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Customer Review

120 of 136 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful - gives genuine practitioners a bad name., 12 Jan. 2006
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This review is from: Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs (Llewellyn's Sourcebook Series) (Paperback)
I was very disappointed with this book. After reading so many positive reviews I was expecting a serious work based on careful research, but it is nothing of the kind. The descriptions of magical properties of herbs are extremely vague and give no information as to the source of the lore. Some of them miss out traditional magical properties that have been recognised for thousands of years (e.g. mandrake) while others descriptions are just plain wrong. For example, he tells us that Absinthe is 'highly addictive' and dangerous, both of which are simply untrue.
Most of the books in the bibliography are American. While this is not necessarily a bad thing (there are some worthwhile books by American authors on this subject), it does suggest a certain laziness in his research.
He makes very grand claims for the power of herbs, going so far as to claim that hanging a herb bag in your house is a more effective deterrent to burglars than getting decent locks. This is very obviously not true, but similarly outlandish claims are made throughought the book with no evidence to back them up and no sources given. My impression is that he has not critically analysed any of his sources, and has simply made up information to fill in any gaps.
Lots of illustrations are missing and some of the descriptions appear in the wrong place (e.g. garlic under aloe instead of allium).
Books like this give practitioners of magic a bad name. There is a sound basis for herbal magic, and it's unfortunate that the author could not restrict himself to these rather than abandoning sense and manufacturing claims which have no basis. It is a book for people who would like to feel that they can work effective magic without doing any research, but is of no use to anyone with a serious interest in the uses of herbs or the nature of magic.
Strictly for new-agers - a very shoddy piece of work.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Mar 2011 18:57:31 GMT
Denise Dobie says:
a well writen opion !!!

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Dec 2013 09:51:09 GMT
"Books like this give practitioners of magic a bad name." Really, worse than it it already is then? What planet are you on? Magic hahahaha Grow up.
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