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

 

September blog – Enjoying the dregs of the summer

The big news here on this New England mountain is the drought. My elderberry bush is strangely lop sided this year; one half dried up and dying and the other half bending low with berries. The rowan (Mountain Ash) trees are suffering the most, with crinkled up leaves they appear to be at deaths’ door. I take heart from a story my brother once told me. He lives in Texas where there was a severe drought for three years. It was so bad that the oaks lost their leaves for the entire period. But once the rains returned, so did the leaves.

A few weeks ago I had a strange encounter with a hummingbird on the back patio where I have never had hummingbird feeders. In past years at this time my garden has been filled with roses and pink phlox. Now, due to the drought I have half as many flowers. One day I went out and a hummingbird started dive bombing my face. It was clearly trying to tell me something because it hovered for a minute or so at my eye level, chirping all the while. I got the message. I immediately got into the car and went out and bought a Hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbirds are powerful little animals. In Inca tradition they are the intermediaries with the angelic realms and help one to achieve the impossible.

This house is on a well and last week the well actually went dry and I had to wait a day before the pressure was high enough to turn on the faucets. I am getting used to a new routine; watering plants by hand from empty milk jugs, channeling grey water from the kitchen sink directly into the garden, squeezing out my laundry before I put it on the line to dry and saving the water to pour on the roses, only watering in the early morning and in the evening to prevent evaporation.

(Speaking of drought,  here is an article about a farmer who is succeeding with very little water )

The other big project around here is gathering acorns. I went down to a local lake and found a hollowed out stone and another stone that fits neatly into my hand, to use as a mortar and pestle/acorn smasher. My plan is to crack the acorns, leach them, dry the leached nuts, and grind them into flour. So many people I know have oak trees, it’s a wonder that we aren’t all making use of this amazing food source that was once a staple food of our ancestors.

Here is a little recipe from my newest herbal “Secret Medicines >From Your Garden”;

Acorn Cake

  •  1 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1 cup acorn flour
  • 1 cup other organic flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground Cardamom
  • ½ tsp. ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground Allspice
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • ½ cup Applesauce
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • Some powdered sugar to dust on top
  • Butter to grease the pan

 Method:

  • Grease and flour a Bundt pan
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix the dry ingredients and spices in a bowl
  • Beat the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl
  • Combine the wet and dry mixtures and pour into the Bundt pan
  • Bake 30-40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Take out of the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes, and then turn out on a rack.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar.

How to process acorns
How to make acorn flour

FALL EQUINOX

The Equinox falls on September 22 this year. Here are some suggestions for how to honor the Devas and Land Spirits who have labored long and hard to create the bounty of our forests, fields and gardens;

Fall Equinox, Meán Fomhair, Alban Elfed (September 22)

  • Make offerings to a sacred fire; dry herbs, whiskey, butter, ghee
  • Pour milk offerings on stones
  • Offer ale and oatmeal gruel to the sea
  • Pour ale, honey, cider or milk on the Earth
  • Make a scarecrow from the new grain and place it in the exact center of your fields. Do not give it clothes. The Spirit of the Grain will inhabit the scarecrow and look out for the welfare of the crops.

ACTION ALERT

“A suspected Native American burial ground is slated for destruction during the high holy days of the Algonquian people who live here.  This is our time to memorialize the deceased and to celebrate life. All Tribal representatives were banned from inspecting this site, contrary to Federal policy (Bureau of the Interior, Section 106 and Bulletin 38) and in violation of MGL 114, Massachusetts burial protection law.  The law is designed to prevent “alienation of a burial ground for any other purpose,” but is being loop holed in this case.”

Please read and consider signing this petition to allow Native American tribal officers to inspect a suspected burial ground before it’s destroyed:

Please share to all your friends on various social networks.  This petition is being sent to the Hopi, Dineh, Oglala Lakotah, and several other First Nations offices.  A copy of this petition has been sent to President Obama, who is vacationing through the Algonquian holy days in the backyard of the Aquinnah Wampanoag, ironically.

