Title "Witchcraft Healing: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices and Forbidden Plants",
Author(s):by Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Christian Ratsch, & Wolf-Dieter Storl,
Publisher: Inner Traditions Books, 2002
Price: $24.95 (US)
CONTENT: When I picked up this book at the local Barnes and Noble, I thought it looked very good. I don't think however, I was quite prepared to be as impressed as I was with the work. It is not just a work about herbs and Witchcraft and their history, but a treasure trove of world cultural traditions and the folk healing modalities.
As a professional herbalist, I was really very happy to see the amount of research and documentation that went into this book. It really delves into the European shamanic traditions and healing arts and folk religions attached to them. This is something, which is sadly quite lacking in alot of literature that is about "shamanism". So much of of it is a bastardization of Native American practices and urban legend. Not so with this book. You get a clear idea where the lines of the histories of Witchcraft and folk medicine practices got blurred and blown far out of proportion by way of legend and outright lies. And you also get an in depth look at how many of these plants were used. The authors pull no punches, poisons, halucinagens and abortifacients can be found listed in this book. I think this is the first time in many years that I have seen an herbal book dare to list them, let alone discuss them. I also learned about some plants that I had no knowledge of before and I am always up for that! This, I believe is how Witches in the past truly practiced, and how many still practice to this day throughout the world. The focus however is on European Witches and Western herbalism.
Witchcraft Medicine is clearly a scholarly work, but it it is not so much that the subject is at all dry and uninteresting to read. It was for me quite the contrary. I couldn't put it down! There is no relgious-centric slant to it at all. There are no sensationalist claims about 8 million Witches being murdered during the so-called Burning Times, for example. It's just lots of very straight facts, which is important even for Kitchen Witches. There is too much that is junk out there, and this book I would count it among my top ten historical herbals on my personal bookshelf. This book is a very impressive body of work. Note that there are not really recipies or proportions as to using these now.
RATING: A+ (And if I could rate it higher than that I would!)