September Blog 2015 – Summer heat continues as the calendar slides into fall

This path Moonth the effects of global warming have been intensely felt – record heat, drought and fires in the western US, and here in New England at the very end of August it still feels like July. By now the weather should be clear, dry and cool but next week the humidity and summer-like temperatures will be bouncing back yet again.

My neighbor reports that he was standing in his yard a few weeks ago and a huge stag came huffing and racing across the yard, pursued by something that was “larger than a coyote”, followed by a coyote. They came crashing through at breakneck speed and if my neighbor had stood seven or so feet closer he could have been trampled. No one on my street can let cats or small dogs out anymore, though some still do. It’s just a question of “when” not “if” the cats get eaten. I found a small poodle half eaten, right next to my driveway, watched over by some very sinister looking vultures.

Apparently scientists released a pack of coy-wolves into a wilderness area nearby about twenty years ago, to help control the deer. Then they issued hunting permits so humans could go in and shoot the deer. Now the coy-wolves have little to eat except domestic animals; cats, dogs and the occasional old or sick deer. So much for science.

I was privileged to recently spend three hours with a group of indigenous shamans from Columbia. It was a very moving experience. Luckily I speak Spanish so I was able to catch things the translator missed. The shamans (led by a woman) spoke of their struggles with the Colombian government and gave a few details of their sacred practices. One in particular caught my attention. They live around a sacred mountain which they consider to be the navel of the world. They have 54 sacred sites that they visit on a circuit to feed the Land Spirits. They need to offer payment or gifts to keep the land healthy. They give simple things like shells, fluffs of cotton, etc. to sacred trees, rocks, rivers, the ocean, etc. They showed how apartment buildings are being put on top of the sacred rocks and how fences are keeping them away from sacred trees (they climb over the fences now, just to get to the sites). They showed highways and trash dumps on top of some of their sacred sites. It was very sad.

When they “make payment” at sacred sites they do it for their own lands and also for all peoples on the Earth.

They said the damming of rivers and pollution of water, earth, fire and air and the lack of spiritual relationship with the land is causing the weather disasters and sickness they see now. They are very concerned about that.

I asked them what we could do here on Turtle Island (America) and in other places to do the work so the waters and land stay healthy. They said to consult local indigenous tribes to find out where the ancient sacred sites are in your area and if there are no indigenous people left, consult old farmers who might have a memory of such things.

I immediately thought about my own Celtic Druid tradition of course. Most of us are now living in the diaspora and we need to find liminal places in the landscape where we dwell, where the walls between the worlds are thin. I consider that to be one of the most important tasks of a Druid.

Here where I live we have given things like silver coins, fruits, vegetables, grains, milk and flowers to the stones, waters and the soil. If you give to a stream, that water runs into a river and then into the ocean where it laps against all lands, eventually. Even if you just sing to or pray over water it will carry the message.

I wonder if this is one reason we Druids are so scattered now, so we can do this work all over the globe.

You can read more about the indigenous shamans of Columbia (the Mamos) and how to help them here.

When the shamans ended their talks a lot of hugs were shared. They told me and others that we are all one, doing the same work, one heart.

BOOK NEWS

Secret Medicines from Your Garden

Secret Medicines from Your Garden

I have a new herbal SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN coming out in March 2016 (inner Traditions/Healing Arts Press) and we have been putting the finishing touches on the illustrations.

Endorsements are already coming in for my newest Druid book A LEGACY OF DRUIDS, a book of interviews with American, Canadian and British Druids (Moon Books). It should be out late this year or early next year (I haven’t been given a publication date yet).

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  •  ADVANCED FORMULA MAKING AND CASE TAKING CLASS
    September 25-26-27, Philo, California (near Mendocino)
    Advanced case taking and formula making class with Ellen Evert Hopman, Herbalist AHG
    A Friday night lecture on the Doctrine of Signatures.
    On Saturday and Sunday you will learn basic Chinese Five Element Theory; seasons, flavors, taste, voice tone, emotions and the fundamentals of Facial Diagnosis; lines, colors, moles, blemishes
    You will also learn an advanced formula making technique to design individually crafted remedies for individuals
    In-between we will walk outside and meet some of the plants and trees in the garden.
    The Philo School of Herbal Energetics website has information on directions & lodging. $250 for the weekend; register here.
    Lodging: They do not offer lodging. Please go to the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce page for available lodging.
  • SIX MONTH HERBAL INTENSIVE IN WESTERN MA (near Amherst)
    October 17, 2015 – April, 2016
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    The Western Massachusetts School of Herbal Studies
    Intro to Herbalism and Self Care
    With Ellen Evert Hopman M.Ed. ~ Registered Herbalist AHG
    author of “Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore”, “A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year”, “A Druids Herbal – Of Sacred Tree Medicine” and other books and DVDs
    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.
    Cost: $1,000.00 (plus a $100.00 non-refundable Xeroxing fee)
    MA NURSES CAN GET CEUS BY TAKING THIS COURSE

“I studied with Ellen Evert Hopman back in the late 90’s. The information she shared with me has helped me in many aspects of my life! I learned the skills to identify, and properly utilize, many herbs as; essences, teas, salves, poultices and tinctures. I found her program to be quite thorough!” ~A. Potter

*Below you will find the usual past Moonth’s assortment of links to archaeology, religion, nature and Druid news. Enjoy!*

*And Please Remember!* You can purchase books, DVDs and tree elixirs from this site, and get a signed note from the author.

WAYS YOU CAN HELP THE PLANET

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

NATURE NEWS

FAIRY NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

NEWS YOU CAN USE

POLITICS AND ETHICS