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

 

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