The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Contact the Spirits of the Dead

December 3, 2020
The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Contact the Spirits of the Dead

A practical guide to using the sacred herbs of Samhain forhealing, divination, purification, protection, magic, and as toolsfor contacting the Spirits• Explores the identification, harvest, and safe practical andritual use of more than 70 plants and trees sacred to the Celticfestival of Samhain, the origin of Halloween• Details the most effective plants for protection from themischief of Fairies, herbs for releasing the Dead, and visionaryplants for divination and shamanic work• Provides instructions and suggestions for a traditional DumbSupper, offerings to the Land Spirits, Samhain rites, and recipesfor the sacred foods of SamhainThe ancient Celts separated the year into two halves, the lighthalf and the dark half, summer and winter. The festival of Samhain,from which the modern holiday of Halloween originates, marks thetransition from summer to winter, the end of the Celtic year, atime when the barriers between the physical and spiritual world areat their most transparent. The herbs most characteristic of thistime have specific magical and healing properties that echo thedarker aspect of the year and offer potent opportunities fordivination, contact with ancestors and Land Spirits, and journeysin the Otherworld.Presenting a practical guide to the sacred herbs and trees ofSamhain, Ellen Evert Hopman details the identification, harvest,and use of more than 70 plants and trees in healing, divination,purification, magic, and as tools for contacting the Spiritswandering the landscape at this liminal time of year. She exploresthe most effective plants for protection from the mischief of the"Good Neighbors," the Sidhe or Fairies, as well as herbs forreleasing the Dead when they are trapped on this plane. Identifyingvisionary plants used to induce ecstatic trance, Hopman exploreshow herbs have been used for millennia to aid in psychic travel andshamanic work and shows how one might safely use plants to take avoyage to the Otherworld. Drawing on her knowledge as a masterherbalist, she also includes cautions to prevent harm andmisidentification, along with advice on basic etiquette and commonsense approaches to herb magic.Detailing the history, rites, and traditions of Samhain, Hopmanexplains how to make an offering to the Land Spirits and providesinstructions for the traditional Samhain ritual of the Dumb Supper,complete with recipes for the sacred foods of Samhain, such as SoulCakes, Colcannon, Boxty bread, and dandelion wine. Woven throughoutwith mystical tales of folk, Fairy, and sacred herbs, this guideoffers each of us practical and magical ways to connect withNature, the plant kingdom, the Spirits that surround us, and theturning of the year.