A Druid’s Web Log – Summer arrives! We live in interesting times

At the last Full Moon there was a tribe of coyotes howling outside my kitchen door. I had never quite heard them like that – it was a combination of wolf howls and the gravelly yips one usually hears. They were louder than I had ever heard before – perhaps they were coy-wolves. I knew then that a big change was in the offing. Just a few days later England voted to leave the EU (Scotland and Northern Ireland did not). The stock markets promptly tanked of course and Britain displayed the kind of split that the US will likely see in the upcoming election.

Whenever I hear coyotes that up close and personal I know it means “change”. I suspect that other major surprises are headed our way. We live in interesting times.

My gardens are flourishing I am happy to say, except for a massive invasion of some kind of butterfly or moth caterpillar. They are munching away at the elderberries which I didn’t even think were palatable. I have planted milkweeds for their benefit too, though those seem untouched.

Below you will find the usual gleanings from the archeology, nature, herb and health media and some book and workshop updates. Please enjoy your summer reading!

  • A TREE WORKSHOP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Celtic Tree Medicine and Lore class with Ellen Evert Hopman
    July 23,24 2016
    Misty Meadows Herbal Center
    183 Wednesday Hill Road
    Lee, NH 03861
  • HERBAL TRAINING IN MASSACHUSETTS
    October 15, 2016 – April, 2017
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    My usual six month herbal intensive in the Amherst area starts October 15, 2016
    Cost: $1000 plus a $100.00 nonrefundable Xeroxing fee
    My books include; “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”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.

