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

 

Congress wants to shut down but we get active as Fall sets in

The weather has been sunny, cool and crisp here in the mountain, the kind of fall weather that one thinks of for New England. The maples are turning orange and red, the gingkoes are yellow and the oaks are tinged with gold and orange. In-between are the deep green pines and yellow birches. The willows are still waving their green hair in the wind.
The dominant flower at the moment is purple aster, the goldenrods and echinacea are still about, but starting to fade.

After the summer somnolence folks are getting active, as always happens this time of year. One of the signs of this has been a renewed interest in political activity. Even as Congress shamefully threatens to shut down and refuses to do the people’s business, the rest of us are picking up steam.

Here are some actions that you too can be a part of;
There is a mini boycott going on of Lowe’s and Home Depot because they are still selling bee-killing pesticides and garden plants that are pre-sprayed with bee killing poisons. You can go to their Facebook pages and tell them what you think about that;
Lowe’s
Home Depot

The specter of fracking has raised its ugly head in Britain and Druids have taken notice. I was privileged to do this small action back here in the USA, at noon on September 28, in a public park. I think this rolling protest can easily continue and be worked into public gatherings everywhere.

Meanwhile the campaign to stop the display of human remains at the new Stonehenge visitor’s center continues, I just got this rather pathetic press release from English Heritage regarding the display of dead people at the Stonehenge visitors center. Why they can’t make plastic replicas is beyond me.

STATEMENT: DISPLAY OF HUMAN REMAINS AT NEW STONEHENGE VISITOR CENTRE

After careful consideration English Heritage Commissioners have today endorsed the proposal to display the remains of three human burials as part of the permanent display at the new Stonehenge visitor centre. There is strong consensus that English Heritage has a public duty to communicate all the key narratives and archaeological findings to the public.

Our proposal is consistent with current museum practice across the UK. Their presentation, treatment and storage will follow strict guidelines set out by the UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Visitors will be made aware of the display before they enter the exhibition. Visitor research also shows that the vast majority of museum visitors are comfortable with, and often expect to see, human remains as part of displays.

Stonehenge is the focus of a ceremonial and ritual landscape shaped by prehistoric people for over 1,500 years. The exhibition puts at its centre the people associated with it and as such, the remains have a rightful place in the exhibition.

KEY FACT: The three sets of human remains on display have been in the care of scholarly institutions for at least 10 years and do not include any freshly excavated material. Two were excavated over 50 years ago and the third was uncovered during road improvement works in 2001. If English Heritage was not displaying them, they would remain in the collections of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge.

Issued by English Heritage Communications
11 September 2013

You can write to EH here.

My newest herbal blog post HAG’S TAPERS FOR HALLOWEEN (an herbal monograph on how to use Mullein)
is up.

This is a victory for everyone who wrote letters, signed a petition or made a phone call. The Monsanto Protection Act is being cancelled!

Here are some places I will be speaking in the coming months;

Here is a roundup of the past Moonth’s news. Enjoy!

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

 LANGUAGE NEWS

 FAIRY NEWS

 NATURE NEWS

 HERBAL NEWS

 HEALTH NEWS

 RELIGION NEWS

 ARTS NEWS

 POLITICS/ETHICS

 NEWS YOU CAN USE

 

May everyone who reads this have a blessed Samhain/Halloween season. All blessings of the holy dark be yours!