There is such a massive sea of books on plant magick and herbalism out there these days. Unfortunately most of them seem to keep repeating information from Scott Cunningham’s herbalism books and don’t dive deeper into the magick and spiritual bond of plants and witches. While Cunningham’s books were the first of their kind and hold a special place in my heart as they do others, there’s so much more to working with plants than merely creating incense and oils. Do you want something more advanced? Something a bit deeper?
If you’re still a beginner, I still recommend the classic trinity of Cunningham herbal books:
- Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
- Magical Herbalism: The Secret Craft of the Wise
- The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews
Witches, plants, and concoctions of poison and healing created by them have been linked together throughout time. The bond between the witch and the plant kingdom are some of the most magickal relationships a witch can have. As such, plants are some of the most powerful teachers and allies any witch could ask for – and also some of the most dangerous. Since there’s so many books these days on the topic of magick and flora, I wanted to share some of my absolute hands-down favorite books on the topic that I genuinely feel will enrich, deepen, and enhance any witch with a green thumb’s praxis and relationship with the world of plants. So if you’re tired of books that just keep regurgitating the same basic surface level information and want books with much more depth, make sure to check these ones out.
A Compendium Of Herbal Magick
Every plant has its own distinct spiritual energy or its own deva. Devas are the radiant light of the Universal Divine that permeates all things. Since the earliest times, people were aware that all of Nature is divine. Great and wondrous myths were told that explained the presence of divine energy as it exists in thunder, in trees, and in sunlight. Some of this lore was the foundation of religions. But the simpler stories, such as those of a plant’s energy, explored day-to-day matters like health and love. This understanding of the world has been preserved in folklore through poems, chants, ditties, and spells.
From researching the history of folklore from cultures around the world, patterns emerge that enable us to approach the true nature of plants’ devas. This compendium presents the lore and the corresponding usage for 330 magickal herbes. Great care was taken only to include folklore that was documented as authentic. You will meet many new herbes in this text and explore fascinating magickal and religi uses, but most of all, you will come to respect the divine that surrounds your everyday life.
The Green Lovers: A Compilation of Plant Spirit Magic
Christopher Penczak (Editor)
From time immemorial, the Green World has allied with humanity, plant spirits teaching the secrets of herbal medicine and magic to those able to hear the call. In this collection, practitioners of plant spirit magic come together to tell of some of their experiences with allies in the Green World. In the pages of The Green Lovers you will find: • Balms from Agrimony to Yarrow, Banes from Belladonna to Wormwood, and Trees from Apple to Pine, over thirty different essays altogether. • Herbal Wisdom including Herbal Magic and the Doctrine of Signatures and the Nine Herb Charm. • Essays from contributors such as Alaric Albertsson (Wyrdworking), Kenaz Filan (The Power of the Poppy), Raven Grimassi (Old World Witchcraft), Raven Kaldera (Northern Shamanic Herbal), Ann Moura (The Green Witchcraft series), Christopher Penczak (The Temple of Witchcraft series), and many more! Sales of this book help support the Temple of Witchcraft, a pagan nonprofit organization dedicated to the Great Work.
For the first time in more than a decade, Grimassi introduces readers to a new system of witchcraft, one that draws upon the old ways and the old days. Rich with spells, rituals, and detailed illustrations of plant spirits, Grimassi dares readers to take the path that leads deep into the darkened woods–to traverse upon the Thorned Path. Meet the entities that dwell within the organic memory of the earth, the devas, the deities, the magical life force that lies within the wooded glen. Learn to work with these spirits, and use their wisdom to transform your life and your practice.
The Master Book of Herbalism
Outstanding in its completeness, The Master Book of Herbalism fulfills a need that has long been felt by students of the magickal arts. In his sincere and gentle manner, Paul brings over 15 years experience as he writes about: the medicinal use of herbs, including illustrations of plants easily found in the wild; history and religious lore with specific background information on individual herbs; herb gathering and storage the magickal way; the herbalist as a magickal practitioner; incenses, oils, amulets, elixirs, balms and fluid condensers including detailed information on how to create them; herbs and their relationship with gemstones, etc.; herbal links with astrology and the tarot; rituals; the use of herbs in seasonal festivals, initiations, handfastings, purifications, etc.
Old World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways For Modern Days
In Old World Witchcraft, noted author Raven Grimassi covers totally new territory–in his work and in the world of popular witchcraft books published in the last few decades. This book is actually about “an enchanted worldview,” one that has not necessarily been inherited from the beliefs and practices of any particular region and one which is available to us today. The “Old World” in the title is actually about a magical view of the Plant Kingdom and the spirits attached to it. While Grimassi’s previous books discuss the cultural expressions and commonality of witchcraft beliefs and practices in general, this book penetrates much deeper.
