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A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year Paperback – November 1, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hopman provides the religious and historical background of the Druids before proceeding to the herbal information in chapters that progress through the seasons from All Hallows (the beginning of the Druidic year) through the fall equinox. Each of these chapters first sets the seasonal context, then presents a list of the herbs pertinent to that season. Each entry in a list cites the parts of the plant that are used and their herbal, homeopathic, and magical uses. Hopman follows the herbal with a discussion of planetary effects on herbs and the herbs used for major life events. Helpful appendixes guide the non-Druid in pronunciation, list sources of information and plants, and give a short list of references. Hopman's effort will fascinate anyone interested in herbs and their lore as well as that sizable group that finds the Druids and their approach to life intriguing. William Beatty


"Ms. Hopman demonstrates a wide knowledge of the Celts and their mythology as well as her understanding of modern homeopathy. Her book includes a Celtic dictionary, which makes it all the more appealing to anyone interested in ancient Celtic lore. She moves through the year describing rituals and herbal uses for Druidic holidays and celebrations. Herbs for marriage, funerals, births, and house blessings are discussed in detail. A fascinating herbal." (Country Living)

"A Druid's Herbal will certainly promote your own wisdom and health, and it makes a valuable addition to any home library." (Anke Kriske, Sage Woman)

"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." (Hypatia's Hoard)

"This book is a good summary and introduction to medicinal and magical herbs used by the Druids.  This is another excellent book to add to your herbal library." (Circle Magazine, Spring 2001)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892815019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892815012
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Visit Ellen online at www.elleneverthopman.com

Ellen Evert Hopman is a Master Herbalist and lay Homeopath who holds an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling.

Ellen Evert Hopman is the author of a growing number of books. Her newest offering is The Secret Medicines in Your Kitchen (mPowr Publishing, London, October, 2012) a book that teaches the uses of foods and spices already in your home, for health and well being.

Her most recent herbal is Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore (Pendraig Publishing, 2011), a study of the folk magic and healing plants of the Highlands and islands of Scotland.

Her first novel, Priestess of the Forest: A Druid Journey (Llewellyn, February 2008), was an exciting new project for her, combining a heart-warming fictional romance with practical Druid rites, prayers and rituals. The sequel is called The Druid Isle (Llewellyn, April 2010). The third book in the series is Priestess of the Fire Temple: A Druid's Tale (Llewellyn, March of 2012). All three books are designed to illuminate the Druid path for seekers of Celtic wisdom.

Her latest book on tree medicine and tree lore is A Druid's Herbal for Sacred Tree Medicine (Inner Traditions - Bear and Company, June 2008).

Other books include Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today (Destiny Books, 2001), People of the Earth: The New Pagans Speak Out (Inner Traditions, 1995), Walking the World in Wonder - A Children's Herbal (Healing Arts Press, 2000), A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year (Destiny Books, 1994) , and Tree Medicine -Tree Magic (Phoenix Publishing, Inc.,1992, currently out of print).

Hopman is a founding member of The Order of the White Oak (Ord Na Darach Gile,
www.whiteoakdruids.org) and its former Co-Chief, a Bard of the Gorsedd of Caer Abiri, and a Druidess of the Druid Clan of Dana. She was Vice President of The Henge of Keltria, an international Druid Fellowship, for nine years and has also been at times a member of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and of ADF, A Druid Fellowship.

She is the co-creator of the Virtual Shrine of the Goddess Brighid (http://shrineofbrighid.com/)

Hopman has been a teacher of Herbalism since 1983 and of Druidism since 1990. She is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. Hopman is a member of the Grey Council of Mages and Sages and has been a professor at the Grey School of Wizardry.

Hopman has presented on Druidism, herbal lore, tree lore, Paganism, and magic at conferences, festivals, and events in Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States. She has participated in numerous radio and television programs including National Public Radio's "Vox Pop" and the Gary Null show in New York. She presented a weekly "herb report" for WRSI radio out of Greenfield, MA for over a year and was a featured subject in a documentary about Druids on A&E Television's "The Unexplained" (Sacred Societies, February 1999).

She has also released video tapes and DVDs on the subjects covered in her books through Sawmill River Productions. See clips at: http://vimeo.com/user2687064/videos
Purchase the DVDs for $20.00 plus $4.00 from Ellen at POB 219, Amherst, MA 01004

She has been a teacher of Herbalism since 1983 and of Druidism since 1990 and has co-lead tours to Celtic and Neolithic sites in Europe. She was the founder of The New England Druid Summit, a yearly gathering of Druids in New England.

