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The Sacred Herbs of Spring


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Chris Aldridge


The Origins of Beltaine


Understanding Celtic Cosmology
A Primer on Fairies and Helpful Spirits
A Primer on Herbal Preparation


Sacred Woods for the Beltaine Fires
Herbs of the Fairies, Elves, and Spirits
Herbs of Magic and the Mysteries
Herbs of Protection
Herbs of Purification
Herbs for Connecting to Other Realms, Higher Beings, and Visions
Herbs for Courage and Clarity
Herbs for Love, Fertility, and Abundance Edible Beltaine Herbs and Flowers for Magic and Ritual

Traditions of Beltaine
Rites of Beltaine
Foods for the Beltaine Feast


Other Books and Resources from Ellen Evert Hopman

Index of Plants by Common Name

Index of Plants by Scientific Name

General Index

About the Author

Ellen Evert Hopman is a master herbalist and lay homeopath, who has been a Druidic initiate since 1984. She is a founding member of the Order of the White Oak, an Archdruidess of the Tribe of the Oak, and a member of the Grey Council of Mages and Sages. She is the author of several books, including Secret Medicines from Your Garden and The Sacred Herbs of Samhain. She lives in Massachusetts.


“Anyone who loves green magic, green medicine, and green hearts will delight in Ellen Evert Hopman’s newest book, The Sacred Herbs of Spring. From altar to stove, from pharmacy to arcane lore, we are guided skillfully, carefully, and eruditely. Welcome fairies. Welcome spring. Welcome a wonderful new book.”
*Susun S. Weed, Wise Woman Herbal Series*

“Hopman shows us how the old lore worked all around the world--and still works now. This book will bring the herbs of spring to light for each of us.”
*Elen Sentier, author of Shaman Pathways--Trees of the Goddess*

“Rife with rare treasures of history, wise woman's lore, and practical magic. Her research is unparalleled and encompasses a lifetime of scholarship and devotion. This book gives great hope to the human relationship with the procession of the seasons and our Mother Earth.”
*Elyse Poppers, author of The Little Love Book*

“A comprehensive view, including recipes, illustrations, lore, and caveats, of the various herbs, barks, berries, and so on for your Beltaine celebration. I really enjoyed the depth of knowledge here and heartily recommend it to those of you who follow the Druidic and Pagan paths.”
*J. T. Sibley, Ph.D., author of The Way of the Wise*

“A book that is meant to be worn through use over the years and should be at hand each year when the green first appears on the trees.”
*Andrew Theitic, editor and publisher of The Witches’ Almanac*

“Hopman provides a beautifully researched, international, cross-cultural, pan-millennial framework for understanding the ancient festival and its evolution into modern time. . . . It shines with the author’s love of the plant tribes of the earth.”
*Michael R. Gorman, Druid and author of The Celtic Philosopher’s Stone*

“A must-read for anyone on the Druid path, and of great interest to anyone in herbal lore and Pagan traditions.”
*Joanna van der Hoeven, author of The Book of Hedge Druidry*

“The green world through the lens of Hopman will transport you to magical realms yet unseen. This book is destined to be a classic!”
*Orion Foxwood, author of The Tree of Enchantment*

“Hopman has gathered a far-ranging collection of herbal lore. . . . Folk beliefs and modern ritual imagery are supplemented by a wide variety of seasonal recipes and concoctions, from Dandelion Mead and Rowan Berry Liqueur to Lilac Scones and Marigold and Lemon Balm Cheesecake.”
*Sharon Paice MacLeod, author of Celtic Myth and Religion*

“Weaves together the magic of sacred herbs with wonderful recipes. Hopman provides easy-to-follow herbal formulas and remedies that will fill the beginner as well as the advanced practitioner with the inspiration and magic of the herbal spirits.”
*Chris Allaun, author of Underworld*

“This book reconfigures the information and provides us with not just a reference of herbs for this time of year but also a collection of useful information for understanding the Sabbat. . . . This excellently researched work is a must-have for any herbalist as an important resource.”
*T. Scarlet Jory, editor of WynterGreene Magazine*

“Beautifully illustrated . . . a book to keep on a shelf in the heart of your home, as you’ll be reaching for it often.”
*Gary and Ruth Colcombe, hosts of Celtic Myth Podshow*

“This rich compilation should be on the shelf (or e-reader) of anyone interested in herbs or Pagan practices.”
*Morven Westfield, author of The Old Power Returns*

“The power of The Sacred Herbs of Spring goes much beyond its medicinal preparations. Hopman takes us on an enchanted journey into the world of Fairies and Elves, spirits that lead us along an avenue into the Otherworld, the world beyond.”
*Nicholas Brink, Ph.D., author of Beowulf’s Ecstatic Trance Magic*

"This handbook by master herbalist and Druidic initiate Ellen Evert Hopman is a welcome companion to her Sacred Herbs of Samhain (2019). The Celtic year was (and still is) divided into the dark half and the light half, and so this pair of books gives us information to help us work through the entire year."
*Barbara Ardinger, Witches & Pagans Magazine*

"Hopman's previous book, The Sacred Herbs of Samhain, keeps popping up in my Amazon suggestions and I've seen it reviewed and posted about numerous times over the past couple of months. I am certainly interested in the book and when I was given the opportunity to review her newest book, The Sacred Herbs of Spring, I jumped on the opportunity. I was not disappointed! Hopman is a Druid and master herbalist, and it shows in her writing. Each chapter is filled with herbs and plants scared to Beltane based upon what you can use them for. Much like my herbarium posts, Hopman discussed each plant's folklore and their medicinal uses. For many of the plants, she also includes delicious recipes for culinary dishes as well as herbal remedies. Each description also comes with an extensive warning, allowing the reader to make an informed choice as to which plants they may or may not want to use. Furthermore, Hopman includes extensive research and cites her sources faithfully. As a scholar, I greatly appreciated her attention to detail."
*Willow, Flying the Hedge: The Path of a Hedgewitch*

"I recommend this book to anyone with a Wiccan or Pagan inclination, as well as anyone wanting to live a more natural lifestyle that includes using local natural products. The author, Ellen Evert Hopman, is the author of this volume as well as The Sacred Herbs of Samhain. If it is similar to this volume, it is well worth adding to your library."
*Lalia Wilson, Tarot Reflections*

"...The author provides a wealth of information on celebrating an honoring this sabbat. The veil between the worlds is thinnest not just on Samhain but Beltaine as well. Within the pages are rituals, recipes, offerings celebrating spring. This a great comprehensive book on all things Beltaine and inspiration for how you can honor and celebrate spring and the upcoming summer."
*Amber Barnes, FacingNorth.net*

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