A Druid’s Web Log – May Day 2015 – volcanoes, earthquakes and a new British princess

May is named after Maia, “the great one”, the Italic goddess of spring, and the wife of Vulcan. This May is off to an explosive start, with volcanoes erupting and earthquakes in Nepal and the English got a new princess, the first one who is eligible to reign from birth and will not be passed over by a male sibling. She managed to be born at the Full Moon on Beltaine (May Day) which in some religious traditions is considered the most powerful Full Moon of the year. The Buddha was born on the May Full Moon and also achieved enlightenment on the May Full Moon. He did that latter by sitting under a Bodhi Tree, of course. May is the time when the sap is rising and most powerfully in the days leading up to the Full Moon. Maybe that rising tide helped to raise his kundalini. That’s my thought.

Here on the mountain the oak leaves are “the size of a mouse’s ear” which means it is time to plant corn. I set out just three mounds of the traditional corn, squash and beans. Living in an oak forest it is hard to find enough sunlight, except very close to the house. I also left offerings of milk and homemade corn bread on the Fairy Altar on Beltaine (May Day). Judging by the wreckage around the Altar it looks like the Fairies had quite a celebration. According to tradition they always “move house” on the cross quarters (Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasad and Samhain) so the careful householder will be sure to leave out refreshment for them at those times.

Last winter I had a tribe of male turkeys who came to the bird feeders every day. They did not appear this winter, sadly, but a few weeks ago a solitary female turkey began showing up, accompanied by a huge brown and yellow butterfly that stuck around for days. Those feel like good omens.

In ancient Ireland the time of Beltaine was calculated by the blooming of the Hawthorn Tree so every Druid had to keep watch. Once the Hawthorn bloomed it was safe to send the herds up to the hills. In these parts the trees haven’t even put out leaves yet, but the daffodils are making a carpet of yellow, announcing the return of the summer sun.

Below you will find the usual archeological fare, plus nature, religion and herb news. I have included a few actions you can take to help Nepal and the planet.

Blessings of the summer on all who read this!

*Remember – you can purchase signed books from this website!*

  • The Patrick McCollum Foundation (a Pagan charity) is collecting donations for the earthquake victims in Nepal. We have direct connections in both Katmandu and in the mountain regions that have been affected. Please make a notation on the form provided on the website that the donation is for the Nepal earthquake victims. Donations can be made online at: www.patrickmccollum.orgUpdates on Nepal will be posted as new information comes in.
    Peace & Blessings,
    Rev. Patrick McCollum
  • Nepal Aid Update:
    Hi All,
    I wanted to update you on the Patrick McCollum Foundation’s earthquake aid to the victims in Nepal.  We have forwarded all donations made so far to our team members in the area and relief is in progress as I write.  All monies are being used to purchase tents, blankets, medical supplies and food.  The process of delivering these to the remote mountain villages is difficult, but we have people in place that are able to do so.  The first delivery is in process as I write.The Patrick McCollum Foundation will continue to accept donations and make successive deliveries as the funds are collected.I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to those who have donated so far both from the Patrick McCollum Foundation and from the people of Helambu Nepal.  Your generosity for some means the difference between life and death, and for others serves as a ray of hope among an otherwise horrendous situation.Please share our campaign widely.  We need more donations.  The death toll is still rising and many are at risk.Remember, this region is the origin of Namaste which translates into “My heart sees your heart”.  Let’s show them that we see them and we care!We are one of a few small NGOs who are responding to the area hardest hit and your support really does make a difference.  100% of all donations go directly to the people affected.
    Blessings,
    Rev. Patrick McCollum
    Donations can be made online at: www.patrickmccollum.org
  • Prayers for Nepal
  • A powerful video about the Earth and human consciousness (video)
  • A prominent defender of Tara has passed to the Otherworld
  • Muirean ni Bhrolchain speaks at “Harpers For Tara” (video)
  • Muireann RIP
    by “Charles Burgess”
    Thought that somehow someday
    we would surely meet again…
    Dissolve from mist amidst the green
    and dissolve back again.
    Swore we’d walk these circles
    tracing time across the sky,
    Waking life and mystery
    walking side by side…
    Felt the firelight flicker,
    felt the sweet repeat of rhyme,
    Heard the ancient stories traded
    yours for mine, yours for mine.
    Sure that song would wrap us ’round
    our faces flush with wine,
    Talking of beloved Tara,
    Smiling with a sigh….
    Soon the sun will rise upon
    the Vale of Tara-Skryne
    The gifts you gave the waking world
    in golden light will gleam,
    And we will treasure memories,
    in written words and reveries,
    of our Ard Ollamh, Seanachí,
    Who fought for future history,
    Who spoke like Tara’s Queen.
    A Muireanne, rest blessed, in peace.
  • ACTION NEEDED TO PROTECT HOMEOPATHY
    Dear Friends:
    The Food & Drug Administration recently began hearings on the regulation of homeopathy.  When the FDA was established in the late 1930s, homeopathics were specifically exempted from the usual drug approval process,  because they had been successfully regulated since the late 1800s by the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the U.S. (HPUS).
    If the FDA succeeds in applying to homeopathy the same yardstick theoretically applied to pharmaceuticals — viz., proof of safety and efficacy through clinical trials costing billions – homeopathy will be dead in America.  No manufacturer of homeopathic remedies could afford clinical trials on the hundreds of remedies that have been used safely and successfully for over two hundred years.
    You may be saying to yourself that this is ridiculous – and I would agree.  But I’ve attached an article I wrote setting forth what I think is happening here.  I urge you to read it.
    If you’ve benefited from homeopathy, I also urge you to write the FDA.  Public comments on their proposed course of action (which remains vague) are accepted up to June 22.
    In writing, here are some points to consider.Take what you need and leave the rest:The FDA is not interested in any anecdotes about how much homeopathy has helped you or your family.  It might be more useful to write about how conventional medicine failed you, if that was your experience.

