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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.