Druidry and the Art of Sustainable, Meaningful Offerings

The Druid's Garden

In druidry and in other earth-centered religions, its customary to make offerings to spirits, the ancestors, guides, outsiders, etc.  We usually do this as part of ritual or solitary practice. Recently, the issue of what to use as offerings came up in a discussion in one of my druid groups, and I’d like to spend some time thinking about this practice and its connection to sustainability and earth-centered living.

Why offerings? Offerings are usually made in honor of deities, ancestors, spirit guides, spirits of the land, the earth mother herself, etc.  I often leave small offerings on natural altars that I maintain, as well as use them at the start of rituals to show gratitude and thanks. A simple offering might be a plate of cakes left to honor the land for a bountiful harvest, a handful of seeds cast out of a sacred space to keep the outsiders…

Voir l’article original 1 165 mots de plus

Tree Alchemy: Hydrosols and Essential Oils from Sacred Trees

The Druid's Garden

Nature can provide tremendous wisdom and healing, especially when we work with our local ecosystems and ecologies. One of the most powerful ways of working healing with nature, I believe, is to combine the innate healing properties of plants with your own various kinds of medicinal preparations. The plants and trees offer the raw material and your hands and tools shape that material into something that heals the body, mind, and/or spirit. Working to transform tree and plant matter through alchemical processes into medicine–and then taking that medicine–can be an incredibly powerful way of establishing deep relationships not only with the living earth but with the trees themselves. Today, I want to talk about a particular kind of medicine known as a « hydrosol » and talk about how you might make your own with plant and tree material.  This is especially beneficial for today as many of us are thinking about…

Voir l’article original 2 037 mots de plus

500 followers and a bit of everything.

The Arty Plantsman

Yes, it is official. WordPress tells me that at least 500 people are deranged or kind enough to follow my blog.

This confirms my suspicions that there are lots of lovable eccentrics out there. Or 500 of you at least.

To celebrate this I decided on a post that includes a bit of everything you can expect to see on here. This gives you new followers a chance to say ‘sod this for a game of soldiers’ and disappear quietly.

Mental Health Updates.

Have not had one of these for a while. (For you newbies – basically I am fighting back after living with depression and anxiety for decades. ) I started seeing a counsellor a month or so ago, my first experience of Person Centred Counselling. Until this week I was not sure how effective this was being. At this weeks appointment I described feeling that I was walking…

Voir l’article original 1 015 mots de plus

Building Sacred Relationships with Food: Seasonal Food Rituals, Agricultural Blessings, Prayers, and Honoring Our Food

The Druid's Garden

Modern culture prevents many of us from engaging in a critical part of our human heritage—developing a sacred relationship with food. I’ve talked about developing such a sacred relationship with food on this blog before with regards to growing it and/or foraging it—how gardening allows me to develop a sacred relationship with plants, how seed saving and starting completes that cycle, how wild food foraging and medicine making allow for that connection, and how locally-based seasonal diets can help reconnect us.

However, I’m staying with my family for a few weeks before making my official move to PA, and trying to eat as I usually do (locally, seasonally, organically) has presented some serious challenges. The truth is that in poor, rural areas in the USA, organic and local food is simply not as available (or affordable) as it is in the cities or suburbs. In…

Voir l’article original 1 624 mots de plus

Guest in Jest #44 The Arty Plantsman

Everyone Else Has the Best Titles

Summer 1988.

My wife Susan and I had been married just over a year. We lived next door to her parents (I know, believe me, I know…).

I was working shifts and often at home during the day. Susan was working standard days and usually out. Susan’s best friend Lynne would often pop in for a coffee with me when walking her dog. Susan’s mum had (unfounded) suspicions about this…

On this occasion, the sun was shining so we had our coffee sitting on the lawn out back. We could hear Susan’s parents chatting as they worked in their garden on the other side of the tall hedge.

After a little while Lynne’s dog, Jess, got bored of all this sitting around and started to mess around. Resulting in Lynne screaming at the top of her voice:

“GET YOUR TONGUE OUT OF MY EAR!”

Next door went totally silent……….

A…

Voir l’article original 59 mots de plus

Dandelion Wine Part III: New Recipes and Insights

The Druid's Garden

I’ve posted on Dandelion wine before on this blog, and I wanted to follow up on my previous posts on dandelion wine – making the wine and racking/bottling. I’ve also written more generally about the dandelion as a beneficial plant–so why not 4th post on the glorious dandelion!

In this post, I wanted to spend some time talking about dandelion, review the last two years of dandelion winemaking adventures, share two new recipes, and talk about some flavor tests. For basics in how to make dandelion wine, please refer to my first two posts on the subject (linked above).

Bottled Dandelion Wine! Bottled Dandelion Wine!

Some Thoughts on Dandelions

I want to speak briefly about the spiritual side to brewing dandelion wine. First of all, dandelion is a plant that so many hate and eradicate. Many poison the land to get rid of it–instead of learning about why its growing, what it…

Voir l’article original 1 094 mots de plus

Wild Food Profile: Eat Your Hostas!

