Llewellyn’s 2006 Herbal Almanac © 2005

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    Llewellyn’s 2006 Herbal Almanac    ©  2005    Llewellyn  ISBN  0-7387-0151-3    Paperback  336 pages  $7.99 (U.S.)  $10.50 (Canada)

    As with previous editions of this annual publication the emphasis is on articles related to various aspects of herbal working, from growing and gathering them to their use in a variety of fields.  The monthly data is relegated to the back of the book, covering less a couple of dozen pages.

    The articles are divided into broad categories:  “Growing and Gathering Herbs,” “Culinary Herbs,” “Herbs for Health,” “Herbs for Beauty,” “Herb Crafts,” and “Herb History, Myth, and Magic,” thereby making it easy to find what you are looking for.  There are 28 articles by 17 authors, so there are a good variety of viewpoints represented.

    This is a book to be savored and enjoyed.  Don’t rush through this book.  Read an article when you have a spare half an hour or so, perhaps to help unwind after a day’s work, maybe with a nice cup of herbal tea.  Let the information seep into you.

    I found a few typos in this almanac.  Bearing in mind the wide range of topics there may have been others that I missed.  Fortunately, the typos I found (a mis-numbering in one instance and “gensing” for “ginseng” in another) didn’t present real problems and simply reflect a failure to check a few facts.  Such mistakes are common to most books and are to be expected.  While I would expect them to be caught in a specialist work, I understand their creeping into a general-interest work such as thins.  The overall editor, especially in these days of computer spell-checking programs, relies on the authors to have caught the errors and corrected them before submitting the article for publication.

    I do not always agree with the author of each article (personally, I would never use a metal bowl for mixing herbal incense, as Sherynne NicMhasha suggests in “Celtic Herbal Incense and Gem Elixir,” but that is because of my own training and experience), but I can still acknowledge that it might work for, and be appropriate for, someone else.  It is important for the reader to test the information they receive, always.  One of my priests, while teaching a class on incense construction, told me “I will teach you what has worked before, for me and others.  If it doesn’t work for you, tell me and we will work to find what is right for you.”

    Whether or not you agree with all the information contained in this book, you will surely find something to spark your interest, or to make you stop and think.


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