A humble and inconspicuous herb, Mugwort is often regarded as a weed that makes its home in waste places and neglected plots. Who would have thought that this overlooked plant is in fact one of our oldest cultural companion plants, an herb that connects us with sacred practices throughout recorded history and even to the almost mythical times of our Neolithic ancestors.
From North America, to China and Japan, throughout Eurasia and Europe, Mugwort and its close relations have been similarly revered throughout the northern hemisphere. Wherever it grows Mugwort has once been deemed the holiest of holies, the mother of all healing herbs. Artemisia, her genus name, points to a close relationship with Artemis, the Greek Moon Goddess, protector of young maidens, children and women in childbed who she protects with her healing powers.Since time immemorial Mugwort has been an important ritual plant. It was often associated with Thor and the summer solstice. Thor wore a protective belt wound from Mugwort to protect him on all dangerous journeys. In pre-Christian times it was customary to wind such a belt and wear it for the midsummer night's dance around the fire. At the end of the night it was ceremoniously burnt in the sacred flames of the bonfire and thus the forces of evil were averted for another year.