The Druid's Garden

Often, when you are interested in unusual and wild foods, a season for a delectable treat may only last for a few short days or weeks. A fun early spring food that is usually popping up around or before Beltane in temperate parts of North America is the hosta. Yes, you heard me–that large leafy green plant that most only consider a deer resistant ornamental. This plant is a favorite of typical landscapers; it seems to show up in nearly every suburban and urban yard. Because I like finding ways to turn typical lawns into more healthy ecosystems that create habitat, food, and joy and that « stacks functions » in permaculture terms, learning to do something with these « typical » lawn plants is a great idea. And so, hostas are a wonderful food this time of year to harvest when they are still in « shoot » form. They are quite good–have…

Voir l’article original 477 mots de plus

The 1st of May

In Belgium and France, the first of may is been a holiday since 1947. It’s the International Workers’ Day which commemorates the struggles for the 8-hour day.

In Belgium the tradition is to offer a bit of Lily of the Valley to the beloved people ( husband/wife, parents, friend ) which brings happiness for the coming year.

31817402_441533902953541_5476603641982877696_n

Origins of May 1
Even before the advent of the workers’ world or the celebration of thrush, May 1st was a date of rituals. For the Celts, this date marked the feast of Beltaine: it marked the transition from the dark season to the clear season, the resumption of hunting, war. This « renaissance » is related to Belenos (incarnation in light of the god Lug). According to the texts, druids lit fires, charged with symbolically protecting the cattle from epidemics. This festival was therefore opposed to Samain – ancestor of our Toussaint – which marked the return to the darkness. Traces of these practices survive on the night of Walpurgis, a Christian pagan celebration: large fires were lit in Germany, Sweden or Central Europe.

Labor Day                                                                                                                                             

It takes its origins in the history of the workers’ world. The starting point was Saturday, May 1, 1886. That day in Chicago, a protest movement for the 8-hour day was launched by the then growing American trade unions. A strike, followed by 400,000 workers paralyzed many factories. The date of May 1 is not chosen at random: it is the « moving day », the day when traditionally, the American companies realize the calculations of their accounting year. The movement continues and on May 4, at a demonstration, a bomb is thrown on the police who are fighting back. Ten deaths, including 7 policemen. This will be followed by the death sentences of five anarchists.

Three years later, the Congress of the Second Socialist International, which met in Paris for the centenary of the French Revolution, decided to make May 1 an « International Workers’ Day » with the aim of imposing the eight-hour day. This date was chosen in memory of the May 1, 1886 Chicago movement. As early as 1890, the demonstrators displayed a red triangle representing their triple claim: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of leisure. This mark was gradually replaced by a wild rose flower in 1891, when a demonstration at Fourmies in the north of France degenerated, with the forces of order firing on the crowd. That day, a young woman wearing a wild rose is killed. This flower becomes the symbol of May 1st (the thrush will not return until later).

May 1st and thrush
It seems that the lily of the valley, a plant originally from Japan, has been present in Europe since the Middle Ages. The plant with bells always symbolized the spring and the Celts granted him virtues luck. On May 1, 1561, King Charles IX made things official: having received a strand of lily of the valley as a lucky charm, he decided to offer it to the ladies of the court every year. The tradition was born.

May 1st holiday
It will take almost 30 years for French workers to be heard. On April 23, 1919, the Senate ratified the law establishing the eight-hour day. Exceptionally, to celebrate this advance, the High Assembly declares May 1, 1919 day off. In the years that follow, May 1st is gradually emerging as a worker’s rendezvous, a day of processions.
It is the Vichy regime that officially celebrates May 1st. With this measure, Marshal Pétain and his Minister of Labor, René Belin are trying to get the support of the workers. The day, instituted on 24 April 1941, is named: « Labor Day and Social Concorde ». An appellation that emphasizes Vichy’s desire to unite bosses and workers according to a corporatist spirit and to put an end to the class struggle. It is the regime of Vichy and only he who, in the history of France, will officially designate May 1st as « Labor Day ». The term was not subsequently adopted by the Liberation Government. In April 1947, the Liberal government confirmed that May 1 would remain a paid holiday.

Today                                                                                                                                               Labor Day is commemorated by a non-working day in most European countries with the exception of Switzerland and the Netherlands. May 1 is also celebrated in South Africa, Latin America, Russia, Japan. In the United Kingdom, the first Monday in May is celebrated. In the United States, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. This day of homage to the labor movement was born in 1887, at the request of the unions, after the slaughter of Chicago. But, at the request of US President Grover Cleveland, it was not set May 1 so as not to recall this dramatic moment.

Offering Blend at full moon for Beltane Blessing

I follow druidgarden.wordpress.com and after read last post: https://druidgarden.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/a-beltane-blessing-sacred-herbs-blend-for-land-blessing/ I decided to do mine special offering blend.

What a luck the evening I read the post it was full moon!

I taked some pics of it.

31894846_441811222925809_581320825626427392_n

 

 

I made a little bag for keep with me if the needed to use it would arose during a walk.

31727881_441811326259132_4010885183946358784_n