“It is a serious thing, just to be alive, on this fresh morning, in this broken world.”
"A Reminder that you don't have to be fine today, because fine isn't even the thing to be. Just let yourself be everything. Just be alive."
Notes on Mugwort
Mugwort, or Artemesia, is a lunar herb, if there ever was one. She’s deeply connected with femininity, dreaming, and the continuous renewal that’s found in the cycles of being.
Mugwort is one of the first plants to appear in the spring. In California, she’s in full bloom right now.
Once you know how to identify her, you’ll see her all over the hiking trails. She’s a leafy green plant. A good way to identify her is by the silvery underside of her leaves, compared to the darker green top
Her name comes from its history of flavoring beer, mug referring to a mug of beer and wort meaning plant.
Mugwort is abundant, and generous. She’s traditionally used for a wide variety of feminine challenges including regulating menstruation and digestive discomforts. She’s also a nervine. Nervines are herbs that help relax the nervous system
Through her lunar energy, she encourages us in smooth transitions through the physical cycles of menstruation, menopause, and digestion.
She also encourages us through the types of transitions in life in which we need to open space for new goodness to flow in
Mugwort encourages flow, opening up channels in our physical and energetic bodies.
But honestly, I’m mostly intrigued by mugwort's magical properties
Nicholas Culpeper, a sixteenth century herbalist, tells us that:
Mugwort is ruled by Venus. It is not necessarily romance, however, but self love that mugwort truly encourages. This is the wisdom of the divine feminine: a gentle compassion for ourselves as we, sometimes clumsily, move through life. It is our own selves with whom we need to fall deeply in love in order to connect with the outer world in a fulfilling way.
As a Venus-ruled herb, mugwort is indeed used to support female health in a variety of ways. It is a uterine stimulant that can bring on delayed menstruation and aid in cramping Mugwort's affinity for cycles can help to normalize a woman's cycle, and it can ease a woman into the transition of menopause. Mugwort is considered a uterine tonic, and thus can be safely taken over long periods of time, except during pregnancy.
Mugwort is also a nerve tonic, diuretic, and digestive stimulant. It can be a warming, stomach-stimulating pre-dinner drink to relax before dinner and prevent bloating. Mugwort can be enjoyed as an infusion or in a tincture. I prefer to use it as an infusion for digestive and immediate concerns such as cramping, but I tend to sneak some mugwort tincture into any tinctures that I (or my nocturnally-inclined friends) take before bed.
This is because mugwort can lead to vivid, stimulating dreams.
Mugwort can be burned as incense or smoked to ease you into a deeper meditation or trance state. It's not an herb that makes you high, persay; perhaps it opens a more direct channel to the lunar magic that is always there, latent in the brightness of the sun. I usually blend it with other herbs such as sage, mullein, and motherwort for smoking. It can be a lovely, spiritual experience.
Mugwort helps us to release our wild, untamed selves. It encourages both men and women to connect with the divine feminine within, to open our third eye to our visions and dreams.
The young shoots can be eaten: it has a flavor like a very floral parsley. Mugwort can also be made into a strong tea infusion, tincture or even steeped in a bath with some magnesium salt (or epsom salt)
Herbalist Amanda Midkiff writes~
To enjoy a mugwort bath:
Fill a quart jar fully with fresh mugwort, or half way with dried mugwort. Enjoy the aroma as you pack the jar. Fill the jar with just-boiled water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes to 1 hour. When the mugwort has steeped, draw your bath. Add any salts, light some candles. Leave your phone in another room. Strain the mugwort before you get in the bath. I like to get in the bath and pour the infusion over my head, imagining it baptizing me into my next phase of being . Thank the mugwort for her divine beauty. Allow yourself to feel the lunar energy rise within you. Rest in your own intuition as you claim your power, your own right to be for yourself. Enjoy your bath, enjoy the candles, and when you are done, leave anything that's no longer serving you in the bathwater. Let it flow down the drain to be recycled by the earth.
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
~ Max Ehrmann