Herbal Allies for Eclipse Season
It's pretty clear that the energy of the last few weeks has sent so many folks in a tail-spin. We've been oversleeping, forgetting commitments and booking new ones, and generally feeling like sloths on a roller-coaster. Welcome to Eclipse Season.
Yes, eclipse season can feel like pulling the furniture away from the walls to find years of dust and grime, lost pens, crumpled up notes, and dead spiders. Yes, we are still lotus blossoms, but eclipse season reminds us that we have to push through the muck first to truly bloom.
You're not failing even though you feel like you might be falling.
Don't worry - it's not all direness and relieving old miseries. The surprising energy and sudden revelatory movements of eclipse season swings all ways. Sometimes when the veil is pulled back during eclipse season, we find ourselves laughing in joy. Those dark corners, in fact, were growing crystals and the perfect spot to brew a long-forgotten tincture of soul wisdom.
Fortunately, we’ve never been meant to heal alone.
Herbs can act as sturdy shields and gentle hugs. They can calm the roaring thoughts of a restless mind and repair the tenderness of a wounded heart. Often, our plant kin help us to adjust our physical and energetic stance so that we are better able to perceive what needs to be known in order to heal. And they are amazing allies during times like these when everything seems significant but sideways.
What follows are short energetic profiles of a small selection of herbs that I find to be particularly for a wide variety of eclipse season experiences. As always, I affirm your ability to do your own research and work with herbal practitioners to to discover which plants will best suit your needs.
Let’s meet the herbal allies of eclipse season.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
One of the reasons that I think eclipse season can be such a challenge for folks is because the Moon, which represents the hidden nature of ourselves and the world(s), becomes writ large in our lives. What is usually hidden blocks out the light we are so accustomed to. And together we live, for a few moments, not by the light of the Sun, but by the dark of the Moon. Working with a Moon herb, such as Mugwort, helps us to connect with our lunar selves. While many of us know our Sun sign, we don’t know our Moon sign which represents our most intimate truths about ourselves. Knowing your Moon means that you are better able to distribute the power of your Sun throughout your life. Working with Mugwort during eclipse season is one way to enhance your dreams, a primary mode of communication between our conscious selves and lunar selves. The herb can also help to unlock and enhance psychic gifts. If you’ve been denying your psychic gifts, eclipse season can be a time to reconnect with them, and Mugwort can help to open the path.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Skullcap is my go-to herb for folks with busy minds and racing thoughts. This is the herb that most often helps folks who tend to spin round-and-round in their heads. If you tend towards anxious thoughts that keep you up at night or generally draw you away from being present in the moment, Skullcap might be a good ally for you. I find that eclipse season can aggravate nervous thinking and hyper-vigilance, which is why I like to recommend Skullcap, both as a tincture and flower essence. Additionally, it can be enjoyed as a tea and it’s bitter taste helps with indigestion, especially when caused by nervous tension. Skullcap is also one of my favorite herbs for the season of Mabon or the Autumn Equinox which is just around the corner in the northern hemisphere - read more about it.
Rose (Rosa spp.)
When am I not recommending Rose? I know of some herbalists who work almost exclusively with Rose and I understand why. It’s a multifaceted healing flower that invites us to unravel the mystery of who we are, why we suffer, and how we might love while still being able to enjoy the side of life which will always remain mysterious. A Rose remedy is like ASMR for the aura - soft but energizing, soothing but inspiring. When I use Rose as a remedy I feel like I am stepping into a sacred temple that is outside of time and space. Eclipse season has a way of slowing things down and speeding them up all at once which is why Rose can be such a useful ally. It helps us deal with time and our experience of it (including memory and what is yet to come) with peace and steadiness. And if eclipse season is stirring up old heartache - try adding Rose into your remedy repertoire.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Catnip is the herb for those whose emotional turmoil manifests as discomfort in the stomach. Folks who have an affinity for Catnip often have experienced a difficult childhood. For Catnip folks, early life experiences have taught them to keep things hidden away as an act of survival and protection. They believe that what they present to the rest of the world must remain calm and unflustered. Their suffering is present but remains hidden - sometimes the depth of which is even unknown to them. Catnip helps folks to be able to experience their emotions without becoming incapacitated by them. To learn and trust that they can be vulnerable without feeling unsafe. During the revelatory episodes of eclipse season, having Catnip nearby can help to remind us that we deserve to feel safe and at home in the world.
Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Hawthorn has similar energetics to Rose but with heightened protective qualities and an ability to help us connect with otherworldly guides - whether land spirits or ancestors. Eclipse season is inherently magickal but not necessarily the best time to be performing complex acts of magick. It makes more sense to find time to sit quietly beneath a tree or sipping tea before your house altar right now. Hawthorn, like Rose, connects us with the sacredness of time and it’s particularly talented at helping us learn how to establish boundaries to protect our time. So if the energy of eclipse season has you feeling like you need to be doing all the things at once, consider working Hawthorn into your herbal routine. I was on a podcast all about Hawthorn where I (if sometimes nervously but always enthusiastically) expressed my love and gratitude for the plant.
Milky Oat (Avena sativa)
Ahhh, Milky Oat. A beautiful and powerful herb to nourish the nervous system and bring us out of state of unrest. I’ve not yet met anyone who has not benefitted in some small way by incorporating Milky Oat into their lives. If you’re someone who struggles with being a workaholic and taking time off, I would gently challenge you to start taking Milky Oat now and continue with it for at least three months. It’s an herb best enjoyed for an extended period of time and if you’re someone who puts off self-care or consistency (i.e. doing something nice for yourself more than once every six months) in self-care, I think you should consider Milky Oat. Milky Oat is one of my favorite New Moon herbs.
My final closing advice for eclipse season is to observe and let it go. You are meant to have enough room in your own life to be completely and unapologetically yourself. Eclipse season is an opportunity to clear out the closets of psychic clutter. In a real physical way, clean your house, tidy up your altar, and drink enough water (no, really, most of us are super dehydrated). Don’t be afraid to take up space in your own life. Also, recognize when you might be taking up too much space in the lives of others because you're afraid of sorting through your own stuff.
Yes, eclipse season is about revelations. But it’s also about recentering. Be sure to take time to do just that.
Do you have herbal allies (or other tools such as crystals) that you find helpful during eclipse season? Be sure to let me know in the comments - I love learning about what it is that you find useful in your life.