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 – Beltaine (May Day) 2016

After a very warm winter we were suddenly assaulted by below freezing temperatures and even snow earlier this month. As a result the Day Lillies and other early spring plants are looking very crisp around the edges. My garden is usually glorious this time of year. Now the plants are confused and there are very few Spring flowers.

Last weekend I visited the wilderness area down the road with some friends. We walked on a sandy beach and noticed giant wolf-like paw prints (probably Coy-wolves) in the sand and we were treated to the sight of Bald Eagles wheeling overhead, doing their aerial dance. Birch trees were dressed in their new catkins and the skunk cabbages were up on schedule. It’s comforting to know that some things are still happening as they should.

It will be Beltaine (May Day) in a few days, the official start of summer in Celtic areas. Modern celebrants like to observe on May 1 but in ancient times it was the blooming of the Hawthorn trees that heralded the festival. In my area that won’t happen until at least mid-May. Keep an eye on your local Hawthorn trees, or find out when the herds start migrating back up into the hills, for a more accurate assessment of the official start of summer wherever you are.

The US elections are growing nearer. Please consider the Earth and her creatures when you select a candidate. We have very little time left to save fragile wildlife and preserve human health and wellbeing.

Below you will find the usual Moonthly offerings of archeology, nature, herb, health, religion and ethics news. Enjoy!

BOOK NEWS

A REVIEW

  • Ellen Evert Hopman, A Legacy of Druids: Conversations with Druid leaders of Britain, the USA and Canada, past and present“A Legacy Of Druids presents a collection of interviews from some of the most prominent druids in the community, including Philip Carr-Gomm, Mara Freeman, Ceisiwr Serith, Arthur Uther Pendragon and even Ronald Hutton. What perhaps makes them particularly interesting is that these interviews were conducted around 20 years ago, making A Legacy Of Druids a window into the recent past, which is intriguing to compare and contrast with the current landscape of the Druid community today.For me, Druidry has been one of the harder Pagan paths to grasp, as what Druidry actually is always seems to be rather difficult to pin down (even within the context of Paganism, which is itself hard to pin down). This book didn’t really answer the question of what exactly Druidry is – what it did do, however, was give a sense of what Druidry is like. All the Druids selected for interview in this book approach their path from different ways, but after a while you see some patterns emerge that help to distinguish Druidism from other Pagan paths. I noticed that a large percentage of Druids in A Legacy Of Druids had experienced vivid visions and supernatural experiences, and that there’s a particular emphasis on comparing Druidry with Native American traditions – you could sum up Druidry as “Pagan/Celtic Shamanism.”Many of the questions asked in the interviews are the same, which means that there is a little repetition and overlap in answers. But each interview has its own points of interest, and I particularly liked the interviews with Ceisiwr Serith (a lot of surprising truths revealed), Arthur Uther Pendragon (one of Druidry’s most colourful and outspoken individuals), Rollo Maughfling, and Isaac Bonewits (his dealings with Anton La Vey were particularly intriguing). For me, the interview that stood out the most was with Ronald Hutton. I’m a little biased as I’m a big Hutton fan, but it was really fascinating to hear more about his personal life and views. As always, A Legacy Of Druids proves the general rule that a book with Hutton’s name in it usually has something of merit.A Legacy Of Druids is a solid resource for those interested in the history of modern Druidry and more about the lives of those who have made the community what it is today.”
  • An author interview I did with a fellow in India
  • How I became an Herbalist 

RECENT PODCASTS

ANOTHER LEGACY OF DRUIDS REVIEW

  • A Legacy of Druids “Provides a better-rounded picture than the stereotypical television portrayal of Druids as rebellious savage that Roman soldiers felt compelled to slaughter.
    A common belief was Druids did not leave written history because to write something down would cause the memory to go. If this is true or not, I don’t know. The best way to understand Druids is to talk to them, rather than pick up information from self-proclaimed experts on the Internet.Author Ellen Evert Hopman gathers Druids from all walks of life including politicians, spiritual leaders, poets, and musicians. It is a nice collection because no one is alike, which means the interviewees while having a shared faith didn’t always have the same practices, rather like almost any other religion.
    I applaud Hopman for her effort and research. She’s not just a woman in search of an interesting topic, but an archivist of sorts, gathering her own faith history as  Archdruid of the Tribe of Oak.The Legacy of Druids is a much-needed book that demonstrates not all Druids s are bearded old men. Now, there’s nothing wrong with an elder in a ceremonial robe, but it’s also okay sometimes just to be another person standing in line at the water and soil conservation center waiting to get his or her rain barrel. It’s excellent read to expand your horizons.”

*REMINDER – you can order signed copies of my books from this website. You will receive a signed copy with a personal note!*

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

  • A PLANT TALK IN MASSACHUSETTS
    May 15
    Pelham, MA 1 PM – 3:30 PM
    A lecture on The Doctrine of Signatures, an ancient plant classification system
  • A TREE WORKSHOP IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Tree Magic and Medicine class with Ellen Evert Hopman
    July 23,24 2016
    Misty Meadows Herbal Center
    183 Wednesday Hill Road
    Lee, NH 03861
  • AN HERBAL INTENSIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS
    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

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

 NATURE NEWS

 RELIGION NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS