Herbal Magick is one of the oldest and most practical forms of magick, for its ingredients grow all around us, even in the large cities where most of us live.
The basis in Herbal Magick as in all magick is energy, that energy is generated and yet maintained in the universe. Its the energy of the five sacred things Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and of course Spirit. Everything around us is created by it, contains it, and answers to it. The energy is in everything, and everything is contained by it. Its the macrososm and the microcosm.
The best definition of this and of Magick as a whole I found in The Encyclopedia of Magickal herbs by Scott Cunningham and it is:
Magick is the practice of causing change through the use of powers as not yet defined or accepted by Modern Science.
This, in my opinion, puts Magick in the correct light and relates to the use of herbs in Magick as it relates to all magick. After all who knows WHY herbal magick works it just works.
The power and energy behind herb magick is formless and eternal, you don't have to call on a particular God or Goddess, you don't have to cast a circle, you don't have to wait for a certain phase of the moon, its a magickal form that can be used anytime anywhere with the right tools and ingredients. Although formless, it has many forms. Some herbs have more "power" or energy then others, different herbs have different uses. A sprig of Jasmine doesn't have the same energy as an uncut diamond. The energy or vibratory rate ranges in each and every living thing, and relates to the chemical makeup, form and density of the herb you are using. These properties relate to where the herb is grown, its smell, color, form, and other factors. Herb Magick is used to effect a change on a situation.
The only real magick is magick used when needed, and if done correctly Magick with work anytime day or night. You don't need the phases of the moon, or a circle in most cases, you need a reason and an outcome you want to reach as well as the tools to achieve that outcome. That's the beauty of Herbal Magick it can be done anytime anywhere, if you need it all you have to do is have the ingredient and the tools needed to achieve your goal.
Very little tools are needed in the practice of Herbal Magick compared to others forms of Magick. You generally will need the following:
A mortar and pestal for grinding herbs, a large ceramic or wooden bowl, a large glass or enamel pot (stay away from metals for the herbs may have a reaction) for brewing infusions (potions), simple sewing supplies this is handy for making poppetsm sachets and herbal bags, and a good stock of al cottan or wool cloth and various colors of yarn. As I said this is the easiest and most practical forms of magick for your supplies are readily found in any herb store, pagan shop, sewing supply and sometimes at the drug store.
Candles and herbs are of course necessities, and an incense burner, charcoal blocks, and glass jars with vacuum tops to store your herbs. This way your herbs stay fresh and well preserved so they are fresh when used.
Don't get scared an altar is merely a work table, a place where you cast spells, and a work table for your herbs to be enchanted. Enchanted is when you charge the herb with its natural energy and get it ready for use in a concoction, potion or spell. Sachets are usually sewn here and as mentioned before all Magickal works performed here. It can be as basic as a coffee table or top of a dresser. My first Altar was made from cinder block and a piece of plywood so you see its not extravagant.
Now as in any form of magick you must be able to visualize. By that I mean you have to be able to see where you want the energy of the spell to go and the outcome as you want it to be. If your goal is an object you must visualize owning every part of that object, if you want a certain job you have to picture yourself sitting at the desk of that job and actually doing it, if its love you want you have to be able to see the object of your affection and that person actually marrying you. You have to picture yourself already obtaining the goal in which you seek. Don't think of reason just the ultimate goal.
As you see Herbal Magick is an easy way to get your feet wet in the world of Magick Practition and enables you to learn the basics of spellwork and Magickal theory. Herbal Magick is a beautiful art and doesn't take much investment or training. If this interests you there are many sites and books out there to guide you. Check out my recommendations.