A Druid’s Web Log – Beltaine (May Day) 2016

After a very warm winter we were suddenly assaulted by below freezing temperatures and even snow earlier this month. As a result the Day Lillies and other early spring plants are looking very crisp around the edges. My garden is usually glorious this time of year. Now the plants are confused and there are very few Spring flowers.

Last weekend I visited the wilderness area down the road with some friends. We walked on a sandy beach and noticed giant wolf-like paw prints (probably Coy-wolves) in the sand and we were treated to the sight of Bald Eagles wheeling overhead, doing their aerial dance. Birch trees were dressed in their new catkins and the skunk cabbages were up on schedule. It’s comforting to know that some things are still happening as they should.

It will be Beltaine (May Day) in a few days, the official start of summer in Celtic areas. Modern celebrants like to observe on May 1 but in ancient times it was the blooming of the Hawthorn trees that heralded the festival. In my area that won’t happen until at least mid-May. Keep an eye on your local Hawthorn trees, or find out when the herds start migrating back up into the hills, for a more accurate assessment of the official start of summer wherever you are.

The US elections are growing nearer. Please consider the Earth and her creatures when you select a candidate. We have very little time left to save fragile wildlife and preserve human health and wellbeing.

Below you will find the usual Moonthly offerings of archeology, nature, herb, health, religion and ethics news. Enjoy!

BOOK NEWS

A REVIEW

  • Ellen Evert Hopman, A Legacy of Druids: Conversations with Druid leaders of Britain, the USA and Canada, past and present“A Legacy Of Druids presents a collection of interviews from some of the most prominent druids in the community, including Philip Carr-Gomm, Mara Freeman, Ceisiwr Serith, Arthur Uther Pendragon and even Ronald Hutton. What perhaps makes them particularly interesting is that these interviews were conducted around 20 years ago, making A Legacy Of Druids a window into the recent past, which is intriguing to compare and contrast with the current landscape of the Druid community today.For me, Druidry has been one of the harder Pagan paths to grasp, as what Druidry actually is always seems to be rather difficult to pin down (even within the context of Paganism, which is itself hard to pin down). This book didn’t really answer the question of what exactly Druidry is – what it did do, however, was give a sense of what Druidry is like. All the Druids selected for interview in this book approach their path from different ways, but after a while you see some patterns emerge that help to distinguish Druidism from other Pagan paths. I noticed that a large percentage of Druids in A Legacy Of Druids had experienced vivid visions and supernatural experiences, and that there’s a particular emphasis on comparing Druidry with Native American traditions – you could sum up Druidry as “Pagan/Celtic Shamanism.”Many of the questions asked in the interviews are the same, which means that there is a little repetition and overlap in answers. But each interview has its own points of interest, and I particularly liked the interviews with Ceisiwr Serith (a lot of surprising truths revealed), Arthur Uther Pendragon (one of Druidry’s most colourful and outspoken individuals), Rollo Maughfling, and Isaac Bonewits (his dealings with Anton La Vey were particularly intriguing). For me, the interview that stood out the most was with Ronald Hutton. I’m a little biased as I’m a big Hutton fan, but it was really fascinating to hear more about his personal life and views. As always, A Legacy Of Druids proves the general rule that a book with Hutton’s name in it usually has something of merit.A Legacy Of Druids is a solid resource for those interested in the history of modern Druidry and more about the lives of those who have made the community what it is today.”
  • An author interview I did with a fellow in India
  • How I became an Herbalist 

RECENT PODCASTS

ANOTHER LEGACY OF DRUIDS REVIEW

  • A Legacy of Druids “Provides a better-rounded picture than the stereotypical television portrayal of Druids as rebellious savage that Roman soldiers felt compelled to slaughter.
    A common belief was Druids did not leave written history because to write something down would cause the memory to go. If this is true or not, I don’t know. The best way to understand Druids is to talk to them, rather than pick up information from self-proclaimed experts on the Internet.Author Ellen Evert Hopman gathers Druids from all walks of life including politicians, spiritual leaders, poets, and musicians. It is a nice collection because no one is alike, which means the interviewees while having a shared faith didn’t always have the same practices, rather like almost any other religion.
    I applaud Hopman for her effort and research. She’s not just a woman in search of an interesting topic, but an archivist of sorts, gathering her own faith history as  Archdruid of the Tribe of Oak.The Legacy of Druids is a much-needed book that demonstrates not all Druids s are bearded old men. Now, there’s nothing wrong with an elder in a ceremonial robe, but it’s also okay sometimes just to be another person standing in line at the water and soil conservation center waiting to get his or her rain barrel. It’s excellent read to expand your horizons.”

