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

January 2015 Blog

A joyful, healthy and inspiring New Year to all who read this!

The end of 2014 has become “the year of the primeval beasts” around here. Folks have been reporting moose the size of dinosaurs roaming the roads, though I have yet to see them. In my little neck of the forest the pesky possums that were tearing up the lawn looking for grubs have abated, but during the recent warm spell squirrels have taken to burying acorns all over the front and back lawns. I watch them from the kitchen window and think about screaming (but never do). In the summer I will have plenty of seedlings to cull, the animals are trying their best to revert the homestead into forest.

On the political front I have watched in disbelief as reports of the billions of dollars spent on US elections come in. Meanwhile the GOP wants to cut Social Security, food stamps and Medicare for the poor, elderly, children, and underemployed. They can’t do this because Walmart workers and the rest of the “service industry” workers will not be able to feed themselves without food stamps and they would be without health care if it weren’t for Obamacare, so it’s probably still just political theater (one hopes). Also, most American have no pensions or retirement savings and because wages have not kept up with inflation for the last thirty years elderly Americans simply cannot survive without Social Security. Please make your opinion known to your compassionate Republican representatives on this matter.

I am so disgusted by all this that I, an American, have decided once and for all that I am a monarchist. A Constitutional Monarchy seems the best type of government to me these days when I think of all the money and effort that is wasted on bloated, prolonged campaigns that do nothing except produce politicians who serve their biggest donors and not the people. Corporations have become the new aristocracy and someone needs to keep them in check.

As a Druid, I have watched British Druid orders with envy. In ancient times the Druids would always have an Arch Druid at the helm and they were in that position for life. That freed up the time, energy and resources of everyone to be creative, teach, spread and maintain the faith. American Druid Orders are afflicted with the same issues as our national government. Power struggles and elections mean time, bandwidth and energy that should be going into creative projects, teaching, building and worship are squandered.

That is my last little rant for 2014.

On the personal front I am putting the last touches on another herbal book and lining up gigs for 2015. So far I am teaching in PA, CA and MA.

Below you will find a collection of the last Moonth’s archeology, herbal, nature, Celtic, religion and ethical news. Enjoy!

PA TREE WORKSHOP REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

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 there is a Best Western 5 minutes away.

484-347-7489 for more info

*Reminder! You can order signed books and get a personal note from the author, via this website*

IRISH NEWS

  •  Press Release: Tara Skryne Presrvation Group 28.11.14
    Press Release 28/11/14
    Campaigners are again hitting Social Media sites to draw attention to issues threatening to affect the Tara landscape Co.Meath.Campaigners have been asking since 2007 for two simple commitments that will solve the long running dispute between heritage and development in Meath. Neither seem forthcoming.

    1. The Tara Landscape Conservation Area designation, which has been languishing for years, needs to be passed allowing no major structural development within Tara Archaeological landscape. This does not affect local housing, farming or business. Public consultation has been long complete and no valid serious objections were lodged.

    2. The Leinster Orbital should be moved north of Navan away from Archaeological landscapes of Tara and Bru Na Boinne. North of Navan should be designated a special development area and South between Navan and Dunshaughlin a heritage area allowing certainty for Meath businesses and investors in long term planning.Recent NRA press announcements that a new Type 1 Service Area between theClonee and Blundlestown junctions of the M3 Motorway is currently being considered, plus the recent sale of lands beside the Blundlestown Interchange in an area previously proposed as the linkage between the M3 and the Leinster Outer Orbital Route, has triggered the start of Facebook and Twitter campaigns by the Tara Skryne Preservation Group who say they are gearing up to oppose any and all commercial and inappropriate development of this archaeologically sensitive area.Type 1 Service Areas typically consist of fuel facilities, shopping/retail courts, restrooms, tourist information, parking and picnic areas.”Inappropriate developments such as this would not only impact the sensitive Tara Skryne landscape but would also impact small businesses such as cafes and petrol stations, taking money out of the local economy and diverting it to share holder driven franchises”, said group spokesperson Carmel Diviney.”The proposed Outer Leinster Orbital Route would have serious detrimental effects on the area and would be in contravention of current planning guidelines as per the Meath County Development Plan.” she added.The Leinster Outer Orbital Route, a motorway around the city of Dublin was proposed to be built between 2011 and 2019 in order to connect Drogheda, Navan and Naas, however it was shelved during the recession. It would serve as a second bypass of the city to complement the M50 linking all of Dublin’s main trunk routes: M1, M2, M3, M4 and M7. The only route that would not be served is the M11.As a major North South link with access tothe Airport via the M3, the Leinster Orbital would be a major development asset for Meath if placed north of Navan where land is available for Business parksand small enterprises, rather than the current route adjacent to significant archaeological areas that have obvious planning issues.The Tara Skryne Preservation Group suspects that plans for the Orbital route are being mooted again if not back on the table, and the long term goal is to sell land for major development in the Archaeological landscapes something that would not be welcomed by residents. The TSPG fund raising drive is to raise money to launch objections, appeals and legal challenges to any large commercial or or inappropriate development of the Tara Skryne Valley.

    Tara Skryne Preservation Group
    Contact: Carmel Diviney 0876011771

    HOW YOU CAN HELP TARA
    Tara Preservation
    Help Save Our Heritage, crowdfunding campaign by the Tara Skryne Preservation Group in County Meath Ireland

 SCOTTISH NEWS

BOOK NEWS

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

NATURE NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

PAGAN NEWS

NEWS YOU CAN USE

POLITICS AND ETHICS

*Reminder! You can order signed books and get a personal note from the author, via this website*