May 2014

First, let me apologize for the lateness of this Moonthly blog. I have been off line for a few weeks due to computer issues. My old HP is on her last legs, I fear.

Here on the mountain it is violet time. Purple Lunaria are also making an appearance, as are purple tulips. Down the road purple lilacs are in bloom. A few weeks ago the yellow daffodils came and went along with the first crop of dandelions and this year’s forsythia. At the exact same time the gold finches resumed their bright yellow plumage, a costume change from their winter brown.

One of my students commented that it was like an explosion happened around here – suddenly green is everywhere. And so are the bears. My neighbor has bee hives and though no bears have been seen, one hive was smashed and a huge foot print detected in the freshly turned vegetable garden.

A number of noteworthy events have happened in the last few weeks. First, some religion news. The first message that greeted me when I got back online was this one, a blog post that attempts to list the ten most important Druids. Guess who made the list?

 10 important Druids

And a collation of religious leaders that I am a part of just crafted and signed this public letter (feel free to copy and share);

A Public Statement on Victimization

We the undersigned are adherents of Pagan and Neo-Pagan Religions, including Wicca, Neo-Pagan Witchcraft, Druidism, Asatru and other indigenous Earth Religions, who practice a variety of positive, life-affirming faiths that are dedicated to healing, both of ourselves and of the Earth. We do not advocate or condone any acts that victimize others, including those proscribed by law.

We absolutely condemn the practices of child abuse, sexual abuse, and any other form of abuse that does harm to the bodies, minds or spirits of individuals. We offer prayers, therapy, and support for the healing of the victims of such abuses.

In recent years the victimization of children has been brought to light in a manner not seen in the past. Efforts are underway in schools and other youth organizations to teach children and adults to be aware of and respond proactively to violence against others.

Examples of victimization have also come to light in religious circles and many victims’ rights groups have emerged to advocate for and support those who were abused as children.

We stand strongly against the victimization of children, students, women and men. We call for persons who have witnessed such atrocities to speak up and actively seek to protect the powerless and prevent further abuse.

signed “Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition

Ellen Evert Hopman
Druid Priestess, Order of the White Oak (Ord na Darach Gile)
Archdruid Tribe of the Oak

Rev. Patrick McCollum
The Patrick McCollum Foundation

Rev. Kathryn Fuller
The Circle of the Wildewood

M. Macha NightMare (Aline O’Brien)
Witch at Large

Cairril Adaire
Founder, Our Freedom: A Pagan Civil Rights Coalition

Holli S. Emore
Executive Director, Cherry Hill Seminary

Carol Barner-Barry (Raven of SpiralHeart)

Rev. David L. Oringderff, PhD
Executive Director
Sacred Well Congregation

Dianne C. Duggan (Minerva Thalia)
Lady Liberty League
Circle Sanctuary

As a Druid one of my duties is to care for the Earth and her Creatures. Accordingly I have devised a small action that everyone can take part in;

I have started including a letter each time I pay my electric bill. You see, there is a proposed fracked gas pipeline for Massachusetts and as we all know these pipelines leak methane and are prone to explosions. Also, the proposed pipeline is just two miles from the Quabbin reservoir, Boston’s drinking water reservoir.

In my letter I state that I am opposed to fracking and to any gas pipeline in my state. I also ask that the letter be forwarded to their CEO. I add that I am in favor of using wind, solar, conservation, geo-thermal and bio-mass to make electricity.

I started doing this because the secretary for the environment here in MA claimed he had not heard from any constituents on this matter (unbelievable and hardly credible). If we all did the same maybe someone might listen.

Here is a related article that I hope everyone will read. If you haven’t seen more like this it’s because the gas industry has been buying people’s silence;

Family Wins Fracking Suit in Legal Blow to Industry

“Months after fracking operations began in 2008, the Parrs began to experience negative health effects, including breathing difficulties, nausea, rashes and nosebleeds. Doctors confirmed the existence of hydrocarbon-related chemicals in Lisa’s bloodstream and their young daughter was diagnosed with asthma.”

For those who have been following the Fire Cider controversy, here’s the latest;

FIRE CIDER UPDATE

ORGANIZERS UPDATE

It has been a fun ride for us working and getting to know organizer/ herbalists from the region! There have been victories and challenges, and growing pains! Thanks for holding on for the ride. Without your support, we are nothing and have NO power!! We are working with Rosemary to build this movement, and the foundation of the efforts will last for years!

