A Druid’s Web Log – Boycott Hobby Lobby

Like many women in the USA I am reeling at the latest assault on women from the religious right and the Republican majority (and hardly impartial) Supreme Court. At a time when US women are already being forced to go to Mexico for gynecological care and contraceptives SCOTUS ruled yesterday in the Hobby Lobby case that for-profit corporations don’t have to provide contraceptives to their female employees if it offends their religious values.

The court’s majority (all men) think its fine to discriminate against women when they try to make their own health care choices. The court’s losing side (all the women) were horrified.

Despite the court’s claim that this is a narrow judgment that “only” applies to birth control (and only singles out women as persons to be discriminated against so who cares) the future ramifications are breath taking. Precedent is now set so that any for-profit privately held corporation can deny service to blacks, refuse to hire gays, impose Sharia Law, refuse blood transfusions, or refuse to cover health care altogether (as in the case of Christian Scientists), if their religion so recommends.

Let’s hope this all becomes so odious that this country finally grows up and embraces single payer national health insurance like every other developed nation has. Why should employers be allowed to decide who gets how much coverage and for which conditions? Absurd.

Last week the same court told Massachusetts that it was unconstitutional to have a 35 foot buffer zone around women’s health clinics to protect the women from anti-abortion and anti-birth control goons. Those buffer zones were set up for a reason, because women were being harassed and bullied en route to routine health care. The same court makes sure that they themselves are well protected with a nice buffer zone around their own place of business while protesters are routinely denied access to political rallies, conventions, etc. and kept behind barriers.

I have lost all respect for the Supreme Court as an impartial judicial body. I hope this will be a real wake up call to voters everywhere. The war on women is in progress. Can you tell I am pissed?

OK, so back to more placid matters…due to the heavy rains this spring the elderberries are sporting massive clumps of blooms and I am looking forward to a bumper harvest in a month or so. I like to mix elderberry and Echinacea to make a fantastic flu and cold remedy. You will find plenty of suggestions below on how to use wild plants for food and medicine.

Earlier this Moonth I had an amazing week at the national Dowser’s Convention in VT. I did a workshop on communicating with trees using an ancient Bardic technique and was told “the best Celtic workshop I have ever attended”. I also did a 3 hour Scottish Fairy Lore talk and they said they thought it should be all day (six hours) and could I please come back and do it next year? Also sold quite a few books …

Then it was on to Mutton and Mead in Montague, Massachusetts, a wonderful Ren Fair. The weekend went very well and I sold quite a few books, only thing is I need to make another sign – no one realizes I am the author of my own books, they think I am selling other people’s stuff. Also, of interest, I had four separate cases of strangers coming to me for counseling on various life issues; death, stress, self-esteem issues, etc. It was like the position of the table made it seem like “the doctor was in”. (I have no problem with that, it’s just interesting). The hard part is getting up at 5 AM when I am used to working nights (urk!). Slept about 15 hours afterwards. Also, a lady told me she had heard that the picture on the cover of THE DRUID ISLE (my second Celtic novel) was me. I asked her “How could a 20 something young girl write a trilogy of Iron Age novels with Old Irish glossaries and pronunciation guides in the back?” Stop by my table YE CELTIC BOOKS AND HERBALS next year if you can.

Here are some more upcoming events this year;

  •  Join Mary Pat Palmer and Karin Uphoff Tuesday July 1st at 1pm PST (4 PM EST) on Holistic Health Perspectives as they interview Master Herbalist and Druid, Ellen Evert Hopman about the magic of the green world, fairy lore and tree medicine.  Ellen has written many fiction and non-fiction books about plants and Paganism.  You can listen via www.kzyx.org and earn more about Ellen Hopman at www.elleneverthopman.com
  • September 5-7, 2014
    Tree Medicine Tree magic 
    A weekend intensive in Pennsylvania on making tree medicines and learning Irish tree lore
  • Western MA Pagan pride Day
    Florence, MA
    September 27, 11 AM to 6 PM
  • Herbal Healing Intensive
    October 18, 2014 – April, 2015
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    A six month intensive. Covers Western herbal Materia Medica, formula making, case taking, Chinese Five Element Theory, Homeopathic First Aid, Flower Essence Counseling, plant identification, ethno botany, and hands on herbal techniques such as poultices, tinctures, salves etc. An herb walk outdoors, slide shows of plants and hands on preparations are included.
    Over 400 pages of handouts are included with the course. A certificate of completion is offered at the end.
  • Changing Times Changing Worlds
    Nov. 7-9, Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, Connecticut
    Ellen will teach a three part Druid Intensive including the Druidic wheel of the Year, the Ogham alphabet and meditating with trees.
  • I will be a featured speaker at Con-Ception in Illinois, April, 2015.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of other news to report. The usual archeology, religion and nature news are featured below, along with some practical ideas on how you can help to make this a better world.