Old World Witchdraft reveals rarely discussed topics such as the concept of Shadow as the organic memory of the earth. Readers will learn rooted techniques that possess power because these ways have always been connected to it. They will learn methods of interfacing with the ancestral current and with the organic memory of the earth. Through these they can connect with the timeless arts and learn methods of empowerment directly from the ancient source.
Totally new information about familiar tools is presented. For example, the mortar and pestle is a tool for spell casting, a device that creates interfacing with plant spirits and with shadow, and a focal point for veneration of the Plant Kingdom. Grimassi also presents the art of using plant ashes for magical sigil work. This book is for people who have had their fill of books that say the same things over and over, who want to take the next step, and who are eager for the more rooted ways that have remained largely hidden.
Pharmako/Dynamis: Stimulating Plants, Potions, and Herbcraft includes a new introduction by the author and as in previous editions focuses on stimulants (including coffee, tea, chocolate, and coca and its derivatives) and empathogens (notably Ecstasy). Each substance is explored in detail, not only with information on its history, pharmacology, preparation, and cultural and esoteric correspondences, but also the subtleties of each plant’s effect on consciousness in a way that only poets can do. The whole concoction is sprinkled with abundant quotations from famous writers, creating a literary brew as intoxicating as its subject.
Pharmako/Gnosis: Plant Teachers and the Poison Path includes a new introduction by the author and as in previous editions focuses on plant-based and derivative psychedelic “teachers” (including ayahuasca, peyote, LSD, and DMT) and on the “poison path” of substances such as belladonna, ketamine, and ibogaine. Each substance is explored in detail, not only with information on its history, pharmacology, preparation, and cultural and esoteric correspondences, but also the subtleties of each plant’s effect on consciousness in a way that only poets can do.The whole concoction is sprinkled with abundant quotations from famous writers, creating a literary brew as intoxicating as its subject.
Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft includes a new introduction by the author and as in previous editions focuses on familiar psychoactive plant-derived substances and related synthetics, ranging from the licit (tobacco, alcohol) to the illicit (cannabis, opium) and the exotic (absinthe, salvia divinorum, nitrous oxide). Each substance is explored in detail, not only with information on its history, pharmacology, preparation, and cultural and esoteric correspondences, but also the subtleties of each plant’s effect on consciousness in a way that only poets can do. The whole concoction is sprinkled with abundant quotations from famous writers, creating a literary brew as intoxicating as its subject.
Plants of the Devil
Plants of the Devil examines the history and magic of herbs associated with Satan and his minions, delving into the folklore of ancient Europe and the British Isles. Included in the book are the diabolical concepts of the Wild Adversary and the Devil’s Garden, Temptation, plants that harm and curse such as Blackberry, Stinging Nettle, Briar Rose, and Thistle, Poisonous Plants, herbs of evil omen, and herbs for protection, or ‘Plants to keep the Dark Prince at bay.’ The book will be of great interest to students of the occult, witchcraft, and plant folklore. The book is illustrated throughout with original illustrations of Marzena Ablewska, known for her evocative characterizations of plants and the sinister feminine.
Just as people gain wisdom and experience healing with animal totems and guides, you can cultivate a similar relationship with the spirits of the plant world. Witches, shamans, and healers know about the intelligence, love, and power found within the herbs and trees, and learn to partner with them as totems and spirits guides. Witches have called such guiding spirits familiars, intermediaries between the worlds. The Plant Spirit Familiar is filled with herbal lore, rituals, meditations, and magick, but more importantly, it is an invitation to open the gateway to the Green World.
Learn about the three types of plant allies, the healing plants known as balms, the power plants known as banes, and the spirit teachers found in the wise old trees. Work with the Green Man and the Lady of Flowers and enter the Soul Garden. Create sacred space for healing, meditation, and shamanic journey, calling upon the plant spirits as guardian. Seek spiritual initiation from the plant world through ritual and sacrament. Deepen your spiritual connection with the Earth by growing roots strong within the land. While taught from the perspective of nature-based spirituality rooted in the European traditions of magick, one does not need to be a Witch or Pagan to experience the blessings of the green world and The Plant Spirit Familiar. It is open to all seekers. You need only hear the call of the green, and answer it.
Thirteen Pathways of Occult Herbalism
Daniel A. Schulke
The discipline of Occult Herbalism encompasses the knowledge and use of the magical, spiritual, and folkloric dimensions of plants. This perennial wisdom animates many global spiritual traditions, especially those which have maintained their integrity of transmission even in the face of industrial development and cultural destruction. Often concealed within the deepest strata of the Western Esoteric Traditions, this green strand of wisdom, though obscured, is a potent legacy of all magic, sorcery, and occult science. In addition to the hard sciences of botany, ethnology, agriculture and ethnopharmacology, a number of pathways can assist the magical herbalist in furthering the depth of understanding and integrity of personal approach. Thirteen Pathways of Occult Herbalism circumscribes the metaparadigm of herbal magical practice, providing useful examples of its manifestation, as well as demonstrating its time-honored routes of inquiry.