 PETITION UPDATE

We are over 8,000 signatures. We can continue to get signatures and get over 10,000! Thanks for all your support on this!

CALL TO ACTION!

Please support the Tradition/Not Trademark Boycott of Shire City Herbal’s Fire Cider. One of the most powerful tools available in a grassroots movements ~ and that has proven effective in the past ~ is boycotting a product or company that is using questionable or unethical practices.

* Please note: we are aware of concerns regarding the potential ‘to hurt a small herbal business’ by this boycott. Shire City Herbals are not herbalists, they have stated this themselves on a public radio show (Roots and Rhizomes).

They are not a ‘small local business’ but a national company whose goal is to monopolize an industry with a product. Hundreds if not thousands of people have contacted the SCH owners, expressing their concerns over the trademarking of an herbal product long used and sold in the herbal community and they will not do this. Our intention is get ‘Fire Cider back for the herbal community’ not to hurt anyone’s business.

Our new campaign: Flood the phone lines. We will systematically ask supporters to call stores that carry fire cider each week.

PLEASE Be polite and informed! The businesses we are calling are small business owners and farmers. These folks are our community and deserve respect.

Please note; there are excellent ‘Boycott Letters” and Speaker Points available (so that you can be informed and ready to answer questions that might come up.)

This week we are asking folks to call these stores:

Berkshire Organics : (413)-442-0888
Lenox Natural Foods : (413) 637-2721
Cornucopia (413) 586-3800
Cricket Creek Farm (413) 458-5888
Dottie’s Cafe (413)-443-1792
Juice ‘N java: (413) 684-5080
Millstone Farm Market: (413)- 665-0543

IF ANY OF THESE STORES SAY THEY DO NOT CARRY SHIRE CITY FIRE CIDER, PLEASE LET US KNOW!!!!

REGIONAL COORDINATORS

We are looking to decentralize our organizing efforts. The small team that is working on legal, organizing the campaigns and the website can only do so much! We need folks to step forward and organize their regions!

You will work with folks you know in your own region!

We have Coordinators for these regions:

California
Vermont

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM YOUR REGION, EMAIL THE GROUP COORDINATOR.

Regional Coordinator Description

The role of the regional coordinator is to:

  • Communicate with the core organizing team
    Work closely with Mary Blue, Helen Ward and Nikki Telkes on the campaigns. Bi- weekly conference calls to talk about regional campaigns/ successes
  • Communicate the Anti-trademark campaign’s goals on a regional/local level with the public. Post on regional Facebook groups/ list serves, reply to concerns voiced in the area. Promote material being circulated by the Anti-TM group. As long as we are not slandering Shire City Herbals, we can say what we want. It is helpful to stick to the unifying points on our website if you are questioning whether or not to react to a situation.
  • Help to facilitate group work: Using our unifying points and resources from the website, write articles for local papers and websites.
  • Promote and facilitate local action around current campaigns: letter writing, petition, boycott, flood the market

 LEGAL UPDATE

We are working with lawyers to find the best way to defeat this trademark. Because the legal system is so arduous and expensive, this may take years to come to fruition, but we will keep working on it. We have been given legal counsel that WE CAN beat this through a grassroots campaign! But in order to do so, we need your support. Let’s keep the pressure on with our action campaigns!

*If you have been contacted by Shire City, please let us know!!

PERSONAL APPEARANCES

You can catch me at the following venues in the coming months;

  •  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
  • 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.

*Remember* You can purchase signed books from me via this website!

Meanwhile, here is the last Moonth’s news, gleaned from the media.

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS

NATURE NEWS

FOOD NEWS

  •  The French government votes to ban all GMOs
  • Maaemo, Oslo
    “Before the next dish, we were served a lightly sweetened drink made of linden trees. It had a clear and distinct flavour, and to me it was perfectly sweetened. It turned out to be perfect with the sweet dish that was to come: birch ice cream with roasted birch bark (!).I was amazed when I heard how this dessert was made: after being in the oven for quite a few hours the birch wood had been infused in milk – which again was used to make an ice-cream. As you can see, it was served with tiny, pickled birch leaves. Under it was a “crumble” made of roasted birch bark. If they didn’t tell us, I would have no idea we were actually eating the bark itself, since it was so sweet and delicious. I love the details of this dish: as if we were told a story about the tree all the way from its time in the woods to it got presented on the wooden plate in the restaurant. The subtle birch flavour was extravagantly well-tasting, and the crunchy texture of the “crumble” went so well with it.”

RELIGION NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

DRUID NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

PAGAN NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS