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Online Book Talk: Celtic May Day with Ellen Evert Hopman

May 1 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Ellen Evert Hopman will discuss the Celtic festival of Beltaine, along with her book, the Sacred Herbs of Spring.

// ABOUT THE SACRED HERBS OF SPRING //

This book is available at the Stanley-Whitman House museum store and on Ellen Evert Hopman’s website.

A practical guide to the celebration of Beltaine and the sacred herbs of spring

• Explores the identification, harvest, and safe practical and ritual use of more than 90 plants and trees

• Details rituals for honoring the traditional Gods and Goddesses of spring, such as the Goddess Chloris, the Goddess Flora, and the Daghda

• Reveals which herbs to use for luck, magic, protection, purification, abundance, fertility, and love as well as the herbs of the Faeries and Elves and herbs for journeying to the Otherworld and for contacting the High Gods and Goddesses

The festival of Beltaine, May Day, is a celebration of the return of spring and the promise of summer, a time for love magic and spells for increasing the fertility of the land and the plants that grow upon it. Like Samhain in autumn, Beltaine is also a time when the veil between the physical and spiritual world is at its most transparent and the ancestors and denizens of the Otherworld easily interact with the world of humans.

Presenting a practical guide to the celebration of Beltaine, Ellen Evert Hopman examines the plants, customs, foods, drinks, and rituals of May Day across many cultures. Discussing the gods and goddesses of spring, Hopman details the rituals for honoring them as well as traditional poems, prayers, incantations, folk rhymes, and sayings related to this time of year. She explores well dressing, the custom of honoring the source of sacred water by decorating a well. She also looks at Beltaine’s association with Walpurgisnacht and Hexennacht, which fall the preceding evening.

In the extensive section on the sacred plants of Beltaine, the author explores more than 90 herbs and trees, offering spells, rituals, and recipes alongside their medicinal healing uses. She reveals sacred woods suitable for the Beltaine fires and Beltaine flowers for rituals and spells. She explores herbs for luck, magic, purification, abundance, and love; herbs for protection, such as bindweed, elder, and St. John’s wort; herbs of the Faeries and Elves, such as burdock and dandelion; and herbs for journeying to the Otherworld and contacting the high gods and goddesses. She also details the identification, harvest, and preparation of seasonal edible herbs, greens, mushrooms, and flowers.

Woven throughout with mystical tales of folk, Faery, and sacred herbs, this guide offers each of us practical and magical ways to connect with Nature, the plant kingdom, and the Spirits that surround us in the season of spring.

// ABOUT ELLEN EVERT HOPMAN //

Ellen Evert Hopman, is the author of a number of books and has been a teacher of Herbalism since 1983 and of Druidism since 1990. She is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild and has presented on Druidism, herbal lore, tree lore, Paganism and magic at conferences, festivals, and events in Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and in the United States.

We are delighted to have Ellen return to Stanley-Whitman House, where she previously presented four engaging programs in 2022 on her other works: “The Real Witches of New England: History, Lore, and Modern Practice,” “The Sacred Herbs of Spring: Magical, Edible, and Healing Plants to Celebrate Beltane,” “Secret Medicines from Your Garden: Plants for Healing, Spirituality, and Magic,” and “The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Contact the Spirits of the Dead.”

// ABOUT STANLEY-WHITMAN HOUSE //

In 1935, Stanley-Whitman House was established as Farmington’s first museum. It is a nationally recognized historic house museum and living history center that teaches through the collection, preservation, research, and dynamic interpretation of the history and culture of early Farmington, Connecticut. Programs, events, classes, and exhibits encourage visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in history by doing, acting, questioning, and engaging in colonial life and the ideas that formed the foundation of that culture.

Located in the historic village of Farmington, the museum facility centers on a circa 1720 National Historic Landmark house furnished with period antiques to reflect the everyday activities of Colonial life in Connecticut. Surrounding the house are period-raised bed gardens, an apple orchard, and heritage stone walls.

The public service areas of the museum, constructed in 2004, include a modern classroom, a period tavern room, a post-and-beam Welcome Center, a research library, an exhibit gallery, the Nancy Conklin History Gallery, and a collection storage area.

In addition to managing Memento Mori, Farmington’s ancient cemetery on Main Street, and the Village Green, located at the intersection of Routes 4 and 10, the museum also oversees the Scott Swamp Cemetery on Route 6. The Stanley-Whitman House is supported in part by the Farmington Village Green and Library Association.

// SUPPORT STANLEY-WHITMAN HOUSE //

At Stanley Whitman House, our commitment to accessibility is paramount. While not all of our programs are free, we strive to offer as many as possible at no cost, thanks to the generous support of our underwriters. If you wish to assist us in this mission, we welcome donations, which help us to expand further and diversify our range of activities. Your contributions play a crucial role in maintaining and increasing the accessibility of our programs.

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