This time last year I wrote a blog and this is what I said,
Lammas ushers in the dog days of summer, often when it is hottest and we rest and recuperate ready for the high energy of the Autumn Equinox. This pause allows for deep rest and is a time to go inward or at least away from everyday concerns. A time to dream and vision how we wish the rest of the year to go.
We assess our progress – well usually, but this year has been a very hard year for nearly everyone, wherever you are. There may not have been much progress, although a lot of you will have embraced online working and have found creative ways around the mess we find ourselves in (in the UK at least).
How should we measure our progress, or is that the wrong thing to be looking at?
We are trained to progress, through our schooling and our working lives, but when our world stops-as it did for many people for the last four months, what then?
Maybe instead of the usual questions, we could ask
Have I become kinder?
I think many of these are true, especially kinder and braver.
During lockdown here in the UK, people realised the fragility of our lives realised how dependent we are on those people who quietly work behind the scenes, often the lowest paid shopworkers, health workers, sanitation workers, delivery drivers, frontline staff. I don’t mean the bullshit handclapping, which was cynical populism. But a kinder, more tolerant world where we gladly step aside to let someone pass safely, wait patiently and go about our business a little more modestly than before.
Hmm one year on, has this happened, or have we return to where we were before? Both, I think. We have realised the fragility of life, we have to some extent reconnected with nature, as the only place in the UK we could go during lockdown was the park. The hiatus has encouraged many people to reassess and go for working at home, ditching the commute, and downsizing. Others of course have been thrown into terrible poverty and hardship.
So for this Lammas newsletter I decided I would write about choice, options and most importantly, dreaming your dreams and then living them.
What better herb is there but Mugwort to dream our dreams…
Mugwort is a plant of Venus and was one of the nine sacred herbs from the Lacnunga a Saxon text on herbal medicine.
‘The eldest of worts
Thou hast might for three
And against thirty
For venom availest
For flying vile things
Might against loathed ones
That through the land rove.’
The Latin name, Artemisia vulgaris refers to Artemis the goddess of the Wild Things, who roams the mountains with her company of women archers and her beloved hunting dogs. Artemis is wild, undomesticated, unmarried. Goddess of the Moon in her Maiden form. She is subject to no man but helps the hunter and women who face their greatest trial of strength, childbirth. Mugwort has this wild quality, she grows wild in the countryside and can be cultivated in gardens. Mugwort was hung in houses to protect from harm and lightning strikes. She is a herb of witches.
Mugwort stimulates and unfurls our clairvoyant powers and gives us the voice to express them. It connects women with their inner power, allows them to grasp and use it. If you seek clarity and strength, take a cup of Mugwort tea before bed and dream your future.
Drink a strong brew of Mugwort and put in your ritual bathwater. Sit and recall a dream or vision you have had. Close your eyes and recall the images and clearly as you can. Pick one character or object from your dream and focus on it. Give them a voice, allow them to speak without interruption when they have finished talking, you may ask questions or move on to another part in your dream. This does not have to be done all at once, important dreams may take a while to unravel and be understood. Be sure to write down what you found out as we often forget these important messages.
When we sleep, we travel on the astral plane, if you have ever woken up with a jolt, that is you slipping back into your body. With practice we can come and go with ease. The most common fear about astral travelling is that we will ‘get lost’ or not be able to find our way back to our bodies. I have never heard of this happening, although astral travelling is not recommended when you are high or if you have schizophrenia or bi-polar conditions. If you are afraid have a friend with you, you could take turns to be with each other. Have them sit beside you near enough that you can touch them if you feel afraid, this will bring you straight back to your body. We use astral travelling to go back into the past, if you have issues there you need to understand or to contact a higher energy for advice.
Setting your dreams free:
Make Mugwort incense by mixing dried mugwort, sandalwood, myrrh, yarrow and juniper berries. Macerate in enough alcohol to cover, vodka is good for this, leave from Full Moon to Full Moon and air dry it. Burn on charcoal disks. When the Moon is full and sit in circle or alone and meditate on the blocks to your creativity. Consider the things you wish to do and visualise them until they become clear in your mind. On black paper with a silver pen write down your next creative move. Tie with red thread and dedicating your work to Artemis, burn in a candle flame imagining the seeds of your vision flying out on the wind, landing and taking root and growing out in the world.