Natural Healing Wisdom & Know-How

We use many herbs, here at Wonderworks when making our Loose Incense Blends and Herbal Teas.

This new weekly feature will highlight the Magical and Medicinal Properties of our ingredients!

Our first Featured Herb is Mugwort

Folk Names: Artemis Herb, Artemisia, Felon Herb, Muggons, St. John’s Plant, Old Uncle Henry, Old Man, Naughty Man.

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Venus

Element: Earth

Deities: Artemis/Diana

Artemis is a Maiden who is often referred to as a virgin; this term denotes that she belonged to herself. It was rumoured that Artemis had lovers both male and female, but according to mythology, her lovers usually met with a sad end. Artemis and her Roman counterpart, Diana, are associated with the waxing crescent moon. This divine huntress is called on to assist in childbirth, to protect women from violence, for courage, and for daring to be yourself and walking your own path. 

Powers: Strength, Psychic Powers, Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Healing, Astral Projection

Magical Uses: Psychic awareness, Psychics Dreams, Astral Projection.

Mugwort has long been associated with the shadowy world of the seer as well as the Moon. Its Scent stills the conscious mind and awakens the deep consciousness.

A pillow stuffed with Mugwort and slept upon will produce prophetic dreams. Mugwort is also burned with sandalwood or wormwood during scrying rituals. A Mugwort infusion is drunk before divination.

An infusion is also used to wash crystal balls and magic mirrors.

It is said that when carrying Mugwort you cannot be harmed by poison, wild beasts, or sunstroke.

Mugwort prevents elves and “evil thynges” from entering, and bunches of Mugwort are used in Japan to exorcise spirits of disease who are thought to hate the odour. In China, it is hung over doors to keep evil spirits from buildings.

Mugwort is also carried to increase lust and fertility, to prevent backaches, and to cure disease and madness.

Placed next to the bed, it aids in achieving astral projection.

Also known as the ‘traveller’s herb for protection’, Roman soldiers placed Mugwort inside their sandals for endurance on long marches. One Roman general recorded that his men marched 10 miles further, as well as faster, when on Mugwort.

Mugwort was once the staple ingredient in beer before Hops was introduced. It was also known as Sailor’s Tobacco, as it was used as an alternative when sailors ran out of tobacco at sea. 

Principal Medicinal Uses: Abscesses, Anti-spasmodic, Arthritis, Bowel pain, Bruising (removes blackness), Carbuncles, Childbirth and afterbirth, Colds, fever, flu, Depression, Diabetes, Diarrhoea, Digestive stimulant, Epilepsy, Excessive menstrual bleeding, Food poisoning, Gout, Hysteria, Insomnia, Kidney stones, gravel, Jaundice, Liver Tonic, Menstrual Cramps, Menstrual Obstruction, Mild narcotic, Mushroom poisoning ,Nervousness, Nervous shaking, Pain (tea, bathe or smoke), Regulates hormones (adrenal and pituitary), Soothes nerves, Stomach pains and disorders, Stress, Uterus, Worms (also for worming animals, with herbs eaten fresh or dried), White tail spider bite.

*Because Mugwort is a Uterine Relaxant it must not be ingested when pregnant.


Herb Magic for Beginners by Ellen Dugan

Magical Aromatherapy by Scott Cunningham

Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

A Basic Sleep Spell

(I designed this charm for my cousin and thought I’d share it here since I see a lot of pagans/witches asking about basic practical magick.)

What the spell does

This charm will help you make a sleep sachet to help yourself (or a friend) fall asleep quickly, avoid nightmares, and wake up feeling refreshed.

You will need

  • At least one unscented candle. Suggested colors: white or pale purple/lavender
  • Oil to anoint the candle. Suggested oils: lavender, clary sage.
  • A plate or stand for the candle (to catch the melted wax/oil)
  • Your favorite lullaby or soothing poem (you will need to sing/recite this, so it’s helpful if you just have it memorized)
  • A small mesh or solid cloth drawstring bag. Suggested materials: fine netting, pale blue or purple cloth, or prints of things that remind you of restful sleep, such as moons and stars or cats*
  • Loose herbs for filling the satchel:
    • lavender (lavandula officinalis)
    • cedar (Thuja plicata)
    • mugwort (artemisia vulgaris)
  • A small crystal or gemstone for the sachet. Suggested stones: quartz, citrine
  • Enough time for your candles to burn down completely

What to do

Fill the bag with the herbs and drop the stone in (careful, cedar is sharp and may poke through the cloth!). Press the sachet in your hands to mix and crush the herbs together. Set it aside for now.

