A Druid’s Web Log – Make a June garden for butterflies, bees and lightening bugs

In Celtic tradition it isn’t summer until the hawthorns bloom. Keeping to schedule, the local hawthorns bloomed mid-May. We had a terrible ice storm a few years ago and my Irish hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) raised from seed I brought back from Uisneach in county Meath, finally recovered enough this year to be covered in blossoms on at least one side of the tree. That tree is a favorite of the local bees. Years ago I used to get masses of honey bees who would stumble drunkenly from flower to flower. These days it’s mostly small wild bees and bumble bees.

As I write this it is the time of the Irises. I recently realized that this is the way I tell time. First its crocus time followed closely by Forsythia time, then there is Tulip and Dandelion time for a few weeks, and then the Lunaria take pride of place. Later in the summer it is the time of the Day Lilies who spring up like Fourth of July rockets. After that the Phlox, Raspberries and Blackberries have their moment, followed by the Elderberries and Tomatoes. In the fall it’s the asters of course, and the fabulous New England leaves.

The lightening bugs have re-appeared this week, along with a few butterflies and June bugs. If you live in a city you will never notice this, but living in the country it becomes quite obvious. Fields that are left to go wild, where native wildflowers abound, will be covered in the flashing Fairy lights of the lightening bugs. Across the street where some home owner or corporation has mowed, the lights suddenly disappear.

In old Scottish tradition it was imperative to keep a “Goodman’s Croft” or a wild space on your property, just for the Fairies. As is usual with these kinds of traditions, there is profound practical value to this practice. Without a wild corner of the field, lawn or garden, a place that no human is allowed to tread, the butterflies, bees and lightening bugs have no sustenance. It’s not just spraying that is doing them in. Please think about this as you plan your garden spaces.

In other news, I am presently re-editing the old classic TREE MEDICINE TREE MAGIC which has been out of print for over a decade. I am adding new recipes and other bits in the hopes of bringing it back into print.

Below is the usual fare of book news, herbal updates, archeology, religion, politics and ethics. Please enjoy the bounty. *And remember – you can order a book from this site and get a signed copy with a personal note!*

May your gardens be full of de-light!

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  • A TREE WORKSHOP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Celtic Tree Lore class with Ellen Evert Hopman
    July 23,24 2016
    Misty Meadows Herbal Center
    183 Wednesday Hill Road
    Lee, NH 03861
  • HERBAL TRAINING IN MASSACHUSETTS
    October 15, 2016 – April, 2017
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    My usual six month herbal intensive in the Amherst area starts October 15, 2016
    Cost: $1000 plus a $100.00 nonrefundable Xeroxing fee
    My books include; “Secret Medicines From Your Garden” , “Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore“, “A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year”, “A Druids Herbal – Of Sacred Tree Medicine“, “Secret Medicines of Your Kitchen
    DETAILS: 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, an herb walk outdoors and hands on herbal techniques such as poultices, tinctures, salves. Over 550 pages of handouts are included with the course. A certificate of completion is offered at the end.Stay tuned for more workshops and events…

BOOK NEWS

  • Another podcast; about Druids this time
  • Finding Druid Deities
  • A Legacy of Druids
  • In this podcast my part starts at 1:32
  • A Legacy of Druids
    Legacy of Druids

    Legacy of Druids

    ”A really interesting new book has been released today – A Legacy of Druids. It’s a collection of interviews with key figures in Druidry made by Ellen Evert Hopman 20 years ago.
    When Ellen asked me to write a foreword for the collection I was worried  – surely the material would be out of date? But once I started reading, I became fascinated. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and this book celebrates hindsight and asks the simple but highly relevant question: what legacy is modern Druidry leaving? We can see what predictions we got right and what we got wrong, what preoccupations are still prevalent in the community, and what have been forgotten. It all makes for a surprisingly good read! It’s available in e:book and paperback on both sides of the Atlantic.” Philip Carr Gomm

  • Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic, by Ellen Evert Hopman (Healing Arts Press, $19.95, Paperback)
    Secret Medicines from Your Garden

    Secret Medicines from Your Garden

    “Full of mystical folklore, ancient wisdom, and modern research, this book acts as a guide for exploring herbal lore and the healing power of plants. Ellen Hopman shares the many uses of plants for food, spiritual growth, and magical ritual. She covers everything from simple home-made first aid remedies, remedies from Native American and Egyptian traditions, herbal astrology, and even shamanic Plant Spirit and Animal Spirit Medicine. Hopman also shares tips on how to intuit an unknown plant’s healing properties by using universal indications and contraindications based on different characteristics of each plant.” Conscious Community Magazine

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

GARDENING NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

MENTAL HEALTH NEWS

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

FAIRY NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

 

A Druid’s Web Log – Beltaine (May Day) 2016

After a very warm winter we were suddenly assaulted by below freezing temperatures and even snow earlier this month. As a result the Day Lillies and other early spring plants are looking very crisp around the edges. My garden is usually glorious this time of year. Now the plants are confused and there are very few Spring flowers.

