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By Witchipedia, Herbs

What is Wortcunning

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Wortcunning is the knowledge of healing and magickal properties of plants combined with the practical skills required to make use of this knowledge.


Wortcunning encompasses a deep understanding of the medicinal and magical properties of plants, along with the practical expertise needed to harness these properties effectively.

Wortcunning extends beyond herbalism, encompassing the art of brewing beer, wine, and spirits, which involves a unique blend of botanical knowledge and craftsmanship.

The term “Wortcunning” originates from Old English, where “wort” signifies any beneficial plant, and “cunning” implies practical wisdom or skill.

That is, the knowledge of herbal lore and the use of simples as well as the skills for making salvespotions, and other herbal preparations for healing, cosmetic and magickal use as well as the skills and knowledge involved with growing and wild harvesting the necessary herbs.

Brewing beer, wine, and spirits can also fall under the skills implied by the term wortcunning.

Wortcunning comes from the old English “wort” which refers to any useful plant and “cunning” meaning practical knowledge or cleverness. It is considered by many witches to be an essential skill.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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