Place the candle on the plate, anoint it with the oil, and light it. Hold the sachet in the smoke while repeating the following incantation nine times (more if it takes you a while to focus; nine is just a handy number that’s easy to remember):

“May sleep come easily. May your dreams be kind. May you wake rested and always on time.”

As you state the incantation, focus your energy into the sachet. It is best to focus on positive but calm feelings. You want to infuse the sachet with loving (for your friend or for your own spirit) and protective energies. Imagine your energy and positive thoughts flowing from your mind and your heart, down your arms, and into the sachet.

While still focusing your energy, sing your favorite lullaby or recite a soothing poem.

Once the lullaby/poem is done, repeat the following incantation three times (more if needed):

“As I have said, so mote it be. May no harm come to thee/me.”

Place the bag near the candles (on the same plate if possible, but don’t set it in the wax or oil puddles). At this point, the charm is nearly complete. Allow the candles to burn down and go out naturally. You do not need to take action during this time, but for safety’s sake, do not leave lit candles unattended. Once the candles have burned out, the charm is complete.

The sachet should be placed beneath the pillow or near the bed of the person it was made for. The herbs may eventually need to be replaced, but the stone can be cleansed, recharged, and reused.

Extra Notes

You can personalize the sachet easily by adding special stones or even small figures. However, consider anything you add carefully – you don’t want to put something in that could be counterproductive (for instance, black tea leaves are a stimulant and wouldn’t be appropriate for this charm).

I used a cat-shaped candle, a cat-shaped candle holder, and a “good dreams” oil from a local Santeria shop instead of lavender oil. These things are not strictly necessary – the spell should work fine with a plain white candle and any soothing oil – but they complemented my intentions and helped me focus and amplify my energy as needed.


* Cats sleep 16 hours a day. If anyone has mastered sleep, it’s cats.


Plant of the Day

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Silvery mounds of the herbaceous perennial Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Valerie Finnis’ (western mugwort) seem to sparkle in the sunshine. The distinctively toothed leaves are vividly silver-white when young. There are small, yellowish flowerheads later in the season but the foliage is the major display value. They are useful edging shrub roses.

Jill Raggett

Medicinal Herbs & Uses: Mugwort


Mugwort: Artemisia vulgaris

Herb Properties and Medicinal Uses

Properties   Mugwort leaves are edible, young leaves are boiled as a pot herb or used in salad, they aid in digestion although said to have a bitter taste. Used for centuries as an alternative medicine, it is antibacterial, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, haemostatic, nervine, purgative, stimulant, stomachic, and tonic, cleansing toxins from the blood. An infusion of the leaves and flowering tops is used in the treatment of all matters connected to the digestive system, it increases stomach acid and bile production, eases gas and bloating, improving digestion, the absorption of nutrients and strengthening the entire digestive system. It is used in alternative medicine to expel intestinal worms, nervous and spasmodic affections, asthma, sterility, functional bleeding of the uterus and menstrual complaints, and diseases of the brain. As a gargle for sore throat, a wash for sores and a poultice for infections, tumors and to stop bleeding. These actions and uses are now backed by scientific studies on the plants main constituents volatile oils containing 1,8-cineole, artemisin, azulenes sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, coumarin derivatives, tannins, thujone and triterpenes. The leaves have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, Bacillus typhi, B. dysenteriae, streptococci, E. coli, B. subtilis, and pseudomonas. A weak tea made from the infused plant is a good all-purpose insecticide. The fresh or the dried plant repels insects.Caution: Should not be used by pregnant women since it can cause a miscarriage.


Perennial herb native to Africa, temperate Asia, and Europe, widely naturalized in most parts of the world. Found growing on hedgebanks and waysides, uncultivated and waste land. Cultivation is fairly easy Mugwort prefers slightly alkaline, well-drained loamy soil, in a a sunny position. A tall-growing shrubby plant, with angular stems, which are and often purplish, growing 3 feet or more in height. The leaves are smooth and dark green above and covered with a cottony down beneath. They are alternate, pinnately lobed, and segmented. The small greenish yellow flowers are panicled spikes with a cottony appearance. Blooming is from July to October. Mugwort is closely related to Common Wormwood (Absinthe). Gather leaves and stems when in bloom, dry for later herb use.


