OUR GRIEF IS NOT A CRY FOR WAR
I wrote this in 2002 but it is still relevant for today.
As the light of summer wanes the tides of war are licking at our feet; bombing raids are in full force again in the Middle East. Here in the US the effects of war have been felt in an ever more militarized police force. With the recent beheading of an American by the dreaded ISIL, it feels like we are in a new “Hundred Year’s War”. Will it end in my lifetime?
Meanwhile, the memory of September 11 looms, the event that set so much destruction in motion. Here is an editorial I wrote in 2002 that bears re-posting;
Remembering September 11, 2001
by Ellen Evert Hopman
OUR GRIEF IS NOT A CRY FOR WAR
Most religions agree on one basic principle; that creation comes from one eternal SOURCE. Some call it Goddess, some call it God and some call it The Mother of Ten Thousand Things. Whatever its ultimate nature, we are all a part of it. When dealing with a tragedy like September 11 we are faced with an aspect of ourselves that we may have a hard time looking upon and living with. Yet it, too, is a part of sacred creation.
Over the next week the media and the government will be doing their utmost to revive the feelings of shock and despair that we first experienced a year ago. Whether it is being done to increase ratings, to sell papers, or to build the propaganda effort for a war against Iraq, we will find ourselves awash in sentiments that were first born on that terrible day a year ago.
As human beings we have a choice in how we handle the emotions that will arise in us and in our fellows. In the words of Gregg Braden (author of Walking Between the Worlds);
“What if one person chooses to see beyond hate for those who oppress, while still living among those who oppress? This does not mean that they condone, agree with, or would ever choose to have oppression in their lives. It simply means that one person has chosen to become more than the circumstances they find themselves immersed within, breaking the cycle of response that has been, becoming the higher choice”.
As we experience the renewed drum beats for war and remembrance, we would do well to remember that every actor in the drama; perpetrator, victim, and witness, is an aspect of the sacred, a part of the divine whole. As Gregg has described in his book, we should use this anniversary of grief to witness our own responses and as a tool for growth.
The most primitive response to the memory of 9/11 is to react with rage, demanding vengeance. For many this will be the most immediate and lasting response.
Another understandable, but no less primitive, response will be denial. There are those who refuse to watch television, or read newspapers, or listen to the news, preferring to “stay happy” and focus “only on the positive”, in a kind of New Age never never land. Growth cannot occur in this walled off state, nor will this numbness spur us to take the necessary compassionate action.
Pain and suffering are evident all around us, as they have been continually in the last year. The bombing of civilians in Afghanistan, the deaths of children in Iraq, brought on by sanction driven deprivation, the tit for tat violence in Palestine and Israel, are all aspects of our common crisis.
It is only by facing these events directly, and by allowing the full horror to penetrate, that we can finally respond with compassion and begin the steps to change our present circumstances.
“I am in all beings. All beings are in me. This is the whole truth.”
-Ashtavakra Gita 6:3-4
All beings are aspects of one creative SOURCE, constantly evolving and seeking to know itself. As we gaze, clear eyed, at the suffering around us, let us bless the actions of those who have taken life, for seeking to know themselves in the taking of life. Let us bless the victims who have given their lives, for seeking to know themselves in the giving of life. And let us bless the witnesses who seek to know themselves in the witnessing.
In the words of the Midewewin (open heart) teachings of the (Native American) Anishnabe;
“All life is sacred and every act is a ritual”
Let us conduct ourselves well this week of the anniversary of 9/11 by wishing health and happiness on all beings, of every race, religion and color, in every corner of our small planet. And let us gaze upon sorrow with compassion and without a furthering of violence.
copyright Ellen Evert Hopman
Permission is granted to forward this as long as nothing is removed or altered including this permission statement.
DRUIDS WORKING FOR PEACE
Given all the mayhem happening in the world at this time, Druids around the world will be performing a peace ritual each month on the night of the Full Moon. If anyone feels inclined to join in, please do (the next one is September 9, 2014).
