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…

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

SUMMER IS HERE – Happy Beltaine all!

This year for the first time since I arrived in 1986, the hawthorns actually bloomed on schedule. We were able to celebrate Beltaine, the Celtic start of summer, on the afternoon of April 30. For those who don’t know what the fuss is about, Beltaine (or May Day) is the festival that begins the light half of the year for us Celtoids. Samhain (or Halloween) is the ancient Celtic festival of the beginning of the dark half of the year, or winter.

I did a sweat lodge ceremony recently with Grandmother Three Crow who works with indigenous elders here on Turtle Island. She travels to South America regularly to meet with elders there. I asked her what message they had that I could share and she said they ask that we visit the sacred sites of America and elsewhere, to keep the energies flowing and alive. She said its important to approach the sites with a good heart, not to bring anger or sadness to the sites, because they are placed on important energy grids for the planet and any emotions we bring to them get sent around the Earth.

I hope that everyone will take this on as a sacred mission, to prepare themselves emotionally and spiritually before approaching the sites. She said that even if a sacred site has been desecrated, covered with a road or otherwise disturbed, we should find one thing, a tree, a rock, some point of focus, and continue to offer prayers and good wishes to the energies of the site.

It is important that we find the sacred sites in our own areas and begin to caretake them with a good heart. I know of people in California and Ireland who are re-opening clogged sacred springs and holy wells. These sites need to be woken up with reverence and prayer. Some sites are well known such as the Great Serpent Mound, Chichenitza, the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge, Newgrange, the Ring of brodgar in Scotland, etc.
Others are less known but equally valuable.

REVIEWS OF THE NEWEST BOOKS

Article 4 Priestess of the Fire Temple A new novel by Ellen Evert Hopman Reviewed by Christopher Blackwell

This is the third book of Trilogy of novels, that are “Bardic teaching tales” by Ellen Hopman, about Ireland and the change from the power of the Druids to the power of the Christians from the second to fifth century. I have read and reviewed the first novel Priestess of the Forest on page 7 of our Imbolc 2008 issue of ACTION and her second novel The Druid Isle on page 8 of our Litha issue of our 2010 issue of ACTION.
In this latest novel we follow Aislinn the wild red haired daughter of the High King of the central Kingdom who still respects of the old ways. She is not loved by her Christian step mother, for the girl seems to refuse to be a proper princess aware of her high social position. She is more interested in learning from her Druid teachers about herbs and song. From her search for herbs, Aislinn often comes home disheveled and clothes dirty, embarrassing her socially proper stepmother and queen.
The queen is only interesting in making a suitable marriage for her own son and perhaps the future high king. At fourteen it comes time for her to be married for the good of the kingdom, to a young prince who is as uninterested in her. But she sets out to do her duty. She sets out to become a proper representative of her father and kingdom for the good of the kingdom, both that she loves and respects. Once again nothing goes as expected for she will be thrust out of the life she was sent to live, facing dangers and suspense on a mysterious journey to an unknown destination and a life she could not have imagined for herself, to help protect the knowledge of the Druids so that it might not disappear under the Christians.
Again we have a chance to learn of the Druid way of life with a bibliography of books covering the ideas explained and a glossary of Celtic names and ideas. The story is full of twists and turns that keep the reader interested and takes full advantage of Ms. Hopman’s years of practice as a Druid and herbalist.
Each book is a complete story itself, but do yourself a favor and read all three if you can.This book can be bought as either in paperback or as a kindle edition. You can buy this book direct from Ellen Hopman as a signed copy a personal note from the author at http://www.elleneverthopman.com/, from her online store, or online at Amazon.com, or from your local bookstore.Priestess of the Fire Temple ISBN-10: 0738729256 ISBN-13: 978-0738729251

A nice review of Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore came out in Sagewoman Magazine recently;

Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore
Are you interested in herbs, fairy lore, Scottish deities, or learning Gaelic? If so, this book will surely interest you. The author, Ellen Evert Hopman is not only a Master Herbalist but also a Druid Priestess, and Ellen proves her mettle in this fascinating book.
The book begins with a brief and informative review of Scottish history “Caledonia: A Thumbnail Ancient History,” which offers insight into the major groups of ancient Scotland such as the Picts, Britons, and Celts just to name a few. Reading about these different tribes and their history, one can picture how they lived. She also gives a solid grounding in what we know (and don’t) about the Druids.
The next chapter, “The Old Gods,” is very informative, especially to those with an interest in a Druidic path or Scots gods. But I’m leaving the best for last: Hopman’s extensive (one is tempted to say, exhaustive) chapter on herbs, with descriptions of well over one hundred plants, their uses (both medicinal and otherwise) and a variety of instructions — on making a poultice, tinctures and herbal salves for example — invaluable for the novice. For each entry, the plant’s common, Gaelic, and Latin names are listed along with which parts can be used and for which ailment. Many recipes are supplied, as well as cautions when they should be avoided (such as herbs to be avoided for pregnant women). This part of the book is my favorite, by far.
But the author isn’t finished yet; there are also chapters that discuss the sacred birds and animals, magical practices (including prayers, rituals and incantations. Plus a discussion of the distinction between Druids and Witches and descriptions of Scottish Quarter Days and Fire Festivals.

The last third of the book is dedicated to Elves, Spirits, Witches, Monsters and, naturally, the Fairies. Ms. Hopman gives a full listing of many different classes of creature imaginable.
Even the Appendix of this book is wonderful! If you have ever wondered how to pronounce words in Gaelic such as the Goddess * Airmidh, Ms. Hopman is here to help. I have read many books, websites, and articles that dealt with Druids, but no one ever covers this topic! I was able to laugh at myself when I realized the pronunciation of words that I thought was correct was totally off-base. I just bet the Fairies have had a good laugh at me during my lifetime trying to speak Gaelic, but no more. Fantastic work, Ms. Hopman, and thank you! Crystal Luna Rouge.
* (Airmidh – Ar-vey or Ar-vee)

Also see:
BOOK REVIEW IN ELECTRIC SCOTLAND (see page 5)
You can purchase the book from this website and get a signed copy and a personal note!

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A happy summer to all!
PS if you like my website why not contact the web designer? Her address is at the bottom of each page!