Lydia is a solitary witch who has been active in the occult community for 15 years. She is a published writer and visual artist.
The Enchanting Practice of Dreamwork
Nobody knows why dreams happen. They remain a mystery to modern medicine and science, but subtly shape our lives. Dreams impact how we view people and situations. They can conjure up intense emotional experiences which rival reality. When we explore our dreams we tap into our inner wisdom and receive guidance. Enriching this spiritual practice with herbs can be invigorating while grounding us in the natural world.
Herbs are frequently used as a natural remedy for insomnia, but their use can be versatilely stretched within dreamwork. It can be a great way of connecting with Mother Earth. Earth-based spiritual practice is such a wholesome and fulfilling way to connect to something larger than ourselves. If you have your garden it can be an even more rewarding experience.
Many herbs you will want to use in your dreamwork will have a connection to the energy of the Moon. The Moon is our nightly guide and great heavenly body to connect to. The Moon is connected to dreaming.
Ways to Use Herbs in Dreamwork
Tea is the easiest way, but not all herbs are suitable for consumption. Make sure that the herb you are using won't effect your mood in a negative way or give you an allergic reaction. Pregnant women should be extremely careful when consuming any herb. Some herbs can induce premature labor. Additionally, not all herbs appeal to our taste buds. Don't force yourself to acquire a taste for chamomile tea if you have never liked it.
Also, consume in moderation. Stick with one herb as a tea for a couple weeks to get the full benefit. Just don't use it forever and ever. Sometimes we need a break from these substances in order to deepen our consciousness. Using a tea which makes our dreams more vivid can become information overload after a while. Sometimes we need to let our senses rest.
Burning herbs as an incense can be a good way to use them. They can be petitionary offering to the gods. Smoke rises up towards the heavens. This is why so many witches burn paper with spells written on them. It is thought that our wishes are carried upwards in the smoke.
You can use herbs in a bath before bedtime. Cook up a brew in your cauldron like old timey witches. This cuts down on getting a mess of herbs in the drain. Many people like to put herbs in a muslin bag or sachet. I find typically isn't a strong enough infusion for my liking. Boiling herbs in a pot of water for a half hour gets a beautiful aroma wafting in your home as well. This concoction can be strained and added to bathwater. You can also wash surfaces with a strong dream tea. Use it to clean your floor or the nightstand in your bedroom. Put it in a plant mister to spray around the bedroom.
Do you want to improve your intuition while you sleep? Creating an oil aimed at bringing prophetic dreams in can be one way. Oils can be used to anoint tools and candles. You can use them as a replacement for incense if you don't want a bunch of smoke in your room. Scent rises up to the divine just a smoke does. An oil can be another way to petition the gods.
Wear the oil on your skin. It can reflect a concentration of your magick intent. Use the scent to focus and steer your thoughts. The scent will keep the essence of your objectives in your mind. It can also be used to attract something or draw in energies.
5 Herbs for Dreamwork
- Clary Sage
Yarrow is a Venus herb used in divination. Historically, the I Ching was done with Yarrow stalks. Cultivated in Europe since at least the 13th century, it has been used for a long time as a herbal remedy for menstrual cramps and as a beautifying face wash. Fossils of this plant have been found at Neanderthal burial sites. Yarrow has since become naturalized in North America.
Historically Yarrow was used to flavor beer before Hops overtook it in terms of popularity. To this day it is used to flavor vermouth and bitters. You can used Yarrow in a tea if you want to incorporate it into your dream work.
This herb has been used in protective magick. It makes a good choice if you want to protect yourself while you are sleeping or prevent nightmares. Strewn the herb along the threshold to keep evil out. You can also cleanse your bedroom by burning Yarrow as an incense. Use it in potpourri, sachets, or dream pillows.
As a Venusian herb Yarrow is frequently used in love magick. If you are looking for love you might want to take advantage of this. Use it for dreams to reveal a future lover.
It is attractive to bees, birds, and butterflies. Plant it in your garden if you want to attract these critters into your yard in addition to doing dreamwork.
This well-known beer ingredient has traditionally been used as a sleep aid. It is a natural remedy for insomnia because it has a sedative effect. Use this particular herb with caution. It is best not consumed by those who suffer from depression as it is a downer. The pollen can also be something that causes an allergic reaction. However, Hops can be beneficial for getting us into a deep sleep state. This deep sleep gets us into REM state with greater frequency. This helps us experience longer and more complex dreams.
Are your dreams a little too mundane? Clary sage is a good choice to work with if you are hoping for some wildly, vivid dreams. This Moon herb has white flowers. At one time it was mixed with tobacco to add to the flavor. It has a beautiful, warm fragrance which can relax us and reduce anxiety. This is an herb which helps boost dream recall. The l are huge! They can be up to a foot long. Write wishes on the leaves and place them under your pillow. Analysis your dreams to determine whether your wish will come true. Bury the leaf if you discover that your wish is not viable. This is a sedating herb which you shouldn't consume before driving or operating machinery.
Mugwort is a divinatory aid frequently used for prophetic dreaming. Many witches drink Mugwort as a tea, but it may have mild hallucinatory effects. Some sources discourage us from consuming this internally. Mugwort is sacred to the Druids and Artemis. It has been hung in homes to protect from ill-intentioned spirits. It clears away negative feelings allowing us to wake up emotionally refreshed. Use Mugwort to help remember your dreams or for lucid dreaming.
This soothing Lunar herb is frequently as a comforting herbal tea to prevent nightmares and bring on restful sleep. It is one of the 9 sacred herbs of the Saxons. Strewn chamomile around your home to ward of negative magick. It was called the Plant's Physician because planting it near sickly plants helps them get well. You can water your seedlings with chamomile tea in order to give them a healthy boost. Additionally, the flower's can be used the flowers to make a yellow dye. You could be really creative and use the dye on fabric for a dream pillow.