    Homeopathy has been used successfully for over two hundred years.  How many conventional medical treatments have lasted that long?  Homeopathy persists because it works, not because those who use it are loonies.

    This is merely the latest in a long history of attempts by orthodox medicine to kill homeopathy, starting with the establishment of the American Medical Association.  If you want the full story, read Harris Coulter’s Divided Legacy.Nowhere in the FDA hearing announcement is there a definition of what is meant by “homeopathic.”  The announcement refers to “human drug and biological products labeled as homeopathic” without definition or examples.  The FDA continually confounds “drugs” and homeopathic remedies.  The two are totally different.

    According to the FDA announcement, “Negative health effects from drug products labeled as homeopathic have been reported through the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System and the National Poison Data System (NPDS), which is maintained by the American Association of Poison Control Centers and tracks human poison exposure cases. Data in the NPDS pertaining to homeopathic drug products is tracked under the category ‘Homeopathic Agents.’”  Nowhere are these “negative health effects” explained or elaborated.  No data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System is cited, and as the attached shows, Poison Control data doesn’t reliably distinguish between homeopathics, herbal products, and dietary supplements.

    The FDA does not understand homeopathy and how useful it has proven, particularly in epidemics.  The FDA falsely claims that homeopathic remedies “can cause side effects, drug interactions, and allergic or other adverse reactions.”  Drugs, which work biochemically, can indeed do all these things; homeopathic remedies, which work energetically, do not.Homeopathic remedies are non-toxic, unlike the pharmaceuticals and GMOs the FDA promotes.  Why does the FDA feel compelled to attack a safe, proven system of healing like homeopathy when the agency is not doing a decent job of making sure people don’t die from OTC and prescription drugs?  (For more on this, see the new documentary “Bought” by Jeff Hays.)

    This is not about our health and safety but about achieving a monopoly for the pharmaceutical industry.  If safety were the true motivating factor, the FDA would be holding hearings on acetaminophen, laxatives, cosmetics, and proton pump inhibitors, all of which are sold over-the-counter and all of which had more “poison exposure cases” than homeopathic remedies.

    At risk is our right to choose what goes into our bodies or the bodies of our children.  It is no accident that the FDA hearings coincide with a move in California to make vaccinations mandatory and in Australia to withdraw welfare from parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

    We live in difficult times.  It is frightening that we have to fight for our rights to a safe environment, healthy food, and the kind of healthcare we want.

  • ACTION NEEDED TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
    Ask Bill Gates to divest from fossil fuels in his investment portfolio

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

LANGUAGE NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

 

Summer Solstice 2012

Hear the voice of the Bard!
Who present, past, and future sees;
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word
That walked among the ancient trees.
~ William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience

A lot of folks have been thinking about the tornado we had last year – on June 1. The trees in the yard that lost limbs have started putting out fresh shoots, all along the broken off branches. By next year there will be fresh new twigs along every branch and, I hope, clusters of flowers. Sadly, this year there were no bees at all on my hawthorn tree by the house. In former years it was always covered with bees. (See the Nature News section below for updates on bee colony collapse).

The barn swallows finally gave up nesting in the entranceway. They had rebuilt their nest as usual but the presence of two cats plus one human coming and going proved too much for them. The woods are filled with bird song, however, and I have seen many snakes and toads. Life continues to flourish at a distance from the house.

My long haired, black cat almost died this past month and we still have no idea why. “Fever of unknown origin” was the vet’s diagnosis. I spent a few anguished days forcing water and tuna can liquid into his mouth with a syringe because he wouldn’t eat or drink. I can barely imagine what it must be like for a parent of a sick human child. Happily the cat is his old self again.

BIG BOOK NEWS!

HOW WRITERS CAN HELP EACH OTHER.

  • Publishing is evolving so quickly that it can feel overwhelming. Something that hasn’t changed is the generosity of writers helping each other. Here are some old and new ways for writers to help each other when a new book comes out.

The older, tried and true ways:

  • Support the author by buying the book or e-book.
  • Mention the book to your local library. Librarians often write reviews and are generally very cool people.
  • Urge your local bookstore to carry the book.
  • Write a review on Amazon (you can do this without making a purchase), Goodreads, or any other site that you frequent. The reviews can be as short as one sentence and don’t need to be longer than a paragraph.
  • Suggest the book to your book group. Authors are often happy to make an appearance (if local), Skype, or email with the members. Don’t hesitate to ask.
  • If you are part of an organization that books speakers for conferences, consider inviting the author.

The slightly newer, still in transition ways:

  • If you have a blog, invite the author to do a guest blog. Share it on Facebook.
  • Which brings up the big world of Facebook. There are three main ways to respond to FB and they each carry a different weight.
    Like: this is easy to do and appreciate
    Comment: this is more valuable and lots more interesting. The majority of people don’t get this far. You can do it on your page in a status update or on the author’s page as a comment.
    Share: This is the heavy weight contender and carries the biggest bang. For ex: Share the book’s website link on your page or go to the author’s blog, make a comment, and then share it with FB. Kapow!
  • House parties: With the closure of so many independent book stores, there are fewer venues for authors. And it has always been hard for author to get booked at the remaining bookstores where they don’t have an established base. Here’s what you can do: host a house party for the author. Invite a gang of readers to meet the author, do a potluck or snacks, and have fun. The author can meet with your friends in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Gold Standard

  • Word of Mouth. If publishing houses could buy this, they would. If you like a book, tell your friends and family. Buy it as a gift for those you think might like it.
    borrowed from
    pll@writingretreats.org
    www.writingretreats.org

Remember ~ you can order my books and DVDs from this website and get a signed copy and a personal note! ~
Here are the usual gleanings from this Month’s media…

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

TRADITIONAL RECIPE FOR HEATHER ALE
Ingredients: Heather, hops, *barm, syrup, ginger and water.
Crop the heather when it is in full bloom, enough to fill a large pot.
Cover the croppings with water and set to boil for one hour
Then strain into a clean tub.
Measure the liquid and for every dozen bottles add one ounce of ground ginger,
half an ounce of hops and one pound of golden syrup or honey.
Bring to the boil again and simmer for 20 minutes.
Strain into a clean cask.
Let it stand until milk-warm and then add a teacupful of good barm.
Cover with a coarse cloth and let it stand till next day
Skim carefully and pour the liquid gently into a clean tub so that the barm is left at the bottom of the cask.
Bottle and cork tightly
The ale will be ready for use in as little 2 or 3 days
* BARM The yeasty foam that rises to the surface of fermenting malt liquors

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

DRUID NEWS

PAGAN NEWS

ARTS

NEWS WE CAN USE

HEALTH NEWS

POLITICS/ETHICS

May your summer be bright and your gardens fruitful. All blessings of the warm season!