Winter just isn’t letting go in these parts (Western New England) and we still have several inches of snow on the ground. Last night they even had snow in Maryland! What a strange year. I haven’t seen my small troop of five male turkeys in a few weeks. There is still a pile of cracked corn waiting under the bird feeders. I suspect they have gone a courtin’ in the nearby forest. Meanwhile, I am visualizing the herbs and flowers that will soon be blooming in the garden, and making plans for the summer festival season.
This Moonth has been a time of heartbreak for so many. The ongoing holocaust in Syria, the mysterious loss of a Malaysian jet liner (still not found as I type this) and a fatal mud slide in Washington have added to the grimness of the season.
You can help some of the victims of the mud slide by following the links in this account of the tragedy;
Robin Youngblood is a Native American grandmother and world-traveling spiritual teacher. She was caught in the landslide near Seattle on Saturday.
She and a friend rode out the massive wall of mud as it turned her house to sticks. As rescuers still search for missing neighbors she has started a fund for the families affected.
“Church of the Earth is setting up a fund for survivors of the Washington Mudslide. If you have anything to spare, all our families lost EVERYTHING!! From toothbrushes to clothes, household goods, and homes. Those of us who are still alive will have to find new homes ~ there’s nothing left to return to. Please send donations through paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org , and we’ll see that the families most in need get your donations. All monies will be equally divided among the families listed with Red Cross, and we will not keep any money for administration costs.”
See more about Church of the Earth
Her story is also featured here.
Another spiritual tragedy of sorts is brewing for Druids in the UK and worldwide. There are plans afoot to build houses for soldiers that will block the Stonehenge sunrise on the Summer Solstice, one of the most important days for Druids and that monument.
You can help to keep that from happening by signing a petition.
SOME PERSONAL STUFF
The biggest news from me is that I am now collaborating with a script writer and an artist to create a graphic novel based on the book PRIESTESS OF THE FOREST – A DRUID JOURNEY. This is a completely new arena and the ultimate goal is to get more attention for the book and hopefully make it available to a producer or director.
***Remember – You can purchase signed copies of my books from this website! ***
“Druid” by Michael Conneely
Conneely’s book is a fascinating story that toggles between three threads, a knot work of interweaving tales that are at times Celtic fantasy, Science Fiction, Magical Realism and autobiography. The action begins in 428 CE, a period that is very familiar to me, basically because it’s the time frame and setting of my own Celtic novels, and then it careens into the future, then back to the present day.
The book revolves around the legend of Corra, the ancient Land Goddess who Saint Patrick supposedly banished into a lake at the base of the mountain that now bears his name (Croagh Patrick).
Reading the book is a pleasure if you can forget that the Celts probably never called themselves that (they would have identified with their tribal names) and that there was no “Ireland” in 428 AD. Also that Lugh was never a “Sun God” (that is a Victorian conceit) rather a God of skill. Áine (Ir. “brightness, glow, joy, radiance; splendour, glory, fame”) is a better candidate for an ancient Sun deity.
Wiccan (a modern religion circa 1930’s, invented by Gerald Gardner) elements abound in the book such as calling the quarters in ritual (the ancient Celts thought in terms of Three worlds; Land, Sea and Sky and five directions at least). The ancient Celts were also polytheist and did not think of “The union of the Goddess and the God”. Nor did they celebrate eight festivals (the ancient Fire festivals were Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine and Lughnasad).
Other problems exist. A self-published work, the book is in real need of editing; sudden tense changes in mid-paragraph, typos, misplaced commas, odd lacunae in the type and anachronisms crop up frequently. For American readers the book needs a glossary; words like bothy, dun, geiss, and lough are not explained.
But if you can follow the story with an uncritical eye you will find within it a paean to the Old Woman of Ireland, the Goddess of the Land. This is a rough gem of a story, penned by a true Druid, a man who passionately loves the soil and the Spirit of Ireland.
