February blog 2015 Snow, Ice and the Return of the Goddess Brighid

The big story around here lately has been the weather. Last week there were blizzards to the east of me and blizzards to the west. In the sheltered Valley where I live we only (only!) got twelve inches of gentle snow on top of the eight or so inches we had already from previous storms. This week we got another twelve inches or so and a few more storms are expected in the coming days. Neighbors to the east report fifty five inches, so far. It makes one grateful for simple things like heat, light and electricity.

Last week while out on my nightly Moon walk I watched a coy-wolf shoveling along with its nose, looking for mice. Being half wolf they are far less fearful than coyotes. I stopped to howl at the creature and it only looked at me quizzically for a moment then resumed its hunting.

This week was also the Fire Festival of Imbolc (in the bag) or Oimelc (ewes milk) in the ancient Celtic calendar, a celebration of the lactation of the ewes and of the Goddess Brighid. It is said that where She walks the grass turns green and the ice melts. Well, maybe that happens in Ireland and Scotland. Here we were blessed by a sunny day that almost reached thirty two degrees, a veritable heat wave. The next day we were back into the single digits and a wind chill of minus twenty.

Imbolc/Oimelc (video)

BOOK NEWS!

I have a little book news. I finally finished my newest herbal, currently titled THE SECRET MEDICINES OF YOUR GARDEN, and have submitted it to a publisher. The acquisitions editor says he likes it and book blurbs and endorsements from prominent herbalists are already coming in. Now the owner of the publishing house just has to sign off on it.

MORE BOOKS NEWS:

My book A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year got a wee mention in this blog post about Basil.

Here is my updated schedule for the year, so far. Stay tuned as more gigs come in, I am firming up a workshop in Seattle just now;

  • TREE MEDICINE TREE MAGIC
    May 29, 2015 at 3:30pm to May 31, 2015 at 4:00pm
    119 Cherry Ct Matamoras PA 18336
    Weekend Workshop Hosted by Ellen Evert Hopman
    A Friday night slide show of some common North American trees illustrating their medicinal and magical properties. On Saturday morning we learn about the Irish “Tree alphabet” and then go outside to perform a traditional Druid tree meditation and learn to listen to the trees. Saturday afternoon we learn more about the “Tree Alphabet” and then gather tree medicines such as leaves, pine needles, flowers, barks, etc. Sunday we prepare medicines from the ingredients we have gathered. Each student will leave with a hand-made set of Ogham divination cards, based on the ancient Irish Ogham “Tree Alphabet”. Please bring a notebook and pen, and wear comfortable shoes and outdoor clothes as you will be outside part of the weekend.
    Weekend Fee $125 which includes class, lunches, and supplies.
    Please send fee to Marjorie Forbes Spadoni 119 Cherry Ct Matamoras PA 18336
    If you need to stay over locally we have a Best Western 5 minutes from my house. Call 484-347-7489 for more info
  • ADVANCED FORMULA MAKING AND CASE TAKING CLASS
    September 5-6, 2015
    119 Cherry Ct, Matamoras PA 18336
    Advanced case taking and formula making class with Ellen Evert Hopman, Herbalist AHG
    Learn Basic Five Element Theory; seasons, flavors, taste, voice tone, emotions. Learn the basics of Facial Diagnosis; lines, colors, moles, blemishes. And learn an advanced formula making technique to design individually crafted remedies for individuals.  In-between we will walk outside and meet some of the plants and trees in the garden and make some remedies to take home.
    Weekend Fee $125 which includes class, lunches, and supplies.
    Please send fee to Marjorie Forbes Spadoni 119 Cherry Ct, Matamoras PA 18336
    If you need to stay over locally we have a Best Western 5 minutes from my house. Call 484-347-7489 for more info
  • ADVANCED FORMULA MAKING AND CASE TAKING CLASS
    September 26-27, Philo, California (near Mendocino)
    Advanced case taking and formula making class with Ellen Evert Hopman, Herbalist AHG
    Learn Basic Five Element Theory; seasons, flavors, taste, voice tone, emotions. Learn the basics of Facial Diagnosis; lines, colors, moles, blemishes. And learn an advanced formula making technique to design individually crafted remedies for individuals. In-between we will walk outside and meet some of the plants and trees in the garden. The Philo School of Herbal Energetics website has information on directions & lodging. $150 for the weekend; register here.
    Lodging: They do not offer lodging. Please go to the Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce page for available lodging.
  • SIX MONTH HERBAL INTENSIVE IN WESTERN MA (near Amherst)
    October 17, 2015 – April, 2016
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    The Western Massachusetts School of Herbal Studies
    Intro to Herbalism and Self Care
    With Ellen Evert Hopman M.Ed. ~ Registered Herbalist AHG, author of “Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore“, “A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year”, “A Druids Herbal – Of Sacred Tree Medicine” and other books and DVDs
    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.
    Cost: $1,000.00 (plus a $100.00 non-refundable Xeroxing fee)
    MA NURSES CAN GET CEUS BY TAKING THIS COURSE
    Below you will find the usual Moonthly assortment of archeology, nature, religion, herb, health, politics and ethics news. Enjoy!
    *Remember – you can order books from this website and get a signed copy with a personal note. *

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

NATURE NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

Its barely Spring and its still snowing – getting ready for the Beltaine Fires!

