Anyone who read Ellen Evert Hopman’s article on female druids here at The Magical Buffet knows that this isn’t any fly by night Pagan, but a knowledgeable expert on all things Druid. Her book “A Druid’s Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine” lives up to the high standards I feel she set with her article. Not only is Hopman a Druid priestess extraordinaire, but a master herbalist. She is such a big deal that she serves on the Grey Council and is a professor of Wortcunning at the Grey School of Wizardry. With “A Druid’s Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine” she combines all her specialties to great effect.
How does Hopman accomplish this? Glad you asked. It’s quite clever really. She uses the Ogham Tree Alphabet as a touchstone to discuss specific herbal associations, Celtic history, and practical applications, such as herbal treatments and rituals. Ogham is an early medieval alphabet used primarily to represent the Old Irish language. By using the Ogham as a guide, Hopman leads the reader through a wealth of information, even including Native American healing methods for indications of how ancient Europeans may have used these trees for healing.
“A Druid’s Herbal” opens with an incredibly informative introduction, which then leads into the examination of each letter of the Ogham Tree Alphabet. The second part of the book explores the Druidic arts. This makes the book more than just an herbal, but a how to guide to Druidism. Follow it up with some handy pronunciation guides and you’re set to go.
I would suggest this book to anyone interested in Celtic history and mythology, herbalism, and/or Pagan religious practices. In other words, most everyone.