Library - Non-Fiction - Herbalism

This section primarily consists of formularies, herbals, and references books related to the study of either medicinal or magical herbalism.

Click on the book image in the left of each entry to download the pdf.

View Library by
| Category | | Author | | Audio Books | | Recommended Reading Lists |

Arber, Agnes Robertson. Herbals, Their Origin and Evolution: A Chapter in the History of Botany 1470-1670. London: Cambridge University Press, 1912.

As the title would allude, this is a look over the herbals of the past, and the theories of botany that go along with the development of herbalism. It is classed as a science book, but I would consider it necessary reading for anyone who wishes to understand the old herbals and place them within context.

Cunningham, Scott. The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews. St. Paul Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 1999.

Many people consider this one of the cornerstone books of modern herbalism, especially with concern to modern witchcraft or Wica. And while there is a bit of good information in here, I can not agree with that idea. The information worth having in this book can be found in many, more reliable places. Such as to handle poisonous plants with care, and not eat them, etc. Plus, the bulk of the recipes in this book are questionable as to their reasoning for the ingredient combinations. They just don't jive with what the plants do in the cultures that use them magically. It is set up much like Herman Slater's Magickal Formulary (of which there have been many plagiarisms, re-publishings, and manglings floating around for sometime), and much like the Formulary it is scant on information about proportion and preparation of the ingredients. The author tries to make up for this with a general introduction section that describes the basics of making oils, incenses, etc, but it really falls short of what is needed for most of these formulas to work. Besides the fact that the practitioner really does need to know why each item goes into the brew!

But, that is just my opinion. I have included it here in the library because it is so ubiquitous, and especially when it comes to formularies and recipes books, I think it is better to have them all to reference to be able to properly source where the recipes originated. So, read with a bag of salt.

Junius, Manfred M. Practical Handbook of Plant Alchemy: An Herbalist's Guide to Preparing Medicinal Essences, Tinctures and Elixirs. Translated by LĂ©one Muller, Healing Arts Press; Reprint edition (December 1, 1985)

The importance of this book to an herbalist or an alchemist can not be overstated. If you are pursuing the study of alchemy, you will quickly realize that it is much easier with some practical experience to dissect and make use of the information encoded for spiritual alchemy. The popular perception is that the route for that is to pursue metallurgical alchemy, i.e. turning lead into gold. But spagyric (plant based) alchemy is also a wonderful, and practical place to start. Read this book cover to cover a couple of times, and then keep it handy for a reference.

Slater, Herman. Magickal Formulary New York, New York, 1999(?).

This is a digital document of the Magickal Formulary written by Herman Slater, his partner Ed Buczynski, and the employees and customers of the Magickal Childe shop in New York, NY in the 70s and 80s. Many later formularies draw on this source, with or without attribution. Sometimes being accredited to the Magickal Childe. But Slater was no peach, he was always stirring up controversy, and he blatantly plagiarized many other authors and people working in the pagan community at the time, including John Hansen, Joseph B. Wilson, and Ed Fitch. He published his formulary and books to promote his shop and to make money for his shop.

(The few times I have seen this text attributed with a date, the earliest has been 1999. But it may have been unofficially circulating before then. It is very hard to tell with this document)

As with some other books in this library, their inclusion is not any kind of endorsement from me. But a good reference library can not only include the books one likes to read. Use this to properly source formulas and recipes. With the caveat that this book may easily have cribbed them from elsewhere and long ago tossed any attribution from that source!