Monday, March 4, 2019

Book Review: Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau

Book Review: Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

If you are just starting out on your witchcraft journey, you should always read as much as you can, especially when it comes to folk tales. Much of modern magic is based on folklore that has been passed down for generations, allowing you to garner a better understanding of current practices and correspondences. If you are looking for a book to start with on plants, look no further.

In Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau, you will find 39 folk tales regarding the plants and herbs of Britain and Ireland that she tracked down from locals, history books, and folklore archives. The tales are centered around the Wheel of the Year, beginning with Mid-Winter and ending with Fall, so it focuses on plants that are active during those times of the year, making it easy to determine which plants you can work with during the different sabbats. Each tale is beautifully written, easy to read, and based off many sources according to Schneidau. Unlike some other folk tale authors, Schneidau lets the reader know when the story is her interpretation or a combination of tales, allowing you to judge the writing critically through knowledgeable eyes. These tales can easily be read as a bedtime story to children or used to help you develop your correspondence and plant histories for your grimoire. At the end of the book, she includes a wonderful list of further readings, giving you the opportunity to continue your studies should you wish.

Book Review: Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau

If I am honest, there is nothing I can really complain about regarding this book. It is exactly what I expected, with a bit of witchcraft used as the framework. My only complaint is I wish she would have included sources for the tales. I am assuming some of them came from books she suggests her readers look into, but I am not 100% sure. For a hedgewitch like myself, whose tradition is largely based on folklore, I highly recommend this book. While it isn't "local" witchcraft, it's important to recognize the role of these tales on American culture. For European-Americans, which includes myself, this explains many of the stories I heard growing up, giving context to what I already know about plant folklore. Even if you are not  British, Irish, or European-American, it will still be beneficial for you to read, as many modern witchcraft practices are largely based upon European traditions. Overall, I give the book 4.5 stars. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did!


  1. Thank You for your thoughtful review. The book sounds like a great book to have in my own collection.


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