As I am still reading in 'the apple branch' by A. Kondratiev (see books forum), I read today the chapter about midsummer, in which the author mentions some things on traditional herbal lore in the celtic world. About the story of Dian Cecht who killed and buried his son Miach, on whose grave healing herbs growed. These herbs were gathered by Miach's sister Airmid on her cloak, and after that Dian Cecht, still jealous with his son's powers, onverturned the mantle and confused the order of the herbs. This would be why not everything is known now today in herbalism, and the work of the herbalist is to reconstruct the mantle, learning about the healing properties as much as he can.
after this there is the part that immediately caught my interest:
A. Kondratiev in "The Apple Branch" wrote:...Breton herbalists (louzaouerien) who have preserved something of their esoteric tradition do indeed see herbs as corresponding to the organs of a slain divinity. The sacred herbs are twenty-six in numer (rather than 365!): vervain is at the head, Saint Johnswort is the blood, mugwort is at the waist, and so on. This confirms that the ositioning of the herbs on the brat Airmeithe originally was meant to correspond to the configuration of Miach's anatomy.
Regretfully the author provided no notes whatsoever as to where he found this information. It sounds very interesting; a traditionol celtic herbal lore, the is reflected/based in the story of Dian Cecht and his children? And even more, a connection between an old Irish story and a more modern Breton tradition? That would be quite special. And of course, I'd like to know more about this herbal tradition.