Mugwort - also known as wormwood or chrysanthemum weed - is a pretty unassuming plant at first glance. It is not very large, and its silvery-green foliage and small purple flowers would not look out of place growing in a ditch. In reality, this humble herb is a magical tool par excellence -- there are hundreds, if not thousands, of old spells and recipes that rely on its considerable power.
The word "mugwort" could have a few different origins. Some experts say it comes from the Old Norse word "muggi," meaning "marsh," or Old English "mycg," meaning "midge." The word "wort" comes from Old German, meaning "plant." Together, this points to the plant's use as a pest repellent. The herb's botanical name is Artemisia vulgaris, derived from the name of the Greek goddess Artemis. Magically, it is just as effective at repelling evil spirits and ghosts as it is mosquitoes. As an herb associated with the moon and lunar deities, it is also used for lucid and prophetic dreaming, divination, and to strengthen psychic abilities, and in flying ointments.
Use Mugwort to Keep Evil Away
As a protective herb, mugwort excels at chasing away malicious spirits and negative energy. Sweep your house thoroughly from back to front, sweeping all of the dust and debris out through your front door when you are through. Next, add some Mugwort Bath and Floor Wash to a bucket of clean water. Thoroughly mop your home, again moving from back to front. (It is a good idea to give your door a wipe down, as well. That is where things usually enter your home, so it is the best place to ask for mugwort's protection!)
If you have carpeting and cannot mop, do not worry. Thoroughly vacuum your carpets, moving from back to front as if you were sweeping. Combine some dried mugwort leaves and sea salt, and ask the herb and salt to clear and keep away any evil energy it finds. Sprinkle the mixture over your carpets, allow it to sit for a few minutes, then vacuum again. When you are through, you can hang a bunch of fresh mugwort over your front door. This will help keep evil from trying to enter again.
If you wish to protect yourself from evil, you can use a Mugwort Herb Bath to imbue yourself with protection. Add it to clean bath water, step in, and fully submerge yourself. When you are ready, step out and allow your skin to air dry.
Make a Mugwort Dream Pillow
If you wish to have prophetic or lucid dreams, or just want to remember your dreams more thoroughly, you can easily create a dream pillow. Take two squares of cotton cloth, 6-8" on a side. Sew them together along three sides to make a flat pouch. Fill the pillow with dried mugwort, lavender, rose, and jasmine, and sew it shut.
Hold the pillow in your hands. Tell it what you would like it to do, and visualize it working. Picture yourself waking up every morning, refreshed and happy, full of helpful, pleasant, informative dreams. Thank the herbs for their help, and place the pillow on your bed. Before you go to sleep every night, hold it to your nose and breathe in its scent.
Use Mugwort for Divination
No matter what kind of divination you practice, mugwort can be a helpful herbal ally. Many people who practice scrying with bowls, mirrors, or crystal balls wash their tools in a tea made by steeping dried mugwort in water. Even if you use runes, tarot cards, or other types of divination tools, you can burn a mugwort bundle to help heighten your psychic abilities and access the information you seek.
Mugwort has a very long history of magical use and is generally very safe. If you use this herb very often, take breaks of a week or so now and then to allow your body to rest. If you are pregnant or nursing, do not use it. It is sacred, and powerful, and should be treated with respect. Try working with it, and see what doors it can open for you.