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Herbal Alchemist's Handbook, The: A Grimoire of Philtres. Elixirs, Oils, Incense, and Formulas for Ritual Use Paperback – June 1, 2011

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Herbal Alchemist's Handbook, The: A Grimoire of Philtres. Elixirs, Oils, Incense, and Formulas for Ritual Use + The -Alchemist's Kitchen: Extraordinary Potions & Curious Notions (Wooden Books) + Real Alchemy: A Primer of Practical Alchemy
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Powerful, practical and deliciously magickal! I love The Herbal Alchemists Handbook! Not only does it have excellent recipes, but it tells you the how and why behind the principles of formulation rooted in tradition but not afraid to add new, practical and firsthand knowledge. In particular, Karen takes a tough topic, formulation with your numerology or astrology and explains the process in clear terms and makes it fun as well as informative." --Christopher Penczak, author of The Temple of Witchcraft series and The Plant Spirit Familiar

"A thorough and remarkably usable handbook." --Lon Milo DuQuette, author of Enochian Vision Magick

"Karen Harrison's got the goods! I met Karen in the flesh in 1987, although my company had been selling her Moon Magic line of oils and incenses for years. I thought I knew something about herbs--this was before my first real conversation with her! I am delighted that she has finally distilled her years of herbal practice, Qabalistic study, astrological knowledge and magical expertise into a book that will benefit any student of the occult arts, from novice to adept. Well done, Karen!" --Judith Hawkins-Tillirson, author of The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick

"Being a well trained and experienced herbologist, the author has created a modern-day herbal grimoire by presenting valuable material in an easy to follow format. She gathers ancient wisdom and illustrates its use in a intelligible style convenient for the modern practitioner. Delightful reading for the herbalist, witch and astrologer alike." --Theitic, editor/publisher of The Witches' Almanac

"Karen Harrison's book is a boon to herbalists, alchemists, witches and magicians alike. Based on the philosophy and teachings of Paracelsus, it details--in every sense of the word--the use of herbs; examining the spirit or chi of the plants, and suggests how that special individual power might be used both mundanely and magically. This is an eminently practical book. It is fully annotated and offers recipes for the blending of incenses, for ceremonial oils, philtres and more. For me, this book will have a permanent place in my collection. It is a joy to read; a wealth of knowledge." --Raymond Buckland, author of Buckland's Book of Gypsy Magic

About the Author

Karen Harrison has been involved with magick, the psychic arts, and occultism since early childhood. She earned a Master of Herbology from the Emerson College of Herbology in Montreal, and is the proprietress of Moon Magick Alchemical Apothecary. She and her husband also own Isis Books, Gifts and Healing Oasis in Denver, Colorado (www.isisbooks.com), the largest and most complete brick and mortar store in the U.S. specializing in world spirituality, magick and herbs/essential oils.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Weiser Books (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578634911
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578634910
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Dana L Logan on October 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have many herbals, both medicinal and magical, but this is my new favorite. It is easy to read, clearly organized and very accessible. I would feel comfortable recommending this book to beginners and adepts alike. I found it refreshingly free of abstract philosophy, theory and moralizing. Instead it delivers a wealth of magical information the depth and breadth of which I have not personally found in any other book. It is divided into three sections beginning with "Herbs and their Planetary Signatures" that discusses the herbs in the context of what planet rules them and why. An example of a ritual is then given which provides an opportunity for practical application of the information. Part 2, "Practicum" gives clear instructions on how to create, incense, oils, philtres, bath salts and herbal infusions for the bath, herbal amulets, magical potpourri, phitres, elixers and fluid condensers. Part 3, "Combining the Planetary and Elemental Influences" gives instruction on how to use numerology and astrology to create herbal formulas. Especially interesting in this section is how to use a natal horoscope to create a formula including how to magically use herbs to strengthen weak areas or troubled parts of the horoscope. The book then conculudes with several appendices with lists on the herbs and correspondences. This is the book I have been looking for but never thought I would find as it combines herbs, gem stones, alchemy and astrology in a straight forward accessible way.
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Gonzo on July 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is, first and foremost an ASTROLOGY book, with some basic numerology thrown in. About one/third of the book is Herbal Materia MAGICA(pages 119-198, which starts the Appendix by the way so HALF of the book is the stuff you bought the book for) or basically a list of herbs as they PERTAIN TO MAGICK, not medicine... with names and astrological signs afixed to them. To me, useless... and there are no pictures of plants whatsoever, Scott Cunningham at least included pictures. You will need to get another herb book anyway, for a real reference. Why not get a REAL alchemy book or two as well.

I suggest Herb Books
The Herb and Spice Companion by Webb and Craze (for common herbs, if your buying)
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (I know its old, but its thick has medicinal values and pictures)
The Complete ILLUSTRATED Encyclopedia of Magical Plants (for strictly magickal purposes)
Or Even one of the many editions of Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia Of Magickal Herbs (and I am NOT a Scott Cunningham fan)

I suggest REAL Alchemy Books
Sorcerer's Stone by Hauck ( a break down of Alchemy)
The Path Of Alchemy by Stavish (a down to earth hands on approach)
The Alchemist's Handbook (the more technical manual)
or even The Weiser Concise Guide To Alchemy (very basic)

Get 1 of each of these books, or two of each and put two and two together and add your own spin on things (which is what this author did), guilt free. If you need a book to tell you how to make teas, tinctures, oil INFUSIONS (not essential oils like REAL alchemists did) and LOOSE incense or potpourri you are a true novice and by all means get this book. If you LOVE astrology and think that the sun and moons are still planets (forget uranus and neptune...
Read more ›
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Siobhan Brittain on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The herbal alchemist book did not meet my expectations, there was a lack of detailed instructions and it was not as exciting as the title may have suggested. there were not enough recipies or elixers and it was bulked out with a herbal medica materia and information on astrology and nummerology!

i would have liked more information on the preperation of herbal products and tintures and distillation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By univer-soul on September 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good book for the introductory alchemist. Nothing complex- and very straight forward. This book does deal more with general concepts and nothing super specific in relation to herbs, its a guide to get you started- it teaches concepts and also herbs that will be beneficial.
Would recommend additional reading on herbs to get more of a grasp of what your getting into, but this book contains alot of the fundamental basics and even went into other areas such as numerology and natal charts.

I recommend this book - its a good read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chrystal on January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! This is one of the best purchases I've made! I ordered based on the high rating and some people raving about it various places on the internet. So I went over to Amazon, found a good price, and ordered! Then I noticed some complaints. I started to worry. Well the book showed up.

This book has surpassed every expectation I had! It's better then I could ever have hoped! It has some nice, basic rituals and mixtures in it. But the best part is all the information! Any Wiccan, Pagan, or Herbalist knows that the rituals and mixtures are all your own making. Its not like making brownies. So what you really need is the information to put it all together in tune to the Universe. This book may not have every last little thing under the Sun, but no book does. This is great for beginners or experts. The big plus is so much different information is all in one place! And orderly, not mixed up like handwritten notes. I would 100% recommend!
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