Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Image by jhenning_beauty_of_nature 

If there is one plant to start your journey with the plant spirits, it should be Mugwort, the stunningly beautiful and beneficent Artemisia vulgaris. Mugwort is one of the most visceral plant spirits who weaves her spirit through all aspects of our life to bring alignment. I could write an entire book dedicated to this most bounteous and gifted healer, but here I want to present some of her most powerful metaphysical qualities.

A master cleanser and tantric genius, Mugwort can transmute many types of toxic energies and release all manner of entities and intrusions from the energy field and body. Over time, as Mugwort does this on a deeper and deeper level, she helps to unfurl our shamanic and psychic senses from their hibernation place. Through cycles of time within spirals of healing, she realigns us back to our original human blueprint. Instantaneous healing is not uncommon with the witch queen, but don’t underestimate your complexity; other realignments are not overnight processes.

The Queen of Herbs

Known as the queen of herbs or the witches’ first herb, the physical healing capabilities of Mugwort are expansive. From curing indigestion to realigning a potential breech birth, Mugwort offers powerful physical remedies. But beyond the phenomenal world, where she is not bound by the mundane, her metaphysical prowess and mastery of the spirit world becomes powerfully evident.

Her objective, like all good shamans and witches, is to bring balance and harmony, to address the misaligned energies and blockages that prevent flow and creativity. Many of these blockages occur in the cavities of the body and in the emotional layer of the energetic field, these locations being the most affected by toxic psychic energies. You will notice a thread running through all of Mugwort’s healing gifts and that is the power of realignment: she pushes energy or chi. She is a disruptor, an agitator, and is known to bring chaos for a new state of balance to emerge.

Ideally, one should work with Mugwort in her natural habitat. She is wild at heart and is associated with Artemis, the goddess of the hunt: she can only be her true self when she is unbounded. She will grow in a pot and easily transplants from the wild into the garden, but the most magnificent specimens of this plant can be found on the edges of woodland and the banks of rivers.

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She is powerfully connected to the moon, and it is advisable to collect her leaves for tea or tincture at dawn on the full moon. If you can wait until summer solstice, this is her power day: any medicine harvested on this day will be especially potent and full of her dynamic spirit. If you do not have a wild plant, then a plant spirit essence can be tremendously effective. I personally like to bathe with her, and adding her to magic baths will facilitate deep cleansing and a clearing of unhelpful energies from your auric field.

The Spirit of Mugwort

The spirit of Mugwort first appeared to me as a female wizard in a long multicolored robe, standing on top of a hill and surveying the surrounding forests. It was summer solstice, and I had been up since before dawn to get down to the river to make offerings to the mother plant before the sun arrived. The mother plant is the one plant among the many that feels like it has the most power. We do not harvest from this plant but from others surrounding it. You can sense the mother plant by simply opening your awareness to it.

The moments before dawn hold a special liminal power, which facilitates prayer and intention. Mugwort heard my prayer of becoming her student, and the following night during a ceremony dedicated to her, she gave me her first teachings. For two hours this elemental master and wisdom-bearing spirit showed me areas of blockage within various chakras, guiding me to aspects within myself that needed clearing and healing, ones that prevented me from living my full potential and from expressing myself from my heart.

Creativity and Mugwort

The fire within Mugwort facilitates creativity as she aligns us back to our own soul force and its expression. Her earthy grounding quality assists in the pulling of the etheric into the visible, allowing unstructured feeling to be organized into expression. Very similar to cannabis, Mugwort opens our channels and brings an expansive quality to the mind, free of the usual boundaries and barriers. Artemisia vulgaris is also known as sailor’s tobacco, and I find smoking dried mugwort leaves encourages me to relax into inner space.

To allow creativity to flow, we need to drop out of the linear monkey mind that jumps from past to future and step into the infinite present to give space for concentration and the expression of the soul, of natural unfoldment. Through open presence and focus of the mind, we can become channels for divine inspiration and expression.

