December blog 2016 Keeping the faith in the gathering darkness

We are finally getting some rain here on the mountain. The land has been so parched that my well went dry twice. Each time I had to wait days to use the water, relying on sponge baths and bottled fare. I have never seen conditions like this in New England.
The Canada geese left for the winter about a week ago and the local lake seems barren without them. A few wild ducks are hanging on.

I have a new animal neighbor – a black squirrel has appeared here in the oak forest where I have been for thirty years now. It’s the first time I have seen one in my neck of the woods. For me, black birds such as raven and crows have always heralded deep magic, luck and prosperity. I meditated on the meaning of the black squirrel and what I received was the word “gathering”.

Faced as we are with a very backwards looking new administration (“Let’s make America great again” like it was in the good old days when blacks had few rights and women knew their place) the only way we will overcome the bigotry is by “gathering”. Gathering together in our groups, gathering together to share information and resources, gathering together to oppose the primitive agenda of the great kleptocrat (klep·to·crat ˈkleptəˌkrat/ noun: kleptocrat; plural noun: kleptocrats a ruler who uses political power to steal his or her country’s resources) who says he has no reason to put his massive, international business interests into a blind trust because “the rules don’t apply to him”.

We are already seeing this in the gathering of Native Americans at Standing Rock, water protectors from just about every indigenous nation have come together in a historic effort to preserve the water for millions. We are seeing this in the preparations for a million woman march in DC on inauguration day.

Bill Moyers says it all in a powerful essay on where we are now as a nation. This all could have been avoided if half the eligible voters in America had bothered to make their voices heard. Hillary won the popular vote by two million, but the Great Deceiver managed to win the electoral college – at least as of this writing. Folks are also gathering together to try and oust him before December 19. Stay tuned. We live in fascinating times.

I am working on two books at the moment – a re-release of the old classic “Tree Medicine-Tree Magic” and a book about New England Witches. What with herb classes and a day job, I am keeping myself busy.

Below is the usual collection of book news, nature, climate, archealogy, religion, Celtic and ethics news. Looking forward to Winter Solstice and the return of the Light. May we all receive what we wish for.

A million woman march is being planned for January 21 in Washington DC, but local marches are happening too. Here is one: Boston Women’s March – January 21 12PM-3PM (Alternative to DC) Sat 12 PM · Boston Common

And don’t forget the Standing Rock water protectors as they face the coming winter. You can send cash or checks or donate via PayPal.

Checks or cash may be sent to:
Oceti Sakowin Camp
P.O. Box 298, Cannon Ball, ND 58528

*And please consider buying books for Christmas. If you order from this website you get a signed copy with a personal note! Please specify who you want the books signed to!*

Here’s a thoughtful essay on the financial plight of authors

MORE BOOK NEWS

  • On Thursday, December 29 I will be speaking on the radio at 9 PM – you can tune in here.
  • A new literary journal, “Enheduanna”, is born. I have a piece in there! Published just once a year, they are seeking contributions.
  • Legacy of Druids

    Legacy of Druids

    This book is a fascinating collection of interviews gathered together by Ellen Evert Hopman from some of the most influential people in the pagan/druid world covering the USA, Canada and Britain. It offers a unique view into the modern day world of druidry, what gives it an interesting spin is that the interviews were all carried out in and around 1996 – it is a wonderful time hop to see how druidry was perceived then and what the expectations were and compare them to now.

  • Review in “Green Egg” Samhain 2016 edition A Legacy of Druids By Ellen Evert Hopman, along with a forward by Phillip Carr-Gomm. This book is a compilation of interviews done by Ms. Hopman with prominent Druids over the course of the last twenty years. Interviewees include Phillip Carr-Gomm, Isaac Bonewits, and Arthur Uther Pendragon, along with Practitioners in Spirit such as Olivia Robertson and Susan Henssler ,as well as many scholars such as Ronald Hutton.
    This book shows a unique perspective of the history and development of Modern Druidry. This is indeed a must-read book by anyone following the Druid path, as well as anyone interested in Magickal history. One of my personal favorite quotes from the book is by an Anishinaabe, Elder of the Ojibwa:
    “It is time for the old Earth spirituality of the Europeans to start coming back. We are in real trouble if it doesn’t. People really need to start turning to their own ancestors for help. This is what needs to happen. Some people will be afraid of this. Why else would they burn everyone over there? If you’re following the lead of the Old Ones and people are afraid or critical of you, you know you are doing something right”.
    Once again, I give Legacy of Druids my highest recommendation and certainly hope there is a second edition coming, re-interviewing the same people who are available.

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

CLIMATE AND NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

 

A Druid’s Web Log – A Harvest of Acorns

The big news this Moonth has been ACORNS. This amazing food source is available to us for free, wherever there are oak trees. Our European ancestors relied on them for carbohydrates, thousands of years before wheat ever made an appearance. If you are lucky enough to have a White Oak tree (Quercus alba) leaching won’t be much of a problem. For all other oaks you:

  1. collect the nuts
  2. smash them one at a time between two rocks and pick out the meat
  3. immediately drop the meat into a bowl of fresh water so they don’t oxidize
  4. grind the nuts in a blender
  5. store in the fridge, covered with water for 2 weeks, changing the water every day
  6. strain and bake the ground up nuts in a slow over (80 – 100 degrees) for about a hour with the oven door slightly open to let out steam
  7. grind in a coffee grinder and make into flour.

You will find recipes for acorn cakes, breads, etc. in my newest herbal SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN (Healing Arts Press).

Acorns are an amazing crop that can feed humanity without cutting, killing, tearing up the soil, or using water for irrigation.

PLEASE make sure you are registered to vote. THEN GO AND VOTE! The future of the Earth is at stake, the Supreme Court, and many other things!

*Below you will find the usual assortment of book news, archaeology, nature, climate, Druid, Fairy, religion, herb and health news. Enjoy!*

BOOK NEWS

  • Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic
    Written by Lisa Mc Sherry
    Published: 17 September 2016
    I have old favorites in my book collection, especially amongst my herbals. My copy of Cunningham’s Encyclopedia is dog-eared and just this side of tattered.
    I’ve got a new favorite to add to that shelf.
    Hopman starts off with an unusual choice, a chapter on wild crafting. It’s odd and brilliant and wonderful to be introduced to this subject through the eyes of an herbalist and druid. Hopman takes us through the seasons, ending with a chapter on (winter) cold and flu care and then bug repellents. Honestly, that section alone made me happy.
    The reader is then treated to discussions on more subtle aspects of the plant world, including herbal astrology and communing with the plant spirits. I fell in love with Secret Medicines all over again with her chapter on Bee Medicine in the third part. I was completely impressed with her final section: Formula Making.
    It was odd to get used to, but I came to appreciate how plants are the focus in one section, only to sprout again in another, thus revealing new information that may be overlooked by others. I also appreciated how Hopman constantly encourages the reader to make whatever path they walk their own.
    This is an excellent primer and highly recommended.
    ~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
    Author: Ellen Evert Hopman
    Healing Arts Press, 2016
    pp. 384, $19.45*You can purchase this book and others through this website and get a signed copy with a personal note!* *Yule is coming!*
  • An interview on blog talk radio 9/20/2016 – my part starts at mark 1:07
  • September 15, 2016 A radio interview   WMCB-lp 107.9FM
    Low Power Radio for Greenfield Massachusetts & Franklin County

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

CLIMATE AND NATURE NEWS

FAIRY NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

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