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Valeriana Officinalis
Swampy Dreamer

Valerian is the dank musk of deep sleep, wandering the caves and recesses of the dream world, the starry abyss of the mind. Valerian takes us to the center of the world, the heart of the matter, to our very core. For some Valerian is a relaxing, melting surrender. For others the experience is hot, agitated, and stimulating. Perhaps this paradoxical presentation has to do with your relationship to these underground, underbelly places.

Valerian taps into the currents in our body that regulate heat, both in physical temperature and in energetic states like anger, irritation and unresolved negativity. Valerian may cause the heat to rise and surface, making possible to dissipate and resolve as steam does. Valerian may also lead you into the damp and sputtering places that need heat to come ignite our smoldering debris into action.

For those that are lacking the depths of sleep to integrate daily experiences and process memory, Valerian is a true aid. But engage this powerful plant with caution as they may request that you first burn it all down, finding this sleep through a startling release with sweat and shakes. For some Valerian can cause great discomfort and a relationship with Valerian must begin on the most subtle level. We cannot always dive headlong into our challenges or areas of growth, we must court them, whisper, guide, and coax. Valerian offers us a  honeyed starting line, with their fan of sweet white flowers. Approach softly, breath in and begin. 

Valerian is a guardian of water and swamp lover. Shimmy into your waders and look the alligator in the eye.



Iris Versicolor/Spp

The Radiant Renewer

Iris is a queen. Elegant and complex, Iris enraptures and enchants. Iris knows the secrets of our webs and nests and can converse in their hidden language. Iris builds you as a castle, strong, reinforced and standing tall. From a scientific standpoint this can mean that Iris will move your lymph, increase enzyme production, aid your liver and remove waste from the body. In essence, Iris shores up our edges, secures our boundaries and makes sure that we are able to thrive.

Iris is iridescent. Iris shines. And so do you. If you feel the dulling edge of monotony in your life, the mundane is bending your shoulders or heavying your step, Iris will bring you back to the magic of the world, guide you through the beauty around you, down a path radiating color and light. Lay yourself in green grass and find the glowing eroticism of Iris.

Iris also acts as a bridge between human life and the rest of the natural world. If you find yourself too long indoors, too connected to material things, too enmeshed in the mechanical world, find your release with Iris.

Iris compels us to create. Iris requests the cultivation of splendor within yourself, and in the world at large. If you are an artist who feels blocked, who is yearning to create with passion, Iris is your ally.  Ultimately, we are all artists. If you hear that part of you calling out, Iris is your friend.

Step outside, find the moist running spring and lushness that accompanies Iris, and place yourself in front of them. Let the artistry in your heart run wild, let your luminous, lustful self come forward, and lead from desire. Iris is a queen and so are you.




Artemesia Vulgaris

The Magnifier

Mugwort is the horse on whose back your dreams ride towards you. Mugwort calls forth what is lying deep inside you, yearning for attention, integration and expression. Mugwort is not discerning of what messages come through and does not judge your dreams, but is simply the doorway that opens to your subconscious, letting it speak to your conscious mind. As a complex and heavily cerebral species, we need to connect to the other worlds of our consciousness, and this liminal space is Mugwort’s terrain.

As people on this earth, we experience both the mundane and the magical everyday. We experience pain, excitement, apathy, horror, joy and ecstasy. Our tremendous task is the integration of these experiences and holding the memory of them in healthy ways. Though Mugwort shines in this role, it is not a matter to be taken lightly. Mugwort brings forth the workings of your inner mind. Dreams can often feel twisted, dark, bizarre or unnerving. Mugwort will bring these dreams forth when there is something within that needs to be processed and enhance the vibrancy of your dreams so that you may experience them fully. This can be magnificent and frightening. If you are prone to nightmares or if your dreams are dark or sad in nature, you can still call on Mugwort and ask them to stand with you as these dreams come forth, but go gently and with caution, little by little.

Being able to integrate our dreams can aid us in being vibrantly present, clarifies what we truly desire, and leads us to step more fully into who we are. Mugwort is a special ally to the pelvis, a region prone to stagnant patterns and blocked creative energy, which can lead to depression.  Climb on Mugwort’s back and let their wild ride carry you through your own imagination into the realms of cosmic wonder.


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