Yarrow History, Folklore, and Magical Properties

Posted by Amelia Champion on

Yarrow's virtues as a healing herb have been well-known since ancient times. It's Latin name, Achillea millefolium, is derived from the Greek Hero Achilles, who was said to rely on this humble herb to heal his warriors on the battle field. It's been used in Western Europe and China as a tool for divination for centuries, including a variety of dream and waking rituals and verses for discovering one's true love. Perhaps its most well-known use is in conjunction with the I Ching, where bundles of 64 long, straight yarrow sticks are used to read the hexagrams associated with this system of divination.

To learn more about Yarrow, read PH's Herbal Encyclopedia entry on this herb.  http://www.practicalherbalist.com/home/53-magical-herbs/266-yarrow-myth-and-magic.html

Yarrow Magic

Yarrow has been long recognized as a protective, healing plant. Achilles, after whom yarrow (achillea millefolium) is named, was reputed to have used yarrow to heal wounds on the battle field. In fact, yarrow has a long-standing reputation among herbalists in Europe, North America, and Asia for its ability to slow and stop the flow of blood. Part of yarrow's magic is the ability to slow the flow of energy going to a wound to a rate that aids in healing. Yarrow magic is the magic of intentional restraint.

Intentional restraint, one of yarrows lessons and skills, is about recognizing that wounds, especially deep ones, benefit from slow and carefully protected healing. Yarrow reminds us to give energy to our healing process, but not to allow the energy to overwhelm us. Likewise, yarrow reminds us to protect ourselves and our vulnerable places so that they can heal.

by Candace Hunter