Reviews & Interviews

Book Review – Herbal Tea Magic for the Modern Witch: A Practical Guide to Healing Herbs, Tea Leaf Reading, and Botanical Spells by Elsie Wild

Book Review
Herbal Tea Magic for the Modern Witch:
A Practical Guide to Healing Herbs, Tea Leaf Reading, and Botanical Spells
by Elsie Wild
Published by Ulysses Press
224 pages
Publication date: November 23, 2021

 

 

If you like tea and want to know more about its magical use, you’re certain to enjoy Herbal Tea Magic for the Modern Witch. This book is a modern introduction to basic herbs, mixing and brewing tea, tasseography, and basic herbal magic. The first chapter explores the history of herbalism and tasseography. This history is fairly short, but provides a good basis of context for what follows.

Chapter two lists a number of common teas, herbs, and spices used in teas, and enumerates both their magical associations and medicinal uses. The information in this chapter is good and each herb is explored in depth; there are not very many herbs covered in this chapter, but those which Wild does discuss will provide a good basis for further exploration.

Chapter three gives individual “witch’s brews,” recipes for accomplishing common magical goals with tea, from love spells and psychic teas to money-increasing teas and glamours. There are some wonderful suggestions in this section and the magical work involved will be easy for most people. There are also suggestions with each recipe for ways to adapt it to different circumstances and needs.

Chapter four delves into tasseography, the art of divining from tea leaves. This chapter was probably the most interesting to me since it’s a part of herbal tea magic that I have less experience with; I was pleased with the basic methods of tea-reading explored here but I’ll note that it’s a fairly short section. That’s okay, though, because chapter five offers a number of tea-based divination rituals that explore this topic in greater detail.

Chapter six dives into herbal tea spell-craft with lunar cycles, sigils, and astrological associations with the weekdays, and offers ten spells for you to work and modify to your needs. Chapter seven explores some basic astrology as it can relate to magical tea practice; this is certainly not an in-depth exploration of astrology and herbalism, but offers some points of entry to working with the stars in your tea practice. The book ends with a symbol dictionary for use in tasseography, noting that the interpretation of symbols is subjective, but there are nonetheless some common symbols with possible meanings that may show up repeatedly in tea readings.

Herbal Tea Magic for the Modern Witch is a very accessible book of modern witchcraft for the new witch or beginner tea enthusiast. It blends basic instruction with many options for customization and further development of the practice. The practices discussed are low-cost and most of the materials and teas explored are very easy to find in any grocery store, which makes this kind of magical practice financially accessible, too.

The practice itself extends in several directions to ritual, divination, personal growth, and working with intention. I think Herbal Tea Magic for the Modern Witch could even be a first book of magic, since it does not require any prior knowledge of magic or herbalism. It is practice-focused, and the systems of magic explored are primarily elemental magic, plant spirit magic, astrology, and divination — systems that are already familiar to many witches, and even familiar to many beginners, but which can also be introduced through this modern, pleasant magical tea practice. 


Elsie Wild is a writer and witch haunting the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. A lifelong student of divination, Wild has been a practitioner of tarot, astrology, numerology, and herbalism for over a decade and has written horoscopes, articles, and guides for various publications. She is the author of The Secrets of Fortune Telling, The Secrets of Spiritual Healing, The Little Book of Chakras, and The Magic Art of Fortune Telling, an oracle deck. When she is not writing or casting spells, Wild is arguing with her tarot cards and making terrible puns.

 

Herbal Tea Magic for the Modern Witch on Amazon

 

About the author:

Sarah McMenomy is a visionary artist, author, and witch. Pulling inspiration from trance states, dreams, auras, psychedelia, and the natural world, she weaves together themes of nature and the occult in her artwork and writing. She has created art and written for books, magazines, games, and more, as well as producing digital fine art prints and acrylic paintings. 
She is the creator of The Entanglement Tarot, a hex-shaped occult Tarot deck designed for spell-craft. 
She is co-runner of Pagan Pages, for which she also writes articles and book reviews, and she also publishes art on her Portfolio site and other work on her Tumblr.

Sarah McMenomy is a visionary artist, author, and witch. Pulling inspiration from trance states, dreams, auras, psychedelia, and the natural world, she weaves together themes of nature and the occult in her artwork and writing. She has created art and written for books, magazines, games, and more, as well as producing digital fine art prints and acrylic paintings. She is the creator of The Entanglement Tarot, a hex-shaped occult Tarot deck designed for spell-craft. She is co-runner of Pagan Pages, for which she also writes articles and book reviews, and she also publishes art on her Portfolio site and other work on her Tumblr.