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


  • 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.









Sliding into the dark – July 2012

The July 2012 blog is posted a wee bit early for a reason. I am trying to qualify for a grant (see details below) and need 250 votes of confidence in my “small business” (teaching, writing and selling books from my online bookstore, etc.) I hope everyone will consider helping out with a vote.

Its been a weird summer so far. First we had record heat then a few days ago I came home to a carpet of hail stones all over the lawn. Tender leaved plants like comfrey took quite a beating, every leaf is now Swiss cheesed with tiny holes. It actually went down to the 40’s in my neck of the forest.

Its amazing to think that the light is already disappearing, now that Solstice is past.
Below you will find the usual collection of archaeology, nature, Druid and religion news.



  • Upcoming Radio Show!
    Sunday July 8
    I will be on, after the musical break, approximately 8:25-8:30.
  • A nice little review from Mike The Fool of Reformed Druids of North America;
    Mike wrote: “Finally got my copy of book 3 of Ellen Ellen Evert Hopman’s trilogy taking place in the 4th/5th century AD, during the time of the Druid/Christian transition. Only up to chapter 3, but her skill with words matches her folklore knowledge, simply loved this phrasing:
    “It was as simple as that. The world of my childhood melted away like the mist on a lake at sunrise.””Priestess of the Forest” and “Druid Isle” were great stand-alone novels too, and for an immersion, as-if-I-were-there, experience, I have enjoyed her series far more than the more racy, less scholarly, novels of Morgan Llywelyn. They would be in the required reading for any Druid course I teach. I especially like the dynamics of religious transition, societal tension and her emphasis on sticking in little customs, herb lore, festival tidbits, Irish terms, and archeological items. You often get the feeling that she has so much more lore to convey, but this is not a textbook, so she teasingly moves on to the story again. It’s entertaining with the right bit of education. She has plenty of guidebooks available to follow up with”.

Reminder: you can order all my books and DVDs from this website! Just surf over to my wee bookstore….if you order from here (via PayPal) you get a signed copy and a personal note. If ordering from outside the USA you will need to add another $6.00 per item for postage.

And now a favor….
I am applying for a grant. Just to be able to submit the application I need 250 votes by June 30. It won’t cost you anything and I hope you will consider helping!

Thanks to a program sponsored by Chase and LivingSocial called Mission: Small Business?, your support could translate into a $250,000 grant. But I need at least 250 votes at BY THIS SATURDAY (June 30, 2012) to qualify. To vote for my business:

  • Go to click ‘Log In & Support’ and log in using Facebook.
  • Search for my business by name (Ellen Evert Hopman) OR filter by my State (Massachusetts).
  • Click on the blue Vote button next to my business name to show your support for my business.”

If I get the grant I can travel back to Europe to do more research and can offer scholarships and free classes on herbalism and Celtic spirituality.

thanks so much!

And now for this Moonth’s recap of the news….









I agree with him. However I am old enough to remember how we stopped Nixon from dropping an atomic bomb on Hanoi because we turned out by the hundreds of thousands (some say a million people showed up) to protest the inane war in Vietnam. There IS a place for marching, camping and protesting. But without political action OWS cannot become a powerful movement in this nation’s history.
Please take some time to stop and enjoy the fireflies, summer stars and sunsets. Life is short and the dark is already drawing nigh.
Summer blessings on all who read this!