EVENTS AND PUBLIC APPEARANCES
Here is a list of my public appearances for this year (so far) Please come by so we can meet and feel free to share this announcement!
- June 4-9, 2014
Ellen will be doing workshops at the 2014 annual Dowsers Convention
Friday, Listening to Trees
Monday Scottish Fairy Lore
in Lyndonville, VT www.dowsers.org
- June 21 and 22, 2014
Mutton and Mead Medieval Festival Renaissance Faire, Montague, MA
10:00am to 6:00pm
Ellen will be signing her books at YE CELTIC BOOKS AND HERBALS
- 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
A talk on Scottish Fairy lore
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.
Below you can catch up on the past Moonth’s gleanings from the media. Enjoy!
- New evidence that humans were in the Americas 22,000 years ago
- An ancient Egyptian soldier writes home
- Googling the Nazca Lines
- New Evidence for why Woolly Mammoths declined
- A Neolithic chambered tomb on Anglesey
- At the 5000 year old Loughcrew megalithic cairn T, there was a good sunrise in the morning for the spring equinox
- Our 3 million year old ancestor
- The acoustics of Stonehenge
- La Tene art, was it Celtic? British scholars are still having trouble with the term.
- What ancient Europeans really looked like
- What really killed off the woolly mammoths?
- Oldest evidence for the human hand
- Early Irish Christians still clung to the Old Ways
- 5000 year old child’s bones found in Ireland
- A northern Scottish stone raises questions
- Buddhism is “not stupid” says judge.
- The Snakes are still in Ireland. Modern Druids still inhabit a Catholic nation.
- Water Bears – the toughest animals on the planet
- Humans could be just as nice as some animals if we could just get over ourselves. (video)
- Druids celebrate the Vernal Equinox at Stonehenge(video)More press…
- OBOD turns 50!
- Brighid of Kildare, was she a Druid Priestess?
Read more on this in my fiction novel PRIESTESS OF THE FIRE TEMPLE – A DRUID’S TALE (get a signed copy from me via this website, or find it in all the usual places!)
- Ancient Celts of Iberia
- Eddie Lenihan – a brilliant Senachie (Irish story teller) (video)
- Earliest color photos of Ireland
- How to tap Maples
- Birch syrup
- Sycamore syrup – Sycamore sap flows on warm winter days – days during the January thaw and days during maple syruping season that are too warm for maple sap to flow (when daytime temperatures are greater than 50 – and even 60 – degrees Fahrenheit).
- How to eat Nettles
- Nettle Ravioli in Nettle Pasta
- Nettle bread recipe
For the Americans:
2c + 2.5 tsp organic flour
½ c. full fat, organic milk
½ c. nettle tips
1.5 tbs. fresh yeast
free range eggs
1/3c white sugar
2.5tsp Cornish sea salt
1/2c. soft, unsalted, organic butter
- Amaranth; “All you have to do is eat the weed” (just make sure its growing on an organic farm)
- Gardening with Wild Plants
- A fabulous website about Yew trees
- Irish trees
- For those who have been following the Drama, here is your FIRE CIDER UPDATE
Facebook StoryLast week, the moderators of the Anti-Trademark Fire Cider page (which had over 3000 likes!) were sent messages saying that there has been a formal complaint made by Amy Huebner (Shire City Owner), that we are violating their trademark and rights. From Facebook: “The Fire Cider Anti-Trademark page has been taken down. Facebook does not moderate between parties, please contact the complaining party, Amy Huebner of Shire City Herbals.”We were not surprised! We felt silenced and angry. We were not violating a trademark, because we are not actually selling anything!Well, we are back! We have a new Facebook page.Please like and share!
Amy’s actions motivated us to create a new website with much more information on it!
Even though Amy intended to silence us, she pushed us to get more organized and have a central location for all our movement information! Thanks Amy!
- New Website
The website has lots of great information about the movement. You can download letters, signs, recipes. Upload information, pictures and more! Check it out!