Stay tuned for more workshops and events…

BOOK NEWS

  • Who knew? My books are selling at Walmart! (not sure how I feel about that)
  • SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN a new review
    sgoyk“Weaving together ancient wisdom, mystical folklore, and modern plant research, master herbalist Ellen Evert Hopman explores the many uses of flowers, trees, common weeds, and ornamental plants for food, medicine, spiritual growth, and magical rituals. (Publisher’s description)
    Secret Medicines from Your Garden is confidently written by Ellen Evert Hopman and if you are looking for a herbal with only the depths of soil, Latin names and types of sunshine each herb needs, then this is not the book for you. However, if you are like me and want something more, then read on.As you journey through this unique herbal, via chapters on seasonal herbs, herbal astrology, bee medicine and hedgerows are food, medicine and magic, amongst many others of great interest, you will find it to be a concise, informative read. Written with a friendly narrative, which is laced with recipes, meanings and personal stories of the author, it’s a charming and fascinating book that makes you feel a kinship with Ellen.
    As you can see from my photo, I intend to go back to several areas, to reread the information and make use of it. My tabs are on various items from Nettle Bread to Hag’s Tapers, from making a Caudle as an offering to making Ginger Ale. Also, I tagged creating a hedgerow, with plants that will provide food and medicine and a detailed ‘how-to’ on formula making, such as tinctures and poultices.This book is an interesting read, and, as a primer for anyone new to the subject matter, it gives a solid basic knowledge without actually being a dry read, unlike some books in this field which can be.” Edain DuGuay
  • And another nice review;Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic, by Ellen Evert HopmanHealing Arts Press, 9781620555576, 384 pp., 2016In Secret Medicines from Your Garden, master herbalist, Druid priestess, and lore mistress Ellen Evert Hopman shares some of her herbal healing wisdom with her own distinct stamp of individuality, elevating this book above and beyond a simple reference book. What takes shape in these pages is a holistic resource for herbalists comprising herbal lore, recipes, and personal anecdotes, making this an ideal companion for anyone seeking an herbal mentor.Rather than offering an appendix of herb names and functions (many are present, and the reader can skim them in some parts), readers get to experience them with Hopman as she retells parts of her journey with plants. In this way, the teaching in this book is alive. Herbalist and author Matthew Wood notes in the foreword, “we feel the thread of the writer’s experience and life running through the pages, unifying diverse lessons into a flowing and almost living narrative,”1 and the result is pretty empowering. One gets the sense that this is Hopman’s goal here.Like herbal healing itself, Secret Medicines from Your Garden instills the reader with a sense of self sufficiency and being supported by the earth. The author, who’s work is testament to this, is clearly committed to her craft and has paved a courageous path for many aspiring herbalists to see. In the introduction, “Walking the Green Path,” Hopman explains a visit to Rome during grad school where she studied art history but “felt a pull to go to the countryside.”2 Following the instruction of a monk, she went to a hillside Franciscan community where she wandered in the wilderness, partook of community baking and community activities for four days. Here, plants called to her, and their voice was so strong it prompted her to “throw out everything [she] was doing.”3 This is when she began working with plants. Reading about her journey inspired me, and reminded me of times I’ve felt a similar pull to change my own path, many of which have been prompted by experiences in nature.Hopman also shares pieces of advice she received that helped her realize the importance of permission to find one’s own way in a creative healing art like herbalism: “After I studied with the First Nations for five years, one of the elders said to me: ‘It’s great that you are learning the ways and honoring our ancestors. But you need to honor your own.”4 It was then she discovered Druidry, and set out to find other Druids, which adds, of course, a unique depth of value to Hopman’s career as a herbal healer. Plants opened a doorway for Hopman that changed her life and worldview. I don’t doubt that for many who read this book it will open doors to doing the same.Hopman offers everything the reader needs to start tapping into, and strengthening, their own connection with plants: in part one, “A Wildcrafting Primer,” Hopman reveals how to intuit a plant’s properties based on their form, colour, location and more. For instance, plants that thrive in the shade tend to be cooling, plants with hollow stems will help clean out tubes in the human body, and so on. Not just with woodland herbs, but ones common in cities like dandelion, nettle, tulip, wisteria, and others.Dandelions, for example, are usually thought to be weeds in cities and suburban areas, but this book shows how they can be used as healing herbs. As well as supporting kidney and liver functions, a small section called “The Energetics of Color,” explains that yellow flowering plants like dandelions can also enhance a sense of personal power. Hopman shares ways to consume dandelion greens (mixed into a salad after being rinsed, or dusting them with flour, salt and pepper and frying in butter), and make dandelion tea from their roots. She also writes that the flowers can be used to make wine. This usage seems way more interesting than my previous experiences using dandelion, which has been limited to buying dried herbs at a bulk store and steeping in hot water and lemon to make a pretty run-of-the-mill dandelion tea.Will I opt to pick dandelions from my downtown Toronto neighbourhood this spring? Maybe not, but Hopman, who lives in a forest in New England, does share some cautions for urban foragers in this section: “Gather plants at least one thousand feet from a roadway to avoid the pollutants that abound there, such as those from car exhaust and brake lining”5 The next time I find myself in a locale that grows dandelions in abundance one thousand feet from a roadway, I’ll be sure to pick some to try out a fresher tea.In part 2, “Exploring Invisible Dimensions of the Plant World,” Hopman looks at animal spirit medicines and herbal astrology, and ways to communicate with plants, including topical sprays, singing to plants, and more. In Parts 3 and 4, “Enjoying Nature’s Bounty” and “Formula Making,” Hopman shares bee medicine and kitchen medicine recipes, including oils, salves, incense, bath sachets, cookies (pine gingerbread, anyone?), and teas for physical and spiritual healing. The book ends with a comprehensive table of constitutional prescribing (treatment using herbs, based on the whole person) and a glossary of contraindications (any reasons to not use certain herbs for example, during pregnancy, or for those with heartburn, etc.),Hopman provides instructions for the “triangle” formula-making system of her mentor, William LeSassier, to help the reader make custom herbal remedies tailored to a person’s unique strengths and weaknesses. She writes that recording this formula and sharing it was one of her major impetuses for writing the book.6 The 18-part system aims to help herbal practitioners design a balanced approach for long-term prescribing, combining cleansing herbs, building herbs, and tonic herbs in the right proportions.Hopman’s Secret Medicines from Your Garden takes the secrecy out of herbal medicine, and makes it accessible and straightforward for readers of all gardening prowess and healing needs.
  • Philip Carr Gomm writes about A LEGACY OF DRUIDS

