Secret Medicines from Your Garden
Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic
The International Herb Association (www.iherb.org ) has chosen “Secret Medicines from Your Garden” for the Thomas DeBaggio Annual Book Award of the International Herb Association for 2016.
A guided exploration of herbal lore and healing plants found in yards, forests, meadows, and hedgerows
- Draws on traditional knowledge and remedies from around the world, including Native American, Celtic, and Egyptian traditions
- Provides simple recipes to safely make herbal remedies from local plants and honey for first aid, immune support, and treatment of common ailments
- Reveals the “triangle” formula-making system of William LeSassier
- Explains how to work with plant spirits, herbal astrology, and Animal Spirit Medicine
‘This extraordinary assembly of Druids reveals the paths leading to our native, spiritual heritage, without fear or favour. Deep and true!’
– Caitlín Matthews, author of Celtic Visions, past-presider of OBOD.
This book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of modern Druidism. Hearing the stories of Druid leaders and artists from twenty years ago, shows us how much has been done, and how much more we still need to do! I will definitely be recommending this book for ADF’s Dedicant coursework in the modern Paganism section!
Rev. Robert Lee (Skip) Ellison, Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF) Archdruid Emeritus and author of “The Solitary Druid: Walking the Path of Wisdom and Spirit,” “Ogham: The Secret Language of the Druids,” “The Wheel Of the Year At Muin Mound Grove, ADF,” and “The Fairy Races of the British Isles.”
Your kitchen is a place of ancient secrets and hidden treasures. The herbs, spices, and other foods that you have in your cupboards contain magical healing properties and can be used for basic first aid, or to promote wellbeing. In this practical guide, herbalist, Ellen Evert Hopman, takes you on a profound journey through the secret healing qualities of everyday foods. From apples to olive oil, bread to potatoes; you will be amazed at how easy it is to unlock the medicinal properties of commonly sourced items. Sumptuously illustrated throughout, this whirlwind tour of your kitchen apothecary is packed full of wisdom and handy tips that will benefit you and your family for years to come.
July 2011 – Pendraig Publishing
Many of the herbal and magical practices of the Scots are echoed in traditional Norwegian folk medicine and magic. This is a valuable resource book not only for the serious folklorist, but also for a wider audience interested in a deeper look at rural Scottish practices. Ms. Hopman has done an amazing amount of research, and her Scottish herbalism section is far more detailed than I’ve seen elsewhere. A “must have” for the northern European folklorist’s library.
Jane T. Sibley, Ph.D., author of “The Hammer of the Smith” and “The Divine Thunderbolt: Missile of the Gods”.
Druids Herbal Sacred Tree Medicine released May 26, 2008
The Druids used the ancient Ogham Tree Alphabet to work magic and honor the dead, surrounding each letter with medicinal and spiritual lore. Poets and bards created a secret sign language to describe the letters, each of which is named for a tree or a plant. For centuries this language was transmitted only orally in order to protect its secrets.
Combining her extensive herbal knowledge and keen poetic insight, Ellen Evert Hopman delves deeply into the historic allusions and associations of each of the 20 letters of the Ogham Tree Alphabet. She also examines Native American healing methods for possible clues to the way ancient Europeans may have used these trees as healing agents. Druidic spiritual practices, herbal healing remedies, and plant lore are included for each tree in the alphabet as well as how each is used in traditional rituals such as the Celtic Fire Festivals and other celebrations. Hopman also includes a pronunciation guide for the oghams and information on the divinatory meanings associated with each tree.
Review section: Touchstone no. 165 June 2010 A Druid’s herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine – Ellen Evert Hopman Destiny Books ISBN 9781594772306 Ellen is a Druid Priestess, founding member of the Order of the White Oak and a master herbalist, and sheÂ has put her tree-knowledge between covers to produce a very satisfying book. The cover is a swirling melange of Native American symbols on a figure who looks Irish, but far from Druidic. Don’t be fooled; this is grass roots Druidry including a wealth of practical suggestions for strengthening your connection to the natural world.
Being wary of ‘fusion’ spiritual approaches, I read with trepidation that, alongside the Druidic content would be referenced practice from the Native American tradition. I need not have worried. Those references relate to the uses of specific trees for specific purposes; and, referenced to the individual tribes, they are fascinating. And, knowing a bit more about the Mohegans from last month’s article by Ken and Kath, it was a joy to read about them here.