*Remember – you can always order signed books from me via this website!*

THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • No Fracking Way – a film about fracking in Massachusetts (video)ALSO – Please enclose a letter to the CEO of your energy provider each time you mail in your bill and payment. Let them know how you feel about fracking in your community and which safe and clean energy solutions you support; wind, solar, bio-mass, geo-thermal, and conservation.
  • *Urge the Forest Service to end destructive old-growth logging in our largest National Forest.* Take Action
  • *About 75% of flowering plants rely on pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
    But sadly, *pollinators are on the decline* worldwide.
    There’s no better time to reward these hard workers for all they do than by turning your yard or garden into a welcoming haven for wildlife.
    *Help bees, butterflies and hummingbirds by certifying your yard, garden or balcony as an official National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat(R) site today.* And, here are a few tips to attract these helpful friends to your garden.
    *Honeybees* pollinate about one-third of all crops in the United States.
    Honeybees and smaller native bees have somewhat shorter tongues than bumblebees, so they’ll appreciate tightly packed clusters of tiny flowers and shallow blossoms like some milkweeds, spirea, goldenrod and phlox.
    *Bats* are hard at work while you’re asleep, so consider night-blooming plants in addition to day-bloomers. Install a bat box on a nearby tree to encourage bats to take up residence in your yard.
    *Hummingbirds* love brightly colored, tubular flowers. Native red trumpet honeysuckle and many types of columbine are a favorite. When blooms are few, supplement flowers with feeders filled with nectar water.
    *Butterflies* move pollen on their bodies, like bees, but aren’t quite as efficient as other pollinators. Attract these beauties with red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered and have short flower tubes.

FIRE CIDER UPDATE

  • Check out the newsletter online
    Summer Solstice Update Newsletter:*LEGAL ACTION TAKEN!
    *FIRE CIDER TASTING AND EVENTS AT THE WOMEN’S HERBAL CONFERENCE
    Legal Action Taken!
    It’s time for legal action!! We are filing for a cancellation of the Shire City Herbals trademark on Fire Cider.
    This is an action we can all take together!
    In filing with the United Stated Trademark and Patent Office (USTMPO), we are asking them to remove the trademark Fire Cider from Shire City Herbals.ABOUT THIS PROCESS:
    *Anybody can file a cancellation as an individual, business or herbal group.
    * This process costs $300.
    *Multiple people can file under 1 petition. Have your names ready to add to the petition when you file. Herbal groups and friends can work together to pool the $, or raise the funds together.
    *PLEASE PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU FILE, SO WE CAN KEEP COUNT!!
    send us an email EMAIL US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPONSOR AN HERBALIST TO FILE!EMAIL US IF YOU ARE AN HERBALIST THAT NEEDS A SPONSOR!Check our website for step by step instructions (in pictures!) on how to file with the USTMPO.
  • *Fire Cider Tasting and Events at the Women’s Herbal Conference
    Look for the Fire Cider table this summer at the Northeast Women’s Herbal Conference in New Hampshire, August 22-24, 2014.
    *Sign the petition
    *Raffle
    *Write a letter
    *Fire Cider Tasting: Bring your Fire Cider and enter into the tasting contest!
    *Find a group to file for cancellation with!
    http://www.womensherbalconference.com/

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

 POLITICS AND ETHICS

June 2014 blog – a late blooming Spring

This has been a strange spring. The American hawthorns out back bloomed about a week ago, well, one of them did and three didn’t. My Irish hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) that I planted from seed decades ago still hasn’t bloomed and today is June 1. There is just one tiny cluster of buds hanging from a single twig.