Under the Witching Tree; is the first in a trilogy of books by Corinne Boyer; a folk-herbalist known for her work exploring the traditional medicinal, and magical applications of plants and trees as well as their folklore. This is a trilogy that guides us into the realms of plant lore, folk magic and folk medicine. The first book, Under the Witching Tree, focuses on the rustic magical traditions surrounding trees from western and northern Europe and north America. Corinne’s work, backed up by nearly twenty years of experience in the field, is full of information that is today little known, particularly within modern herbalism. This is a book which presents the reader with a wealth of home-spun and very hands-on practices exploring tales, charms, spells, recipes and rites focusing on twenty different trees.
Veneficium: Magic, Witchcraft and the Poison Path
Daniel A. Schulke
First published in late Summer 2012, Schulke’s book on esoteric toxicology Veneficium was an instant success, selling out in six months. Its principal concern is the intersection of magic and poison, originating in remotest antiquity and reaching into the occult traditions of present day. Beyond their functions as agents of bodily harm, poisons have also served as gateways of religious ecstasy, occult knowledge, and sensorial aberration, as well as the basis of cures. Allied with Samael, the Edenic serpent of first transgression whose name in some interpretations is ‘Venom of God’, this facet of magic wends through the rites of ancient Sumer and Egypt, through European Necromancy, Alchemy, the arcane the rites of the Witches’ Sabbath, and modern-day folk magic.
Viridarium Umbris: The Pleasure Garden of Shadow
Daniel A. Schulke
An extensive grimorium of wortcunning, or herb-magic, the Pleasure-Garden treats of the secret knowledge of trees and herbs as delivered by the Fallen Angels unto mankind. The book’s principal concerns are the sorcery and gnosis of the Greenwood, as arising from the varied luminaries of the Eternal Gardens of the Arte Magical. As a grimoire of Spiritual Botany, the Book is a Hortus Conclusus of text and image intended for the indwelling of these plant-spirits. The work encompasses magical practices, formulae, and mystical exegesis, all treating the respective arcana of Nature-Spirits and the powers of individual plants. Magical foci are on devotion, purity, humility, silence, solitude, and the hieros-gamos of wortcunner and plant as a tutelary relationship, in conjunction with the Mysteries of Cain, first tiller of the soil. The whole is intended as a textual reification of occult herbalism within the context of the Sabbatic Craft Tradition.
Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Christian Rätsch & Wolf-Dieter Storl Ph.D.
An in-depth investigation of traditional European folk medicine and the healing arts of witches. Witch medicine is wild medicine. It does more than make one healthy, it creates lust and knowledge, ecstasy and mythological insight. In Witchcraft Medicine the authors take the reader on a journey that examines the women who mix the potions and become the healers; the legacy of Hecate; the demonization of nature’s healing powers and sensuousness; the sorceress as shaman; and the plants associated with witches and devils. They explore important seasonal festivals and the plants associated with them, such as wolf’s claw and calendula as herbs of the solstice and alder as an herb of the time of the dead–Samhain or Halloween. They also look at the history of forbidden medicine from the Inquisition to current drug laws, with an eye toward how the sacred plants of our forebears can be used once again.
Harold Roth is a leading authority on plant/herbal magic. His new book, The Witching Herbs, is an in-depth exploration of 13 essential plants and herbs most closely associated with witchcraft―13 because it’s the witching number and reflects the 13 months of the lunar calendar. The plants are poppy, clary sage, yarrow, rue, hyssop, vervain, mugwort, wormwood, datura, wild tobacco, henbane, belladonna, and mandrake.
Roth writes simply and clearly on a vast amount of esoteric information that is not easily found elsewhere and will be greeted enthusiastically by those who already have extensive experience and libraries. It is unique in that it combines mysticism with practical instructions for growing each plant, based on Roth’s 30 years of gardening expertise. Each chapter focuses on one plant and includes information on its unique plant spirit familiar, clear how-to instructions for magical projects, and pragmatic information on growing and cultivating.
Roth writes, “This book is a great choice for intermediate-to-advanced witches who would like to work more closely with the traditional witching herbs, especially the baneful plants with their rather difficult spirits. Working directly with spirits is one of the fundamentals of the Craft.” The Witching Herbs is the essential plant-worker’s guide. Roth is not only a successful gardener, but also a magician and scholar of the occult. No other book blends clear, practical gardening techniques with equally lucid and sophisticated plant magic so successfully.
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