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Witchcraft Medicine
Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
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Author(s) :
Claudia Muller-Ebeling
Christian Rätsch
Wolf-Dieter Storl
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Edition(s) at Erowid :
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Inner Traditions
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 miedieval 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.

"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

"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

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.