Cunningham’s Encyclopedias – Scott Cunningham

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic
Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews
Scott Cunningham
Llewellyn, various

I’ve been using these books for a decade and realized I’ve never actually reviewed them–so here you go.

There’s a good reason these three books are classics in neopaganism (and why my copies are quite well-worn). They’re wonderfully complete books of correspondences for plants, minerals and various things that smell good, respectively. The author did a good bit of research on the history of each element he talks about, as well as gives modern uses for them in magical terms.

As with the rest of his work, his writing style in these encyclopedias is easy to read and gets the point across. Unlike some more recent works, he doesn’t pack the books fullk of useless filler–every page is full of useful information. He doesn’t rely on a thousand pre-crafted spells and rituals. These books provide information on the tools to be used, and what they can be used for, but it’s up to the individual practitioner to decided how it’s done.

I have very few of the books I started out with back in the mid-to-late-90s, and these three have withstood the test of time–and a shifting practice. I only lament that Cunningham is no longer with us; I’d love to be able to tell him how formative his works were to my own practice.

Five pawprints out of five.

Want to buy Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic?
Want to buy the Encyclopedia of Herbs?
Want to buy Incenses, Oils and Brews?

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