Throughout history, scholars have sought to understand the world through categorization. The earliest scholars of the natural world were magicians, priests, shamans, astrologers, and philosophers. They categorized things in ways that are meaningful to them; by comparing them to other things in the natural world, and according to their magical and medicinal uses. These are the basis for modern tables of correspondences.
Some things were categorized according to the doctrine of signatures, assigning meaning to the physical appearance of a thing, others categorized things according to their properties and aligned them to the properties of the planets. Later, elemental correspondences inherited properties of the planets with which they were associated and as new items were discovered and added to the magical formulary, they were assigned correspondences accordingly.
Linnaeus categorized plants and animals according to their reproductive traits in the 1700s and brought about our modern methods, which are also useful to know, especially for wildcrafting and plant identification. You can find herbs listed according to the Linnaean classification system at Herbs Listed by Botanical Family.
For magick users, Tables of Correspondence remain relevant today. They allow us to quickly look up what items contain energy that corresponds to the intent of our spell working. Because there are many different traditions and many different ways of looking at magical energy, you may find that correspondence tables vary.
You may find that you look at the ascribed correspondence to an item according to one source and find that it doesn’t ring true to you. In truth, each of us has our own unique experience and that which is symbolic to one person might not be to another. If you disagree with a stated correspondence, try to determine what prompted it. (I try to explain the reasons behind correspondence associations in the planetary and elemental pages to help you with this.) If you simply cannot come to agreement with your source, go with your gut.
The magical correspondences collected here are organized in a number of different ways and presented in a variety of magical correspondence tables for your convenience.