Like most of the folks reading this post, Ankhie is fascinated by dreams and dream magic. Lately, though, Ankhie’s dream-life has been a little out of control. Frantic, frequent and disturbingly vivid – morning comes with sweaty bedclothes and complete exhaustion. This does not make for a happy and productive Ankh! There was a time when such nocturnal gnashing would be seen as a sign of incipient insanity. Crazy people talk in metaphor. Crazy people walk around dream-haunted and baggy-eyed. Crazy people doodle strange symbols on their meeting agendas. Thankfully, Ankhie lives, works and tweets with folks who are fluent in this kind of crazy – folks who are more likely to interpret such dark doings as vision & prophecy rather than chemical imbalance; a shamanic bent rather than a psychotic tendency.
Still, one has to wonder….
Last year, Mr. Ankh, in an uncharacteristic fit of landscaping enthusiasm, decided to weed the perennial bed beneath the bedroom window. One of the problems with perennials is that, to the uninitiated, they all look like weeds – lilies and a few flowering varieties being the exceptions. There was one “weed” that seemed particularly pernicious, nearly 6 feet talk, crawling with ants and blossom-free. It was, in truth, quite unattractive. So Mr. Ankh took a shovel and hauled out the deep-rooted offender, which, of course, was mugwort. He did his job thoroughly, leaving no traces, and was quite pleased with himself. Ankhie said nothing and mourned in private, let mint fill in the empty space. This year the mugwort has grown back in its original location and two other new spots in the bed – mint and Mr. Ankh be damned. So perhaps this is the source of recent dream crazies. An herb with vengeance on its mind.
Or maybe Ankhie is just a wee bit unbalanced.
Either way – herbs or insanity – I know I am good, because (I say this with the utmost affection) we all speak crazy here.
In case y’all were wondering about mugwort and other dream-y herbs to stuff in your pillow, here’s a rundown from Judika Ille’s indispensible Pure Magic:
- Alecost: facilitates contact with the Earth Mother.
- Angelica: provides prophetic dreams, visions and protection.
- Anise: repels nightmares – use only a smidgen of the seed, as many find the fragrance of anise to be stimulating. A little should stimulate pleasant, romantic, sexy dreams. Anise may also increase psychic potential.
- Bay Laurel: provides prophetic dreams and creative inspiration, gives spiritual protection and inspires self-confidence. Crumble the dried leaves, as whole bay leaves can be very sharp. The tips can stick you right through the fabric.
- Bee Balm: provides restful sleep.
- Black Mustard Seeds: repel night demons and malevolent forces.
- Calendula Blossoms: promote sound, peaceful sleep and physical healing, soothes nerves.
- Catnip: promotes romantic dreams and restful, sound sleep providing you don’t have a cat who will claw you in an attempt to reach your pillow.
- Chamomile Blossoms: provide romantic and financially inspirational dreams, spiritual and sound restful sleep.
- Cloves: initial scent is stimulating, but for most, continuous inhalation produces relaxation and deep, restful sleep. It promotes psychic and erotic dreams. Cloves also provide spiritual protection. Grind the cloves (smash them in your mortar and pestle) so that they’ll be more comfortable.
- Henna: brings good fortune, protection, fertility, romantic and erotic dreams. Henna produces a grounding effect, provides links to the Earth Mother and the Fire Angels.
- Hops: provides peaceful, healing, very sound sleep.
- Lavender Blossoms: promote peaceful sleep and sweet dreams. Lavender’s fragrance is reputed to allow you to see ghosts.
- Lilac Blossoms: provide access to past life memories and heal broken hearts.
- Linden Blossoms: promote inspirational dreams, sound restful sleep.
- Mullein: protects against nightmares.
- Peppermint: encourages visions of one’s future.
- Purslane: protects the sleeper from spiritual dangers.
- Rose: brings romantic, erotic and psychic dreams. Rose eases grief and provides protection; promotes intense healing while one sleeps. Rose is beneficial for threshold states including premarital, premenstrual and premenopausal.
- Rosemary: some find rosemary’s scent too stimulating to permit sleep, so experiment with only a little bit at first. Dried blossoms may be preferable to the leaves. Rosemary provides mental stimulation while one sleeps and is excellent for students. It promotes romantic dreams and provides psychic protection.
- Saint John’s Wort: promotes psychic healing and soothes stress. Saint John’s Wort strengthens resolve and is beneficial to those battling addictions, it also stimulates psychic power and provides spiritual protection.
- Spruce Needles: pulverize them into powder. A Shoshone charm to prevent illness, spruce needles will also provide deep, peaceful sleep.
- Vanilla Bean: promotes romantic and erotic dreams.
- Vervain: provides protection and sound sleep, financial inspiration and romantic dreams. A Pawnee recommendation for pleasant dreams.
- Wormwood (root): provides protection, romance, psychic enhancement, encourages communication with the spirits.
The simplest dream pillow of all is filled with mugwort alone.
- Mugwort intensifies dreams, making them linger so that you’re more likely to remember them.
- Mugwort encourages clairvoyance and is an invaluable tool if you’re trying to contact the spirit realm.
- Mugwort provides spiritual protection while you sleep. You can take some chances in your dream life with the knowledge that mugwort provides a shield against any psychic dangers.
- If you really want confidence, place mugwort directly upon your chest as you sleep, either by laying the pillow there or by placing either a sprig of the herb or a small flannel bag containing dried mugwort. A wormwood twig or root works, too.
from Pure Magic: a Complete Course in Spellcasting by Judika Illes.