Mugwort - Artemisia vulgaris

1 Oz
Sometimes overlooked for more "flashy" herbs in this current day, mugwort is still a favorite of Herbalists. Mugwort has an affinity for the female reproductive system and is used as a uterine stimulant that can bring on delayed menstruation and help restore a woman's natural monthly cycle.

As all the bitter herbs, mugwort is an excellent digestive stimulant and is quite effective taken before or after heavy meals to alleviate gas and bloating. It is mildly sedative and useful in calming frayed nerves and easing stress. A combination of agrimony, mugwort and vinegar is an excellent treatment for sciatica or muscular stiffness

NOTE: Do not use if pregnant

One of the more interesting traditional uses of mugwort is that of a dream herb. It is often used as one of the main ingredients in sleep pillows, and it said to bring the dreamer more lucid dreams. Mugwort is also often used as a smudging (burning) ceremonial herb

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.

Perhaps a better term for it would be "sanctification". Purifying magics create that aura of sacred space, which is so clear when you're in it but so elusive to describe. In order to create that energy, they do push out other sorts of energy, including the busy, well-worn, "messy" energy of the everyday. After the purification energy fades, the other stuff may drift back, or it might not, so it can have a cleaning effect in some cases.

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.
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