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Book Spotlight

 

 

Jamie Wood

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The Wicca Herbal:
Recipes, Magick and Abundance
by Jamie Wood


TWPT:  Your new book is called the Wicca Herbal, give me a little background as to when the idea first occurred to you to write this book?

JW:  About ten years ago I was practicing looking for my aura between my fingers (ala Celestine Prophecy) when I saw a green spark of light line my finger. This was immediately followed by the presence of a green leafy man standing behind me. I asked for his name, but did not get it until the next day when a friend told me about the Findhorn experience where the people honored, acknowledged and listened to the plant devas and Pan the spirit of vegetation. The herbs and flowers responded by growing extraordinarily. Pan, of course, was the presence I had sensed. I was at once intrigued by this connection to plants and herbs. In my research for the first book, The Wicca Cookbook, I found no herbal that detailed our connection with nature that satisfied this dirt worshiper. The Wicca Herbal filled a void that appealed and outlined our connection to Mother Earth: one that spoke to a true tree hugger's delight.

TWPT:  What sort of training and knowledge do you have that helped you in the writing of this book?

JW:  I have taken and lead many diverse classes on herbs and their uses, and our connection with Mother Earth, in both the magickal and non-magickal realms. Growing, talking with and otherwise connecting with each herb or plant mentioned in the book helped immensely. I also met with my Elder High Priestess regularly, grew many herbs, and consulted with botanists and other Herbal experts.

TWPT:  What kind of reader would you say that The Wicca Herbal is aimed at? Does a reader need a solid foundation in herbs before this book will make sense to them?

JW:  Due to the unique compilation of practical and magickal information, the target audience for this book is quite broad: reaching beginners as well as those who have experience with herbs. I included well-known and rare information, so that most any one could discover something new. With the breadth of medicinal, magickal, beauty, and culinary recipes, hopefully the book will appeal to people of different faiths as well.

TWPT:  What  did you want to accomplish with the publication of this book? 

JW:  The varied format also leads to my desires and aspirations for The Wicca Herbal. Truly, I hope this book is part of the bridge uniting pagans and those who, through their misunderstandings, fear pagans, Witches, and Wiccans. I visualize the readers finding a common ground in this resource for their many uses of herbs. And that muggles will understand different spiritualities speak to the same Truth - it's merely a matter of semantics that separate us. I pray all will recognize we all revere the same Mother Earth and that it's the message, not the metaphor that matters most.

TWPT:   Could you give our readers an overview of the book and how it is laid out.

JW:  Folk and botanical names, preferred growing conditions, historical lore, deity and planetary associations, medicinal and magickal applications are outlined for 100 herbs. There is at least one recipe for each herb, which may be either medicinal, magickal, beauty, or culinary. Other sections include: Wicca, the sabbats (and associated herbs), natural gardening (with emphasis on our connection), spell casting, ritual set-up, glossary, and an extensive resource guide. The book also includes medieval woodcuts and impressive pictures of most of the herbs and plants.

TWPT:  The title of your book is The Wicca Herbal but wouldn't anyone who works with herbs or wanted to learn about herbs find this book helpful?

JW:  I do hope that anyone with an interest in herbs or gardening will find cause to enjoy this book. Most of our lives are so devoid of ritual and reverence. This book, while it empowers one to create their own experience, offers many ideas on how to honor the passage of the seasons as well as transitions into new phases of life as well as yummy recipes.

TWPT:  What is it about your book that makes it a Wiccan book as opposed to simply a Pagan book about herbs?

JW:  The Wicca Herbal does include much information to demystify basic elements of spell casting. An idea also explored is that magick must be experiences to even maintain the smallest grip on its vastness.

TWPT:  Your website bio says that you lead classes in herbal healing, does your book address some of the information that you cover in your herbal healing classes?

JW:  Our connection to herbs as our green brothers and sisters - the plant kin-dom, empowering each person to know how to manifest their highest good, enthusiastic support for reverence and ritual, and ideas on how to weave magick into your everyday life are all aspects I include in my books, lectures, workshops, and retreats.

TWPT:  Do you think that working with herbs helps to form connections to the earth that you won't get in other ways?  If so could you explain.

JW:  By working with herbs, we form a unique and deeper connection to Mother Earth because we become more grounded with dirt in our fingernails. The pulse of Mother Earth taps into the Yin/feminine energy, as we sift soil between our fingers. Observing how a plant grows in diverse growing conditions works as a visceral reminder of the cycles of the seasons - offering a guideline by which we can pattern our lives. Talking with the plant and seeing how our kin responds, brings about an awareness of the web of life that connects us all. It puts us on one strand and back into proper perspective.

TWPT:  Do you think that those who live in the urban areas are at a disadvantage when it comes to working with herbs?

JW:  People living in urban areas are merely offered a difference experience. They must find creative ways to infuse their lives with herbs than someone living in the middle of a forest. Plants may be sprinkled on paths and windowsills, instead of sprawling throughout an expansive garden. However, if one connects with just one plant, they have connected with all plants.

TWPT:  What kind of research went into bringing this book to print?

JW:  I researched this book for many years, concentrating upon gardening or otherwise connecting with each plant I listed for the last couple of years. I attended more classes (both magickal and not) and submersed myself in my favorite landscapes of nature to fill my heart, mind, and soul with herbs and the gifts they offer. I also asked many different people to contribute, thereby offering many different ways to connect with Mother Earth.

TWPT:  Do you have any final thoughts about the Wicca Herbal that you would like to share with our readers and how they might best use your book in their own workings with herbs?

JW:  It is important to make a connection with each herb you plan on using. Meditate with it and you will be amazed at the individualized message it has just for you. Allow the vitality of herbs to be infused in your life. Don't ever miss an opportunity to share love.