September blog – Enjoying the dregs of the summer

The big news here on this New England mountain is the drought. My elderberry bush is strangely lop sided this year; one half dried up and dying and the other half bending low with berries. The rowan (Mountain Ash) trees are suffering the most, with crinkled up leaves they appear to be at deaths’ door. I take heart from a story my brother once told me. He lives in Texas where there was a severe drought for three years. It was so bad that the oaks lost their leaves for the entire period. But once the rains returned, so did the leaves.

A few weeks ago I had a strange encounter with a hummingbird on the back patio where I have never had hummingbird feeders. In past years at this time my garden has been filled with roses and pink phlox. Now, due to the drought I have half as many flowers. One day I went out and a hummingbird started dive bombing my face. It was clearly trying to tell me something because it hovered for a minute or so at my eye level, chirping all the while. I got the message. I immediately got into the car and went out and bought a Hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbirds are powerful little animals. In Inca tradition they are the intermediaries with the angelic realms and help one to achieve the impossible.

This house is on a well and last week the well actually went dry and I had to wait a day before the pressure was high enough to turn on the faucets. I am getting used to a new routine; watering plants by hand from empty milk jugs, channeling grey water from the kitchen sink directly into the garden, squeezing out my laundry before I put it on the line to dry and saving the water to pour on the roses, only watering in the early morning and in the evening to prevent evaporation.

(Speaking of drought,  here is an article about a farmer who is succeeding with very little water )

The other big project around here is gathering acorns. I went down to a local lake and found a hollowed out stone and another stone that fits neatly into my hand, to use as a mortar and pestle/acorn smasher. My plan is to crack the acorns, leach them, dry the leached nuts, and grind them into flour. So many people I know have oak trees, it’s a wonder that we aren’t all making use of this amazing food source that was once a staple food of our ancestors.

Here is a little recipe from my newest herbal “Secret Medicines >From Your Garden”;

Acorn Cake

  •  1 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1 cup acorn flour
  • 1 cup other organic flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground Cardamom
  • ½ tsp. ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground Allspice
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • ½ cup Applesauce
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • Some powdered sugar to dust on top
  • Butter to grease the pan

 Method:

  • Grease and flour a Bundt pan
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix the dry ingredients and spices in a bowl
  • Beat the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl
  • Combine the wet and dry mixtures and pour into the Bundt pan
  • Bake 30-40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Take out of the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes, and then turn out on a rack.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar.

How to process acorns
How to make acorn flour

FALL EQUINOX

The Equinox falls on September 22 this year. Here are some suggestions for how to honor the Devas and Land Spirits who have labored long and hard to create the bounty of our forests, fields and gardens;

Fall Equinox, Meán Fomhair, Alban Elfed (September 22)

  • Make offerings to a sacred fire; dry herbs, whiskey, butter, ghee
  • Pour milk offerings on stones
  • Offer ale and oatmeal gruel to the sea
  • Pour ale, honey, cider or milk on the Earth
  • Make a scarecrow from the new grain and place it in the exact center of your fields. Do not give it clothes. The Spirit of the Grain will inhabit the scarecrow and look out for the welfare of the crops.

ACTION ALERT

“A suspected Native American burial ground is slated for destruction during the high holy days of the Algonquian people who live here.  This is our time to memorialize the deceased and to celebrate life. All Tribal representatives were banned from inspecting this site, contrary to Federal policy (Bureau of the Interior, Section 106 and Bulletin 38) and in violation of MGL 114, Massachusetts burial protection law.  The law is designed to prevent “alienation of a burial ground for any other purpose,” but is being loop holed in this case.”

Please read and consider signing this petition to allow Native American tribal officers to inspect a suspected burial ground before it’s destroyed:

Please share to all your friends on various social networks.  This petition is being sent to the Hopi, Dineh, Oglala Lakotah, and several other First Nations offices.  A copy of this petition has been sent to President Obama, who is vacationing through the Algonquian holy days in the backyard of the Aquinnah Wampanoag, ironically.

