Swallows and Allies


“We’re back! Did you miss us?” you can almost hear the Swallows shouting as they wheel overhead in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Do they know something about Europe this Autumn that we don’t? Because it’s fearfully early for them to have returned this year.

Yet last night I learnt something about a plant ally which is proving very helpful to me personally, whatever the future holds for the Northern Hemisphere. That something is the power of Artemisia within our dreaming consciousness.

Well, I say “our” when in fact I mean “my”, for I have no idea if this effect is human-universal. But research suggests it might be.

I gathered, last week, a couple of handsful of fresh Atremisia from the garden (I used Afra although I believe the effects were first noted in the Vulgaris branch of the family) , dried it out on the kitchen window for a few days, then popped the whole dried mass into a clean, sterilised glass bottle which had lately held cheese spread.

Before sleeping, I removed the top of the bottle and placed it, open, on my bedside table.

Within two nights I was seeing results. The inner-city nightmares I have been having for the last 15 years suddenly and radically altered in tone. Within these dark and guilt-ridden dreams I have been used to feeling helpless, without resources, abandoned and afraid. Now, within exactly the same setting, I was confident, resourceful, able to sustain myself and my young son without worry. A huge difference in the dream which meant I started awake without the usual shakings, tremblings, regret and fear.

I believe that this plant ally, in its Vulgaris form, has been used for millenia to ease the vibrational edges of bad dreams. Now I have proof – enough for me – that the Afra variety shares the same qualities.


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