As Hedge Witches, we are herb and nature lovers primarily, potty about plants, our leafy family! However, we invite loads of differing healing and healthful practices into our connections with the green world, from magical spells to yoga and breathwork, nutritional medicine to herbal support for meditation support
A sense of peace? Calm? Better mental health? A sense of returning home to yourself…Enhancement of physic powers …to feel more connected?
Learning to calm ourselves down (a bit) in our teens, to help with these overactive minds and chaotic souls, we started to try various types of yoga and meditation! We explored astral projection, silent retreats, a plethora of yogic meditative breathing practices for calming, cleansing and energizing, Buddhist chanting (Nam-myoho-renge-kyo) which took us to other worlds…. We trained as yoga Nidra practitioners, which was a total revelation. Yoga Nidra purists will tell you it differs from meditation because of the way the brain responds, but essentially the outcomes can be very similar.
We have experienced Universal connectiveness can be found in these various practices and we continue to meditate daily – we especially love guided meditations. – and because we are so connected to the plants, we have delved deep into which herbs help to get into the ‘zone’ – the best space for our minds to surrender into a space of serenity and chill.
What happens to Our Minds in Meditation?
Let’s get into it – what’s happening in your head when you meditate, and how do herbs enhance your experience?
Brain wave ‘manipulation’ improves our mental state. It sounds so controlling – manipulating your brain waves!!! Lol, and oftentimes, the idea is really that you want to let go of control, so let’s phrase this differently
– Let your brain waves follow where your mind goes!!!
Or is it your mind? When talking about meditation, it gets deep real quick – proper philosophical. What is it that we are accessing during the practice? Our mind or the thinking part of us, is also observed by a part of us that can see the thoughts we are having.
Mystics refer to this part of us as the higher self.
During meditation, it becomes possible to reveal parts of ourselves that are held in the subconscious or extra conscious…. Your hidden thoughts, your desires, your dreams.
Seeking to clear your mind and relax your body, it becomes evident where your thoughts want to wander and which parts of your body seemingly refuse to relax. You get great insights into how you function in an otherwise busy day to day existence.
So what might we need meditation for?
• Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations.
• To settle and cope with stress better.
• Increasing self-awareness.
• Increasing imagination and creativity.
• Increasing patience and tolerance.
• Lowering resting heart rate
• Lowering resting blood pressure
• Improving sleep quality
• For gaining inspiration or new ideas in a project
• For entering into connection with herbs or the natural world
• Magical practices
The benefits of Yoga Nidra in particular include an increase in:
• Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid that functions to decreases anxiety and depression,
• Melatonin improving restful sleep
• Serotonin to support memory and mood,
• Oxytocin creates a feeling of calm, security, contentment and reduces pain, endorphins, dopamine and DHEA to enhance memory.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Why don’t we all just do it then, if it’s really that good for us to meditate?
Herbs can really help to focus your intention to meditate and facilitate holding a space that your body begins to recognise as the place where you are going to do your daily meditation practice, whatever that may be. Your sinews start to notice, ahhh the delicious sweet taste of xyz, or a drop of Meditation Drops, must be time to tune in!!!
The length of time it takes to reach those optimum states decreases alongside great herbal formulas.
How can Herbs Help?
There are many approaches to supporting meditation, such as burning resins or herbs that will encourage deep relaxation and seer-ship within the meditation. Herbs can be valuable allies in enhancing your meditation practice by providing physical, mental, and spiritual support.
Many herbal teas, such as chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm, have natural calming properties that can promote relaxation or ease anxiety before meditation. Certain herbs, such as mugwort and wormwood for example, have been traditionally used for their ability to enhance dream experiences or meditation to access deeper states of consciousness.
Meditation drops – does what it says on the bottle!
We have developed a combination of herbs for our Meditation Drops that anyone can harvest and make for themselves.
These 4 plants work synergistically within the drops to aid calm, connected release…
Elderberry (introspection): we utilise the magical association of elder, the dark berries of introspection. They offer essential immune boosting at this time of year, but also we associate them with the art of scrying.
Mugwort (dream): named after Artemisia the Moon Goddess is a herb of the Moon and Venus, having a strong effect on our third eye centre. Allow her to take you into a gently altered state to explore the inner and unseen realms.
Mullein (listen): both supports and protects delicate respiratory tissue, thus aiding with breath and also the movement of Prana or life force wherever there is dryness or constriction in the body.
Fennel (inspiration): Fennel seeds are deliciously sweet, a mercurial plant, supporting our delicate nervous systems, soothing any spasms in the physical body which in turn reflects by bringing about gentle balance to more subtle bodies, uplifting us and gifting striking inspirations.
These drops support:
· Creating time to stop & dropping into yourself
· When introspection is needed, Inspiration from within
· Identifying your hopes and dreams
· Asking for clarity in the dream-state
· Strengthening the immune system
· Creating personal boundaries & protection from unwanted influences
· A meditative practice / journey work; Directing energy towards a point
· Anxiety & Stress
Together these herbs, apart from tasting delicious, aid the smooth sliding into the sometimes sensual space of deep meditation. With the witchy magical elder, the intuitive mullein and the dreamy aspects of mugwort you have a great foundation. Chuck in a little fennel and suddenly you have a mix that could just trigger that inspiration required.
We have written extensively about the flying ointment in our book, Poison Prescriptions (Seed Sistas, Watkins Media, 2022). The flying ointment provides compounds that give a sense of flying when applied externally to pulse points or mucous membranes of the fanny, bum hole or anywhere you can get it to a membrane, up the nose also one method. Just the application methods of this preparation are enough to inspire.
If you want to read more about the preparation of the Flying Ointment, check out our Poison Prescriptions book
Long created by witches, this green preparation – an oil containing nightshade family plants amongst others – can provide a powerful dose without huge toxicity or these otherwise quite risky plants.
We always recommend growing and connecting with powerful plants when working with them. Herbs like Datura, Belladonna, Mandrake – -all hold this mystique.
The balm is an adjunct to meditative practices. We work with the balm to connect with nature, with one another but also within yourself.
Applying a little of this creation before entering into a meditative state, really helps to focus the mind and start to slip into the required state.
There are many forms of meditation, from walking to dance, to laying down, journeying, yoga Nidra, breath and base was a recent one we tried. Whatever the practice and intentions, meditation drops and flying ointment can be luminescent, bringers of connectivity to ‘other’ and inspirations galore.
The only real way to understand meditation, is to experience the differing states so get meditating!
Don’t stop reading yet…!
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Our article on Protection in Health and Magical Work will cover the topics above more in-depth, plus:
- And much more!