Here you will find books on herbal lore, herbal magic, herbal crafts and herbal gardening. When I talk about herbs, do not think that I am just referring to traditional herbs or the herbs found in the herbs and spices section of your grocery store. Nor am I just talking about herbaceous (non-woody) plants. When I use the word herb, I am referring to any plant that is useful in any way; magical, culinary, medicinal and crafty plants.
Anyway, please take a look at these mini reviews of my favorite (and not so favorite) books on herbal lore.
Garden Witchery: Magick from the Ground Up by Ellen Dugan is, while not a completely useless book, and extremely annoying one. The tone is annoying, the scholarship is questionable and there's very little unique information. It's full of pointless unrelated anecdotes and her lack of environmental concern is evident through her repeated suggestions of using herbicides and pesticides and various highly invasive foreign species. Not to mention the paper wasted on this tripe. If you're not an absolute newbie at gardening, you won't learn anything about it from this book, but you might profit from the spells and correspondences, though the witchipedia has lots more information than this book does, and it's free. If you're an experienced gardener you will be wondering why you wasted your money on this silly woman's silly book.
Ironically, one of my favorite books about herbal magic is The Wicca Herbal by Jamie Wood. It is full of great information and practical ideas. The introduction contains a bunch of information that is, as usual, questionable, but not offensively so. She describes a tradition, which she calls Wicca, which is certainly earth-based spirituality and witchcraft, but is not really Wicca, though the definition of Wicca is so convoluted these days, who knows what it is. She also includes handy tips for growing, gathering, storing and preserving herbs, but she's pretty light on general information about making herbal preparations. If you already know all that, you won't miss it. For each plant she gives a brief introduction and provides practical information for integrating it into your magical practice. Here is where the herbal preparations are, but you have to find the herbs she's chosen to provide recipes for to get the information. It's a good reference and it has lots of neat ideas and recipes. It would be nice, perhaps, if there was more detailed information about the individual herbs, their correspondences, growing conditions, plant identification tips, but I don't think that's what this book is all about. I think it assumes you are already familiar with the plants under discussion and just wants to give you some ideas about how to use them. All and all, a great book to have as a companion to more mundane book with more detailed information about the plants themselves.
Of course you can find lots of information about magical herbs at http://www.witchipedia.com/herblore if you want to know more about the plants in this book.
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