*REMINDER – you can order signed copies of my books from this website. You will receive a signed copy with a personal note!*

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  • A PLANT TALK IN MASSACHUSETTS
    May 15
    Pelham, MA 1 PM – 3:30 PM
    A lecture on The Doctrine of Signatures, an ancient plant classification system
  • A TREE WORKSHOP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Tree Magic and Medicine class with Ellen Evert Hopman
    July 23,24 2016
    Misty Meadows Herbal Center
    183 Wednesday Hill Road
    Lee, NH 03861
  • AN HERBAL INTENSIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS
    My usual six month herbal intensive in the Amherst area starts October 15, 2016
    Cost: $1000 plus a $100.00 nonrefundable Xeroxing fee
    Please contact me for more details.

Stay tuned for more workshops and events…

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

 NATURE NEWS

 RELIGION NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

December blog 2014

It is Thanksgiving Day as I write this and I am very thankful that I don’t have to go to work today. My thoughts and sympathies are with the many folks who are being forced to work just so Americans can shop on what is supposed to be a family holiday, a fact that I find shameful.

Last night we had a big snow storm and heavy wet snow is frosting the trees. An old Birch tree has fallen softly onto the roof, this is the second time I have had a tree do this in recent years, each time they fall very gently as if the Tree Spirits are taking care not to disturb the house.

The gang of wild turkeys that came to the bird feeder every day last winter hasn’t shown up yet – maybe it’s because I have been seeing large grey coy-wolves about at night. The huge possum that was methodically tearing up the yard looking for grubs seems to have disappeared as well.

The news is full of yet another murder of an un-armed black teenager, sentenced to death by a policeman for stealing cigarettes. Apparently the jurors investigating the case for the grand jury were handed an old Missouri law that was declared unconstitutional many years ago for guidance. The law stated that a policeman had the right to pursue a suspect and kill them, making the officer judge and jury.

The jurors must have been heavily influenced by this law as they declared the officer completely innocent of all charges. I can only hope that this travesty of justice will make the police officers exoneration invalid or at least get the lawyer who did this disbarred (see this link for the details)

All this makes me wonder what is being exposed here, about the American psyche. The murder of an unarmed black man by a gun wielding white man is nothing new in this society. George Zimmerman was a thuggish lout who chose to stalk Treyvon Martin, even when the police dispatcher asked him not to, shot Martin to death, and then a jury declared Zimmerman the innocent victim. Treyvon who was walking home armed with nothing but Skittles and iced tea was deemed the perpetrator.

More recently, officer Wilson explained that Michael Brown was a “Demon” as large as Hulk Hogan (Wilson is six foot four and Brown was six foot six) and so far, after chasing the unarmed Brown down and then shooting him multiple times until he killed him, has been deemed innocent.

Why are these white men with guns so frightened of blacks that they have to shoot and kill them even when they are unarmed? I am starting to think there is a suppressed memory of the racial injustice emerging that this country has been denying for centuries. I believe that these white men with their guns are afraid that people of color will rise up and seek justice. That projected fear makes the black man appear larger than life to these puny frightened little men with guns.

We obviously need to de-militarize the police, somehow get guns off the streets and out of our homes, and train the police to disable a person (especially when they are unarmed) rather than shoot them to death. Until America does this we are still stuck in the primitive, violent lawlessness of the Wild West.

Tomorrow I will be joining a Black Friday protest at the local Wal-Mart. That’s how I will spend my extra day off.

The owners of Wal-Mart are the richest family in America, yet they insist on keeping wages and benefits at abysmal levels, dragging the rest of the country down (they are the largest retailer in the world), and counting on tax payers to provide food stamps and health care for their workers, just so to survive.

Peace out

Ellen

UPCOMING EVENT!

  • Sirius Community Health Fair
    December 7, 2014 @ 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
    Sirius Community
    72 Baker Road
    Shutesbury, MA 01072
    (near Amherst, MA)
    I will be doing a Tree slide show and talk at about 3 pm.

NEWS FROM IRELAND

  • Tara is threatened once again and needs everyone’s help.
    Tara Preservation. Help Save Our Heritage!

    We need your help!After the destruction wrought by the M3 Motorway through the Tara Skryne Valley County Meath Ireland, a unique and archaeologically sensitive landscape at the foot of the world famous Hill of Tara,  new threats are beginning to emerge which could destroy what’s left!Our crowd funding aim is to raise money to support public awareness raising initiatives, to launch objections to inappropriate planning applications, and to fund the inevitable legal challenges which we foresee necessary in order to protect the Tara Skryne Valley from developers.

*Reminder – you can order signed books from this website!*

Below is the last Moonth’s archeology, nature, herbal, religion and ethics news. Enjoy!

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

LANGUAGE NEWS

NATURE NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS