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on July 20, 2000
Having read and owned most of the herbal books now on the market, I can tell you from years of experience that Paul's books are well researched, well thought out, and simple to understand. Paul takes you into realms of knowledge and understanding that you do not find elsewhere. It is clear that he has been researching and working with the plants for many years. His sweetness of heart and soul come shining through in his work, and there is more information here than anyone could hope to use, not only remedially, but also magickally. This book, and all of Pauls books are a big thumbs up! Please keep it coming Paul...we await your next work with great anticipation!
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on February 10, 2004
This is without mistake, among the better herbal magic books. However, I originally bought it thinking it was on herbal alchemy rather than use for spells. It has a few too many psychological cures and not very many practical ones. You have to infer about how magical cures might turn out as medical ones. And since I mentioned alchemy, most of these are turned into incense, rather than into potions or elixirs.
Otherwise, it is a very good book, especially if you're a witch in need of how to use herbs for ceremony. Ceremony is this book's specialty. It does tell many herbs used for funerals, protection, or sexual prowess.
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on March 15, 2000
Bright Greetings, When I first got this book I thought it was great, but upon a closer look I realized Mr. Beryl made quite a few omissions and mistakes regarding herbs and their usage. Prime example: page #250, Milkweed (Apocynum Androsaemilfolium). He suggested laying a stalk of this weed in a baby's arms at Wiccanings. If he had researched this herb in depth he would have known this is a VERY dangerous suggestion to make to the general public. (not everyone is a rocket scientist, or possesses good reasoning ability, and some might just follow his advice without precautions) This plant is a member of the TOXIC Digitalis family and could be lethal if ingested by a small one! He even went as far as to suggest using the juice of the plant as well. In my humble opinion as an old wildcrafter-buy the book, BUT..double check things if there is any suggestion of using the plant with small children or of ingesting it. (I also found errors in his nomenclature (wrong Latin name for some plants, etc.) May Your Path Be Blessed, ...
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on October 22, 2003
As some reviewers already stated, P. Beyerl's magical corespondences (some of them) seem arbitrary. On the other hand most of them are in accord with the tradition and seems ok. But if you put these 'errors' aside, 'Compendium of Herbal Magick' is still a very good (and very nicely illustrated) book with plenty of true informations and interesting stories regarding a lot of herbs. So I think that despise some errors (here and there) in the correspondences, (more than 80% of the attributions seems ok), it is nevertheless a very pleasant and respectable lecture. Buy it for its informations, for its interesting stories and for its nice illustrations but sometimes look elsewhere for the herb's correspondences. I give it four stars.
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on February 12, 2008
I found this book to be a pretty helpful resource in researching the properties of herbs for magickal purposes, though I always cross-researched with other herb books, as Beyerl's entries are not always the most comprehensive. Beyerl relies quite heavily on M. Grieve's work for his lore and history. I'll grant that Grieve's work is excellent, but I would have liked to have seen Beyerl draw from a few more sources so I didn't have to!

Not a bad addition to one's bookshelf, but there may be better options out there.
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on January 2, 2014
and I highly doubt I would buy this book today unless it was at a drastically reduced price. The correspondences are strange (where did he find these?) and in the listed herb(e)s, (which is how he spells herbs) he quotes M. Grieves and his own book "Master Book of Herbalism" at length. I know everyone ridicules Scott's Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, but, in doing research, he did get his info from a lot of sources - Agrippa, Gerard, Culpeper - for the lore and correspondences, which is very interesting. This book is not - just buy M. Grieves and MBoH and save your money.
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on October 13, 2003
I was very excited to buy this book, because here at last was an alternative to Cunningham's fluffy magical herbalism books. I was excited because it seemed that the author's research and scholarship was much greater than Cunningham's.
Unfortunately, as another reviewer pointed out, his magical corespondences seem arbitrary. Also, the plants he chooses to list seem to have come off the shelf of some musty old occult shop and not out of the author's garden. How can you claim to know anything about the plant and its powers if you know it only in death and have never experienced it alive and growing.
Also, I sadly discovered that the author's scholarship is actually somewhat lacking. He describes Milkweed as the plant which attracts Monarch Butterflies, which is correct, unfortunately he lists the plant with the scientific name "Apocynum Androsaemifolium" which, while also sometimes called milkweed, has nothing to do with monarch butterflies. This plant is also sometimes called Dogbane and its a shrub which is totally unrelated to plants in the Asclepiadaceae family, which monarchs frequent. He lists the correct milkweed under its genus name, Asclepias, and never mentions monarchs.
Since I discovered this error it has called into question all of the information in the book and I hesitate to use it as a reference in my magical practice.
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on April 16, 2001
Perhaps the most promising part of this book is Beyerl's astrological correspondences of the herbs. Unfortunately, it is also the part needing the most work. For example, Beyerl tells us that the energetics of a solar herb is hot and drying, and that a lunar herb is cool and moistening. This is actually very helpful information. However, he lists ginger as a lunar herb!! The logic of this absurdity defies comprehension! Ginger is one of the hottest and most drying herbs we have! Clearly it should be a solar herb! This most obvious contradiction calls into question Beyerl's other correspondence listings.
If astrological herbalism is to be taken seriously -- and there is no reason why it cannot be, assuming it accurately portrays the energetics of herbs -- it must become more rigorous, adopt accurate criteria for classification, and come up with a comprehensive and noncontradictory system that is also useful in clinical practice. Peter Holmes' book The Energetics of Western Herbs would be a useful place to begin, as he accurately describes the advantages and disadvantages of the Galenic system that astrological herbalism builds upon. Rather than attempting to interpret the planetary attributes of an herb according to its analytic effect upon isolated tissues, it would be better for astrology to develop a bodily energetics based upon the planetary archetypes. In this way, the energetics of a planet would nicely fit both physiological conditions and herbal properties, rather than trying to fit an energetic model into an anatomic model which it poorly fits. Planetary attributes of herbs must be distinguished in terms of various categories : medical/therapeutic, archetypal/active, etc. For example, certain plants have become associated with the activities of certain planets / gods which makes sense mythically, but not necessarily clinically in a medical or therapeutic sense. This does not invalidate either, but requires specific elucidation in an herbal, so we may distinguish amongst categories.
We need to be fair. Beyerl has done a great deal of synthesis in his book, especially on the magical properties of herbs, which does not particularly interest me. And he cannot be blamed for the rather pathetic state of modern astrological herbalism, which is in great need of intelligent, synthetic, and clinical revival. However, without dialogue with the author -- which I would welcome, by the way -- I cannot understand his method of planetary alignment with many of these herbs.
I will say that pages 434 - 453 ("Working With Astrological Correspondences") is one of the strongest parts of the book, which gives us an awesome and fairly comprehensive nature of the energetics of the planets. It is only when we come to the listings that I begin to question.
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on May 9, 2014
I very much enjoyed working with the folk lore presented here as well as with the elements involved in practicing my Earth based spirituality. I found the book well written, organized in a way that I could easily understand and follow.
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on April 25, 2014
This book is a great reference book if you want to learn more about herbs. A must have if you are a practicing Wiccan. The only thing I personally was not too happy with was the illustrations are NOT in color! That would have made the book better.
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