Microcosm Publishing

Sacred Herbs of Samhain

| /

"...a very straightforward, practical guide for those readers who want to actually put the information to use.  This is the kind of book that gets dog-eared from sitting on your kitchen table or altar rather than dusty from sitting on your bookshelf.  Highly recommended for all levels of practitioners." - Kirk White, author of Masterful Magick

"There are all kinds of herbalists but none as magical and profound as Ellen.  I cherish every book--every word--she gifts us with." - Susan Weed, herbalist and author of the Wise Woman Herbal series


The ancient Celts separated the year into two halves, the light half and the dark half, summer and winter.  The festival of Samhain, from which the modern holiday of Halloween originates, marks the transition from summer to winter, the end of the Celtic year, a time when the barriers between the physical and spiritual world are at their most transparent.

Presenting a practical guide to the sacred herbs and trees of Samhain, Ellen Evert Hopman details the identification, harvest, and use of more than 70 plants and trees in healing, divination, purification, and magic and as tools for contacting the spirits wandering the landscape at this liminal time of year.  She explores the most effective plants for protection from the mischief of the "Good Neighbors," the sidhe or fairies, as well as herbs for releasing the dead when they are trapped on this plane.  Identifying visionary plants used to induce ecstatic trance, Hopman explores how herbs have been used for millennia to aid in psychic travel and shamanic work and shows how one might safely use plants to take a voyage to the Otherworld.  She also includes cautions to prevent harm and mis-identification, along with advice on basic etiquette and common sense approaches o herb magic.

Detailing the history, rites, and traditions of Samhain, Hopman explains how to make an offering to the land spirits and provides instructions for the traditional Samhain ritual of the Dumb Supper, complete with recipes for the sacred foods of Samhain, such as soul cakes, colcannon, boxty bread, and dandelion wine.  Woven throughout with mystical tales of folk, fairy, and sacred herbs, this guide offers each of us practical and magical ways to connect with nature, the plant kingdom, the spirits that surround us, and the turning of the year.


Ellen Evert Hopman is a master herbalist and lay homeopath, who has been a Druidic initiate since 1984.  She is a founding member of the Order of the White Oak, an Archdruidess of the Tribe of the Oak, a former professor at the Grey School of Wizardry, and a member of the Grey Council of Mages and Sages.  She is the author of several books, including Secret Medicines from Your Garden.  She lives in Massachusetts.