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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

The Renaissance of Herb Magic

This article was written by Scott Cunningham on May 10, 2002
posted under herb magic

Fortunately, the herbs didnít die out, and neither did much of the information. The great herbals by Theophrastus, Dioscorides, "Apuleius," Gerard, Coles and others preserved much herb magic, as did the works of Pliny, Agrippa, Porta and other early writers. Scraps of manuscripts housed in museums had preserved fragments of early herbal magic. Enough remained, both in published form and within folk practice, to allow the rebirth of herb magic.

Renewed interest in herbal medicine and herb gardening began in the 1930s in the United States and in England. By the early 1970s, people began to explore other uses for herbs. The rebirth of herb magic had began.

Most of the "new" herbals published from 1930 to the 1970s continued the grand tradition of including magical as well as medicinal and cosmetic applications, but few books dealt exclusively with herb magic. Herb stores and herb gardens sprang up across the country. Herb magicians grew in numbers as the United States experienced its first "occult" craze.

It was in this new attitude of acceptance that herb magicians studied the extant remnants of their long-suppressed avocation. Ancient tidbits of knowledge were merged. A tremendous amount of experimentation was performed. Many of the old secrets were rediscovered and put to practical use.

Finally, in the 1980s, books brought a wealth of information to the public regarding herb magic. Tens of thousands of persons throughout the world began discovering new uses for plants. Today, many are ready to learn the truth about herb magic.

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