It is claimed in the classical writings that the Druids held the power to stop armies engaging in combat and that may have been because one of their priorities was peace. Today’s Druids wield nether the power or influence of the classical Druids but our priorities remain the same. The achievement of peace is a central aim within today’s Druidic communities. It is with this in mind that The Druid Network has, at this time, now engaged in spiritual work to help bring about peace, not just on the local scale like the classical Druids, but on a worldwide scale enabled by the technology of today.
We therefore invite anyone and everyone to engage with us in our aims, through the use of our International Full Moon Peace Intention Ritual. This ritual, which will be held on the full moon of each month, is suitable for use on its own or in conjunction with any other type of ritual. It can be done on an individual basis or through a community based ritual.
Travel is unnecessary, just putting aside a place and time is all that is required. Ideally, the aim is for people to engage with the ritual at the time of the full moon. However, life does not normally allow for such specific timing, therefore we would request that you aim to do the ritual within the 12 hour period either prior to or just after the full moon if you cannot do the ritual at the specific timing of the full moon.
We have worded this ritual to have no specific political or religious favor, it is a ritual for peace without taking sides.
First we would suggest that everyone starts with the calls for peace in each direction.
“May there be peace in the east,
may there be peace in the south,
may there be peace in the west,
may there be peace in the north,
may there be peace in the whole world.”
After that we suggest each individual or group proceed with whatever ritual opening they usually use and when that is complete use the following:
We honor the fallen,
Those who chose to fight,
And those who had no choice,
Those whose fate it was to die in conflict.
We honor and remember them.
(pause to honor and remember those known and unknown who have died in conflict.)
We stand in the web of life, each of us connected to each other.
Our thoughts and deeds ripple outwards across that web.
(pause to reach out and feel our connections to each other and the web of life)
Today we stand for peace, today we act for peace.
Let each of us be a channel for peace.
Peace in our hearts.
Peace in our lives.
Peace in the world.
(pause and focus on being a channel for peace and radiating that peace out across the world)
After that we suggest closing your ritual in whatever is your normal fashion.
(Meanwhile, if anyone is interested in the serious study of Druidism there is a local Grove near Amherst… Tribe of the Oak)
One of my Grove members reported this about the last Full Moon peace ritual;
” I got the words, got a candle and instinctively went outside to perform the rite. As back story, I and my brother his wife and children are all living with my folks in one dwelling. It is wonderful, it is chaotic, it is… family! My brother, whom I have had words with and felt regret for them all day was out. He is a veteran and served in the US Air force. My intuition leading the way I told him in brief about the ritual, he knows I am a Druid and is mildly curious himself on the lore and studies. I asked him to light the candle for those who have fallen by him, with him and around him. We spoke of peace and of the reasons for it. He had a proverb to speak and we were at peace. Amazing.
Then my dad came and he, a veteran as well was asked by me to remember to fallen and to connect with the web of life.
We went to Chatham Light and gazed at the moon, talked, laughed and were again at peace.
Such is the way of powerful rituals in small packages.
Peace in my heart.
Peace in my life, my family.
Peace in the world.”
This was my own little ritual, here in Western MA;
“I myself had a beautiful little solitary rite by a lake down the road. It was just me and the still lake, beavers and pines as a giant orange Full Moon rose. I sent peace to the directions and then visualized the whole Earth covered with the cloak of Brighid. I visualized all the trouble spots I could think of; Palestine, Israel, Syria, Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. and gathered the peace of the scene before me and sent it to the hearts of all who are suffering.”
THINKING OF BEES
On the nature front I have been thinking a lot about bees. Their plight world-wide due to poisoning by nicotine-based pesticides has gotten me to look at the world through bee eyes. Take a look around your garden and lawn and see if there are blooming flowers or blooming trees. If your lawn is neatly trimmed and sprayed with weed killer and your bushes and trees are neatly cropped, chances are you live in a wasteland, as far as the bees are concerned.
