Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants

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9780892819713: Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
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An in-depth investigation of traditional European folk medicine and the healing arts of witches

· Explores the outlawed “alternative” medicine of witches suppressed by the state and the Church and how these plants can be used today

· Reveals that female shamanic medicine can be found in cultures all over the world

· Illustrated with color and black-and-white art reproductions dating back to the 16th century

Witch medicine is wild medicine. It does more than make one healthy, it creates lust and knowledge, ecstasy and mythological insight. In Witchcraft Medicine the authors take the reader on a journey that examines the women who mix the potions and become the healers; the legacy of Hecate; the demonization of nature’s healing powers and sensuousness; the sorceress as shaman; and the plants associated with witches and devils. They explore important seasonal festivals and the plants associated with them, such as wolf’s claw and calendula as herbs of the solstice and alder as an herb of the time of the dead--Samhain or Halloween. They also look at the history of forbidden medicine from the Inquisition to current drug laws, with an eye toward how the sacred plants of our forebears can be used once again.

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From the Author:

Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Ph.D., an art historian and anthropologist, is the coauthor of Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas and was editor in chief of Dao, a magazine about the health and longevity practices of the Far East. She lives in Hamburg, Germany. Christian Rätsch, Ph.D., is a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist who specializes in the shamanic uses of plants. The author of Marijuana Medicine and coauthor of Plants of the Gods and Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas, he lives in Hamburg, Germany. Wolf-Dieter Storl is a cultural anthropologist and ethnobotanist who has taught at Kent State University, as well as in Vienna, Berne, and Benares. He lives in Allgäu, Germany, and is the author of Culture and Horticulture: A Philosophy of Gardening. .

From the Back Cover:

WITCHCRAFT / SHAMANISM

Witchcraft Medicine is a work of brilliant and passionate scholarship, fabulously illustrated, that recovers the lost knowledge of the European shamanic tradition. It is both a guide and an enthusiastic ode to the visionary edge of the botanical realm.”
--Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism

“This is a fascinating work of great importance that is incredibly well researched and documented. And brave. From the first impassioned paragraph to the last words, I was spellbound. Anyone interested in medicine, herbalism, the healing arts, and spiritual phenomena will find this book thought provoking and empowering.”
--Rosemary Gladstar, president of United Plant Savers and author of Herbal Healing for Women

Witch medicine is wild medicine. It does more than make one healthy; it encourages knowledge and engenders ecstasy and mythological insight. In Witchcraft Medicine the authors take the reader on a journey that examines the women from centuries past who mixed the potions and became the healers. As humans left the “thorny brush” and settled into agrarian societies, elements of nature (including human nature) became identified as wild and destructive, and the culture of the witch was born. Through study of ancient and medieval texts and the artwork of the early Renaissance, the authors explore the demonization of nature’s healing powers and sensuousness, the legacy of Hecate, the sorceress as shaman, and the plants associated with witches. They describe important seasonal festivals and the plants used in these celebrations and rituals. They also look at the history of forbidden medicine from the Inquisition to current drug laws, with an eye toward how sacred plants of witchcraft can be used once again.

CLAUDIA MÜLLER-EBELING, PH.D., art historian and anthropologist, is the coauthor of Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas and was editor in chief of Dao, a magazine about the health and longevity practices of the Far East. She lives in Hamburg, Germany. CHRISTIAN RÄTSCH, PH.D., is a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist who specializes in the shamanic uses of plants. The author of Marijuana Medicine and coauthor of Plants of the Gods, he lives in Hamburg, Germany. WOLF-DIETER STORL, PH.D., is a cultural anthropologist and ethnobotanist who has taught at Kent State University, as well as in Vienna, Berne, and Benares. He lives in Allgäu, Germany, and is the author of Culture and Horticulture: A Philosophy of Gardening.

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