A Druid’s Web Log – Winter Solstice approaches!

Ever since the last Full Moon eclipse the world seems to have changed
significantly. Paris attacked, Russian planes downed, world leaders getting
together to discuss climate change, China banning the ivory trade and
finally for me – getting laid off from a job I held for ten years because
the company is moving to Texas where it can pay workers less in wages and
benefits.

I live in a rural area and our office was surrounded by ponds, fields of
wildflowers, pine woods and oaks. I walked outside every day on my break and
would hear owls discoursing, especially when a storm was approaching. There
were wild rabbits, hawks, eagles, geese, ducks, muskrats, beaver, deer,
red-wing blackbirds, green herons and great blue herons. There were so many
robins that one year Audubon members showed up to gawk at them as they
settled in the trees at dusk.

image002And year after year my co-workers reported seeing bobcats which drove me crazy because I sooo wanted to see one! These creatures are so elusive that some wildlife biologists spend a lifetime searching for them with no success. Then, just a day or two before the office closed, there they were;
a large female bobcat and her kitten. The mother was clearly hunting as her somewhat dazed looking kitten ambled around the parking lot.

It was a final good bye and a blessing from the animal spirits that I had been tracking for a decade. Here is the female’s picture!

So far it has been a very mild winter hereabouts. As of December 1 there has been no snow and I still see moths and other winged creatures flitting around the house and forest.

Some articles to reflect on as a world spirals into deepening war;

BOOK NEWS

  • I have two new books coming out in 2016!
    This book is available for pre-order now and will be out in March, 2016
    Secret Medicines from Your Garden
    Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic
    Ellen Evert Hopman
    Coming Spring 2016
    SecretMedicinesofGarden
  • A LEGACY OF DRUIDS
    As I write this the book is still not available for pre-order  but you canread about it by following the links.
    Moon Books
    Philip Carr-Gomm

*Reminder! All my books can be ordered from this website – get a copy signed
by the author with a personal note!*

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

LANGUAGE NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

PAGAN NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

Gather with your loved ones around the Solstice fire. Stay warm and have a
blessed rest of the year!

October blog 2014 Drought in the West, Glorious Fall in the East

Philo Herb class 2014

Philo Herb class 2014

I just got back from a lovely sojourn to the old growth redwoods and the Pacific ocean, in Northern California. I was there to teach a class in Celtic tree lore and Herbalism. Two things were shocking; first the miserable state of air travel at this time, and second the extent of the drought in the West.

Travelling by airplane is now like a long bus ride, smashed in-between passengers, breathing bad air, and with no food for even trips of almost six hours (pretzels and Coke do not count as “food” in my book).

The stewardess was surly when I asked her where we were as we flew over a mountain range. “The pilots are very busy and I am serving drinks” was her answer. Gone are the days of cheerful patter from the crew on Southwest.

Northern California is in a terrible state – apparently if the drought keeps up like this there is only one year of water left. In the town where I was teaching people are experimenting with not washing their hair any more. Showers are once a week affairs, the rest of the time its sponge baths, and when you turn on the tap to let it run until it gets hot or cold you collect the running water in jars until the right temperature is achieved. The jars later go out to the garden to water the flowers.

I saw a number of rivers that were completely dry – the rivers that flow at the base of the giant old growth redwoods. The trees are trying to adjust by shrinking their needles.

Meanwhile southern Californians who are taking their water from the north continue to wash their cars and water lawns and golf courses are exempt from water regulations which is absurd. I am starting to understand the animosity that some northern Californians feel towards their southern neighbors, and why they want to secede.

There is a type of grass that was developed in Japan called Zoysia that grows sideways more that up and is very drought resistant. It’s a mystery to me why this type of grass isn’t required by law in drought prone areas. It is very compact and the only problem with it (from a golf course point of view) is that it turns yellow in summer. But who cares? We need the water for agriculture much more than we need perpetually green golf courses.

It should be illegal to plant regular grass in drought stricken areas. Desert plantings are now required in some townships and that should be the law everywhere in the West (we obviously need more Herbalists and Botanists in congress).

I have been invited to return to the Bay area of California next year to teach. Hopefully there won’t be a drought catastrophe by then!

The holy day of the dead, Samhain (English – Halloween), is fast approaching. Think about ways to honor your ancestors and to give a final thanks to all the beings that gave their lives so that we humans could enjoy a fruitful harvest.

Some places you can find me

  •  Herbal Healing Intensive
    October 18, 2014 – April, 2015
    Two Saturdays a month, 1-5 PM near Amherst, MA
    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, and hands on herbal techniques such as poultices, tinctures, salves etc. An herb walk outdoors, slide shows of plants and hands on preparations are included.
    Over 400 pages of handouts are included with the course. A certificate of completion is offered at the end.
  • The Greenfield Annual Word Festival
    Saturday October 25
    Ocean Grill Banquet Room
    30 Federal St., Greenfield, MA 01301
    (413) 376-4677
    2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
    I will be reading from my novels and selling books at the Book Fair
  • Changing Times Changing Worlds
    Nov. 7-9, Crowne Plaza in Cromwell, Connecticut
    I will teach a three part Druid Intensive including the Druidic wheel of the Year, the Ogham alphabet and meditating with trees.

Oil and war

I was not able to attend the big climate march in New York so I wrote to Obama about this. You can do this too.

Dear President Obama: I can’t go to the march today but wanted to make my opinion known on the environment. As a trained Herbalist I always look for the root cause of an illness. We are facing two fatal sicknesses in our time – war and environmental catastrophe. They both have the same root cause – fossil fuels and in particular OIL. We are faced with a new 100 years’ war in the Middle East. The reason we are there (and the reason ISIL and others want to attack us is precisely because we are there)is only for oil. If it were for truly humanitarian reasons we would be at war in the Congo and other places, we only go in when there is oil to be had. Instead of spending our trillions of dollars plus blood and lives lost and maimed, on oil, let’s admit that we are ON A WAR TIME FOOTING and convert the nation to wind, solar bio-mass, geothermal, and radical conservation. LETS STOP THE DEADLY ADDICTION TO OIL!!! Please make this happen.

Below you will find the last Moonth’s collection of articles.

 ***Order a book from me on this website and get a signed copy with a personal note!***

ARCHEOLOGY NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

HERBAL NEWS

NEWS YOU CAN USE

FAIRY NEWS

NATURE NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

May the blessings of your ancestors follow you always.