November blog 2015 Honoring the Ancestors and Creeping off to Yet Another War

I just finished celebrating a very quiet three day Halloween here on the mountain. In ancient times Samonios (later called Samhain or Samhuinn) was a three day festival according to the Gallo-Roman Coligny Calendar . There is an entry “TRINOX[tion] SAMO[nii] SINDIV” (three-nights of Samonios today) which implies that Halloween was observed for three days and nights. We moderns have preserved that to some extent with All Saints Day and All Souls Day and of course, our day to celebrate ghoulies and ghosties and trick or treating.

My own observance consisted of placing offerings for the Fairies on the altar in the garden; whole grain toast and honey, milk and honey, and apple crisp, on each of the three nights. I took a few moments with my students on October 31 to share stories of our ancestors and those we had lost in the past year. We munched small offerings of pomegranate seeds and chocolate in their memory.

It is a somber time. It feels like the US is slouching into yet another war, and this time its boots on the ground in Syria. In my own life a company I have worked for, for almost a decade, has decided to move to Texas where they can pay lower wages and offer fewer benefits. A hundred locals are being laid off as a result, which does not seem to factor into anyone’s calculations. We workers are expendable and only profit margins have any real meaning.

But life will go on, as it always does. Below you will find the usual assortment of news from the archaeology front, nature news, herb, news, religion, ethics and politics, and if you are reading this I wish you a very happy and prosperous Celtic New Year. May your fires be bright and your hearth warm!

BOOK NEWS

  • A recent podcast that covers Druids, Herbalism and many other topics;
  • My newest herbal is already available for pre-order;
    Secret Medicines from Your Garden
    Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic
    A guided exploration of herbal lore and healing plants found in yards, forests, meadows, and hedgerows
  • My newest Druid book A Legacy of Druids – Conversations with Druid leaders of Britain, the USA and Canada, past and present (Moon Books) has just completed its final edit and the cover is being designed. It will be out Spring of 2016. Endorsements are already coming in;
    ‘This extraordinary assembly of Druids reveals the paths leading to our native, spiritual heritage, without fear or favour. Deep and true!’ – Caitlín Matthews, author of Celtic Visions, past-presider of OBOD.
  • Nimue Brown of Moon Books writes; “Recently I have learned from the Society of Authors that if you get 50 book reviews on Amazon, then Amazon might start paying more attention to your book. I also learned, that ratings on Goodreads can lead to being listed in the Goodreads Choice Awards. We’re talking in the thousands here, by the looks of it. Not easily done, but worth knowing all the same. In terms of increasing visibility, reviews clearly have a lot of influence.”If anyone here has read my books would you please pen a short review on Goodreads or Amazon? Blessings in advance! (smile)

*Reminder- you can purchase signed books from me via this website and get a signed copy with a personal note from the author. Perfect for Yuletide giving! Please specify who you want the books autographed to if they are gifts.*

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

PAGAN NEWS

HERB NEWS

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

LANGUAGE NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

NEWS YOU CAN USE

February blog 2015 Snow, Ice and the Return of the Goddess Brighid

The big story around here lately has been the weather. Last week there were blizzards to the east of me and blizzards to the west. In the sheltered Valley where I live we only (only!) got twelve inches of gentle snow on top of the eight or so inches we had already from previous storms. This week we got another twelve inches or so and a few more storms are expected in the coming days. Neighbors to the east report fifty five inches, so far. It makes one grateful for simple things like heat, light and electricity.

Last week while out on my nightly Moon walk I watched a coy-wolf shoveling along with its nose, looking for mice. Being half wolf they are far less fearful than coyotes. I stopped to howl at the creature and it only looked at me quizzically for a moment then resumed its hunting.

This week was also the Fire Festival of Imbolc (in the bag) or Oimelc (ewes milk) in the ancient Celtic calendar, a celebration of the lactation of the ewes and of the Goddess Brighid. It is said that where She walks the grass turns green and the ice melts. Well, maybe that happens in Ireland and Scotland. Here we were blessed by a sunny day that almost reached thirty two degrees, a veritable heat wave. The next day we were back into the single digits and a wind chill of minus twenty.

