A Druid’s Web Log – Make a June garden for butterflies, bees and lightening bugs

In Celtic tradition it isn’t summer until the hawthorns bloom. Keeping to schedule, the local hawthorns bloomed mid-May. We had a terrible ice storm a few years ago and my Irish hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) raised from seed I brought back from Uisneach in county Meath, finally recovered enough this year to be covered in blossoms on at least one side of the tree. That tree is a favorite of the local bees. Years ago I used to get masses of honey bees who would stumble drunkenly from flower to flower. These days it’s mostly small wild bees and bumble bees.

As I write this it is the time of the Irises. I recently realized that this is the way I tell time. First its crocus time followed closely by Forsythia time, then there is Tulip and Dandelion time for a few weeks, and then the Lunaria take pride of place. Later in the summer it is the time of the Day Lilies who spring up like Fourth of July rockets. After that the Phlox, Raspberries and Blackberries have their moment, followed by the Elderberries and Tomatoes. In the fall it’s the asters of course, and the fabulous New England leaves.

The lightening bugs have re-appeared this week, along with a few butterflies and June bugs. If you live in a city you will never notice this, but living in the country it becomes quite obvious. Fields that are left to go wild, where native wildflowers abound, will be covered in the flashing Fairy lights of the lightening bugs. Across the street where some home owner or corporation has mowed, the lights suddenly disappear.

In old Scottish tradition it was imperative to keep a “Goodman’s Croft” or a wild space on your property, just for the Fairies. As is usual with these kinds of traditions, there is profound practical value to this practice. Without a wild corner of the field, lawn or garden, a place that no human is allowed to tread, the butterflies, bees and lightening bugs have no sustenance. It’s not just spraying that is doing them in. Please think about this as you plan your garden spaces.

In other news, I am presently re-editing the old classic TREE MEDICINE TREE MAGIC which has been out of print for over a decade. I am adding new recipes and other bits in the hopes of bringing it back into print.

Below is the usual fare of book news, herbal updates, archeology, religion, politics and ethics. Please enjoy the bounty. *And remember – you can order a book from this site and get a signed copy with a personal note!*

May your gardens be full of de-light!

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  • A TREE WORKSHOP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Celtic Tree 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

  • Another podcast; about Druids this time
  • Finding Druid Deities
  • A Legacy of Druids
  • In this podcast my part starts at 1:32
  • A Legacy of Druids
    Legacy of Druids

    Legacy of Druids

    ”A really interesting new book has been released today – A Legacy of Druids. It’s a collection of interviews with key figures in Druidry made by Ellen Evert Hopman 20 years ago.
    When Ellen asked me to write a foreword for the collection I was worried  – surely the material would be out of date? But once I started reading, I became fascinated. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and this book celebrates hindsight and asks the simple but highly relevant question: what legacy is modern Druidry leaving? We can see what predictions we got right and what we got wrong, what preoccupations are still prevalent in the community, and what have been forgotten. It all makes for a surprisingly good read! It’s available in e:book and paperback on both sides of the Atlantic.” Philip Carr Gomm

  • Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic, by Ellen Evert Hopman (Healing Arts Press, $19.95, Paperback)
    Secret Medicines from Your Garden

    Secret Medicines from Your Garden

    “Full of mystical folklore, ancient wisdom, and modern research, this book acts as a guide for exploring herbal lore and the healing power of plants. Ellen Hopman shares the many uses of plants for food, spiritual growth, and magical ritual. She covers everything from simple home-made first aid remedies, remedies from Native American and Egyptian traditions, herbal astrology, and even shamanic Plant Spirit and Animal Spirit Medicine. Hopman also shares tips on how to intuit an unknown plant’s healing properties by using universal indications and contraindications based on different characteristics of each plant.” Conscious Community Magazine

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

GARDENING NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

MENTAL HEALTH NEWS

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

FAIRY NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

 

SUMMER IS HERE – Happy Beltaine all!

This year for the first time since I arrived in 1986, the hawthorns actually bloomed on schedule. We were able to celebrate Beltaine, the Celtic start of summer, on the afternoon of April 30. For those who don’t know what the fuss is about, Beltaine (or May Day) is the festival that begins the light half of the year for us Celtoids. Samhain (or Halloween) is the ancient Celtic festival of the beginning of the dark half of the year, or winter.

I did a sweat lodge ceremony recently with Grandmother Three Crow who works with indigenous elders here on Turtle Island. She travels to South America regularly to meet with elders there. I asked her what message they had that I could share and she said they ask that we visit the sacred sites of America and elsewhere, to keep the energies flowing and alive. She said its important to approach the sites with a good heart, not to bring anger or sadness to the sites, because they are placed on important energy grids for the planet and any emotions we bring to them get sent around the Earth.

I hope that everyone will take this on as a sacred mission, to prepare themselves emotionally and spiritually before approaching the sites. She said that even if a sacred site has been desecrated, covered with a road or otherwise disturbed, we should find one thing, a tree, a rock, some point of focus, and continue to offer prayers and good wishes to the energies of the site.

It is important that we find the sacred sites in our own areas and begin to caretake them with a good heart. I know of people in California and Ireland who are re-opening clogged sacred springs and holy wells. These sites need to be woken up with reverence and prayer. Some sites are well known such as the Great Serpent Mound, Chichenitza, the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge, Newgrange, the Ring of brodgar in Scotland, etc.
Others are less known but equally valuable.

REVIEWS OF THE NEWEST BOOKS

Article 4 Priestess of the Fire Temple A new novel by Ellen Evert Hopman Reviewed by Christopher Blackwell

This is the third book of Trilogy of novels, that are “Bardic teaching tales” by Ellen Hopman, about Ireland and the change from the power of the Druids to the power of the Christians from the second to fifth century. I have read and reviewed the first novel Priestess of the Forest on page 7 of our Imbolc 2008 issue of ACTION and her second novel The Druid Isle on page 8 of our Litha issue of our 2010 issue of ACTION.
In this latest novel we follow Aislinn the wild red haired daughter of the High King of the central Kingdom who still respects of the old ways. She is not loved by her Christian step mother, for the girl seems to refuse to be a proper princess aware of her high social position. She is more interested in learning from her Druid teachers about herbs and song. From her search for herbs, Aislinn often comes home disheveled and clothes dirty, embarrassing her socially proper stepmother and queen.
The queen is only interesting in making a suitable marriage for her own son and perhaps the future high king. At fourteen it comes time for her to be married for the good of the kingdom, to a young prince who is as uninterested in her. But she sets out to do her duty. She sets out to become a proper representative of her father and kingdom for the good of the kingdom, both that she loves and respects. Once again nothing goes as expected for she will be thrust out of the life she was sent to live, facing dangers and suspense on a mysterious journey to an unknown destination and a life she could not have imagined for herself, to help protect the knowledge of the Druids so that it might not disappear under the Christians.
Again we have a chance to learn of the Druid way of life with a bibliography of books covering the ideas explained and a glossary of Celtic names and ideas. The story is full of twists and turns that keep the reader interested and takes full advantage of Ms. Hopman’s years of practice as a Druid and herbalist.
Each book is a complete story itself, but do yourself a favor and read all three if you can.This book can be bought as either in paperback or as a kindle edition. You can buy this book direct from Ellen Hopman as a signed copy a personal note from the author at http://www.elleneverthopman.com/, from her online store, or online at Amazon.com, or from your local bookstore.Priestess of the Fire Temple ISBN-10: 0738729256 ISBN-13: 978-0738729251

A nice review of Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore came out in Sagewoman Magazine recently;

Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore
Are you interested in herbs, fairy lore, Scottish deities, or learning Gaelic? If so, this book will surely interest you. The author, Ellen Evert Hopman is not only a Master Herbalist but also a Druid Priestess, and Ellen proves her mettle in this fascinating book.
The book begins with a brief and informative review of Scottish history “Caledonia: A Thumbnail Ancient History,” which offers insight into the major groups of ancient Scotland such as the Picts, Britons, and Celts just to name a few. Reading about these different tribes and their history, one can picture how they lived. She also gives a solid grounding in what we know (and don’t) about the Druids.
The next chapter, “The Old Gods,” is very informative, especially to those with an interest in a Druidic path or Scots gods. But I’m leaving the best for last: Hopman’s extensive (one is tempted to say, exhaustive) chapter on herbs, with descriptions of well over one hundred plants, their uses (both medicinal and otherwise) and a variety of instructions — on making a poultice, tinctures and herbal salves for example — invaluable for the novice. For each entry, the plant’s common, Gaelic, and Latin names are listed along with which parts can be used and for which ailment. Many recipes are supplied, as well as cautions when they should be avoided (such as herbs to be avoided for pregnant women). This part of the book is my favorite, by far.
But the author isn’t finished yet; there are also chapters that discuss the sacred birds and animals, magical practices (including prayers, rituals and incantations. Plus a discussion of the distinction between Druids and Witches and descriptions of Scottish Quarter Days and Fire Festivals.

The last third of the book is dedicated to Elves, Spirits, Witches, Monsters and, naturally, the Fairies. Ms. Hopman gives a full listing of many different classes of creature imaginable.
Even the Appendix of this book is wonderful! If you have ever wondered how to pronounce words in Gaelic such as the Goddess * Airmidh, Ms. Hopman is here to help. I have read many books, websites, and articles that dealt with Druids, but no one ever covers this topic! I was able to laugh at myself when I realized the pronunciation of words that I thought was correct was totally off-base. I just bet the Fairies have had a good laugh at me during my lifetime trying to speak Gaelic, but no more. Fantastic work, Ms. Hopman, and thank you! Crystal Luna Rouge.
* (Airmidh – Ar-vey or Ar-vee)

Also see:
BOOK REVIEW IN ELECTRIC SCOTLAND (see page 5)
You can purchase the book from this website and get a signed copy and a personal note!

DRUID NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

PAGAN NEWS

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS

POLITICS/ETHICS

ARTS

NATURE NEWS

NEWS YOU CAN USE

HEALTH NEWS

A happy summer to all!
PS if you like my website why not contact the web designer? Her address is at the bottom of each page!