Earlier this month, I was asked if I would like to review a newly published herbal on my blog. “Sure” I said, “sounds like fun”. Though I have to admit that part of me was apprehensive to spend my sparse free time looking through yet another herbal journal. I have a gazillion of them at home already and most of them repeat the same basic herbal information. Still, it sounded interesting so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I’m happy to report that The Faeries’ Guide to Green Magic from the Garden by Jamie Wood and Lisa Steinke is a wonderful herbal journal that stole my heart from the get go. Really, after receiving it, it was a few days before I actually read any of it. The illustrations, done by Lisa Steinke, are so breathtaking that I had to take my time absorbing each of them before I could move on to the words. Each of the 33 herbs in the book is represented by an image of a faerie that is absolutely captivating. It’s hard to take your eyes off of them. But if you move to the edges of the faerie figure you notice the images of the plant they represent. You don’t really see it when you first look at the picture because your eyes are drawn to the faeire, but if you focus you see wonderful detail in each plant picture. (And of course my faerie loving daughter needed to take her time devouring each picture before I could have the book back to read!)
I also really liked how this book was designed … each page adorned with flowing leaves or swirls. This certainly isn’t necessary, but being a homeschooling mom who often doesn’t get out of my pajamas all day, it is nice to feel pampered when I’m reading a book.
Ok, so on to the words. The beginning of the book does a brief but solid job of describing Green Gardening, Complementary Medicine, Faeries, and how they are interrelated. I especially appreciated the mention of why Magick is spelled with a ‘k’ and what a faerie is. I was not brought up with religion or taught much spirituality as a youngster, so believing in something I can’t see has been hard for me as an adult. I thought the authors did a nice job at explaining faeries in a way that most people would be able to understand and not just see the image of Tinkerbell in their heads.
As I’ve mentioned, the majority of the book focuses on 33 herbs that can be easily grown in the house or garden. Each herb description contains it’s scientific name, common names, and the parts used as well as a description of the plant. I especially enjoyed reading about the energetics of the plant and the history. (I love to hear how people in the past used plants, whether for physical medicine, spiritual use, or in cooking.) There is also a recipe associated with each herb. They range from edibles (Lavender Truffles!!) to cosmetics (Nettle Hair Tonic), to medicinal (Comfrey Salve), and spiritual (Cinnamon Protection Splash) recipes.
I’ve enjoyed this book. It packs a lot of information into an enchanting design. I think I’ll keep it in a prominent place among my herbals (if I can just get it back from my daughter).
(Note: I have not been paid for this review and have no association with the authors or the publisher.)