Having had a bit more of a breather in the last few days, I did get a chance to more "thoroughly skim" through the book. Overall, I'd say a mixed review as follows:
What I like:
I like that she goes over general physiology - talking about the different systems of the body (digestion, skin, reproductive - male and female - etc etc etc. ) and then subsequently talks about different herbs which could address different imbalances in these systems. The physiology alone is presented clearly enough that it would be particularly helpful for someone who is into herbs but never really studied that formally etc.
I like that there's the metaphysical aspect of the herbs - and herbal healing - discussed and honored throughout. Definitely Brighid/Celtic focused, but enough other material there that someone who was not couldn't still get some wonderful information about herbs and healing.
I like that she has sections devoted to each of the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water).
I like the "Weaving the Web" sections at the end of each chapter that give suggestions for how to incorporate the lessons of that chapter. Kind of like your own independent study course that way.
I can definitely feel the influence of her various teachers throughout the book. (In the Acknowledgements section, under her teachers, she thanks Rosemary Gladstar, Susun Weed, Starhawk, Vicki Noble, Hallie Inglehart Austin, James and Mindy Green, Amanda McQuade Crawford, David Hoffman, Michael Moore, and Tim Blakely. - And Brighid
) Overall, a bunch that I resonate with.
I also feel like her own 21 years of experience shows through in a good way.
Now for the things which I have more of a challenge with with this book:
#1 (and this is a pretty big one!) - NO INDEX!!!!!!!!! NONE! ARF!!!!! Makes it exceedingly hard to have to go back and truffle through the whole book to find that bit that mentioned using the Hawthorn a particular way etc.
#2 The chapters are arranged in an order that makes sense for her teaching style, but not intuitively for a student not already familiar with her particular methods. For example, the chapter headings are:
1. Brighid - Goddess of Healing
2. Lady of Air
3. Lady of Fire
4. Lady of Water
5. Lady of Earth
6. Celtic Deities of Healing
7. Reproductive Health - Women
8. Reproductive Health - Men
9. Materia Medica
Would you *necessarily* know where she has the physiology sections on Skin v. Endocrine System v. Digestion from these headings? (Especially without an index or subheadings for the chapters?)
For instance, the sections on Endocrine glands and remedies for babies and children are in chapter 6 - Celtic Deities of Healing. The Cardiovascular section is lumped in with the Men's Reproductive Health section. Hrm. Not how I would have arranged things.
Also, the Materia Medica in chapter 9 covers 27 different herbs - at least a page per herb with some wonderful bits of information, but there are several more herbs she talks about throughout the book that aren't mentioned in this section at all.
Again, without an index, this makes it REALLY hard to reference back.
As a personal preference, I don't typically work with eo's, and she does reference these throughout. She does mention other - more Susuny type things, but she obviously likes her eo's.
If this were the first herbal book I was reading, I think I would be overwhelmed and not know where to start.
My sense then, is that each chapter is best approached as it's own little "cauldron" of information with lots of lovely bits in it and can and should be savored slowly to get the feel of how/why she's grouping things the way she does. That, and a nice notebook to jot down things and/or make your own index etc.
"Don't worry so much about 'Not Supposed To'. Hm? Live a little." - Armande Voizin in "Chocolat"