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
Advanced Search
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

May/June 2016 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.

Adult coloring books are all the rage now, but did you know that coloring your tarot deck has been part of the training of esoteric societies for over a century? Color Your Tarot, a new deck by Lo Scarabeo, continues that tradition by providing you with a high quality Major Arcana deck that you can customize and use in readings. It is actually... read this article
11 Magical Ways That Angels Send You Guidance
4 Secret Strengths of Sensitivity
Remaining Magickal in the Midst of Chaos
Sacred Space, Tarot, and Your Magical Practice
The Magical Use of Prayer Beads

Most recent posts:
Cutting Energetic Cords with Archangel Michael
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tanya Carroll Richardson, author of the new Angel Insights. Energetic cords are invisible energy...

The Words on the Wheel of Fortune
One thing many students of tarot find fascinating is learning what some of the mysterious symbols on the cards mean. During the Renaissance, when...

Are You a Sensitive Empath?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Dr. Kyra Mesich, author of the new Strength of Sensitivity. I've dedicated my holistic psychology...




The Madness of Mercury The Madness of Mercury
By: Connie di Marco
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Journey of Souls Journey of Souls
Case Studies of Life Between Lives

By: Michael Newton
Price: $17.99 US,  $20.95 CAN
Wicca Wicca
A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

By: Scott Cunningham
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 CAN
Animal Speak Animal Speak
The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small

By: Ted Andrews
Price: $22.99 US,  $26.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN