April Blog 2017 Storms are brewing as Spring arrives

We are experiencing yet another round of snow storms on the last day of March as I type. Hungry crows were searching below the bird feeder this morning so I put out some popping corn for them. I have stopped putting out suet and sunflower seeds because I know from experience that this will only attract bears as they emerge from hibernation. My neighbor has a license and a gun and is just waiting to shoot a bear, I don’t want to abet that effort in any way. Last night as I came home there was a large raccoon in the driveway and the owls were talking. Despite the weather the crocuses are up and spring is definitely in the air.

I went to my first town hall recently, here in Massachusetts. I am pleased to say that our representatives were very quiet and polite and actually came to listen, not to tell us what they thought or to demand we shut up or sit down (as representatives in red states have done recently). I learned a few things, for example there are still seventy or so communities here with no broadband access which makes school work and job hunting very difficult.

There were impassioned pleas from farmers who said they depend on immigrants for farm labor. Local towns asked to remain “sanctuary cities” to protect immigrants. Quite a few people said they want single payer Medicare for all.

Here were my own talking points;

  1. Do not cut down our Massachusetts forests to produce energy. In a time of serious climate change we need old trees to sequester carbon. In fact more trees should be planted. DO NOT approve the cutting of trees for wood bio-mass. Farmers should be harvesting methane from cow manure in New England and solar panels should only be put up over parking lots, in vacant fields and already paved vacant lots in cities. Leave the trees standing! I also support turning the Quabbin into a national park where logging is prohibited.
  2. I FULLY SUPPORT SINGLE-PAYER MEDICARE FOR ALL which is the best, most rational and cost-effective option. Employees of existing insurance companies can be re-trained to manage Medicare for all and keep their jobs. I don’t care a fig about the CEOs who are skimming hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the national healthcare budget. Healthcare is a human right, not just a luxury for the rich.

I did not see any of the bitterness and rancor that have characterized other town halls across America. Maybe it’s because we are a Progressive state and Progressives tend to be more compassionate and thoughtful. Who knows.

Save the date: People’s climate march April 29, Washington DC (and hopefully in your own area)

Below you will find the usual roundup of the last Moonth’s archaeology, nature, religion, Celtic, Fairy and book news. Enjoy!

BOOK NEWS

*Reminder – you can buy signed books from this website!*

  • “Hunt The Gowk – April 1
    A “gowk” is a fool, from the Old Norse; “gaukr”. This is a day to play tricks, tell lies, and send people on foolish errands, but the jokes must stop by noon.
  • Tailie Day or Preen-Tail Day – April 2
    The day after Hunt the Gowk, paper tails are attached to a person’s backside as a joke. In past times butchers would save pig’s tails for the boys. Pierced with hooked pins, the tails were attached without anyone noticing.
  • Borrowing Day – April 3
    Anything borrowed on this day becomes the possession of the holder.
  • Whitsunday – Seventh Sunday after Easter
    Another Scottish legal quarter day when rents were once due.

From: SCOTTISH HERBS AND FAIRY LORE (Pendraig Publishing)

  • Last year my book SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN won the annual Thomas DiBaggio award from the International Herb Association. That was my first award from a mainstream group and I felt highly honored.
  • Last Moonth I asked my readers to please vote for my book SECRET MEDICINES FROM YOUR GARDEN for a possible Council of Visionary Arts award. Many thanks to everyone who heeded the call! The book won!“COVR is pleased to announce the winners and finalists of the 2017 Visionary Book Awards.The top honor, 2017 Book of the Year, goes to G.W. Wilkins for Apollo the Misguided Missile, submitted by Satiama, LLC.Other winners are:
    • Autobiographical and Biographical Books: Gerardo Ruben Sandoval Isaac, The God Molecule
    • Children’s and Teen’s Books: G.W. Wilkins, Apollo the Misguided Missile
    • Coloring Books: Donna DeNomme, Turtle Wisdom Playbook: A Motivational Coloring Adventure
    • Contemporary Spirituality Books: Klaire D. Roy, The Circle of Initiates – Past and Present
    • Divination Books: Toney Brooks & Holly Sierra, Chrysalis Tarot
    • *Health and Healing Books: Ellen Evert Hopman, Secret Medicines from Your Garden*
    • Iconic Books: Richard Singer, Eastern Wisdom Western Soul
    • Personal Growth and Self-Help Books: Barry Goldstein, The Secret Language of the Heart
    • Reincarnation, Death, and Dying Books: Jeffrey Long, M.D. with Paul Perry, God in the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience
    • Shamanism and Wicca Books: Christopher Penczak, The Casting of Spells
    • Visionary Fiction Books: Joan Pillen, Fork in the Road: Heroes, Healers and Happy Campers, Adventure Seekers Saga Series, Book Three
  • You can download a complete list of winners and finalists from the COVR website
  • And Druid Magazine just penned a review. On page 87 is a review of A DRUID’S HERBAL FOR THE SACRED EARTH YEAR. It’s kind of weird to see a review of such a classic old book!On page 28 is an excerpt from A LEGACY OF DRUIDS – CONVERSATIONS WITH DRUID LEADERS FROM BRITAIN, THE USA AND CANADA (Moon Books)

CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

CLIMATE AND NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

 

A Druid’s web log – Spring is coming! Don’t forget to vote on March 1!

Encounters with Bernie

A few days ago I went to my second Bernie Sanders rally at the University of Massachusetts. I found myself standing in line a full five hours before the speech, on a freezing cold, clear day. By chance I was in the midst of a cheerful and enthusiastic bunch of students, band members as it happens, who were mostly Poly Sci majors (and one Forester). One of the students said he wants to run for Congress someday (he was dressed in a jacket and tie and I could see that he was ideally suited for that job). The students were happy, excited, and joyful with anticipation.

There were reporters there who clearly had an agenda. The current media meme is that Bernie’s supporters are mostly “young people”. Several reporters came over to our group and asked the students why they liked Bernie. All the students were amazingly articulate and well informed. There were even reporters from Canada. One of them asked a student why he admired Bernie so much. After she finished recording the student’s opinions I chimed in with “Bernie is cute but Trudeau is hot!” and the reporter loved that. She ran over to the crew to tell them what I had just said.

We were handed blue and white signs by someone that read “Students for Bernie”. Never mind that I was a baby boomer in their midst, I also had a sign. I don’t know if it was because I was with the marching band, but we soon developed a well-oiled routine. When a press photographer would point their camera our way I would yell “signage!” and everyone would veer in the photographers direction at once, holding up their sign for the camera.

The sense I had from the students was they felt real affection for Bernie. “We love him” one of them told me. When I was their age the mantra was “Don’t trust anyone over thirty”, the idea of feeling affection for a seventy four year old politician would have been unthinkable.  I recall that a few years ago a younger co-worker of mine explained that it was Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead who had made it “cool to be old”. Here was a vivid example.

The reporters ignored the older folks in the line, probably because we didn’t fit into their current narrative about who is supporting Bernie. There were a wealth of wonderful local characters that could have provided human interest stories; my poet friend Penny, in her seventies, who was dashing about urging the students to cheer, My professional story teller friend Rona who appears to be in her late fifties or early sixties, who insisted on standing for hours in the pit before the stage, rather than take a seat. There was even a group of middle aged Buddhist nuns in their saffron robes. And then there was me.

Last time I heard Bernie I was worried because his speech was outside, to over a thousand people from the overflow crowd and there was no security. This time was very different. We were finally let in to the stadium and had to walk through metal detectors, empty our pockets and bags, and be wanded. I was forced to throw out the apple and energy bar I had secreted away in my pockets.

The sports arena slowly filled over the next few hours, in the end there were over nine thousands of us. When Bernie finally came out Jane was with him and looked very happy and ready to be First Lady. Bernie gave his familiar stump speech to an audience that was on its feet cheering as Jane smiled and beamed. At the end Bernie came down and shook hands with the students on the floor.

It is my fervent hope that the students who came to see their idol, Bernie, will actually show up to vote on March 1, which is election day in Massachusetts. Bernie is the real deal, a true FDR Democrat. EVERYONE, GET OUT AND VOTE! Feeling the Bern!

Watch a video of the event here.

Meanwhile, Bernie is still the only candidate who even mentions global warming. Here is an update on where we are at, as the species that is causing the sixth mass extinction.

SUPER TUESDAY IS MARCH 1 AND MANY STATES ARE VOTING;

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will hold primaries for both parties. Alaska will hold its Republican caucus while American Samoa will caucus for Democrats. Colorado will caucus for both parties though only the Democrats are choosing a candidate.

 PLEASE GET OUT AND VOTE!!! YOUR FUTURE IS AT STAKE!!!

BOOK NEWS

A WORKSHOP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND MASSACHUSETTS

  • Tree Magic and Medicine class with Ellen Evert Hopman
    July 23,24 2016
    Misty Meadows Herbal Center
    183 Wednesday Hill Road
    Lee, NH 03861
  • 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

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NATURE NEWS

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NEWS YOU CAN USE

POLITICS AND ETHICS

Happy Spring Equinox to all who read this and may your gardens bloom!