I was still restocking from the carnage of last summer’s heat wave when I finally stumbled upon a reputable site for mugwort plants. I quickly ordered one a little too past normal spring planting season (this past spring, but they are usually pretty tenacious), only to have this little fella land on my doorstep. I can only assume he wanted a new home (or I wasn’t paying good attention when I placed the order), so I set about finding him a place. Although wormwood is said to have many medicinal applications, the use of it’s oil in absinthe is by far the most widely known. Wormwood is rich in thujone, a substance believed to induce clarity of thought and a heightened sense of perception. As such, absinthe was a favored drink among many of the famous creative of the 18th century. Who could resist a plant so wrapped in controversy? I wound up working with him quite a bit and harvested some once we established a bond, for use in my spirit summoning incense.
This past weekend I used him in the making of some salve. It worked out really well, although the kick in gave me a bit of pause. I have some of Sarah Lawless’s Witches Ointment (a good friend was kind enough to share) and I have two others on the way – the Mandrake and the Sabbat Ointments. I love Sarah’s shop and she truly is a great artist but I want to give my experiences on them in a different post so they are all together. I made mine with similar ingredients to the Witches Ointment but with a few differences to try my hand. I won’t go into the details of salve making, it’s very easy and recipes are all over (plus it would make this post way long) but I did choose the cold steep method with the herbs and I used olive oil as my base before adding the beeswax. I use apprx 1 oz weighed beeswax to 1 cup strained oil infusion. I kept a journal of the effects on the half hour so I could relate them.. for the record I weigh 115lbs, have not a high tolerance threshold (i don’t think) to normal for my size, only had a bit of coffee, and ate about 1 hr before. Obviously many factors play into how an ointment works besides the person’s physical.. prep, age/strength of herb parts used, measurements, when harvested, etc – so everyone has the potential for different reactions and one must be very careful. That said, I used about a pea sized amount and the effects lasted around an hour. Below is my experience and a list of most of the herbal ingredients but not measurements (for obvious reasons, I am not encouraging you to try this at home kids.. yadda yadda). I have also taken this base ointment and tweaked it with some diviner’s sage, but haven’t tried that one yet. I did want to post on ointments, mainly because there are so few experiences detailed out specifically on them.. so for what it’s worth..
mugwort, wormwood, yarrow, chamomile, balm of gilead, basil leaf, and a couple other bits and bobbles
20/30 min past application.. noticeable effects, started off feeling like i’d had a really nice glass of wine & definate floating/buzzing feeling, around the 30 I felt a definate kick in and my hands were tingling, dry metallic mouth – i drank a bit of water at this point.
1 hr in.. level off and went to do some scrying, was able to walk, light candles, function without issue (i.e. I didn’t burn the house down but I wouldn’t operate any heavy machinery at this point)
1hr 30 in.. level is very pleasant and relaxed, no major noticeable buzz or tingling – just very relaxed, slight metallic mouth but no longer thirsty.. metallic went about 15 min later and i still felt relaxed which tapered off back to normal
as a side note, i slept really well and woke up with no adverse in the following morning
As for the scrying, I had a really good go. I described the initial effects as similar to a good glass of wine that moves onto a definate feeling of more.. I personally don’t think the effects of alcohol are similar to the more (i.e. I didn’t feel drunk and I was still aware/in control of my actions).. more of a deep relaxation with a kick. I hope this gives those looking a better idea and I will post on Sarah’s wonderful concoctions at a later date for the curious minded.
Also, as a side note – The husband has had the ick and I woke up Sunday feeling like a cold was setting in (bad pagan, no cookie for doing workings during compromised immune). I found solace in making my favorite witches hot toddy. There is a lovely lady who makes this amazing oracle tea at our local shop, but I imagine any favorite mugwort tea would work, so I thought I’d share the brew. I coat one awesome harry potter owl mug’s bottom with my favorite honey, pour in 1/2 oz whiskey, add tea and hot water. Once steeped, squeeze in the juice from 1/4 of an orange.. it is wonderful when you’re feeling a bit under.