    Legacy of Druids

    Legacy of Druids

     

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

ANTHROPOLOGY AND FOLKLORE NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

FAIRY NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

A Druid’s Web Log – Boycott Hobby Lobby

Like many women in the USA I am reeling at the latest assault on women from the religious right and the Republican majority (and hardly impartial) Supreme Court. At a time when US women are already being forced to go to Mexico for gynecological care and contraceptives SCOTUS ruled yesterday in the Hobby Lobby case that for-profit corporations don’t have to provide contraceptives to their female employees if it offends their religious values.

The court’s majority (all men) think its fine to discriminate against women when they try to make their own health care choices. The court’s losing side (all the women) were horrified.

Despite the court’s claim that this is a narrow judgment that “only” applies to birth control (and only singles out women as persons to be discriminated against so who cares) the future ramifications are breath taking. Precedent is now set so that any for-profit privately held corporation can deny service to blacks, refuse to hire gays, impose Sharia Law, refuse blood transfusions, or refuse to cover health care altogether (as in the case of Christian Scientists), if their religion so recommends.

Let’s hope this all becomes so odious that this country finally grows up and embraces single payer national health insurance like every other developed nation has. Why should employers be allowed to decide who gets how much coverage and for which conditions? Absurd.

Last week the same court told Massachusetts that it was unconstitutional to have a 35 foot buffer zone around women’s health clinics to protect the women from anti-abortion and anti-birth control goons. Those buffer zones were set up for a reason, because women were being harassed and bullied en route to routine health care. The same court makes sure that they themselves are well protected with a nice buffer zone around their own place of business while protesters are routinely denied access to political rallies, conventions, etc. and kept behind barriers.

I have lost all respect for the Supreme Court as an impartial judicial body. I hope this will be a real wake up call to voters everywhere. The war on women is in progress. Can you tell I am pissed?

OK, so back to more placid matters…due to the heavy rains this spring the elderberries are sporting massive clumps of blooms and I am looking forward to a bumper harvest in a month or so. I like to mix elderberry and Echinacea to make a fantastic flu and cold remedy. You will find plenty of suggestions below on how to use wild plants for food and medicine.

Earlier this Moonth I had an amazing week at the national Dowser’s Convention in VT. I did a workshop on communicating with trees using an ancient Bardic technique and was told “the best Celtic workshop I have ever attended”. I also did a 3 hour Scottish Fairy Lore talk and they said they thought it should be all day (six hours) and could I please come back and do it next year? Also sold quite a few books …

Then it was on to Mutton and Mead in Montague, Massachusetts, a wonderful Ren Fair. The weekend went very well and I sold quite a few books, only thing is I need to make another sign – no one realizes I am the author of my own books, they think I am selling other people’s stuff. Also, of interest, I had four separate cases of strangers coming to me for counseling on various life issues; death, stress, self-esteem issues, etc. It was like the position of the table made it seem like “the doctor was in”. (I have no problem with that, it’s just interesting). The hard part is getting up at 5 AM when I am used to working nights (urk!). Slept about 15 hours afterwards. Also, a lady told me she had heard that the picture on the cover of THE DRUID ISLE (my second Celtic novel) was me. I asked her “How could a 20 something young girl write a trilogy of Iron Age novels with Old Irish glossaries and pronunciation guides in the back?” Stop by my table YE CELTIC BOOKS AND HERBALS next year if you can.

