Thursday 28 April 2016

Review: Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets

Published just in time for Beltane is a new book about herbs and their magical uses that I've been eagerly awaiting. It is called Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets and is by the 'Bard of Ely' Steve Andrews, who previously wrote another of my favourite herbals - Herbs of the Northern Shaman.

The reason I'm going to find Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets so useful is that when I do magic, I often like to make use of planetary correspondences - and this book is all about the planetary correspondences of plants - many of which you might find growing wild or in your garden. As Steve says in the introduction:
....just as in astrology it is believed that specific planets and their gods rule over individual zodiac signs, the same principle applied to herbs. Mars is known as the god of war and so all plants he ruled over had some sort of Martian characteristic. They might have red berries or red sap, or perhaps their juice was caustic. They might be covered in spines or able to sting. In other words they had something about them that was warlike and aggressive.
You will often find tables of planetary correspondences covering the days of the week, colours, metals, deities and their associations. I include one in my own book, Pagan Portals - Candle Magic,and also explain it in the workshops I run. Here is a short list:

Day: Monday; Colour/metal: Blue, white/silver; Deities: Diana, Artemis; Correspondences: Women’s mysteries, illusion, glamour, sleep, peace, beauty, prophecy, dreams, emotions, travel, fertility, women’s health, insight, wisdom
Mars: Day: Tuesday; Colour/metal: Red/iron; Deities: Mars, Ares; Correspondences: Battles, courage, victory, success, strength, conviction, rebellion, defence, wards, protection, anything military
Mercury: Day: Wednesday; Colour/metal: Orange/mercury (can use aluminium); Deities: Mercury, Hermes; Correspondences: Communication, the arts, writing, transport, change, luck, gambling, fortune, chance, creativity, making deals, trickery, crimes (solving them), work issues needing discussion
Jupiter: Day: Thursday; Colour/metal: Purple, dark blue/tin; Deities: Jupiter, Juno, Zeus, Hera; Correspondences: Abundance, protection, prosperity, strength, health, wealth, management roles
Venus: Day: Friday; Colours/metal: Green, pink/copper; Deities: Venus, Aphrodite; Correspondences: Love, birth, fertility, romance, gentleness, pregnancy, friendship, passion happiness
Saturn: Day: Saturday; Colour/metal: Black/lead; Deities: Saturn, Hecate; Correspondences: Banishing, protection, wisdom, spirituality, cleansing, astral magic, weeding the garden, honouring or remembering the dead
Sun: Day: Sunday: Colour/metal: Yellow/gold; Deities: Helios, Apollo; Correspondences: Success, fame, wealth, health, prosperity, promotion, getting a new job

Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets is the perfect reference book to add plants and herbs to that. Each chapter details herbs associated with a different planet. It gives a description of each one and goes into their history and traditional uses in magic as well as for healing and aromatherapy. To give you a taster, here is the contents list:

Herbs of the Sun: Chamomile, Eyebright, Juniper, Mistletoe, Rosemary, St John’s Wort, Sunflower
Herbs of the Moon: Camphor, Iris, Jasmine, Lettuce, Mugwort, Water Lily, Willow
Herbs of Mercury: Dill, Fennel, Lemon Verbena, Mandrake, Mint, Valerian
Herbs of Venus: Catnip/Catmint, Columbine, Pennyroyal, Periwinkle, Rose, Vervain, Yarrow
Herbs of Mars: Dragon Tree, Galangal, Hops, Meadow Buttercup, Tarragon, Tobacco, Wormwood
Herbs of Jupiter: Agrimony, Lime Tree, Meadowsweet, Oak, Pine, Sassafras, Thorn Apple
Herbs of Saturn: Deadly Nightshade, Hemlock, Henbane, Monkshood, Morning Glory, Patchouli, Skullcap

Publisher Moon Books says on its website:
Pagan Portals - Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets combines herbalism with astrology and explains how the ancient herbalists like Culpeper assigned specific herbs to planetary rulers. Various characteristics were used to decide what planet ruled particular herbs. The book is divided into sections for each group of herbs. So there are seven divisions for herbs of the Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn, each containing seven herbs.
This is the right time of year to be planting a witch's garden and Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets offers plenty of inspiration for what to grow to add to spells, potions and magical brews over this year and years to come.

You can order Pagan Portals - Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets and Herbs of the Northern Shamanvia Amazon. (Note: I earn commission from some links. This helps subsidise my blog at no extra cost to readers)


The Green Bard said...

Thank you for this really great review of my new book which has been published by Moon Books.

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