Spheres Of Light

More about Herbs and Herbes

The information contained in this section has been featured in past editions of Axis Mundi, a free online magazine produced by Spheres Of Light. New information is added to this section regularly.

Click on the links below for
information about each herb.

Herbs or Herbes?

by Amethyst

I've often wanted a way to differentiate herbs used in cooking (although there can be a magickal component there too), with herbs used in magick. Most references just use the word "herb" for both, but I felt that there needed to be some sort of difference. I searched the internet on and off for the past couple of years, but didn't find any way to show the difference. Then I bought a book that offered an explanation of the difference between magickal and non-magickal usage. Here is an excerpt from this book...

Paul Beyerl writes the following in a compendium of Herbal Magick:

"My definition of herbes is very inclusive. Any plant which produces chlorophyll is likely to be considered an herbe, whether it is an annual or perennial, whether it is a fern or mighty tree. So long as we, in our limited human wisdom, have been able to recognize that plant's medicinal or spiritual value, the word herbe applies."

He goes on to say that in his book "The Master Book of Herbalism" he neglects to explain the two spellings he works with. Much of his work as a Master Herbalist is in the treatment of the body, and in this work he refers to herbs, as the word is commonly spelled and as it is found in common usage. However, when he refers to their magickal uses, he uses herbes with the variant spelling. He explains that the magickal use of an herbe is for treating a patient's spiritual system.

His way of using the two spellings is to me a very easy way to describe the usage of an herb.

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