Here are some more upcoming events this year;

  •  Join Mary Pat Palmer and Karin Uphoff Tuesday July 1st at 1pm PST (4 PM EST) on Holistic Health Perspectives as they interview Master Herbalist and Druid, Ellen Evert Hopman about the magic of the green world, fairy lore and tree medicine.  Ellen has written many fiction and non-fiction books about plants and Paganism.  You can listen via www.kzyx.org and earn more about Ellen Hopman at www.elleneverthopman.com
  • September 5-7, 2014
    Tree Medicine Tree magic 
    A weekend intensive in Pennsylvania on making tree medicines and learning Irish tree lore
  • Western MA Pagan pride Day
    Florence, MA
    September 27, 11 AM to 6 PM
  • 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.
  • Changing Times Changing Worlds
    Nov. 7-9, Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, Connecticut
    Ellen will teach a three part Druid Intensive including the Druidic wheel of the Year, the Ogham alphabet and meditating with trees.
  • I will be a featured speaker at Con-Ception in Illinois, April, 2015.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of other news to report. The usual archeology, religion and nature news are featured below, along with some practical ideas on how you can help to make this a better world.

*Remember – you can always order signed books from me via this website!*

THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • No Fracking Way – a film about fracking in Massachusetts (video)ALSO – Please enclose a letter to the CEO of your energy provider each time you mail in your bill and payment. Let them know how you feel about fracking in your community and which safe and clean energy solutions you support; wind, solar, bio-mass, geo-thermal, and conservation.
  • *Urge the Forest Service to end destructive old-growth logging in our largest National Forest.* Take Action
  • *About 75% of flowering plants rely on pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
    But sadly, *pollinators are on the decline* worldwide.
    There’s no better time to reward these hard workers for all they do than by turning your yard or garden into a welcoming haven for wildlife.
    *Help bees, butterflies and hummingbirds by certifying your yard, garden or balcony as an official National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat(R) site today.* And, here are a few tips to attract these helpful friends to your garden.
    *Honeybees* pollinate about one-third of all crops in the United States.
    Honeybees and smaller native bees have somewhat shorter tongues than bumblebees, so they’ll appreciate tightly packed clusters of tiny flowers and shallow blossoms like some milkweeds, spirea, goldenrod and phlox.
    *Bats* are hard at work while you’re asleep, so consider night-blooming plants in addition to day-bloomers. Install a bat box on a nearby tree to encourage bats to take up residence in your yard.
    *Hummingbirds* love brightly colored, tubular flowers. Native red trumpet honeysuckle and many types of columbine are a favorite. When blooms are few, supplement flowers with feeders filled with nectar water.
    *Butterflies* move pollen on their bodies, like bees, but aren’t quite as efficient as other pollinators. Attract these beauties with red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered and have short flower tubes.

FIRE CIDER UPDATE

  • Check out the newsletter online
    Summer Solstice Update Newsletter:*LEGAL ACTION TAKEN!
    *FIRE CIDER TASTING AND EVENTS AT THE WOMEN’S HERBAL CONFERENCE
    Legal Action Taken!
    It’s time for legal action!! We are filing for a cancellation of the Shire City Herbals trademark on Fire Cider.
    This is an action we can all take together!
    In filing with the United Stated Trademark and Patent Office (USTMPO), we are asking them to remove the trademark Fire Cider from Shire City Herbals.ABOUT THIS PROCESS:
    *Anybody can file a cancellation as an individual, business or herbal group.
    * This process costs $300.
    *Multiple people can file under 1 petition. Have your names ready to add to the petition when you file. Herbal groups and friends can work together to pool the $, or raise the funds together.
    *PLEASE PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU FILE, SO WE CAN KEEP COUNT!!
    send us an email EMAIL US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPONSOR AN HERBALIST TO FILE!EMAIL US IF YOU ARE AN HERBALIST THAT NEEDS A SPONSOR!Check our website for step by step instructions (in pictures!) on how to file with the USTMPO.
  • *Fire Cider Tasting and Events at the Women’s Herbal Conference
    Look for the Fire Cider table this summer at the Northeast Women’s Herbal Conference in New Hampshire, August 22-24, 2014.
    *Sign the petition
    *Raffle
    *Write a letter
    *Fire Cider Tasting: Bring your Fire Cider and enter into the tasting contest!
    *Find a group to file for cancellation with!
    http://www.womensherbalconference.com/

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

 POLITICS AND ETHICS