A Druid’s Web Log – Beltaine (May Day) 2016

After a very warm winter we were suddenly assaulted by below freezing temperatures and even snow earlier this month. As a result the Day Lillies and other early spring plants are looking very crisp around the edges. My garden is usually glorious this time of year. Now the plants are confused and there are very few Spring flowers.

Last weekend I visited the wilderness area down the road with some friends. We walked on a sandy beach and noticed giant wolf-like paw prints (probably Coy-wolves) in the sand and we were treated to the sight of Bald Eagles wheeling overhead, doing their aerial dance. Birch trees were dressed in their new catkins and the skunk cabbages were up on schedule. It’s comforting to know that some things are still happening as they should.

It will be Beltaine (May Day) in a few days, the official start of summer in Celtic areas. Modern celebrants like to observe on May 1 but in ancient times it was the blooming of the Hawthorn trees that heralded the festival. In my area that won’t happen until at least mid-May. Keep an eye on your local Hawthorn trees, or find out when the herds start migrating back up into the hills, for a more accurate assessment of the official start of summer wherever you are.

The US elections are growing nearer. Please consider the Earth and her creatures when you select a candidate. We have very little time left to save fragile wildlife and preserve human health and wellbeing.

Below you will find the usual Moonthly offerings of archeology, nature, herb, health, religion and ethics news. Enjoy!

BOOK NEWS

A REVIEW

  • Ellen Evert Hopman, A Legacy of Druids: Conversations with Druid leaders of Britain, the USA and Canada, past and present“A Legacy Of Druids presents a collection of interviews from some of the most prominent druids in the community, including Philip Carr-Gomm, Mara Freeman, Ceisiwr Serith, Arthur Uther Pendragon and even Ronald Hutton. What perhaps makes them particularly interesting is that these interviews were conducted around 20 years ago, making A Legacy Of Druids a window into the recent past, which is intriguing to compare and contrast with the current landscape of the Druid community today.For me, Druidry has been one of the harder Pagan paths to grasp, as what Druidry actually is always seems to be rather difficult to pin down (even within the context of Paganism, which is itself hard to pin down). This book didn’t really answer the question of what exactly Druidry is – what it did do, however, was give a sense of what Druidry is like. All the Druids selected for interview in this book approach their path from different ways, but after a while you see some patterns emerge that help to distinguish Druidism from other Pagan paths. I noticed that a large percentage of Druids in A Legacy Of Druids had experienced vivid visions and supernatural experiences, and that there’s a particular emphasis on comparing Druidry with Native American traditions – you could sum up Druidry as “Pagan/Celtic Shamanism.”Many of the questions asked in the interviews are the same, which means that there is a little repetition and overlap in answers. But each interview has its own points of interest, and I particularly liked the interviews with Ceisiwr Serith (a lot of surprising truths revealed), Arthur Uther Pendragon (one of Druidry’s most colourful and outspoken individuals), Rollo Maughfling, and Isaac Bonewits (his dealings with Anton La Vey were particularly intriguing). For me, the interview that stood out the most was with Ronald Hutton. I’m a little biased as I’m a big Hutton fan, but it was really fascinating to hear more about his personal life and views. As always, A Legacy Of Druids proves the general rule that a book with Hutton’s name in it usually has something of merit.A Legacy Of Druids is a solid resource for those interested in the history of modern Druidry and more about the lives of those who have made the community what it is today.”
  • An author interview I did with a fellow in India
  • How I became an Herbalist 

RECENT PODCASTS

ANOTHER LEGACY OF DRUIDS REVIEW

  • A Legacy of Druids “Provides a better-rounded picture than the stereotypical television portrayal of Druids as rebellious savage that Roman soldiers felt compelled to slaughter.
    A common belief was Druids did not leave written history because to write something down would cause the memory to go. If this is true or not, I don’t know. The best way to understand Druids is to talk to them, rather than pick up information from self-proclaimed experts on the Internet.Author Ellen Evert Hopman gathers Druids from all walks of life including politicians, spiritual leaders, poets, and musicians. It is a nice collection because no one is alike, which means the interviewees while having a shared faith didn’t always have the same practices, rather like almost any other religion.
    I applaud Hopman for her effort and research. She’s not just a woman in search of an interesting topic, but an archivist of sorts, gathering her own faith history as  Archdruid of the Tribe of Oak.The Legacy of Druids is a much-needed book that demonstrates not all Druids s are bearded old men. Now, there’s nothing wrong with an elder in a ceremonial robe, but it’s also okay sometimes just to be another person standing in line at the water and soil conservation center waiting to get his or her rain barrel. It’s excellent read to expand your horizons.”

*REMINDER – you can order signed copies of my books from this website. You will receive a signed copy with a personal note!*

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  • A PLANT TALK IN MASSACHUSETTS
    May 15
    Pelham, MA 1 PM – 3:30 PM
    A lecture on The Doctrine of Signatures, an ancient plant classification system
  • A TREE WORKSHOP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Tree Magic and Medicine class with Ellen Evert Hopman
    July 23,24 2016
    Misty Meadows Herbal Center
    183 Wednesday Hill Road
    Lee, NH 03861
  • AN HERBAL INTENSIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS
    My usual six month herbal intensive in the Amherst area starts October 15, 2016
    Cost: $1000 plus a $100.00 nonrefundable Xeroxing fee
    Please contact me for more details.

Stay tuned for more workshops and events…

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

 NATURE NEWS

 RELIGION NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

January blog 2016 The Arctic is melting – who will best defend the Earth?

After a record breaking warm December here in New England, things are finally cooling down here on the mountain. The last Full Moon was so warm that the animals thought it was spring. I saw a deer (sadly hit by a car) on the road, and a fox. A friend told me she went outside to admire her Christmas lights and something that sounded like a wolf was howling in the nearby forest.

We didn’t have our first snow and ice storm until a few days after Christmas, which is strange and unnatural for New England. As a consequence of the same storm my brother and his wife barely escaped the tornados in Texas and the South East is drowning in record levels of water, as is Scotland. The arctic will be 50 degrees warmer than usual this week, its already warmer than it has been in 120,000 years  – I have to admit that I am scared by all this. James Lovelock, the famous inventor of the Gaia hypothesis which states that the Earth is a self-regulating system, predicts that climate catastrophe within the next twenty years is now inevitable. Here in the USA we can barely tolerate the idea of a few desperate Syrian refugees coming to our shores. Soon the human tide looking for food, water and shelter will number in the millions. What will we do then?

Bernie Sanders will be visiting Western Mass on January 2 and I plan to hear him speak. He is currently the only candidate with the wisdom to list climate change as a dire problem. He has my vote.

Some upcoming local events in January

  • I will be doing a talk on “Animal Spirit Medicines” and selling my salves and books at Indigo Massage and Healing Center, 45 Main Street, Florence, MA on Saturday, January 16. They are holding a Crystal Fair from 11-5. In the center of town, located just behind the Cumberland Farms with a free parking lot.  Look for the big Blue Sign that says YOGA!
  • Tree Herbalism
    I will be doing a series on tree herbalism and Celtic tree lore at THE BOUTIQUE in Northampton
    2-4 PM January 24, February 21 and March 13 (all are Sundays)
    Learn the herbal uses and Celtic lore of seven trees at each session in a very warm and relaxed space on a cold winter’s afternoon!
    Celtic Tree Lore
    Over three months you will learn the medicinal and spiritual properties of the twenty trees of the Irish pre-Roman Ogham alphabet. Includes a pronunciation guide, handouts, and for those who want to, a deck of tree cards that can be used for divination.
    Each week we will cover seven trees and share traditional tales and Celtic medicine and lore of the trees (while sipping tea and eating cookies!)
    A small voluntary donation is appreciated to cover costs.

BOOK NEWS

  • Legacy of Druids

    Legacy of Druids

    I have two new books coming out that are already available for pre-order. I just received my first copies of  A LEGACY OF DRUIDS
    The book has its own Facebook page
    And can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.com US or Amazon.com UK

  • SecretMedicinesofGarden

    Secret Medicines from Your Garden

    The second book is SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN which is also available for pre-order!
    Secret Medicines from Your Garden
    Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic
    Ellen Evert Hopman
    Coming Spring 2016
    A guided exploration of herbal lore and healing plants found in yards, forests, meadows, and hedgerows

    • Draws on traditional knowledge and remedies from around the world, including Native American, Celtic, and Egyptian traditions

    • Provides simple recipes to safely make herbal remedies from local plants and honey for first aid, immune support, and treatment of common ailments

    • Reveals the “triangle” formula-making system of William LeSassier

    • Explains how to work with plant spirits, herbal astrology, and Animal Spirit Medicine

    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. She reveals the herbal lore surrounding each plant, drawing on traditional knowledge and remedies from around the world, including Native American, Celtic, and Egyptian traditions. She includes recipes throughout so you can make medicines from wild and domesticated plants easily found in yards, forests, meadows, and hedgerows, and she discusses what to plant to ensure you have leaves, berries, and flowers all year.

    The author reveals how to quickly intuit an unknown plant’s properties using the signatures of plants—universal indications and contraindications based on the form, color, and location of a plant. She includes an in-depth section on honey and Bee Medicine, allowing you to appreciate the labors of these plant-dependent insects. Exploring the magical role of herbs in ancient ritual, Hopman provides recipes for Egyptian temple incense and their sacred medicine known as “Kyphi” or “Kaphet,” used to purify the body, banish insomnia, and promote vivid dreaming. She explores shamanic Plant Spirit and Animal Spirit Medicine as well as herbal astrology. She also explains the “triangle” formula-making system of her herbal mentor William LeSassier to help you develop custom herbal remedies tailored to a person’s unique strengths and weaknesses.

    Showing how to easily incorporate wild plants into your life to receive their healing benefits throughout the seasons, Hopman reveals the power of the bounty that Mother Nature has provided right at our doorstep.

    Ellen Evert Hopman has been a teacher of herbalism since 1983 and is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. A Druidic initiate since 1984, she is a founding member of The Order of the White Oak, an Arch Druidess of the Druid Clan of Dana, and a member of the Grey Council of Mages and Sages. The author of several books, including A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year, she lives in Massachusetts.

    Healing Arts Press

    ISBN 978-1-62055-557-6

    Spring 2016

I wish you all a warm, safe, prosperous and joyful New Year!

Below you will find the usual last Moonth’s gleanings from the media.

*Reminder* you can always purchase signed books from this website and get a *personal note* from the author! (me)

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

NATURE NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

YULE CELEBRATIONS

FAIRY NEWS

NEWS YOU CAN USE

WOMEN’S NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS