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This is my biggest book ever, and an accomplishment that I’m very proud of. It’s also the first book I’ve ever done that was a team effort. It took six weeks to complete, but was actually over a decade in the making.
I started compiling herbal information from across the internet and various books back in the late 90s. It was always a pain to find all the information that I wanted, and I really couldn’t afford to buy tons of books to keep on hand. I had tons of text files, and later HTML files, filled with information. For years I wished that there was just one book that had everything I wanted, but no such book was ever made. No book or site I’d ever seen had everything in one place, and most of them were badly organized in my opinion.
So, this year I decided that if I wanted a really good book, I was going to have to make it myself, and that’s exactly what I did. I started off on my own, but when the research got to be too much, I asked Eric if he would help, and the book became a team effort. We actually spent many days at our respective computers, talking back and forth, trying to find accurate information. It was actually kind of a nightmare, referencing the various books that we had, along with dozens of different web sites.
As it turns out, a lot of herbal magic information is very hit and miss, often derived from a particular tradition, or in more cases than we’d like, just made up entirely by an author. We really had to dig to find information that had historical background. Getting the most current and correct Latin names for each of the plants was a hair-pulling experience in and of itself. It was a lot of hard work and a few points of almost complete emotional breakdown, but we did it.
As the book finally came to completion and I was adding the symbols and organizing everything into neat alphabetical lists and appendices, I was just in awe. I was actually stunned that we pulled it together so quickly. Of course, the base information had been gathered over more than a decade. This book though, it is a fantastic resource, and to me, a work of art. I think the pages are beautiful and I love that I finally have a book that is free of the fluff and medical information, but packed with all the magical information and correspondences that I’d always wanted.
I also made sure that we weren’t stuck to any one path with this book. Like me, it kind of borrows from all over the place spiritually. That’s a good thing though, because it means that it’s not just useful to Wiccans and other Pagans, it can be useful to anyone who’s using herbs in their spiritual practices. That was an important point to me, to make it not as limited as other books.
Of all the things I’ve written, this is the one that I think could really become big. I think that as people find out about it and get copies, they’re going to realize just how good it is. I suppose I’m biased, but I think as far as pure information goes, The Herbal Magic Correspondences Guide blows away the Cunningham books that most people rely on. Maybe you’ll buy a copy and form your own opinion.