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Accessing Artemisia

Mugwort, Artemisia Vulgaris- is named after Artemis, a Virgin lunar deity known for her autonomous independence and for her tendency to roam with a pack of bitches (as in female dogs). Mugwort is a plant associated with the liminal, dreams, the subconscious, female intuition.

The active dimension of the intuitive, that one would use in hunting, is the terrain of Artemisia.  

While I was living in Brooklyn, deep in my graduate work studying fine art, the weeds called me. The weeds were the plant world of my urban environment. I noticed abandoned lots filled with medicinal weeds. Many of the lots were filled with Mugwort. Taking daily walks in Prospect Park, Mugwort was at every edge where woods met lawn. Mugwort occupied the in-between spaces. I was drawn to the silvery, seafoam color, the hand like shape of the leaves, and the soft and reaching stands Mugwort grew in. It felt as though I could step into a patch of Mugwort and be enfolded into soft and aromatic arms.

I started taking a daily tea of just a couple leaves of fresh Mugwort that I would pick in the park. Feeling, smelling and tasting Artemisia while Artemisia did the same to me. Our chemistry met and I was forever changed. An asleep place within me was alchemically awakened.

Mugwort is often spoke of as a dream plant. Throughout time and place, Mugwort has been worked with to promote vivid, lucid and future predicting dreams. My experience with Mugwort was a sort of reverse of that idea; my dreams became lucid while I was awake. My path with plants was embedded in the unconscious realm- ambient in my life, but unrealized. With the aid of Artemisia, I faced my dreams and brought them into reality.

Through the body of Mugwort, I saw how the exalted feminine grows, thrives and breaks through concrete cracks in New York City. While the feminine may be pushed down in the human realm, it can’t help but pop up in balance in another form. Artemisia's choice to reside in one of the most relentless urban environments taught me that Nature is everywhere, that magic is everywhere. When we can see magic, we can consciously collaborate with it. Plants are our guides in this collaboration.

-RB


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