She has been on the staff of Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick and has been a contributing author to many New Age and Pagan journals.

Visit www.elleneverthopman.com to read Ellen's monthly blog.

Praise for Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore;

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".

Through her books, Ellen Evert Hopman lifts the veil between worlds of the
present and the past. She guides the reader on a fascinating journey to our
ancient Celtic history, simultaneously restoring lost knowledge and
entertaining the reader. Be prepared to be educated and delighted.
Wendy Farley, Clan McKleod

"The first things is WOW! Ellen Hopman has given us a volume that belongs in
Harry Potter's library. This wonderful collection of enchantments, faery
lore and herbal potions, is presented by a practicing herbalist and (I
suspect) magician. It is a useful manual of magic, an unusual tourist guide
to Scotland, certainly a delightful read, and at the very least, a
comprehensive and thoroughly footnoted collection of folk lore for
humorless librarians and scholars."
Matthew Wood MS (Scottish School of Herbal Medicine)
Registered Herbalist (American Herbalists Guild)

Every now and again, a book emerges from the waves of occult and magical
authorship that delves into the deep and ancestral waters of old magic! This
book is one of those rare occasions. From the lore of herbs to the blessing
of stones; from avioding the elf-blast to healing through Faerie blessing -
Ellen guides the reader through ancient groves of oral lore to discover a
power and spirit that connects the reader to the oldest of magics, the earth
and her elements. I am confident that the Scottish Ancestral Wise Ones, are
renewed through this book and the old ways live once again!
Orion Foxwood

Ellen Evert Hopman takes us deep into a world where folk magic and herbal
medicine are part and parcel of a daily life guided by the cycles of the sun
and the moon and the land. She strikes a perfect balance, combining
rigorous scholarship, deep understanding of the Scottish worldview, and
clear and accessible writing with just the right measure of the mystical and
poetic. At once a rich and detailed study of traditional Scottish ways and
a practical manual for bringing healing and magic into your own life. A
truly masterful work.
Sean Donahue, Traditional Herbalist

Like a wee bairn sitting on grandma's lap absorbing legend, lore and
instruction from the talk around the hearth, you will learn from and delight
in this richly accomplished book. Take a sip or a long draught, you will be
nourished deeply.
Susn S. Weed author of the Wise Woman Herbal series.

Woven into this well-researched and beautifully presented book is a magical
thread. This thread forms a path and this path winds its way into the very
marrow of the old and forgotten ways of Scotland. Throughout these pages
Ellen lavishes the reader with a body of knowledge that she means to be used
in direct participation with Nature. The message is clear: The old Wisdom
endures and is more vital to us than ever before.
Michael Dunning - Scottish shaman, writer, artist and teacher.

A recent review of A Druids Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine;

BBI Media, Inc.

As a practicing herbalist, I am always on the lookout for books rich with
herbal lore. The problem is that most books are either medicinal or magical,
and when they're both, the information therein is not always especially
helpful. Enter Ellen Evert Hopman, whose book, however, is a thorough and
complete look at both. Hopman is not only an herbalist but a Druid
priestess, as well and she obviously has a keen intuitive sense of tree
medicine that she couples this with Druid lore (as well as Native American
lore). Sacred Tree Medicine traces through the Druid Ogham Tree alphabet,
giving the symbolic, liturgical, poetic, medicinal, and spiritual aspects of
each sacred tree.

Though there is focus on herb lore, the Goddess is given plenty of
attention, too. Hopman teaches her reader how each sacred tree assists in
spiritual practice and which face of the Goddess it represents. I had the
most fun taking this book to the forests by my home, identifying trees and
sampling their offerings. The book closes with a section on the Druidic arts
including magic, tools, festivals, and divinations. This gives the reader
the opportunity to put her newfound knowledge of trees and magic to
practical use.

