A Wiccan Formulary and Herbal by A. J. Drew

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    A Wiccan Formulary and Herbal  by  A. J. Drew          ©2005  New Page       ISBN  1-56414-782-7  340 pages  paperback  Includes  endnotes, bibliography and index  $19.99 (U.S.)

    I hadn’t planned on reviewing this book, but as I have enjoyed Mr. Drew’s other work I decided to put this book in my stack to be reviewed.  Every time I get one of his books, I find myself shaking my head.  I’m not disagreeing with what he has to say, just that he has the nerve to say it (and in print, no less!!).  His positions are always made absolutely clear, with no apologies for making members of the Pagan community uncomfortable.  Now if we could get a few dozen more authors like him…

    This is one of those books which should be in the library of every Witch/Wiccan/Pagan healer out there.  In fact, you don’t need to be a healer to include this book in your reading.  A.J.’s approach to the subject of herbalism and related topics is common-sense based.  He explains why he recommends specific actions, herbs, etc.  You don’t have to agree with him (but I suspect most readers will find lots of reasons to do just that).  He explains the difference between gender (masculine/feminine) and sex (male/female) in a way which attempts to be non-offensive.  He will still offend some people, he realizes, but makes the effort because it needs to be done.

    A.J. appears to me to be one of those individuals who “enjoy” the distinction of being too dogmatic for some and too wishy-washy for others.  He opposes the “if it feels right, it is right” school of spellcraft (too dogmatic), but won’t condemn it if it works for you (too wishy-washy).  He knows he can’t please everyone, so he doesn’t try to please anyone but himself.

    I don’t need to remind you that the information in this book is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions – the author does that himself.  Nor does he pretend that the information assembled here is complete – that would be an impossibility.  It is, however, an excellent reference book, with enough remedies, recipes and guidance to be in constant use.

    I’m sure there are “more complete” herbals available; and “more complete” formularies; but for sheer ease of use and understandability, it would be hard to beat this book.


    Once again, Mr. Drew has produced an excellent resource for the Pagan community.  I hope he continues to produce such valuable books for a long time to come.

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