Imbolc/Oimelc (video)

BOOK NEWS!

I have a little book news. I finally finished my newest herbal, currently titled THE SECRET MEDICINES OF YOUR GARDEN, and have submitted it to a publisher. The acquisitions editor says he likes it and book blurbs and endorsements from prominent herbalists are already coming in. Now the owner of the publishing house just has to sign off on it.

MORE BOOKS NEWS:

My book A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year got a wee mention in this blog post about Basil.

Here is my updated schedule for the year, so far. Stay tuned as more gigs come in, I am firming up a workshop in Seattle just now;

  • TREE MEDICINE TREE MAGIC
    May 29, 2015 at 3:30pm to May 31, 2015 at 4:00pm
    119 Cherry Ct Matamoras PA 18336
    Weekend Workshop Hosted by Ellen Evert Hopman
    A Friday night slide show of some common North American trees illustrating their medicinal and magical properties. On Saturday morning we learn about the Irish “Tree alphabet” and then go outside to perform a traditional Druid tree meditation and learn to listen to the trees. Saturday afternoon we learn more about the “Tree Alphabet” and then gather tree medicines such as leaves, pine needles, flowers, barks, etc. Sunday we prepare medicines from the ingredients we have gathered. Each student will leave with a hand-made set of Ogham divination cards, based on the ancient Irish Ogham “Tree Alphabet”. Please bring a notebook and pen, and wear comfortable shoes and outdoor clothes as you will be outside part of the weekend.
    Weekend Fee $125 which includes class, lunches, and supplies.
    Please send fee to Marjorie Forbes Spadoni 119 Cherry Ct Matamoras PA 18336
    If you need to stay over locally we have a Best Western 5 minutes from my house. Call 484-347-7489 for more info
  • ADVANCED FORMULA MAKING AND CASE TAKING CLASS
    September 5-6, 2015
    119 Cherry Ct, Matamoras PA 18336
    Advanced case taking and formula making class with Ellen Evert Hopman, Herbalist AHG
    Learn Basic Five Element Theory; seasons, flavors, taste, voice tone, emotions. Learn the basics of Facial Diagnosis; lines, colors, moles, blemishes. And learn an advanced formula making technique to design individually crafted remedies for individuals.  In-between we will walk outside and meet some of the plants and trees in the garden and make some remedies to take home.
    Weekend Fee $125 which includes class, lunches, and supplies.
    Please send fee to Marjorie Forbes Spadoni 119 Cherry Ct, Matamoras PA 18336
    If you need to stay over locally we have a Best Western 5 minutes from my house. Call 484-347-7489 for more info
  • ADVANCED FORMULA MAKING AND CASE TAKING CLASS
    September 26-27, Philo, California (near Mendocino)
    Advanced case taking and formula making class with Ellen Evert Hopman, Herbalist AHG
    Learn Basic Five Element Theory; seasons, flavors, taste, voice tone, emotions. Learn the basics of Facial Diagnosis; lines, colors, moles, blemishes. And learn an advanced formula making technique to design individually crafted remedies for individuals. In-between we will walk outside and meet some of the plants and trees in the garden. The Philo School of Herbal Energetics website has information on directions & lodging. $150 for the weekend; register here.
    Lodging: They do not offer lodging. Please go to the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce page for available lodging.
  • SIX MONTH HERBAL INTENSIVE IN WESTERN MA (near Amherst)
    October 17, 2015 – April, 2016
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    The Western Massachusetts School of Herbal Studies
    Intro to Herbalism and Self Care
    With Ellen Evert Hopman M.Ed. ~ Registered Herbalist AHG, author of “Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore“, “A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year”, “A Druids Herbal – Of Sacred Tree Medicine” and other books and DVDs
    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.
    Cost: $1,000.00 (plus a $100.00 non-refundable Xeroxing fee)
    MA NURSES CAN GET CEUS BY TAKING THIS COURSE
    Below you will find the usual Moonthly assortment of archeology, nature, religion, herb, health, politics and ethics news. Enjoy!
    *Remember – you can order books from this website and get a signed copy with a personal note. *

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

NATURE NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS