The correct title of this book is ‘Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs.’
I just shortened it for easier reading in the side tab of my blog.
This book is what I consider to be my ‘herb bible.’ Although Cunningham’s book is not the only book I use, it is by far the one I use most when determining which herbs I’ll use as I prepare for a ritual. This may be redundant information for some but if you did not know: different rituals require the use of different herbs or resins.
Some herbs are more powerful for one ritual, whereas that same herb may be detrimental to another ritual. Even if it is a love spell, the same herbs would not always be used. In choosing the best herbs/resins for a love spell, considerations would include: the astrological signs of the people involved, the depth of the relationship prior to casting, the mentality of the people involved, the availability of the people involved, external interferences or influences, and so on.
I consider this an excellent source on herbs for practitioners of magick. I would especially recommend this book for anyone who may be just beginning their magickal journey. Not only is this book a good source for the magical uses of herbs and resins, but it also contains valuable appendices–sort of like cheat sheets!
I have always liked Cunningham’s writing style. He tells you exactly what is, and is not, possible with magick. He gives it to you straight; no sugar coating, no mumbo-jumbo. I like that in a person and like it even better when I find it in an author.
The first couple of chapters of the book are spent explaining how to “charge” herbs for ritual use, basic procedures for rituals (the altar, visualization, preparation for the ritual) and how timing effects a ritual.
The main portion of the book is in an A to Z reference regarding the magickal uses of herbs and resins. After the explanations of the herbs are the appendices. The appendices include: when to use which herbs, planetary rulers and a list of herbs ruled by each planet, elemental rulers and a list of herbs ruled by each element, colors and the best colors to use in a ritual, and magickal properties of oils. There is even a cross reference for the Folk names of the herbs.
Here is an example of the detail given regarding herbs (this is taken word for word from Cunningham’s book):
(Cedrus libani or C. spp.) Leaf, berry: P
Powers: Healing, Purification, Money, Protection
Magical Uses: The smoke of the cedar is purifying, and also cures the predeliction of having bad dreams. Twigs of the cedar are burned and smouldered, or made into incense. To heal head colds, they are placed upon the hot rocks in sweat baths for purification by some American Indians.
Cedar hung in the home protects against lightning strikes. A cedar stick carved into three prongs is placed prongs up into the ground near the home to protect it against all evil. A piece of cedar kept in the wallet or purse draws money, and cedar is used in money incense. Cedar is added to love sachets and is burned to induce psychic powers.
(*Note: Juniperus verginiana is often used in place of cedar).
Each herb and resin found in this book contains the same wide range of information. Although it is not a complete book of herbs, it is pretty darn close! There have only been one or two times–that I can remember–where I have gone to this book to search for a particular herb’s uses and the herb wasn’t listed. Being that I have been performing rituals for around two decades, that’s pretty good!
If you can find it, buy it. You will not be disappointed!
Oh, one last thing–like other works by Cunningham, this book was published by Llewellyn Publications. You might be able to find it via their website. Here is a link to Llewellyn: Llewellyn
***If you do not mind a used copy, you could always try eBay, Amazon or another business where used books can be purchased.