Nahuhnushagk,

Rolf Cahat

Akwesasne Mohawk Tribal Member, Nipmuc descendant, science editor and researcher of Native American culture and religion, resident of Shutesbury

ANOTHER ACTION ALERT

We the people ask the federal government to call on Congress to act on an issue:

Stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline which endangers the water supply to Native American reservations.

Created by C.S. on August 15, 2016

“The Dakota Access pipeline is set to be constructed near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, crossing under the Missouri River which is the only source of water to the reservation. The pipeline is planned to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The potential of oil leaks would contaminate the only source of water for the reservation. While Dakota Access claims oil leaks are unlikely, an oil leak from a separate pipeline in North Dakota was discovered (8/15/16) to have leaked over 500 barrels of oil since the leak began on July 19, 2016. You can read the article here. A leak like this from the Dakota Access pipeline would leave the Standing Rock Sioux without any clean water”.

BIG BOOK NEWS

OK, this really is  BIG. The International Herb Association has chosen “Secret Medicines from your Garden” for their Thomas DeBaggio Annual Book Award – announced at their annual conference, held this year in Columbia, MD, August 18-21.

As I said to them; “Please tell the participants that I am very honored to be chosen. I am the kind of person who goes to a dinner party and points out the poison ivy growing by the front door to the hostess and also the edible tips of the hemlock trees growing in the yard. I see clippings from river birch trees lying in a pile at the edge of the garden and I tell anyone within earshot that they would make a great tea. These kinds of sentiments are not always understood (or appreciated) by a busy hostess at a dinner party! But I am sure plant people will understand. (smile).”

You can purchase a signed copy of the book from me via this website or find it in the usual places! The amazing thing is the book contains magical as well as medicinal uses of herbs. Apparently herb magic is no longer threatening to the general public (or at least to Herbalists!)

Article  about SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN, the award the book just received and some local classes….

And an author interview here

WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES

  • THE HERBAL AND SPIRITUAL PROPERTIES OF TREES
    A slideshow and talk
    September 3rd , Pelham, MA
    Taught by Ellen Evert Hopman, Herbalist and Author.
    Ellen Evert Hopman is the author of  A DRUID’S HERBAL OF SACRED TREE MEDICINE, SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN and other herbals. She  will be discussing the herbal and folklore traditions surrounding common North American trees and harvesting and preparation methods. Trees covered include; Larch, Oak, Hawthorn, Walnut, Pine, Redwood, Eucalyptus, Maple, Birch and many more…
    After the class  she will have some of her books on hand for signing. Her books and salves are also available for purchase in the shop.
    COST – Sliding scale $10 to $15 (Registration fee of $5 included in total cost)
    DATES – Saturday, September 3rd
    TIMES – 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
    LOCATION – The Bower Studio: 378 Daniel Shays Hwy, Pelham, MA 01002
    * If the class minimum is not met, all registration fees will be refunded and you will be notified.
    You may also pre-register by visiting the shop during business hours.
    ** Payment for classes will be due in full (minus pre-registration cost) at the start of class. Class fees must be cash or check, made out to the class instructor. Cancellations must contact us 48 hours prior to class so we can offer canceled spaces to others. Pre-registration fees are non-refundable. Read our FAQ for more info.**
  • Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore
    With Ellen Evert Hopman
    Sunday, October 2nd
    11:30 am – 5:30 pm
    $94 prepaid by September 25th
    $104 thereafter
    Crystal Wellness Center Upstairs at Crystal Essence 39 Railroad St., Great Barrington, MA
    To register please call: 413.528.2595
  • HERBAL TRAINING IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
    October 15, 2016 – April, 2017Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    The yearly six month herbal intensive in the Amherst area starts October 15, 2016
    Cost: $1000 plus a $100.00 nonrefundable Xeroxing fee
    Ellen Evert Hopman is the author of; “Secret Medicines From Your Garden” , “Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore”, “A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year”, “A Druids Herbal – Of Sacred Tree Medicine”, “Secret Medicines of Your Kitchen” and other volumes
    DETAILS: 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, 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.

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

LANGUAGE NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

ART NEWS

NATURE AND CLIMATE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

FAIRY NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

*Enjoy the dregs of summer, the heady wine of autumn is on its way! Happy Equinox on September Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 10:21 AM EDT*

 

 

 

 

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