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;
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.
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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
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
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
- 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.
- A Bronze Age deity found in Siberia
- A skeleton that might be an Irish Viking king of Dublin
- A Bronze Age gold necklace (I think it could also be balls to tie to hair or braids).
- The Lia Fail was attacked. Again. In our modern degenerate age its past time to put this monument in some kind of protective enclosure. Very sad.
- An Irish Lunula and how it was discovered
- Iron Age Cooking
- Liver divination in ancient Mesopotamia
- Some Viking artefacts
- A Bronze Age spindle whorl found in Ireland
- Ancient Europeans used entheogens for ritual
- Amesbury (Stonehenge area) is the oldest settlement in Britain
- Ancient Nordic grog is recreated
- Neanderthal children did not suffer harsh childhoods
- A Roman camp discovered in central Germany
- The world’s oldest tree? (video)
- Roadwork uncovers 9000 years of Scottish history
- In the Neolithic era, Orkney was the Spiritual Center of Britain
- Irish sweat houses
- Celt Iberian, an extinct Celtic language
- Indo-European languages, where they are spoken
- Basques are not who you think
- Sean Nos (old style) singing (videos)
- The reigniting of Britain’s Pagan Fire Festivals
- An Irish monolingual speaker
- The Cailleach in Scotland
- What do we really know about the Druids?
- Getting ready for Summer Solstice at Stonehenge
- The role of Brighid
- A Pagan faith gets official recognition in Russia
- Sacred Stones in Russia vandalized
- Welsh Christian group claims their national flag is “Demonic”
- Urban foraging
- Make Homemade tick and mosquito spray
- Dwarf Ginseng (It grows behind my house!) (video)
POLITICS AND ETHICS
- Fracking bill heads to North Carolina governor without any public comment period
“No public notice for any committee meeting or for the floor debate and that’s just wrong” P. Harrison, D-Guilford
- Keystone XL died in the senate (thankfully) but so did energy efficiency
- Eastern Shore of MD wind project will go forward thanks to governor’s veto
- Sign a petition to stop states from blocking expanded Medicare for the uninsured
- MassPLAN | Massachusetts Pipe-Line Awareness Network
About This: website provides information about the proposed Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Northeast Expansion Project (Project Map). *Note the proposed line will be just a few miles from the Quabbin, Boston’s drinking water supply. There is a high likelihood of explosions.