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Hey there, budding herbalists! Welcome to the fascinating world of herbs and natural remedies, for witches. Now, before we dive into the vast universe of botanical wonders, let me lay it out for you – I'm not a seasoned expert in this field. My knowledge is a mishmash of wisdom gathered from numerous mentors, some really insightful books, and hands-on experience. But hey, I'm here to share what I've got, hoping you'll join in, contribute your insights, and let's create a thriving community where information flows freely.

Herbalism, much like mastering the intricate skill of acupuncture, is deeply ingrained in the roots of ancient teachings. However, it's also an arena where we've lost a ton of knowledge, and science is still playing catch-up. Every pagan culture has had its own unique herbal practices, and guess what? No one person knows it all. But here's the cool part – thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we might just pool our collective knowledge within a lifetime or two. Science is catching on to the healing powers of herbs, but they're not exactly sprinters in this race. Unless nudged a bit, they might take centuries to figure it all out. We've got the tools and the communication tech; let's make it happen.

Now, let's get down to business – the first step in herbalism. Gather your tools, my friends. This is the foundation of your herbal journey, and I'm here to guide you through it.

1. Mortar and Pestle: Get yourself a good one, preferably of stone or metal. If you're going for wood, make it two – one for inedibles and spellword, and one for edibles. Just make sure they look different; we don't want any accidental herb poisoning!

2. Containers: Don't just store your herbs in the plastic bags they come in – they're usually not reusable or airtight. Opt for glass coffee and spice jars, old jam jars and mason jars. Recycle like a pro, just ensure they're squeaky clean and completely dry before using them.

3. Labels: These are your lifelines. In this day and age, recognising every herb by sight is impossible, especialy if you buy them in bulk rather than wildcraft them. Label your containers, date them, and avoid keeping spoiled stock on your shelf.

4. Tea Ball: Invest in a good metal tea ball, especially if you're the experimenting kind. It's handy for single doses of teas and tonics.

5. Cheese Cloth: This one's a multitasker – for straining, making sachets, and whatever creative use you can think of.

6. Kettle and Teapot: You'll need a decent-sized kettle, holding at least a litre of water, and a good teapot for simmering mixtures. My Chinese import teapot has been a loyal companion; find what works for you.

7. Cutting Board and Sharp Knife: Keep a dedicated cutting board and a sharp knife for your herbal escapades. Precision is key.

8. Notebook: Your herbal diary – record everything. Successes, failures, new experiments, research findings from various sources – jot it all down. Trust me; it's like gold in the long run.

9. Eyedropper and Bandages: An eyedropper for precise measurements and white linen-style bandages, possibly some ace bandages for good measure.

10. Metal Brazier or Container: For making your incense and withstanding heavy usage and heat – a versatile addition to your herbal toolkit.

11. Reference Sources: With every part, I'll drop a list of books I've found useful. Use it as a starting point, expand to others, and lean on your teachers for guidance.

So there you have it, your starter pack. The rest? You'll pick it up on this enchanting herbal journey every Tuesday and Friday. Take your time, dive deep into your studies, note everything, cross-reference sources, and watch your knowledge bloom. Let's make this herbal community a powerhouse of shared wisdom!

Part Two Coming Friday


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