On Saturday, March 20, my friend Huck and I went to the first Salon des Plantes put on by AnnaBella aka Luna Fina.
Marvelous! It took place at the Peralta Community Garden in Berkeley, the perfect spot.
AnnaBella will offer these salons once a month in different locations around Berkeley and Marin County. In July, she will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
It was a delight to hear her sing in the four directions in Italian! The first time I have heard it in the language of my ancestors and it was truly inspiring.
This first month we focused on Mugwort. We had a guided visualization, drank mugwort tea, had mugwort oil rubbed on our wrists and were smudged with mugwort. Meanwhile, we were surrounded by mugwort growing in the garden.
AnnaBella teaches classes in many locations. She is also the creator of the Rose Chakra Flower Essences which can be purchased from her Website - click here - and many other wondrous products to heal your heart and soul.
She gives sacred footbaths, leads vision quests and showers you with love and joy.
I first met her at the Sonoma County Herb Association Herb Festival on the campus of Santa Rosa Junior College in 1996. Since then she has served as an inspiration to me in many ways.
So what about Mugwort?
This plant grows in the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. There are many species in the genus known as Artemisia (plants named for the goddess Artemis).
The species we worked with in AnnaBella's Salon was douglasiana. It happens to grow wild near my house and is so easy to propagate through cuttings. I just put sticks of it in the ground and they grow. They die back in winter, but come up in early March, even in the woods where I live.
It has both medicinal and spiritual qualities, but should never be used in excess since it contains thujone.
Should be avoided by pregnant and nursing women.
It is an effective digestive and has been used in Europe to flavor drinks.
Moxa is made from pulverized mugwort and used in acupuncture.
It can repel insects.
It is used for lucid dreaming and is often found in 'dream pillows' or potions to bring on dreaming.
It has protective qualities and put with rosemary can be put in a pouch near the door of your house and/or in your car to keep out unwanted visitors or thieves. But as the saying goes: "Pray to Allah and tie your camel" remember to lock your doors too!
I make a dream potion which includes mugwort and it is part of my Lunar Salve (one of the Three Egyptian Sacred Schools Salves).
FES makes a mugwort flower essence - click here
Start your search with this entry from Wikipedia