In ancient Scottish tradition there was always a “Goodman’s croft” in the garden or field. This was a corner left wild for the exclusive use of the fairies (read more about this in my book SCOTTISH HERBS AND FAIRY LORE). The wildflowers there would have also been very attractive to bees, butterflies and other winged creatures. I have decided to make a bee garden just for the bees, behind my patch of comfrey, roses and angelica. I am sowing milkweed, yarrow, and queen Anne’s Lace, all flowers with compact clusters of blooms, just for the bees (I am sure the Fae will appreciate the plot too).
UPCOMING ELECTIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Turning to politics, there is a primary coming up in a few days, here in MA. I have been paying close attention and have finally settled on a candidate to support for governor. Here’s why I am supporting BERWICK for governor of MA;
“After careful consideration and review of the currently available data, I oppose the construction of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. We should not commit to new natural gas infrastructure until we know for certain that it is necessary to meet our energy needs. To date, I am not convinced that that case has been made.
“I aim to set Massachusetts on the path towards becoming the first carbon neutral state. To achieve this ambitious goal, we must double down on aggressive efforts for additional conservation and efficiency, solar, off-shore wind, and hydro-electric power to replace existing fossil fuel sources.
“While we need a ‘bridge’ fuel in the *short* term until we can power our grid and mobile sources with a minimum of fossil fuels, I am very concerned about the legitimate dangers of making any more long-term investments in natural gas infrastructure. New pipelines, including the Kinder Morgan pipeline, create infrastructure that locks us into the use of fossil fuels for far longer than necessary.
“Instead, we should focus on plugging dangerous leaks from the existing natural gas infrastructure, which waste energy and release greenhouse gases even more harmful than carbon dioxide. Let’s also support innovative technologies that help smooth demand during peak times. And let’s understand the important role that faster and better development of Massachusetts’ off-shore wind power resource can play in breaking the stranglehold of fossil fuels.
“We need a comprehensive statewide energy plan that moves us towards a safe, reliable, and cost-effective future with a minimum of greenhouse gas emissions, and I will see to it that we have one. Until we do, it is a mistake to make long-term investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure.”
Don Berwick for Governor
Below you will find the usual collection of archeology, nature, religion and ethics news. * You can order books from this website and receive a signed copy with a personal note*
SOME UPCOMING EVENTS
- Save The Date Saturday 9/13/14 1-3 PM @ All Things Local in Amherst, MA
$15 or $30 w/ the $20 book included
THE SECRET MEDICINES OF YOUR KITCHEN
Join local herbalist and author Ellen Evert Hopman in a discussion of home remedies that you can make from the foods and spices already in your kitchen. Get ready for winter with a recipe for Fire Cider (and have a taste!), learn which herbs can be used to make herbal salves, learn new uses for the spices on your kitchen shelf, and many other topics. Ellen teaches a six month herbal intensive near Amherst every year, October to April. Visit her online here.
Ellen will have copies of her books on hand for sale and signing.
For more information call 413- 253-2667
- Western MA Pagan Pride Day
September 27, 11 AM to 6 PM
Ellen will speak on Scottish Fairy Lore and have herbal salves, tinctures and books for sale and signing
- Tree Medicine Tree Magic: October 4th & 5th at the Philo School of Herbal Energetics – California
A Weekend Workshop With Druid Ellen Evert Hopman
On Saturday morning we learn about the Irish “Tree alphabet” and then go outside to perform a traditional Druid tree meditation and learn to listen to the trees. Saturday afternoon we learn more about the “Tree Alphabet” and then gather tree medicines such as leaves, pine needles, flowers, barks, etc. Sunday we prepare medicines from the ingredients we have gathered. Each student can leave with a hand-made set of Ogham divination cards, based on the ancient Irish Ogham “Tree Alphabet”. Please bring a notebook and pen, and wear comfortable shoes and outdoor clothes as you will be outside part of the weekend. Ellen will also have books with her to sell and sign.
The Philo School of Herbal Energetics website has information on directions & lodging. $150 for the weekend; register here.
Lodging: We do not offer lodging. Please go to the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce page for available lodging.
- 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.