Does anyone besides me feel that they have fallen through a looking glass into some kind of weird mirror world? I am thinking about the current Republican effort to take the US backwards to what they imagine were “the good old days”. To the time when white men were in charge of practically everything, when blacks and women were discouraged from or denied the vote, when women were forced into lives of domesticity no matter how intelligent or well educated they might have been, because of a lack of family planning. A time when everyone was straight and probably Christian and if they weren’t they were “odd”.
Why any intelligent woman or person of color would back the Republicans in this absurd effort is beyond me.

The View from the Mountain

After a very warm and dry winter we suddenly had snow this morning on the mountain. I have been warning folks for months that we could still get another blizzard. The weather is so weird now that it seems anything is possible. It’s a strange time with the daffodils in full bloom and leaden skies dropping snow on everything. The cats won’t go out because of the cold and damp.

Canada Geese already have babies paddling around in the pond down the street. Last night I heard something really big like a bear or a moose crunching through the dry leaves behind the house at about midnight. I ran for my flashlight but by the time I got out there all I saw were a set of very yellow eyes glaring back at me. Probably a Coyote or a Coy-wolf.

After three months of severe water shortages the well finally got fracked. (It’s a gentle process, nothing like the fracking involved in gas drilling that is now causing earthquakes in the Midwest). Its glorious to be able to take a bath again and do dishes and laundry and make herbal brews to my hearts content.

By the end of this month I will be making Spring tonics with my herb students from Sassafras root and Birch twigs. You can see a small clip from my instructional video on herbalism here; (you can purchase the full version from this website – just go to my bookstore).

BOOK NEWS

UPCOMING SPEAKING EVENTS

  •  Book launch – Priestess of the Fire Temple
    Sunday, April 1 from noon – 2 pm.
    Inspirit Common
    219 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060
    413-585-1169
    I will sign books and answer questions about Druids and Celtic spirituality
    It’s a Sunday so parking is free!
    Monday, April 9, Awentree, Easthampton, MA
    Cost is $10
    102 Cottage St, Easthampton MA 01027, 413-527-3331
    From : 7:00pm To : 8:30pm
    Exploring Paganism and Earth Centered Spirituality at AwenTree
    April’s focus will be Celtic Traditions. I will teach an overview about Druid Traditions and sign books.
    Email : awentree@yahoo.com
    More info
    Thursday April 19, Huntington Library A lecture on Celtic Gods and Goddesses and sign books
    7 East Main Street, Huntington, MA. 01050 5:30 PM
    (413) 667-8847
    June 9, HERBSTALK Herbal Conference, Somerville, MA
    From 11 to 6 pm at Arts at the Armory, located at
    191 Highland Ave. in Somerville, MA.
    I will speak about sacred tree medicine.

NEWS YOU CAN USE

  •  And here are the moonths gleanings from the media for your reading pleasure;

 SCIENCE NEWS

Please go to www.wachters.com  where you can order seaweed tablets that can protect the body from the effects. Please tell them I sent you (my number is 6028)

RELIGION NEWS

DRUID NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

PAGAN NEWS

NATURE NEWS

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

MUSIC

POETRY NEWS

MAGIC AND TRANSFORMATION

POLITICS/ETHICS

CHARITY

HELP A WESTERN MA CHILD WITH CANCER

Friends, family, co-workers and Valley residents are coming together to support four year old Amherst resident Sabir Douglas, his twelve year old sister Sahar, and his single mom, Heather Anderson. In January Sabir was diagnosed at Baystate Medical Center with a cancerous tumor.

Sabir is still in preschool while undergoing chemotherapy at the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care in Springfield. His treatment is expected to take about forty four weeks and he will eventually be moving to Boston with his mom for six weeks to undergo treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital and may later need surgery.

Insurance will cover most of the medical costs but will not cover travel expenses, lodging and food for Sabir and his mom while they stay in Boston. You can help!

The Anderson family is well known in the Valley for their work at Hope Church in Amherst where every member of the family has worked to better our local community for generations. Now we have the chance to help them in their time of need.

  • An account has been established at the UMass Five College Credit Union for donations. Please make checks out to
    Sabir’s Health Recovery Fund and mail to
    P.O.B 1078, Amherst, MA 01004.
    A website has been set up where you can follow Sabir’s progress www.lotsahelpinghands.com and find out about future events and fundraisers
    To request an invitation to the site please write to: saharandsabirsmom@gmail.com

May the fires of Spring shine brightly on all who read this!