Mugwort is an herb that is found fairly regularly in many modern Pagan magical practices. From its use as an incense, for smudging, or in spellwork, mugwort is a highly versatile - and easy to grow - herb.
Part of the artemisia family, mugwort was used in Anglo-Saxon Britain to cure people who had fallen victim to “elf shot,” which appears to be a catch-all term used to apply to people who had become sick, their illness being blamed upon the invisible arrows of the Fae. Bald’s Leechbook, an herbal from around the ninth century, refers to the use of mugwort to cast out demonic possession. The author also recommends heating a large stone in the fireplace, then sprinkling it with mugwort, and adding water to create a steam for the patient to inhale.
In some magical traditions, mugwort is associated with divination and dreaming. If someone has overactive dreams, they can be balanced out with a ritual bath made from mugwort and indulged in prior to bedtime. To bring about prophecy and divinatory success, make an incense of mugwort to burn at your workspace, or use it in smudge sticks around the area in which you are performing divination rituals.
Mugwort is often associated with the female reproductive system, perhaps because of its associations with the moon, and can be used to bring on delayed menstruation.
NOTE: It is recommended that pregnant women do not take mugwort internally, because it can lead to potential miscarriage.
Native American tribes used mugwort leaves to rub on one’s body as protection from ghosts. The leaves could also be worn as a necklace.
Other magical uses:
- Use mugwort baths or incense in rituals focusing on treating depression.
- Make a set of smudge sticks using dried mugwort, to use in ritual settings bringing about prophecy or divinatory needs.
- Place mugwort under your pillow to prevent astral attacks, or to ward off psychic attacks from those who would do you harm.
- Plant mugwort in your garden to attract the Fae.
- Burn mugwort as part of an incense blend celebrating Litha.
- Make protection oil for your home and property with mugwort.
- Create a magic broom or besom with mugwort woven into it, and use it to sweep negative energies from your home.