Nahuhnushagk,

Rolf Cahat

Akwesasne Mohawk Tribal Member, Nipmuc descendant, science editor and researcher of Native American culture and religion, resident of Shutesbury

ANOTHER ACTION ALERT

We the people ask the federal government to call on Congress to act on an issue:

Stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline which endangers the water supply to Native American reservations.

Created by C.S. on August 15, 2016

“The Dakota Access pipeline is set to be constructed near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, crossing under the Missouri River which is the only source of water to the reservation. The pipeline is planned to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The potential of oil leaks would contaminate the only source of water for the reservation. While Dakota Access claims oil leaks are unlikely, an oil leak from a separate pipeline in North Dakota was discovered (8/15/16) to have leaked over 500 barrels of oil since the leak began on July 19, 2016. You can read the article here. A leak like this from the Dakota Access pipeline would leave the Standing Rock Sioux without any clean water”.

BIG BOOK NEWS

OK, this really is  BIG. The International Herb Association has chosen “Secret Medicines from your Garden” for their Thomas DeBaggio Annual Book Award – announced at their annual conference, held this year in Columbia, MD, August 18-21.

As I said to them; “Please tell the participants that I am very honored to be chosen. I am the kind of person who goes to a dinner party and points out the poison ivy growing by the front door to the hostess and also the edible tips of the hemlock trees growing in the yard. I see clippings from river birch trees lying in a pile at the edge of the garden and I tell anyone within earshot that they would make a great tea. These kinds of sentiments are not always understood (or appreciated) by a busy hostess at a dinner party! But I am sure plant people will understand. (smile).”

You can purchase a signed copy of the book from me via this website or find it in the usual places! The amazing thing is the book contains magical as well as medicinal uses of herbs. Apparently herb magic is no longer threatening to the general public (or at least to Herbalists!)

Article  about SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN, the award the book just received and some local classes….

And an author interview here

WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES

  • THE HERBAL AND SPIRITUAL PROPERTIES OF TREES
    A slideshow and talk
    September 3rd , Pelham, MA
    Taught by Ellen Evert Hopman, Herbalist and Author.
    Ellen Evert Hopman is the author of  A DRUID’S HERBAL OF SACRED TREE MEDICINE, SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN and other herbals. She  will be discussing the herbal and folklore traditions surrounding common North American trees and harvesting and preparation methods. Trees covered include; Larch, Oak, Hawthorn, Walnut, Pine, Redwood, Eucalyptus, Maple, Birch and many more…
    After the class  she will have some of her books on hand for signing. Her books and salves are also available for purchase in the shop.
    COST – Sliding scale $10 to $15 (Registration fee of $5 included in total cost)
    DATES – Saturday, September 3rd
    TIMES – 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
    LOCATION – The Bower Studio: 378 Daniel Shays Hwy, Pelham, MA 01002
    * If the class minimum is not met, all registration fees will be refunded and you will be notified.
    You may also pre-register by visiting the shop during business hours.
    ** Payment for classes will be due in full (minus pre-registration cost) at the start of class. Class fees must be cash or check, made out to the class instructor. Cancellations must contact us 48 hours prior to class so we can offer canceled spaces to others. Pre-registration fees are non-refundable. Read our FAQ for more info.**
  • Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore
    With Ellen Evert Hopman
    Sunday, October 2nd
    11:30 am – 5:30 pm
    $94 prepaid by September 25th
    $104 thereafter
    Crystal Wellness Center Upstairs at Crystal Essence 39 Railroad St., Great Barrington, MA
    To register please call: 413.528.2595
  • HERBAL TRAINING IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
    October 15, 2016 – April, 2017Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    The yearly six month herbal intensive in the Amherst area starts October 15, 2016
    Cost: $1000 plus a $100.00 nonrefundable Xeroxing fee
    Ellen Evert Hopman is the author of; “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” and other volumes
    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.

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

LANGUAGE NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

ART NEWS

NATURE AND CLIMATE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

FAIRY NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

*Enjoy the dregs of summer, the heady wine of autumn is on its way! Happy Equinox on September Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 10:21 AM EDT*

 

 

 

 

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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*