December blog 2016 Keeping the faith in the gathering darkness

We are finally getting some rain here on the mountain. The land has been so parched that my well went dry twice. Each time I had to wait days to use the water, relying on sponge baths and bottled fare. I have never seen conditions like this in New England.
The Canada geese left for the winter about a week ago and the local lake seems barren without them. A few wild ducks are hanging on.

I have a new animal neighbor – a black squirrel has appeared here in the oak forest where I have been for thirty years now. It’s the first time I have seen one in my neck of the woods. For me, black birds such as raven and crows have always heralded deep magic, luck and prosperity. I meditated on the meaning of the black squirrel and what I received was the word “gathering”.

Faced as we are with a very backwards looking new administration (“Let’s make America great again” like it was in the good old days when blacks had few rights and women knew their place) the only way we will overcome the bigotry is by “gathering”. Gathering together in our groups, gathering together to share information and resources, gathering together to oppose the primitive agenda of the great kleptocrat (klep·to·crat ˈkleptəˌkrat/ noun: kleptocrat; plural noun: kleptocrats a ruler who uses political power to steal his or her country’s resources) who says he has no reason to put his massive, international business interests into a blind trust because “the rules don’t apply to him”.

We are already seeing this in the gathering of Native Americans at Standing Rock, water protectors from just about every indigenous nation have come together in a historic effort to preserve the water for millions. We are seeing this in the preparations for a million woman march in DC on inauguration day.

Bill Moyers says it all in a powerful essay on where we are now as a nation. This all could have been avoided if half the eligible voters in America had bothered to make their voices heard. Hillary won the popular vote by two million, but the Great Deceiver managed to win the electoral college – at least as of this writing. Folks are also gathering together to try and oust him before December 19. Stay tuned. We live in fascinating times.

I am working on two books at the moment – a re-release of the old classic “Tree Medicine-Tree Magic” and a book about New England Witches. What with herb classes and a day job, I am keeping myself busy.

Below is the usual collection of book news, nature, climate, archealogy, religion, Celtic and ethics news. Looking forward to Winter Solstice and the return of the Light. May we all receive what we wish for.

A million woman march is being planned for January 21 in Washington DC, but local marches are happening too. Here is one: Boston Women’s March – January 21 12PM-3PM (Alternative to DC) Sat 12 PM · Boston Common

And don’t forget the Standing Rock water protectors as they face the coming winter. You can send cash or checks or donate via PayPal.

Checks or cash may be sent to:
Oceti Sakowin Camp
P.O. Box 298, Cannon Ball, ND 58528

*And please consider buying books for Christmas. If you order from this website you get a signed copy with a personal note! Please specify who you want the books signed to!*

Here’s a thoughtful essay on the financial plight of authors

MORE BOOK NEWS

  • On Thursday, December 29 I will be speaking on the radio at 9 PM – you can tune in here.
  • A new literary journal, “Enheduanna”, is born. I have a piece in there! Published just once a year, they are seeking contributions.
  • Legacy of Druids

    Legacy of Druids

    This book is a fascinating collection of interviews gathered together by Ellen Evert Hopman from some of the most influential people in the pagan/druid world covering the USA, Canada and Britain. It offers a unique view into the modern day world of druidry, what gives it an interesting spin is that the interviews were all carried out in and around 1996 – it is a wonderful time hop to see how druidry was perceived then and what the expectations were and compare them to now.

  • Review in “Green Egg” Samhain 2016 edition A Legacy of Druids By Ellen Evert Hopman, along with a forward by Phillip Carr-Gomm. This book is a compilation of interviews done by Ms. Hopman with prominent Druids over the course of the last twenty years. Interviewees include Phillip Carr-Gomm, Isaac Bonewits, and Arthur Uther Pendragon, along with Practitioners in Spirit such as Olivia Robertson and Susan Henssler ,as well as many scholars such as Ronald Hutton.
    This book shows a unique perspective of the history and development of Modern Druidry. This is indeed a must-read book by anyone following the Druid path, as well as anyone interested in Magickal history. One of my personal favorite quotes from the book is by an Anishinaabe, Elder of the Ojibwa:
    “It is time for the old Earth spirituality of the Europeans to start coming back. We are in real trouble if it doesn’t. People really need to start turning to their own ancestors for help. This is what needs to happen. Some people will be afraid of this. Why else would they burn everyone over there? If you’re following the lead of the Old Ones and people are afraid or critical of you, you know you are doing something right”.
    Once again, I give Legacy of Druids my highest recommendation and certainly hope there is a second edition coming, re-interviewing the same people who are available.

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

CLIMATE AND NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

 

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

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