Occult Botany: Sédir's Concise Guide to Magical Plants (Hardcover)
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A classic text on esoteric traditional herbalism from one of the most influential herbalists of the Paris occult revival
• Includes a dictionary of nearly 300 magical plants with descriptions of each plant’s scientific name, common names, elemental qualities, ruling planets, and zodiacal signatures, with commentary on medico-magical properties and uses
• Explores methods of phytotherapy and plant magic, including the Paracelsian “transplantation of diseases,” ritual pacts with trees, the secret ingredients of witches’ ointments, and the composition of magical philters
• Explains the occult secrets of phytogenesis, plant physiology, and plant physiognomy (classification of plants according to the doctrine of signatures)
Merging the scientific discipline of botany with ancient, medieval, and Renaissance traditions of occult herbalism, this seminal guide was first published in French in 1902 as a textbook for students of Papus’s École hermétique and sparked a revival in the study of magical herbalism in early twentieth-century France.
Author Paul Sédir, pseudonym of Yvon Le Loup (1871-1926), explains the occult secrets of phytogenesis (the esoteric origin and evolutionary development of the plant kingdom), plant physiology (the occult anatomy of plants), and plant physiognomy (classification of plants according to the doctrine of signatures). Unveiling the mysteries behind planetary and zodiacal attributions, he provides readers with the keys to make their own informed determinations of the astral properties of plants. Moving from theory into practice, Sédir explores various methods of phytotherapy and plant magic, including the Paracelsian “transplantation of diseases,” the secret ingredients of witches’ ointments, and the composition of magical philters.
In the third section of the book, Sédir offers a dictionary of magical plants that covers nearly 300 plant species with descriptions of their astral signatures, occult properties, and medico-magical uses. Compiled from an array of rare sources and esoterica, this classic text includes a wealth of additional materials and supplemental charts and diagrams drawn from Sédir’s occult colleagues, all of whom adopted and expanded upon Sédir’s pioneering system of plant correspondences.
About the Author
Paul Sédir, pseudonym of Yvon Le Loup (1871-1926), was a pivotal figure of the fin-de-siècle French occult revival. He was a professor at the École hermétique and Faculté des sciences hermétiques in Paris under the directorship of Papus, his first spiritual mentor. He practiced magic with the alchemist Albert Poisson and was initiated into almost all of the secret societies that occult Paris had to offer. Under the name Tau Paul, he was consecrated bishop of Concorezzo in the Église gnostique de France. He wrote widely on traditions of magic, mysticism, and esotericism, publishing over twenty books in French.
R. Bailey, Ph.D., is editor and translator of Jean Mavéric’s Hermetic Herbalism and Paul Sédir’s Occult Botany. His research interests include ancient, medieval, and modern traditions of herbalism, magic, Hermeticism, and Gnosticism.
“Reading Occult Botany was a deeply enjoyable experience that satisfied many diverse urges for botanical knowledge, from within one compendium.This strange and intriguing miscellany leads one through portals and fields, gardens and celestial realms. The plant entries are helpful for quickly finding zodiac and planetary correspondences; they also include a peppering of rare pieces of occult lore alongside many medicinal applications of old. The footnotes are very helpful and detailed, as are the charts, tables, and appendices within the book. It is a must-have for students and seekers who wish to blend the magical with the medicinal, the earth with the stars.”
— Corinne Boyer, folk herbalist, teacher, and author of Under the Witching Tree
“A refreshing look at the treatises of occult herbalism. A fascinating, in-depth deep dive and understandable approach to the esoteric arts as they pertain to plant, animal, and mineral medicines with an emphasis on occult botany and the Hermetic arts, including lab alchemy. A one-of-a-kind, expansive dictionary of magical plants with special care given to the translation and annotations in the footnotes to further illustrate the understanding of these plants then and now. A must-have for any seeker of esoteric herbalism.”
— Catamara Rosarium, master herbalist, owner of Rosarium Blends LLC
“Occult Botany gives us a needed look at esoteric herbalism from 1902, when philosophical arts had not yet veered dangerously into the pseudoscience of the new age that we have today. We can see whole philosophies at work within these pages that should help modern readers navigate their way out of the philosophical cul-de-sacs that modern herbalism has been circling for too long.”
— Marcus McCoy, blacksmith, herbalist, editor of Verdant Gnosis