Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore

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CalonDdraig's picture

Author: Ellen Evert Hopman

Publisher: Pendraig Publishing

ISBN Number: 1936922010

Publication Date: 21st June 2011

Reviewed by: CalonDdraig


After several attempts to read this book in a linear fashion for review, I must admit this is the kind of book I find myself dipping into during breaks and other opportune times. It is best referred to in my opinion as a “treasury of Scottish herbs and fairy lore” - a more accurate description of the nature of the work; it is a compendium of traditions practised  in Scotland and relevant information tiring it all together. It it Ellen's work bringing it into a cohesive book that must be praised most of all; she also makes the contents accessible to the reader.

The book really does feel like 3 volumes in one; the book falls into three parts: Firstly there is an introduction to general Celtic traditions and origins. After this comes a section on elemental magick and the wheel of the festival year, and traditions that fit onto it. The section on Elemental magick is of note for being highly readable and interesting while bringing a fresh perspective to the familiar 4 elements and wheel of 8 festivals.  This section also includes really good stuff on rites of passage, divination, and begins to bring in healing practices

Then comes a section that is a herbal of plants found in Scotland, “A Highland Herbal” This is prefaced by an introduction and gathering tips and is followed by a series of monographs of a good number of plants used in Scottish herbal medicine and folklore/magickal practice. This section is well illustrated and with interesting information and is a perfect fit with Ellen's other books, 'Druid's Herbal For The Sacred Earth Year', and 'Druid's Herbal Of Sacred Tree Medicine'.

The book finishes with several chapters on traditions of family and domestic matters, farming and fertility, Sacred birds and animals, and a great section on magical practices. I particularly loved the section on fishing magick, boats and lore of the sea – although a seagoing people, this aspect is often left out of works on magick and the Celts – it's nice to see it given the space it deserves!

All in all, I'd say this book deserves an 8/10 for readability – you will find your self coming  back to it again and again! 

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