Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

November/December 2016 / Gift Guide Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Origins of Herb Magic

This article was written by Scott Cunningham on May 31, 2002
posted under herb magic

Herb magic began in the distant past, when humans first began experimenting with the plants that they found growing around them. Color, form, scent and taste attracted humans to certain plants. Our ancestors eventually dis-covered many uses for these seemingly simple life forms: food, clothing, medicine, adorn-ment and ritual.

We can’t know how or why certain plants began to be used in ritualistic ways. We can only guess that a plant’s fragrance was involved, at least in the earliest times, when the human sense of smell was far more powerful than it is today. Rich fragrances rising from a plant may have caused it to be linked with Spirit—with all that was unknowable.

Additionally, these early humans may have also been aware of the spiritual energies that hum within herbs. The ability to feel such energies would today be described as psychic awa reness or psychic sensitivity. If our ancestors possessed this talent, they probably utilized it to discover further uses for plants.

This is speculation. However, by 3000 BCE, many plants were being regularly used in magic in Egypt, Sumer and elsewhere. By 200 B C E, plant magic was firmly entrenched in human life. Literally thousands of plants (some rare and costly) were called upon to smooth the path of human existence in Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia, and elsewhere.

The first herbals (descriptions of plants and their uses) were written in ancient Greece. Most herbals included magical as well as medicinal information. Such books were copied and recopied for centuries, further spreading magical herbal lore.

Much information was also handed down between herbal practitioners and their students. Greek and Roman texts were copied and dis-seminated during the 1400s in Europe. Among these were some of the most famous herbals.

Eventually, this mass of accumulated lore made its way outward from the great centers of learning (and learned individuals) and found nourishing soil in the common folk. Herb magic and herbal medicine were freely mixed. Herbalists uncovered the ritual uses of the plants that grew in their areas. Spells were reworked, invented and passed on to others. Herb magic bloomed and sent out new roots.

Ah, the ego! That little voice that constantly talks to you in the back of your mind. The all-too-familiar, endless dialogue that taunts and teases you. It can be the withering sub-text of an argument or the moral boosting rant of how you are better than all that. Yet, at the end of the day, as you lie in bed tossing and turning listening to the... read this article
6 Ways to Use the Crystal Intentions Oracle for a Happy Life
Dealing with Shadows During Channeling
Witch’s Runes: A Simple Introduction to Rune Reading
6 Ways to Awaken Your Inner Psychic
3 Theories to Explain the Loch Ness Monster

Most recent posts:
Information is Everywhere
The Ultimate Guide to the Thoth Tarot by Johannes Fieberg & Evelin Burger Even if you don’t use a particular deck, there can still be...

Empathy for the Mystically Inclined
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Raven Digitalis, author of Goth Craft, Shadow Magick Compendium, Planetary Spells & Rituals, and...

Once There Was a Dream
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Atherton Drenth, author of the new Intuitive Dance. Many years ago, I had a dream where I was aware...




Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$11.19 US,  $13.59 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2017 Astrological Calendar
84th Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $18.99 CAN
$11.99 US,  $15.19 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2017 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2017 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $15.99 CAN
$10.39 US,  $12.79 CAN On Sale!
Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
Price: $21.95 US,  $25.50 CAN