Last weekend I visited the wilderness area down the road with some friends. We walked on a sandy beach and noticed giant wolf-like paw prints (probably Coy-wolves) in the sand and we were treated to the sight of Bald Eagles wheeling overhead, doing their aerial dance. Birch trees were dressed in their new catkins and the skunk cabbages were up on schedule. It’s comforting to know that some things are still happening as they should.

It will be Beltaine (May Day) in a few days, the official start of summer in Celtic areas. Modern celebrants like to observe on May 1 but in ancient times it was the blooming of the Hawthorn trees that heralded the festival. In my area that won’t happen until at least mid-May. Keep an eye on your local Hawthorn trees, or find out when the herds start migrating back up into the hills, for a more accurate assessment of the official start of summer wherever you are.

The US elections are growing nearer. Please consider the Earth and her creatures when you select a candidate. We have very little time left to save fragile wildlife and preserve human health and wellbeing.

Below you will find the usual Moonthly offerings of archeology, nature, herb, health, religion and ethics news. Enjoy!

BOOK NEWS

A REVIEW

  • Ellen Evert Hopman, A Legacy of Druids: Conversations with Druid leaders of Britain, the USA and Canada, past and present“A Legacy Of Druids presents a collection of interviews from some of the most prominent druids in the community, including Philip Carr-Gomm, Mara Freeman, Ceisiwr Serith, Arthur Uther Pendragon and even Ronald Hutton. What perhaps makes them particularly interesting is that these interviews were conducted around 20 years ago, making A Legacy Of Druids a window into the recent past, which is intriguing to compare and contrast with the current landscape of the Druid community today.For me, Druidry has been one of the harder Pagan paths to grasp, as what Druidry actually is always seems to be rather difficult to pin down (even within the context of Paganism, which is itself hard to pin down). This book didn’t really answer the question of what exactly Druidry is – what it did do, however, was give a sense of what Druidry is like. All the Druids selected for interview in this book approach their path from different ways, but after a while you see some patterns emerge that help to distinguish Druidism from other Pagan paths. I noticed that a large percentage of Druids in A Legacy Of Druids had experienced vivid visions and supernatural experiences, and that there’s a particular emphasis on comparing Druidry with Native American traditions – you could sum up Druidry as “Pagan/Celtic Shamanism.”Many of the questions asked in the interviews are the same, which means that there is a little repetition and overlap in answers. But each interview has its own points of interest, and I particularly liked the interviews with Ceisiwr Serith (a lot of surprising truths revealed), Arthur Uther Pendragon (one of Druidry’s most colourful and outspoken individuals), Rollo Maughfling, and Isaac Bonewits (his dealings with Anton La Vey were particularly intriguing). For me, the interview that stood out the most was with Ronald Hutton. I’m a little biased as I’m a big Hutton fan, but it was really fascinating to hear more about his personal life and views. As always, A Legacy Of Druids proves the general rule that a book with Hutton’s name in it usually has something of merit.A Legacy Of Druids is a solid resource for those interested in the history of modern Druidry and more about the lives of those who have made the community what it is today.”
  • An author interview I did with a fellow in India
  • How I became an Herbalist 

RECENT PODCASTS

ANOTHER LEGACY OF DRUIDS REVIEW

  • A Legacy of Druids “Provides a better-rounded picture than the stereotypical television portrayal of Druids as rebellious savage that Roman soldiers felt compelled to slaughter.
    A common belief was Druids did not leave written history because to write something down would cause the memory to go. If this is true or not, I don’t know. The best way to understand Druids is to talk to them, rather than pick up information from self-proclaimed experts on the Internet.Author Ellen Evert Hopman gathers Druids from all walks of life including politicians, spiritual leaders, poets, and musicians. It is a nice collection because no one is alike, which means the interviewees while having a shared faith didn’t always have the same practices, rather like almost any other religion.
    I applaud Hopman for her effort and research. She’s not just a woman in search of an interesting topic, but an archivist of sorts, gathering her own faith history as  Archdruid of the Tribe of Oak.The Legacy of Druids is a much-needed book that demonstrates not all Druids s are bearded old men. Now, there’s nothing wrong with an elder in a ceremonial robe, but it’s also okay sometimes just to be another person standing in line at the water and soil conservation center waiting to get his or her rain barrel. It’s excellent read to expand your horizons.”

*REMINDER – you can order signed copies of my books from this website. You will receive a signed copy with a personal note!*

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  • A PLANT TALK IN MASSACHUSETTS
    May 15
    Pelham, MA 1 PM – 3:30 PM
    A lecture on The Doctrine of Signatures, an ancient plant classification system
  • A TREE WORKSHOP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Tree Magic and Medicine class with Ellen Evert Hopman
    July 23,24 2016
    Misty Meadows Herbal Center
    183 Wednesday Hill Road
    Lee, NH 03861
  • AN HERBAL INTENSIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS
    My usual six month herbal intensive in the Amherst area starts October 15, 2016
    Cost: $1000 plus a $100.00 nonrefundable Xeroxing fee
    Please contact me for more details.

Stay tuned for more workshops and events…

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

 NATURE NEWS

 RELIGION NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS