Celebrating the magick of the natural realm, Volume IV of The Library of Esoterica, delves into the symbolism, ceremony, and our ritual relationships with the botanical world. A visual journey through our interdependent evolution with nature, Plant Magick celebrates botanicals as creative muse – from ancient Greek sculptures to Renaissance paintings to visionary art inspired by psychoactive plants, cacti, and mushrooms.
Our myths, beliefs, and shared stories are continually reflected in nature; purity represented by the white lily or spiritual awakening by the bloom of the lotus. Our joys and laments are mirrored in the cycle of the seasons, in the seed birthing sprout, or in the dead leaf falling softly from winter branches. Plants, trees, and flowers as signifiers of transition are also deeply embedded within rites of passage rituals across global cultures. Rose petals strewn along the wedding aisle mark the evolution into womanhood and marriage. A wreath of lilies stands sentinel over an open grave. A lover’s bouquet awaits on the doorstep. The wooden May Day pole is circled by girls wearing crowns of woven daisies, celebrating the coming of spring. Birth, unions, and burials – cycles of joyful celebration and deep grieving, all are marked symbolically with herbs, flowers or branches of a tree – the integration of nature into ceremony our method of signifying catharsis.
Since time immemorial, plants have also served as potent symbols within the religions of the world; Buddha attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree, Eve plucking the Apple of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. From root to vibrant blossom, Plant Magick explores the fertile, interconnected history between plants and people, the multitude of ways in which we embrace plants in spiritual ceremony, as healing medicine, as creative muse and as gateways into deeper explorations of consciousness.
About the series
The Library of Esoterica explores how centuries of artists have given form to mysticism, translating the arcane and the obscure into enduring, visionary works of art. Each subject is showcased through both modern and archival imagery culled from private collectors, libraries, and museums around the globe. The result forms an inclusive visual history, a study of our primal pull to dream and nightmare, and the creative ways we strive to connect to the divine.
By Jessica Hundley 520 pages Published by Tachen, 2022 Hardcover 7.1 x 1.9 x 9.7 inches