Home » A Druid's Blog » Life and death at the Summer Solstice- A Druid’s Web Log July 2017

Life and death at the Summer Solstice- A Druid’s Web Log July 2017

Ellen Evert Hopman standing in frontof a burned oak tree among saplings

Photo by Wendy Farley

The time of Summer Solstice is supposed to be all about brightness and light but it’s been an odd season around here. First I visited the old oak tree that was burned down by an arsonist a few years back. It was once the largest White Oak on the east coast, something I found out ten years after I named the White Oak Druid Order. I called the Order that because the trees told me to.

I dreaded going back to the scene of destruction because I didn’t know if any vestiges of that amazing tree would be left. It was consoling to find baby oaks springing up all around her; but it will be centuries before any of them attains the majesty of their mother tree.

Then came the Gypsy Moths. This year we had a historic invasion of the critters, apparently they have a surge every six or seven years and then they overpopulate and die back. It began with a constant rustling sound under the leaves that was hard to identify. At first I thought it was a massive invasion of mice, but I couldn’t see any leaves moving. Next began a two week shower of leaf particles falling from the sky, a constant rain that was mixed with little brown pellets of caterpillar poo. Then the caterpillars themselves appeared, climbing on the house, the lawn furniture, the flower pots and anything else.

I learned that they climb the oak and birch trees every morning and drop back to the ground at night to avoid predators so I found myself in the yard every day at 6 AM, armed with a rock. I didn’t want to use pesticide so I set about bashing the critters which was disgustingly foul work that felt like murder. The swarms subsided suddenly, we had a week’s long spell of rain showers and apparently there is a natural fungus that does them in. Their desiccated carcasses are still hanging on the oaks and the birches, hopefully they will be food for other lives.

A few days ago I was invited to think about Samhain (Halloween) and to prepare a talk about communicating with the Spirits of the dead by using herbs. It feels supremely odd to be cooking up a presentation on how to protect yourself from evil spirits and ill-intentioned Fairies, and which herbs to use for death rituals, at the time when the Sun is at its height. But that is the way of nature. Death and change are always with us, even if we momentarily forget.

STILL FUND RAISING FOR A DRUID FILM!

We are hard at work fund raising for a film to be based on the Priestess of the Forest trilogy of Druid novels. We need everyone’s help so we can fly the actors to the east coast from LA, film a short and hopefully get the project out to a major producer. Folks can help by becoming a patron or by making a one-time donation.

We have a dynamic slate of talent attached thus far:

UPCOMING HERB CLASS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE!

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HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS

And speaking of life and death issues, please call your senators, even if they are Democrats, and the DNC/RNC about the cruel and stupid Trumpcare health care bill. When you call your senators demand SINGLE PAYER NATIONAL HEALTH CARE just like every other civilized developed nation on Earth has. It’s the most cost effective way to cover every single American. Even Warren Buffett says so!

Below you will find the usual assortment of Archeology, Herb, Climate, Nature, Religion, and Ethics news. Please enjoy the offerings!

*Reminder* if you order books from me via this website you will get a signed copy with a personal note! 

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS

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