- A classic cup and ring stone
- The world’s oldest temple
- The earliest people of the Arctic
- Ancient humans interbred with an unknown species DNA shows
- Scotland – gamers re-create Pictish designs
- The Galatian Celts
- Oldest European human footprints found – in Romania
- A Bronze Age cooking pit discovered in Galway
- Evidence for Balkan Druids?
- A Neolithic monument discovered in Kent
- What lies beneath Stonehenge?
- The pre-history of Croagh Patrick
- The Black Death – it wasn’t just spread by rats.
- New Nazca lines uncovered by a sand storm
- Two ancient Mayan sites discovered
- Clovis culture in the USA
- Possible evidence for pre-Clovis culture in the Americas
- A Bronze Age sword found in river Shannon
- The first farmers in France
- A French Neolithic monument
- Chinese villagers may be descendants of Roman lost legion.
- Bog bodies are Kings sacrificed by Celts
Why does it say “By using a range of methods to kill the victim, the ancient Irish sacrificed to the goddess in all her forms. This manner of death is peculiar to the ritual killing of kings. It means that a king was being decommissioned.” The Celts were polytheists who had both Goddesses and Gods. Is the writer trying to make some kind of misogynistic statement?
- Erbil – the world’s oldest continuously in habited city
- Serpent Mound in Ohio is older than once thought
Related: oral history and the Great Serpent Mound
- The “Hobbit” may have had Downs Syndrome
- Viking sword mystery
- Viking discoveries in Ireland
- A 4,300 year old hair ornament found in UK
- Ness of Brodgar dig diary
- Neolithic cathedral uncovered in Orkney
- 7000 years of history in North Yorkshire
- Danube Valley symbols – the oldest human alphabet?
- Did less testosterone lead to advances in civilization?
- Neanderthals died out sooner than once thought
Yet they co-existed with humans for 5000 years
- A pre-Viking site discovered in Sweden
- A new Pictish symbol stone unearthed
- Ancient Celtic clothing
- Bridget Cleary – the last Witch burned in Ireland (video)
- Pagan origins of the Kerry Puck Fair
- The language of the Picts
- A really nice blog about Hawthorn
- Blackberries and cancer prevention
- How to tell Wild Carrot from Poison Hemlock
- Cooking with Bergamot (Monarda)
- Willow bark is safer than aspirin, with many other natural buffers and constituents. Ancient Americans used it, as recently proven.
- Elderberries! I processed a large batch of Elderberries with Echinacea tincture this summer…
- Blueberries are ripe, make your own syrup
- Cancer deaths soar in Argentina, due to agribusiness
- It’s beyond time to get Fluoride out of our drinking water
- Alaska glacier photos – then and now
- UN report – global warming is already here and probably irreversible
- The plastic patch in the ocean is growing
- Methane seeps discovered along US Atlantic coast
And in Siberia
- Cornwall, England will include Paganism in its school curriculum. Why they still don’t capitalize the word “Druid” is a mystery.
POLITICS AND ETHICS
- Scotland prepares to vote on independence (or not)
Watch the debateResult of the debate
- Moms push back against the NRA
- Sheltering the homeless – one city’s plan
- Judge rules assault weapons not covered by Second Amendment. Sanity at last.
Related: CALL KROGER AND TELL THEM TO STOP OPEN CARRY: Kroger’s policy to allow open carry of loaded weapons in its stores puts customers and employees at risk. Kroger needs to know that Moms demand #GroceriesNotGuns.
Contact Kroger today! CALL 888-829-3790 or TEXT KROGER to 877-877 to be connected directly.
Sign the petition.
- Why Conservatives are…Conservative
- Obama signs executive order to make sure government contractors disclose labor violations before receiving a contract, but allows contractors to police themselves.
- Whats happening in Gaza is worse than South African apatheid – Noam Chomsky
- How Hamas assembles and fires rockets
- Israel braces for UN war crimes inquiry
- Elizabeth Warren’s plan to lessen student debt
Wishing peace upon the world, in our homes and lives.