 In Native American folklore Mugwort was also a Witchcraft medicine, rubbed the leaves on ones body to keep ghosts away or wearing a necklace to prevent dreaming of the dead. In the Middle Ages a crown made from its sprays was worn on St. John’s Eve to gain security from evil possession. Mugwort derived its common name from being used to flavor drinks like beer before the introduction of hops. The Name Artemisia is from the Goddess Artemis (1st century AD) who inspired the plants genus name.

Recipe Medicinal tea: Steep 1 tsp. dried herb in a cup boiling water, take in mouthful doses throughout the day.

  • Mugwort:

Medicinal Use: Leaf tea diuretic, induces sweating. Regulates erratic menstruation, brings on delayed periods, expels afterbirth, helps with menopausal symptoms. Promotes appetite and bile production, tonic for digestion. Tonic for nerves; mild sedative. Used for bronchitis, colds, colic, kidney ailments, fevers. Bath additive for rheumatism and tired legs. Juice relieves itching of poison oak. Disinfectant and antiseptic. Used for moxibustion.

Traditional Magical Use: In the Middle Ages, mugwort was connected with St. John the Baptist, who was said to have worn a belt of the herb during his time in the wilderness. St. John’s Herb, as the plant became known, had the power to drive out demons, and sprays of the herbs were worn around the head on St. John’s Eve as a protection against possession by evil forces. In China, bunches of mugwort were hung in the home during the Dragon Festival to keep away evil spirits. The Ainus of Japan burn bunches to exorcise spirits of disease, who are thought to hatethe odor. Planted along roadsides by the Romans, who put sprigs in their shoes to prevent aching feet on long journeys. Carry to ward against wild beasts, poison, and stroke. Prevents elves and other evil things from entering houses. Said to cure madness and aid in astral projection.

A pillow stuffed with mugwort and slept upon will produce prophetic dreams. Mugwort is burned during scrying rituals, and a mugwort-and-honey infusion is drunk before divination. The infusion is also used to wash crystal balls and magic mirrors, and mugwort leaves are placed around the base of the ball, or beneath it, to aid in psychic workings. Pick just before sunrise on the waxing moon, preferably from a plant that leans north. A Roman invocation to be used when picking mugwort is: Tollam te artemisia, ne lassus sim in via.

Shamanic Magical Use: This is the plant of Midgard, burned at the start of a ritual. One starts and ends with Mugwort, as one starts and ends with Midgard. Its shamanic purpose is purification. We tend to think of purification, in these days of advanced medical antisepsis, as being sterile. To us, “pure” has come to mean “without life”. When we use something whose basic power is purification, we expect, on some level, for it to clean everything and leave it a blank slate. However, that’s not what magical purification actually does.

Mugwort is the herb that is most often burned as recels, the Old English word for incense; pronounced ray-kels. The act of burning it is referred to as recaning, which can be pronounced various ways, but the most graceful seems to be reek-en-ing; the verb recan is cognate to our work “reek”. Celtic-tradition people use the term saining. It’s an alternative to the Native American-derived term “smudging”, and it can be bound in lashed bundles and burned in the same way as white sagebrush. It also has a clearing effect on the mind, and a heightening of the extra senses, so it is a good thing to start any working that is going to involve an altered or trance state at some point.

lacetia  asked:

Hey, I noticed you said that you use psychoactive plants in your practice. If you don't mind, what plants specifically do you incorporate? If you take the time to answer then thank you very much x

The nightshade plant family has a long history in European witchcraft, going back hundreds of years. Plants like belladonna, henbane, mandrake, and thorn-apple contain tropane alkaloids that can induce hallucinations and trance states in some.

However, personally, I’ve found that the nightshade plants only cause me nausea and dry mouth.

Currently, the plants I’m working most with are yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and mugwort (two subspecies, Artemisia vulgaris and Artemisia douglasiana) to great effect. Both contain thujone, which while not as powerful a compound, at least in my experience, reacts with me much more pleasantly for trance work and lucid dreaming.

I’ve also been making bleeding heart root tincture for years which has just a phenomenal sedative effect. 

If your interested in the use of poisons in witchcraft, these two articles by Sarah Lawless are a good place to start: Introduction to Flying Ointments and the Poison Path Reading List. I also highly recommend the works of Dale Pendell and Daniel Schulke.