Hopman is an incredible resource for all of us seeking to take our health,
medicine, and spirituality into our own hands. Sacred Tree Medicine deserves
a place on the shelf next to her other guides of magical and medicinal lore.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wow! Whether you are a witch, an herbalist, a druid enthusiast, or just an interested party, this book is incredibly thorough, interesting, and informative. It thoroughly explains the origins, uses (both medical and magical), and preparations of many herbs. Unlike many other herbals, this book freely discusses poisonous and intoxicating herbs, which is a blessing to those using herbs in magical work. It also covers the preparations (and uses) of tinctures, salves, poultices, teas, and other remedies. On top of all of this, you get a glimpse of the Druidic culture! I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Within the pages of this book's beautiful exterior lies much information for pagans, heathens, druids who are interrested in the use of herbs. This also has an overview of Ogham, the tree alphabet.
Starting with Samhain, the Celtic New year, this book explains the herbs which are used at the great tides of the year along with the traditional practices of each of the yearly tides. It has ideas for acorn and oak cakes as gifts, along with a song, for the tree spirits at Samhain. For Yule Tide it gives suggestions on use of Holly, Chamomile, Frankenscence, and other yule herbs. And it does the same for Imbolic, The Spring, Summer and Fall equinoxes, Beltane, Lammas. Medicinal uses are also included.
After that, there is a section on herbs and thier uses. And then a section on the herbs associated with The Sun, Mercury, and the rest of the celestial astrology and how to use them, and ritual ideas for them as well.
Following that is a section of use of herbs in rituals for cleansing, gifting to spirits, groves and circles ect. There are also sections on life tides of death, marriage/handfasting, childbirth and more. Throughout the book there is information about the druids and thier traditions.
At the back there are apendixes for pronunciation, herb index so you can find the specific herb you are looking for, and suggested further reading. There is also a listing of resources from which you can find supplies.
All in all a thorough refrence and guide to using herbs in ritual. There aren't any of the colorfull pictures common in most herbal refrences specifically for medicinal herbs, and I still think you would need additional herbal books specifically about medicinal properties and preperation to learn to identify plants and how to prepare them(Penelope Ody has some good ones). I think this is an excellent addition to any pagan herbalist's library.
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book on herbal healing, this is not your book. If you are, however, looking for a book on the historical uses, as well as the spiritual connotations of the herbs that you use, this is the book for you. Herbs have become a big part of my rituals since I read this book several years ago. I kept it in my library, even when I was selling most of my other books so that I could continue to eat. I recommend it to anyone interested in Druidry, or herbal lore.
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By A Customer on March 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful and informative presentation of the Druidic beliefs organized around the Calendar. The herbal lore provides the backbone of discussion, with practical guides to collecting and using the herbs. Great source of Celtic pronunciation and a delightful workbook or sourcebook.
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By A Customer on October 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Extremely helpful for those interested in learning about the magic properties of herbs. Historical, gorgeous illustrations and has wonderful information on the druids and their ancient society.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for those who would consider themselves more than beginners in the study of practical herbal knowledge, esoteric herbal knowledge and herbal lore. The book contains in depth information on Druid celebration and the uses of Herbs therein, during the Druid Spiral of the Year. One gets a good sense of Druid spirituality and the inherent spirituality of our sisters, the Healing Plants. Information on Celtic cultural attitudes to do with the changing seasons gives a good indication of the depth of integration with Nature this culture and its Druids practiced. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Celtic spirituality and the intricate role Herbs, and Nature, held within that spirituality.
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Format: Paperback
I was asked to place my review of this book as part of my own studies with the Henge of Keltria. This is one of the books you are given the option to study in their correspondence coursework which I am finding very personally satisfying.

I have owned this book, or a copy of it, since it was first published. What attracted me to this book initially was the fact it was on herbs. After having read it a few times, including this last read, I find it an invaluable a wonderful resource not only for herbal lore, but also for actual usage for healing. This makes it an excellent resource for both the herbalist as well as the Pagan/Druid. Allow me to summarize this lovely tome for you.
The book opens with a wonderful invocation to Brighid. I have used this invocation for a number of different reasons from ceremonial invocation to prayer. Truly a blessing. The book is organized by chapters with the first covering what a Druid is and isn't, how to's and definitions of various herbal preparations, moving on into seasonal celebrations (Pagan associated times of the year), a bit of astrology and plants connections and on into information on groves, circles, marriage, blessings and rites of passage.
I cannot say one chapter is more a favorite than another, but I am partial to the Samhain and Imbolc chapters myself merely because those are favorite times of year for me. This book is not laid out by herbs found at certain times of the year, but by the use of herbs ceremonially at certain times of year. This is not to say those herbs are used only at that time of year, but in the Druid path they are more typically associated with these seasonal celebrations.
Read more ›
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