It has been cold and rainy for weeks and nights have been in the forties and mid-thirties.

I suppose that the biggest news this Moonth is the public debut of my newest Druid teaching project – The Tribe of Oak Grove. I and my co-ArchDruid Gwennic already have twenty folks working towards Druid initiation. In a recent quiz online that asked “Who in Scottish history are you?”  I got Saint Columba. Not surprising, I guess, since I have now founded or co-founded three Druid Orders and was in at the beginning of a fourth. According to the quiz I am religious and I fearlessly commune with nobles and commoners alike.

Here is a description of the new Grove;

Tribe of the Oak

Welcome to the online home of the Tribe of the Oak Druid Grove. The Tribe of Oak Grove is a Celtic Reconstructionist Druid Grove that seeks to preserve and pass on the traditional ways of the ancient Celts.

This group is by invitation only, please request to join the Grove only if you are seriously seeking to be a member and are prepared to study towards Druidic initiation.

We are an on line study group with members across the globe. We also meet in person for Grove meetings and seasonal rites, mostly in Western Massachusetts. The ArchDruids for the Grove are Gwennic, an accomplished teacher of the ways of the Sidhe (the Fairies), and Ellen Evert Hopman, an author and Druid Priestess for many years.

We are the “People of the Oak”. Oak trees are sacred to all cultures across the European continent and sacred to all cultures that these magnificent trees dwell in.

We have gathered together here to help connect our thoughts and our ideas on what the ancestors may have believed and how they may have worshiped. We discuss the books we are reading and share resources, rites, and the ideas and inspirations of our collective Grove energy.

We are a Celtic Reconstructionist Druid Order which means we base our study and practice on ancient Celtic traditions and readings. The work starts with an extensive reading list (you may have read a number of the books already) and then progresses to one-on-one study with your foster. Most people take about three years to finish. There are hands-on, non-literary tasks, tools to make and seasonal projects in addition to the basic reading.

Our training materials are very Irish based, using 7th century writings. Once you are done with the work there is initiation and then you pick a major focus and pledge to master and teach it for the rest of your life.

~ ~ ~

This Moonth saw the passing of one of America’s greatest poets, Maya Angelou.

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise. Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise. Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Digging in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise. Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Reminder *** Order one of my books from this website and you will receive a signed copy and a personal note!***

Here are some events where you can find me this year, and below is the usual collection of archeology, herb, Celtic, religion and nature news. Enjoy!

  • June 4-9, 2014
    Ellen will be doing workshops at the 2014 annual Dowsers Convention
    Friday, Listening to Trees
    Monday Scottish Fairy Lore
    in Lyndonville, VT
  • June 21 and 22, 2014
    Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival Renaissance Faire, Montague, MA
    10:00am to 6:00pm
    Ellen will be signing her books at YE CELTIC BOOKS AND HERBALS
  • September 5-7, 2014
    Tree Medicine Tree Magic  
    A weekend intensive in Pennsylvania on making tree medicines
    And learning Irish tree lore
  • September 27, 11 AM to 6 PM
    Western MA Pagan pride Day
    Florence, MA
  • October 18, 2014 – April, 2015
    Herbal Healing Intensive
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    A six month intensive. Covers Western herbal Materia Medica, formula making, case taking, Chinese Five Element Theory, Homeopathic First Aid, Flower Essence Counseling, plant identification, ethno botany, and hands on herbal techniques such as poultices, tinctures, salves etc. An herb walk outdoors, slide shows of plants and hands on preparations are included.
    Over 400 pages of handouts are included with the course. A certificate of completion is offered at the end.
  • Nov. 7-9, Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, Connecticut
    Changing Times Changing Worlds
    Ellen will teach a three part Druid Intensive
    Including the Druidic wheel of the Year, the Ogham alphabet
    And meditating with trees.

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

LANGUAGE NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

 LITERARY NEWS

NATURE NEWS

 DRUID NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

NATURE NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

 POLITICS AND ETHICS