- Promotional Materials
Download promotional materials from the website!
- General info flyers
- Make your own Fire Cider poster
- Campaign Updates
**Before you write or call a store, check the website for the most up to date list of stores who have supported the boycott Fire Cider!
** Make sure you upload the information about stores that have decided to make a concious choice to support our mission in protecting our tradition from SCH Fire Cider, so that they are not still getting letters, and our energy doesn’t get wasted!
**Check the website for 3 different SAMPLE boycott letters! Remember, these are samples! If you don’t like any of them, use your own words!
**Keep the pressure on! Have a letter writing get-together!
*It is so empowering to see us all come together to protect our traditions. We have almost 7,500 signatures!*Help us by circulating the petition to reach 10,000 signatures!
- Flood the Market*We’d love to see coops and health food stores across the country carrying a large selection of LOCAL Fire Ciders! Live in Alabama? Why should your Coop carry a Fire Cider from Massachusetts? And if you live in MA, your Coop could carry Fire Cider made right in the very same town!
- Volunteer Information*We are hoping to solidify our volunteer coordinator this week!
- Toast to Tradition*On Sunday, March 9th let’s all celebrate Fire Cider. Make a toast to tradition! Share and post your photos on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc
*Don’t forget to tag Tradition Not Trademark on Facebook or use #freefirecider elsewhere!
- New Website
- ANOTHER FIRE CIDER UPDATEHappy Spring*Traditional Healers Alliance*
New Volunteer Coordinators
Spring Equinox is here! Hooray!
During the last few cold weeks of winter, the Anti-trademark Fire Cider group has been busy building an organizing structure. Our goals were to:
- Broaden the Fire Cider movement
- Incorporate more volunteers into the organizing group
- To work more efficiently as an organizing group.
We have decided to call it….(drum roll)……
The Traditional Healers Alliance!
It is now spring, and we are happy to share with you the mission statement!
Traditional Healers Alliance: Mission Statement
The Traditional Healing Alliance’s (THA) mission is to protect traditional herbal terms and practices from potential restrictions while keeping these terms and traditions accessible to the general public. This includes remedies, traditionally practicing herbalists, and whole herbs.
THA works to build and unify the herbal community and empower them to feel that they can continue to celebrate traditional healing practices and produce historical, traditional remedies without restriction.
THA’s goals are:
Revoke the Fire Cider Trademark, and protect other common herbal terms from trademark through legal action, awareness campaigns and direct action (boycott, letter writing, petitions).
THA is working to set a precedent in the herbal marketplace. The herbal community will not sit back and watch while our traditional herbal terms are turned into a corporate commodity.
Through it’s advocacy work, THA is raising awareness about traditional remedies and healing.
- New Volunteer Coordinators
Along with the organizing infrastructure, we have found 2 new volunteer coordinators! Amy Richards and Rachael Young will be contacting folks and directing them on how to plug into the Anti- Trademark Fire Cider campaign.
If you have submitted your name, and not heard anything, it is because we have been busy finding the coordinators and creating the structure for you to plug into!
- Campaign Updates
Boycott: Still going strong! We are still encouraging folks to write letters and call stores. We have sample letters here.
Flood the Market: We have lots of new brands of Fire Cider popping up! Keep sending us pictures of your products!
Petition: We are still trying to get to 10,000! Keep sharing!
Thank you for your continued support.
The Traditional Healers Alliance
- Plastic pollution is everywhere causing inter-generational diseases
- Can we re-program our DNA at the quantum level? (Vedic healers knew about this which is why they sang over medicinal plants and their patients)
- Elves disrupt road construction in Iceland
- The ancient race who once ruled Ireland
- The Fairy Fort of Lough Gowna
- Donald Michael Kraig has passed to the Otherworld
- Judy Harrow has crossed the veil, too, in her sleep. A good way to go all things considered.
POLITICS AND ETHICS (because they are the same thing)