Our general state of being is one of compulsive and discursive thoughts, an avoidance of presence when we don’t know and recognize our true self. Wisdom teachings outline methods of taming the mind, such as single-focus meditation, which calms the conceptual mind, moves us from survival mode, and opens the door to new levels of conscious awareness and eventually to a co-creative partnership with the living cosmos. Mugwort guides us into alignment with our inner axis connected to both the cosmic divine and the soul of Mother Earth so that inspiration can flow. It is our connection to this inner axis, which is both centrifugal and centripetal in its force, that ultimately determines our energetic sovereignty.

Mugwort: The British Equivalent of Sacred Tobacco

The tobacco plant in its unadulterated form is a master healing plant of the Americas but was unfortunately appropriated by the Europeans, bastardized through production, and turned into a potentially life-threatening and addictive substance. When we force unnatural change on the spirit of a plant, when we stretch it out of its natural expression and desecrate the sacredness of its soul, it can be disastrous for us. But if you head into any part of the Amazon, you will find the original tobacco plant at the heart of community. In its natural form it has seemingly unlimited healing capabilities and connections to the spirit realms. I have an Amazonian Kichwa friend who is a master tobaquera. She can heal almost anything with tobacco, just as the moxibustion masters of Japan and China claim to heal any disease or malaise of spirit with Artemisia vulgaris or àicao (?, ??) in Chinese.

Just like sacred tobacco, Mugwort cleanses by stimulating stagnant energy into warm and moving circulation. The more we clear the energy field and body with her medicines, the deeper the layers of karmic baggage and heavy toxic energies that can be transformed. Our negative emotions create weaknesses in our field, which become doorways for unhelpful energies and toxic entities to enter and build layer upon layer of toxicity, also known as obscurations in Buddhist philosophy. These blockages create blind spots in the mind and illusion in our perspective. They also drain our life force and therefore our vitality. Through working with Mugwort externally and internally, we can start to clean the dirt from the window so that we can see the view clearly again. 

Clear Vision and Clear Perception

The first and most important aspect of clear seeing or clear perceptions is having a clean energy field. We experience everything through the field of energy that surrounds and moves through us. Whatever is in our energy field directly affects the mind, so if your auric field is full of toxicity and unhelpful energies, then these will obstruct and interfere with your perceptions, creating a false mind or false thoughts.

Work with Mugwort to cleanse and purify your energy field. She is an amazing smudging plant for your energy field and your sacred space. If you don’t feel like cleansing yourself, it means you really need to! Whatever is in your energy field has a nice source of food: it likes being there, so it will not want you to remove it.

Being aware of our emotions and motivations helps us find our way forward. Our chakras are connected to the various levels or dimensions of existence within the energy field (there is a range of frequencies of energy within the energy field), and so if toxicity is held within our chakras, this also affects the mind and emotions and therefore our thoughts and beliefs. We communicate with and experience the world through our chakras and energy field; it is vital therefore that they are cleansed so that we align ourselves to truth rather than delusion, and we can move from illness to health.

The causes of blockages in the energy field can be found in trauma, in our own toxic emotions and projections, in our toxic environment, and as an inheritance from others.

Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Printed with permission of the publisher,
Bear & Co., an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl.

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Journeys with Plant Spirits: Plant Consciousness Healing and Natural Magic Practices
by Emma Farrell

book cover of: Journeys with Plant Spirits: Plant Consciousness Healing and Natural Magic Practices by Emma FarrellRevealing how each plant is an expression of the soul force of Mother Nature and carries a unique blend of her medicine and wisdom, this book details step-by-step how to e ectively work with plant spirits for emotional and spiritual healing, enabling you to awaken the eternal spirit, or soul, to become truly multidimensional and whole.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle and as an Audiobook.

About the Author

photo of Emma FarrellEmma Farrell is a plant spirit healer, geomancer, shamanic teacher, and the co-founder of the ground-breaking London event Plant Consciousness. She is a lineage holder of the White Serpent teachings and has been initiated into ancient magical practices of the British Isles. She currently runs a school of Warrior Healers, an Apothecary of plant spirit medicine and a global remote healing practice. 

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