This book surprised me. At my first glance at the cover, I was resigned to thinking of it as a fluffy piece of white-lighter nothingness. It’s truly a book that you shouldn’t, as the adage goes, judge by its cover.

When you get into the book, the first 30-ish pages are explanations: What is Faerie, Green Gardening, and Complementary Medicine. At page 35, however, everything changes. For the rest of the book, each set of four pages talks about a different herb. There’s a nicely-done image followed by three pages of information about the herb. Most of them include a recipe of some sort using that particular herb. There are tinctures, teas, poultices, incenses, dream pillows, bath scrubs, oil blends. There is also a quote in there, as if the spirit of the plant as telling you about itself very briefly.

Some of the best inclusions to the book, in my mind, were the sections on Green Gardening, Magical Gardening, and Complementary Medicine. Near and dear to most Pagan hearts is sustainability and recycling, ways to help clean up the planet and make our footprint smaller. The authors address it in such a way that the whole process comes across as reassuring and easy to do for a single person, couple, small family, or circle. They explain how some herbs work better with others, why witch-folk should be growing some of these things, why certain herbal medicinals work the way they do. They de-mystify some of the things that I wanted to know about but didn’t know how to ask the right questions.

It surprised me a great deal. It’s not your average book on Faerie, nor is it your average book on herbs. I’d love to see a sequel to this book, with expanded herbs, more recipes, and more information. It left me wanting more, but it was a great guide that’s more accessible to those of us who aren’t green witches than, say, Paul Beyerl’s books. I look forward, with great anticipation, to another book from them.

~review by Jeremy Bredeson

Author: Jamie Wood and Lisa Steinke
Celestial Arts, July 2010
pp. 170, $17.99

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