Part one covers each tree in the traditional Tree Ogham – folk lore, herbal applications and spiritual lore; a thorough and useful guide to be recommended as additional study. Part two deals with the Druidic Arts – magic, tools, celebrating fire festivals and divinatory meanings. It’s all good stuff, but the reader might find the most useful section ‘The art of the forest Druids’, with practical advice for spiritual engagement with trees, and suggestions for making relationship with aspects of the landscape, based on the author’s own years of practice. Using the gifts of the tree people goes far beyond a quick ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when we harvest their bounty: there is a profound relationship of gift-giving and reciprocity between the Druid and the natural world, and, along with its practical wisdom, this book will really help the serious student to develop that relationship. Recommended.
Inner Traditions / Destiny Books, Rochester, VT, 1995
trade paperback, 213 pages, ISBN: 0-89281-501-9
Rich in tradition and folklore, this complete guide to the plant lore of the Druids describes the eight major festivals of the Pagan year and the appropriate herbs and rituals to celebrate these sacred days, serving as an important resource during the round of the sacred year.
“A good working knowledge of Western Herbology is a must for any aspiring Druid today”- from A Druids Herbal
Ellen Evert Hopman presents here a guide to the herbs and plants used in the Druidic tradition — their characteristics, uses, magical correspondences, and much more — all richly supported with additional material and carefully organized for maximum accessibility.
Overview: The author begins by introducing the Druids themselves, including the Ban-drui or woman-druids, as well as the Bards and Ovates. She also covers some beliefs and customs of ancient Celtic cultures. Chapter 2 covers herbal basics, from herbal preparations and homeopathic remedies to suggested magical uses of herbs and the festivals of the sacred year. The next chapters feature herbs for Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltaine, Summer Solstice, Lugnasad, and Fall Equinox. Chapter 11 presents scientific evidence concerning the herbs of the Druids. Chapter 12 gives astrologic associations for herbs. The last chapters present herbs for specific purposes: consecration and purification, funerals, handfasting, house blessing, and baby blessing.Then comes the lavish end matter: a pronunciation guide, a resource guide, a generous bibliography broken down by subject, and not one but TWO index entries, one each for plants and subjects. You will have no trouble finding what you need in this book!
Features: Full renditions of two calendar systems appear: the months of the Coligny Calendar and the Celtic Tree Calendar (also given as the Ogham Alphabet). For the herbs associated with specific festivals, each entry lists the common and scientific names followed by the parts used, herbal uses, homeopathic uses, and magical uses. The same information appears for Herbs of the Druids, along with a list of plants whose pollen turned up in core samples from bogs, showing their presence in mesolithic and neolithic periods. A nice rendition of the “Song of Amergin” opens the section on Sacred Groves and Circles, and finally the listing of herbs for specific purposes continues to provide the same pattern of information as seen previously.
Recommendations: An absolute must for Druids and Ban-drui (which includes the modern Avalonian path), _A Druid’s Herbal_ also holds significant appeal for herbalists and anyone interested in plant magic. Accessible to beginners but with plenty of detail for experts, this book is ideal for all levels of experience. Highly recommended.
[This review originally appeared in Moonlight & Magick. and is Copyright 1998 by Elizabeth Barrette.]
Introduce children to the magic of using herbs for healing, cooking, and nature crafts and inspire a lifelong interest in the natural world. Designed especially for children of ALL ages! A hands-on book for children, filled with fun, easy-to-follow activities. Includes 72 color photographs of herbs by award-winning photographer and herbalist Steven Foster. Created especially for children ages five to ten years old, Walking the World in Wonder covers the medicinal and magical uses of 72 common herbs.
Each herb playfully introduces itself and talks about its habitat and many uses. With fun, easy-to-follow activities, herbalist Ellen Evert Hopman teaches children basic herbal skills and invites them to draw with pokeberry ink, sew a lavender sachet, and dig for Jerusalem artichoke roots. The book also includes simple recipes that children can use, with adult supervision, to treat minor ailments–peppermint tea to soothe a troubled tummy or horse chestnut salve to heal a scraped knee.
