April Blog 2017 Storms are brewing as Spring arrives

We are experiencing yet another round of snow storms on the last day of March as I type. Hungry crows were searching below the bird feeder this morning so I put out some popping corn for them. I have stopped putting out suet and sunflower seeds because I know from experience that this will only attract bears as they emerge from hibernation. My neighbor has a license and a gun and is just waiting to shoot a bear, I don’t want to abet that effort in any way. Last night as I came home there was a large raccoon in the driveway and the owls were talking. Despite the weather the crocuses are up and spring is definitely in the air.

I went to my first town hall recently, here in Massachusetts. I am pleased to say that our representatives were very quiet and polite and actually came to listen, not to tell us what they thought or to demand we shut up or sit down (as representatives in red states have done recently). I learned a few things, for example there are still seventy or so communities here with no broadband access which makes school work and job hunting very difficult.

There were impassioned pleas from farmers who said they depend on immigrants for farm labor. Local towns asked to remain “sanctuary cities” to protect immigrants. Quite a few people said they want single payer Medicare for all.

Here were my own talking points;

  1. Do not cut down our Massachusetts forests to produce energy. In a time of serious climate change we need old trees to sequester carbon. In fact more trees should be planted. DO NOT approve the cutting of trees for wood bio-mass. Farmers should be harvesting methane from cow manure in New England and solar panels should only be put up over parking lots, in vacant fields and already paved vacant lots in cities. Leave the trees standing! I also support turning the Quabbin into a national park where logging is prohibited.
  2. I FULLY SUPPORT SINGLE-PAYER MEDICARE FOR ALL which is the best, most rational and cost-effective option. Employees of existing insurance companies can be re-trained to manage Medicare for all and keep their jobs. I don’t care a fig about the CEOs who are skimming hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the national healthcare budget. Healthcare is a human right, not just a luxury for the rich.

I did not see any of the bitterness and rancor that have characterized other town halls across America. Maybe it’s because we are a Progressive state and Progressives tend to be more compassionate and thoughtful. Who knows.

Save the date: People’s climate march April 29, Washington DC (and hopefully in your own area)

Below you will find the usual roundup of the last Moonth’s archaeology, nature, religion, Celtic, Fairy and book news. Enjoy!

BOOK NEWS

*Reminder – you can buy signed books from this website!*

  • “Hunt The Gowk – April 1
    A “gowk” is a fool, from the Old Norse; “gaukr”. This is a day to play tricks, tell lies, and send people on foolish errands, but the jokes must stop by noon.
  • Tailie Day or Preen-Tail Day – April 2
    The day after Hunt the Gowk, paper tails are attached to a person’s backside as a joke. In past times butchers would save pig’s tails for the boys. Pierced with hooked pins, the tails were attached without anyone noticing.
  • Borrowing Day – April 3
    Anything borrowed on this day becomes the possession of the holder.
  • Whitsunday – Seventh Sunday after Easter
    Another Scottish legal quarter day when rents were once due.

From: SCOTTISH HERBS AND FAIRY LORE (Pendraig Publishing)

  • Last year my book SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN won the annual Thomas DiBaggio award from the International Herb Association. That was my first award from a mainstream group and I felt highly honored.
  • Last Moonth I asked my readers to please vote for my book SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN for a possible Council of Visionary Arts award. Many thanks to everyone who heeded the call! The book won!“COVR is pleased to announce the winners and finalists of the 2017 Visionary Book Awards.The top honor, 2017 Book of the Year, goes to G.W. Wilkins for Apollo the Misguided Missile, submitted by Satiama, LLC.Other winners are:
    • Autobiographical and Biographical Books: Gerardo Ruben Sandoval Isaac, The God Molecule
    • Children’s and Teen’s Books: G.W. Wilkins, Apollo the Misguided Missile
    • Coloring Books: Donna DeNomme, Turtle Wisdom Playbook: A Motivational Coloring Adventure
    • Contemporary Spirituality Books: Klaire D. Roy, The Circle of Initiates – Past and Present
    • Divination Books: Toney Brooks & Holly Sierra, Chrysalis Tarot
    • *Health and Healing Books: Ellen Evert Hopman, Secret Medicines from Your Garden*
    • Iconic Books: Richard Singer, Eastern Wisdom Western Soul
    • Personal Growth and Self-Help Books: Barry Goldstein, The Secret Language of the Heart
    • Reincarnation, Death, and Dying Books: Jeffrey Long, M.D. with Paul Perry, God in the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience
    • Shamanism and Wicca Books: Christopher Penczak, The Casting of Spells
    • Visionary Fiction Books: Joan Pillen, Fork in the Road: Heroes, Healers and Happy Campers, Adventure Seekers Saga Series, Book Three
  • You can download a complete list of winners and finalists from the COVR website
  • And Druid Magazine just penned a review. On page 87 is a review of A DRUID’S HERBAL FOR THE SACRED EARTH YEAR. It’s kind of weird to see a review of such a classic old book!On page 28 is an excerpt from A LEGACY OF DRUIDS – CONVERSATIONS WITH DRUID LEADERS FROM BRITAIN, THE USA AND CANADA (Moon Books)

CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

CLIMATE AND NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

 

October blog 2014 Drought in the West, Glorious Fall in the East

Philo Herb class 2014

Philo Herb class 2014

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
    (413) 376-4677
    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!***

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

NEWS YOU CAN USE

FAIRY NEWS

NATURE NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

May the blessings of your ancestors follow you always.