I just got back from a lovely sojourn to the old growth redwoods and the Pacific ocean, in Northern California. I was there to teach a class in Celtic tree lore and Herbalism. Two things were shocking; first the miserable state of air travel at this time, and second the extent of the drought in the West.
Travelling by airplane is now like a long bus ride, smashed in-between passengers, breathing bad air, and with no food for even trips of almost six hours (pretzels and Coke do not count as “food” in my book).
The stewardess was surly when I asked her where we were as we flew over a mountain range. “The pilots are very busy and I am serving drinks” was her answer. Gone are the days of cheerful patter from the crew on Southwest.
Northern California is in a terrible state – apparently if the drought keeps up like this there is only one year of water left. In the town where I was teaching people are experimenting with not washing their hair any more. Showers are once a week affairs, the rest of the time its sponge baths, and when you turn on the tap to let it run until it gets hot or cold you collect the running water in jars until the right temperature is achieved. The jars later go out to the garden to water the flowers.
I saw a number of rivers that were completely dry – the rivers that flow at the base of the giant old growth redwoods. The trees are trying to adjust by shrinking their needles.
Meanwhile southern Californians who are taking their water from the north continue to wash their cars and water lawns and golf courses are exempt from water regulations which is absurd. I am starting to understand the animosity that some northern Californians feel towards their southern neighbors, and why they want to secede.
There is a type of grass that was developed in Japan called Zoysia that grows sideways more that up and is very drought resistant. It’s a mystery to me why this type of grass isn’t required by law in drought prone areas. It is very compact and the only problem with it (from a golf course point of view) is that it turns yellow in summer. But who cares? We need the water for agriculture much more than we need perpetually green golf courses.
It should be illegal to plant regular grass in drought stricken areas. Desert plantings are now required in some townships and that should be the law everywhere in the West (we obviously need more Herbalists and Botanists in congress).
I have been invited to return to the Bay area of California next year to teach. Hopefully there won’t be a drought catastrophe by then!
The holy day of the dead, Samhain (English – Halloween), is fast approaching. Think about ways to honor your ancestors and to give a final thanks to all the beings that gave their lives so that we humans could enjoy a fruitful harvest.
Some places you can find me
- 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.
- The Greenfield Annual Word Festival
Saturday October 25
Ocean Grill Banquet Room
30 Federal St., Greenfield, MA 01301
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
I will be reading from my novels and selling books at the Book Fair
- Changing Times Changing Worlds
Nov. 7-9, Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, Connecticut
I will teach a three part Druid Intensive including the Druidic wheel of the Year, the Ogham alphabet and meditating with trees.
Oil and war
I was not able to attend the big climate march in New York so I wrote to Obama about this. You can do this too.
Dear President Obama: I can’t go to the march today but wanted to make my opinion known on the environment. As a trained Herbalist I always look for the root cause of an illness. We are facing two fatal sicknesses in our time – war and environmental catastrophe. They both have the same root cause – fossil fuels and in particular OIL. We are faced with a new 100 years’ war in the Middle East. The reason we are there (and the reason ISIL and others want to attack us is precisely because we are there)is only for oil. If it were for truly humanitarian reasons we would be at war in the Congo and other places, we only go in when there is oil to be had. Instead of spending our trillions of dollars plus blood and lives lost and maimed, on oil, let’s admit that we are ON A WAR TIME FOOTING and convert the nation to wind, solar bio-mass, geothermal, and radical conservation. LETS STOP THE DEADLY ADDICTION TO OIL!!! Please make this happen.
Below you will find the last Moonth’s collection of articles.
***Order a book from me on this website and get a signed copy with a personal note!***
- Head of the Goddess Brigantia unearthed
- A crannog in Northern Ireland yields 6000 artefacts
- An Iron Age bronze bowl
- Revolt of the Iceni (video)
- 43,500 year old tools found in Willendorf, Austria
- Ancient Europeans weren’t wimps
- Neolithic tombs on Anglesey/Mona
- Evidence for Mesolithic astronomy found
- The world’s newest Neolithic long barrow opens
- The House of Augustus in Rome restored(video)
- Europeans descended from three tribes
- An Anglo-Saxon mystery object (video)
- Stonehenge bling most likely made by children (or myopic adults)
- What happened to the “lost” colony of Roanoke
- The history of wampum
- Classical sculptures were painted, not just white marble (video)
- Names of Amazon warrior women found on a vase
- Roman Scotland
- Bog bodies in Florida
- Another bog body found in Ireland
- A 7000 year old village uncovered in Croatia
- Iroquois Confederacy much older than was thought
- Native American home etiquette
- Oldest human site in America found in Texas
- Mystery Hill, New Hampshire (to me it looks like a Bronze Age site, not Celtic)
- Scottish brochs
- Iron nails from Roman Scotland
- Ancient Norse coin found in Poland
- Illyrian women had status equal to men, discovery shows
- Red Deer Cave people – a new species?
- The largest dinosaur yet discovered
- The first swimming dinosaur
- Ground penetrating radar finds hundreds of new sites around Stonehenge
- Bone armor found in Siberia
- Roman wax tablet/stylus found
- Celtic sacrifice?
When people write about the Celts they call possible sacrifices “grim” but they never say that about the Roman circuses. Those are usually described as entertaining pageants. The Romans killed far more people and animals for sport and blood lust than the Celts ever did.
- 11,500 year old house found in Britain
- Current extinction rate worse than once thought
- A 6,500 year old boat found in Denmark
- Tattooed Britons
- Ancient Shamanic tools from the Andes
- A 2500 year old temple in the Amazon and evidence of shamanic practices (video)
- Roman hoard of jewelry found – buried during Boudicca’s rebellion
- Gender bias in deciphering Viking remains
- New evidence that Viking warriors were about 50% female
Or maybe not…
- Did the Vikings get a bum rap?
- Neanderthals smarter than once thought
- 8000 year old foot prints
- Stonehenge was a circle- evidence shows
- Stonehenge underground (video)
- 16 examples of the world’s oldest things
- Vikings were recycling experts
- Rabbit genome provides clues about animal domestication
- Ancient Scottish tales
- Traditional Irish woven belts
- Boudicca – Queen of the Iceni
- Celtic belief in reincarnation, and the Death Goddesses
- The origins of Neolithic religion?
- Why we need polytheism
- Druids – Brahmins of the ancient Celts
- Heaven in the North Pole
NEWS YOU CAN USE
- The first map of the universe has been made (video)
- Fluorescent woods (or what to do with your old black light from the 1960’s) (video)
- Wildlife rehab in California (video)
- The Gaia hypothesis to be made into a film
POLITICS AND ETHICS
- Scotland’s historic vote
- Why the NRA is blocking Obama’s nominee for surgeon general
- US stands alone to block inquiry into war crimes in Gaza
- Good news for Scotland
- The cost of having a gun in your home
- Dennis Kucinich on how to handle ISIL
- Seattle considers re-naming Columbus Day
- A very interesting case where a lobster boat blocked a huge coal delivery to Boston, in order to protest climate change.
May the blessings of your ancestors follow you always.