Children gain a sense of self-sufficiency and awe for the earth’s treasures by sprinkling a sandwich with nasturtium flowers, making strawberry honey, and learning to season food with dill they’ve gathered themselves. Seventy-two full-color photographs by herbalist Steven Foster enable children, parents, and teachers to identify these herbs during walks and field trips. Walking the World in Wonder gives children a direct and joyous experience of their connection to the natural world and inspires a lifelong interest in their own health and that of the planet.
(Edited, with Lawrence Bond)
Inner Traditions / Destiny Books, Rochester, VT, 1996
402 pages, ISBN: 0-89281-904-9
Who are the new Pagans, and what do they stand for? Are their ancient rituals and beliefs relevant in the 1990’s? And why have their traditions become a spiritual path embraced by so many?
In this new book the authors explore the origins and activities of modern Paganism, and provide a forum for a variety of Pagan leaders to share their beliefs and practices.
For the first time we have a comprehensive resource covering many branches of the modern Pagan movement. The editors present overviews of various faiths and current issues through interviews with well-known Pagan writers, artists, teachers, and other visionaries of our times. Traditions covered include The New Druids, Wicca, the Faery Faith, and Goddess-centered Paganism. Issues include the law, politics and persecution, the military, and student activity. Look for your favorite names such as Isaac Bonewits, Oberon G’Zell, Selena Fox, Starhawk, and many more. The resource directory lists books and articles, tapes, magazines, organizations, merchants and services, even electronic contacts. An essential basic Pagan reference book.
[This review originally appeared in Cauldrons and Broomsticks and is Copyright 1996 by Elizabeth Barrette.]
Published in 2008
In the tradition of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon, Ellen Evert Hopman weaves Druid history and spirituality into an engaging love story. This Bardic teaching tale is set in a fictional third-century Ireland when Christianity is sweeping across the Celtic Isles. During this time of crisis, love blooms between Ethne, a Druid healer, and her patient, a Fennid warrior. Their passionate affair suffers a tragic blow when Ethne is called upon to become the high queen.
Told from the Druid perspective, Hopman recreates the daily life, magical practices, politics, and spiritual lives of the ancient Celts during this historic turning point. Druid holy days, rites, rituals, herbal lore, and more are brought to life in this Celtic fantasy—illuminating Druidic teachings and cultural wisdom.
April 2010 – Llewellyn Publications
The Druid Isle takes you into the world of Ethne, a Druid healer, and her warrior partner, Ruad. When their beautiful daughter AÃfe undertakes training on a Druid island, she falls in love with Lucius, a handsome young man who has traded his priestly studies at a Christian monastery for the Druid life. But their love and their beliefs are threatened in the face of a lustful king and relentless Roman monks.
Set on a third-century island off the coast of Scotland, this instructional Celtic tale delves deeper into the spiritual mystery of the Druids and offers a fascinating look at the Romans, Gauls, and Britons.
Llewellyn Publications, 2012
The Priestess of the Fire Temple follows Princess Aislinn, red-haired wild child of the High King of the Central Kingdom, as she makes her way in a world increasingly hostile to those who are not Christian. Raised in a community that observed both Pagani and Cristaidi mores, Druid-trained Aislinn is married off at age fourteen to a prince from Irardacht, the Northern Kingdom.
Escaping her unhappy marriage, Aislinn finds herself engaged in a series of dangerous adventures and fateful encounters on her quest for true love. This uniquely Pagan novel explores the basic beliefs of the Indo-European Celts and the Druid path in an engaging and powerful way.
Druids Herbal Sacred Tree Medicine released May 26, 2008
Inner Traditions / Destiny Books, Rochester, VT
*I suggest buying this book through Amazon since it is currently out of print.
Phoenix publishers, Custer, WA
“A remarkable and fascinating blend of botanical medicine, folklore, and natural magic.” – FireHeart Magazine
Opens the eyes and attunes the mind to the magickal lore in trees. A book of considerable caring and expertise that affirms our deeper values more openly and in daily life, while also a book of practical herbal remedies and recipes for a healthy body, mind, and spirit. An in-depth study of the herbal and magical properties of our most common trees. It’s a book of considerable caring and expertise – a book to affirm our deeper values more openly and in daily life, with practical herbal remedies and recipes for healthy body, mind and spirit. Tree Medicine, Tree Magic presents both an homage to the deepest mysteries, and a down-to-earth how-to-do-it herbal.