Wolf -Dieter Storl, born in Saxony, Germany in 1942, is a cultural anthropologist and ethnobotanist. As a Fulbright scholar in Berne, Switzerland, he completed his PhD with /magna cum lauda/ in 1974. After his formal studies, Wolf-Dieter held several teaching positions in the U.S., Europe and India. He taught sociology and anthropology at Kent State University, Ohio, and also at the Institute for International Studies in Vienna. Other teaching positions followed in Oregon and Wyoming. Storl later held one year positions as guest lecturer in both Switzerland and India. Wolf-Dieter Storl has conducted numerous anthropological and ethnobotanical field studies, including a year's stay in a séance practicing spiritual community in Ohio and one year working among traditional bio-dynamic farmers in Emmental, Switzerland. He has maintained many years of contact with Northern Cheyenne medicine men in Montana as well as Shiva sadhus in India. These studies and experiences have provided much of the material for the numerous books and articles he has written; these works focus primarily on ethnobotanical plant lore and cultural anthropology. Wolf-Dieter Storl has developed his own unique philosophical approach to nature that is much appreciated by the readers of his books, most of which underscore the healing power of the plant world and nature as a whole.
Since 1988, Storl has lived with his family in Southern Germany where he is a passionate gardener, an inspired author, and he continues his studies on the secrets of the plant world.
The Herbal Lore of Wise Women and Wortcunners
The Healing Power of Medicinal Plants
A compendium of science, history, and cultural lore focusing on female healers and the transformative power of plants.
• According to the Natural Business Journal, medicinal herbs represent a $14 billion global market
• Introduces modern readers to the extraordinary “wortcunners” (knowers of healing plants) of northern European and Anglo-Saxon tradition
Traditional herbalists or wise women were not only good botanists or pharmacologists; they were also shamanic practitioners and keepers of occult knowledge about the powerful properties of plants. Traveling back to the healing arts of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, The Herbal Lore of Wise Women and Wortcunners takes readers deep into this world, through the leechcraft of heathen society and witches’ herb bundles to the cloister gardens of the Middle Ages. It also examines herbal medicine today in the traditional Chinese apothecary, the Indian ayurvedic system, homeopathy, and Native American medicine. Balancing the mystical with the practical, author Wolf Storl explains how to become an herbalist, from collecting material to distilling and administering medicines. He includes authoritative advice on herb gardening, as well as a holistic inventory of plants used for purposes both benign and malign, from herbs for cooking, healing, beauty, and body care to psychedelic plants, witches’ salves for opening alternative realities, and poisonous herbs that can induce madness or cause death. Storl also describes traditional “women’s plants” and their uses: dyeing cloth, spinning and weaving, or whipping up love potions. The Herbal Lore of Wise Women and Wortcunners is written for professional and amateur herbalists as well as gardeners, urban homesteaders, and plantspeople interested in these rich ancient traditions.
Price: $27.95/$32 in Canada
Trade Paper: 978-1-58394-358-8 384
37 B&W illustrations
World North Atlantic Books
Witchcraft Medicine – Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden PlantsWitchcraft Medicine – Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants
(with the co-authors, Dr. Christian Rätsch and Dr. Claudia Müller-Ebelin) (Inner Traditions)
ISBN: 978-0-89281-971-3 (0-89281-971-5)
Quality Paperback, 8 x 10, 272 pages
Includes three 8-page color inserts and 170 b&w illustrations
About Witchcraft Medicine
- An in-depth investigation of traditional European folk medicine and the healing arts of witches
- Explores the outlawed “alternative” medicine of witches suppressed by the state and the Church and how these plants can be used today
- Reveals that female shamanic medicine can be found in cultures all over the world
- Illustrated with color and black-and-white art reproductions dating back to the 16th century
Witch medicine is wild medicine. It does more than make one healthy, it creates lust and knowledge, ecstasy and mythological insight. In Witchcraft Medicine the authors take the reader on a journey that examines the women who mix the potions and become the healers; the legacy of Hecate; the demonization of nature’s healing powers and sensuousness; the sorceress as shaman; and the plants associated with witches and devils. They explore important seasonal festivals and the plants associated with them, such as wolf’s claw and calendula as herbs of the solstice and alder as an herb of the time of the dead--Samhain or Halloween. They also look at the history of forbidden medicine from the Inquisition to current drug laws, with an eye toward how the sacred plants of our forebears can be used once again.
About the Author(s) of Witchcraft Medicine
Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Ph.D., an art historian and anthropologist, is the coauthor of Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas and was editor in chief of Dao, a magazine about the health and longevity practices of the Far East. She lives in Hamburg, Germany. Christian Rätsch, Ph.D., is a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist who specializes in the shamanic uses of plants. The author of Marijuana Medicine and coauthor of Plants of the Gods and Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas, he lives in Hamburg, Germany. Wolf-Dieter Storl is a cultural anthropologist and ethnobotanist who has taught at Kent State University, as well as in Vienna, Berne, and Benares. He lives in Allgäu, Germany, and is the author of Culture and Horticulture: A Philosophy of Gardening.
“This is a fascinating work of great importance that is incredibly well researched and documented. And brave. From the first impassioned paragraph to the last words, I was spellbound. Anyone interested in medicine, herbalism, the healing arts, and spiritual phenomena will find this book thought provoking and empowering.”
Rosemary Gladstar, president of United Plant Savers and author of Herbal Healing for Women
"Witchcraft Medicine is a solid book and an essential research tool for anyone interested in European folk traditions, magic, alchemy, or herbalism."Mark Stavish, Institute for Hermetic Studies, April 2006
"A well-researched and interesting read."Vision Magazine, February 2004
“Witchcraft Medicine is a work of brilliant and passionate scholarship, fabulously illustrated, that recovers the lost knowledge of the European shamanic tradition. It is both a guide and an enthusiastic ode to the visionary edge of the botanical realm.”
Daniel Pinchbeck, author of Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism
"It is essential reading for anyone interested in the folklore and magical beliefs asociated with flowers, herbs and trees."
The Cauldron, February 2004
"Witchcraft Medicine blends history with practical applications of plant healing and shamanic practices."
The Midwest Book Review, June 2004