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Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (Llewellyn's Sourcebook Series) (Cunningham's Encyclopedia Series) Paperback – Unabridged, October, 1985
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In a similar way, Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs doesn't teach you how to do spells (although it does give a brief outline so you can use this without any other book). What it does do is give you all the information you need to make your spells, talismans, amulets, and rituals work better.
This book has become a classic in its field. Every time I visit an occult shop that sells herbs, I look to see what books they use as resources. Inevitably, this book is there, usually quite beaten up from constant use. The pros use it and so do over 200,000 people like you.
The cross-referenced index of folk names could be a book by itself. Did you know that if a magical spell calls for "bats' wings" you should use holly? Or did you know that if a magical recipe called for "lapstones" you should use potato? If you had this book you would know all that and more. You'd also learn that ragweed can be used for courage; lily of the valley can enhance mental powers and happiness; and chrysanthemums can be used for protection.
This book by Scott Cunningham is truly encyclopedic. It gives information on over 400 herbs in an easy-to-use format that makes working with the book clear and simple. If you do any sort of magic with herbs, or if you are interested in folklore, this is a book you must have.
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Top Customer Reviews
The herbs are organized alphabetically, and black and white drawings of the plant or flower are to the side of each entry, which typically includes the scientific (Latin) name, health codes (such as G for safe, and a guide is included in the book for all of the codes), any folk names, its attributed gender, planet, element, and deities, followed by brief (or sometimes long) descriptions of ritual and magical uses.
After the listings of herbs, there are lists of categories, under which are listed what herbs fit that area- such as masculine plants, herbs that correspond to certain ritual intentions, and elementary rulers. Also included are an index, a glossary, and a mail order list for those who do not have an herb store nearby (and it's hard to find something like mandrake in your local grocery store!).
Granted, this book is not the be-all and end-all of herbal studies. I recommend finding yourself at least three good sources and using them together when using herbs.
If you want a REALLY thorough herb reference and this doesn't sound like enough, I would try Paul Beyerl's Master Book of Herbalism
I do like the fact that the book has an encyclopedic aspect with drawings of the herbs, elements, gender, planetary aspects. I like Cunningham's intro chapters to the material as well. But the main problem I have with this book is a problem I have with several of Cunningham's books of this type ("Magical Household" comes to mind) is that it's big on folklore and superstitious uses of plants and herbs. Another reviewer mentioned that noting the actual magical effectiveness of herbs would have been nice. I totally agree. At least distinguishing which is folklore/old wives tales and which are classically magical would have been nice. I read an article once which I believe was written by Cunningham's former roommate Donald Michael Kraig, who stressed how much research Cunningham did in writing this book, including brewing up herbal mixtures, testing, etc. If that were the case, I really don't see the practical result here, which is too bad. When looking through it, what I see most is folklore, which may or may not help you. To me, it seems a little lightweight and not as practical as it could be.
Also, he doesn't touch upon any sort of herbal medicine/healing information. I realize this is covered in any number of books on herbalism, but, to me, that is part of the "Magick" of herbs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is decent. It has some general information about a lot of Herbs. I think it could be more specific in most cases. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
A classic, and very well laid out. Excellent research, a must-have for anyone interested in herbs and alternative uses.Published 20 days ago by AJ Aalto
Can't go wrong with any of the many books this much loved author gifted to us! We who search for knowledge from the prospective of a solitary or a base for a coven... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Arachne
Excellent book on medicinal herbs. Was recommended to us by a voodo priest in new orleansPublished 1 month ago by Lor Dooley
I like this book and the layout. There are lists of herbs categorized in the back section, including by magical properties and where you can find something under an alternative... Read morePublished 1 month ago by SHARON