Once Around the Sun: Stories, Crafts, and Recipes to Celebrate the Sacred Earth Year (Paperback)
On Our Shelves now
An illustrated collection of stories and activities to celebrate traditional Pagan festivals and the changing of the seasons
• Shares original stories, based on traditional folktales and designed to be read out loud, for each festival, such as Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasad, the solstices, and the equinoxes
• Includes traditional games, hands-on projects special to each holiday, and seasonal recipes to enjoy the tastes and smells of each feast day
• Discusses the sacred symbolism, magical lore, and cultural practices within each story and the healing and magical uses for the trees and flowers featured
Once upon a time, when only candles lit the inside of homes and people traveled on foot or by horse, the family would finish their supper, wash and dry the dishes, and sit down before the hearth to hear a tale. These tales were not only entertaining but also passed down both history and tradition to the next generation. And as the wheel of the year turned, these tales also served to teach the children about holy days and festivals and the Gods and Goddesses who reigned over the changing seasons.
In this beautifully illustrated book, Ellen Evert Hopman shares rich stories drawn from traditional folktales, hands-on crafts, and seasonal recipes to help families and classrooms learn about and celebrate traditional holy days and festivals of the sacred earth year. Designed to be read out loud, the stories are complemented with pronunciation guides and translations for foreign words. You will learn of the Cailleach, the ancient Goddess of Winter; La Befana, the Italian new year’s witch; Eostre, the Goddess of Spring; Kupalnocka, the Polish feast of wreaths at midsummer; Yule among the Vikings; and many other deities and celebrations.
For each story, the author includes hands-on projects special to the holiday--from crafting magical wands and brooms to flower crowns and Brighid’s Crosses--as well as seasonal recipes, such as Magical Peppermint Chocolate Tea, Beltaine Bannock, and La Befana Cake, allowing families to enjoy the tastes, smells, and sounds associated with the feast days and celebrations.
About the Author
Ellen Evert Hopman has been a teacher of herbalism since 1983 and is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. A member of the Grey Council of Mages and Sages and a former professor at the Grey School of Wizardry, she has presented at schools and workshops across the United States and Europe. A Druidic initiate since 1984, she is the current Archdruid of Tribe of the Oak (Tuatha na Dara), an international Druid Order, a founding member of The Order of the White Oak (Ord Na Darach Gile), a Bard of the Gorsedd of Caer Abiri, and a Druidess of the Druid Clan of Dana. A former vice president of The Henge of Keltria, she is the author of The Sacred Herbs of Spring; The Sacred Herbs of Samhain; Secret Medicines from Your Garden; The Real Witches of New England; Scottish Herbs and Fairy Lore; A Druid's Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine; A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year; Walking the World in Wonder – a Children’s Herbal; Being a Pagan; Tree Medicine, Tree Magic; and the Druid trilogy of novels: Priestess of the Forest, The Druid Isle and Priestess of the Fire Temple. She lives in Massachusetts.
Lauren Mills has won national acclaim as both an author/illustrator and a sculptor. The author and illustrator of the award-winning The Rag Coat, she lives in western Massachusetts.
“The traditions, rituals, and stories of the eight celebrations of the wheel of light are full of beautiful energy--stories that bring alive the spirits of the Earth, spirits that many may call fantasy, but I know differently. Once Around the Sun brings alive that which comes from beyond our senses with the traditions and rituals of reaching out and giving back to the spirits and fairies with food and other gifts.”
— Nicholas E. Brink, Ph.D., author of Baldr’s Magic
“What a gift to families! This practical and magical collection of stories, recipes, and engaging activities takes its readers right back to the rhythm of a simpler, meaningful life, marking time with relevant ritual reverence for Mother Nature, her seasons, and her bounty.”
— Burleigh Mutén, author of Goddesses: A World of Myth and Magic and The Lady of Ten Thousand Nam
“Once Around the Sun is a delightful family treasure. Cultures throughout the world have used storytelling as a way to pass on knowledge, and this book’s stories and poems alone make it worth owning. Yet, its recipes and activities add another dimension that makes this book an invaluable resource for parents wanting to share ancient cultures and beliefs with their children. Young ones are sure to love activities such as making a magic wand and writing secret rune messages with invisible ink. I would highly recommend this fun and informative book for any family that wishes to explore the seasonal stories and celebrations.”
— Robin Corak, author of Persephone: Practicing the Art of Personal Power
“Ellen Evert Hopman has written a book that will delight children, families, and those who are looking for traditions to explore and stories to share as they celebrate the holidays. I especially love the tales that beg to be read aloud and, as with all good folk stories, add depth and ancient wisdom with the telling. Recipes and special crafts to make with children meaningfully connect folk customs with the seasonal changes. Once Around the Sun is a book not only enjoyed with the first reading but also when it is picked up and read again and again with each turn of the seasonal wheel.”
— Laura Wildman-Hanlon, author of What’s Your Wicca IQ?, Wiccan Meditations, and Celebrating the
“For all of us, children and adults, who love fairy and folk stories, these nine tales told by Ellen Evert Hopman carry us to the roots of ancient lore. Earth, sky, and the waters are embodied in Gods and Goddesses with power to bring feast or famine, health or disease, tragedy or happiness, depending on their actions--and the hard work, gratitude, and faithfulness of humans. Alongside the stories are embedded recipes, games, and verse. This book is a treasure trove for curious children and their grown-ups, who wish to bring the rich spirits of the natural world to life.”
— Patricia Lee Lewis, author of A Kind of Yellow
“Once Around the Sun is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature written for children and their parents. Hopman uses the structure of ‘wheel of the year’ to explore the meanings and celebrations of each season through a selection of stories from a variety of countries and traditions. With its beautiful illustrations from artist Lauren A. Mills, this book is sure to be enjoyed by children of all ages.”
— Fiona Tinker, author of Stories for the Songs of the Year
“Now we can all share the glory of seasonal celebration with our children and grandchildren, so they can sweep out the old year with La Befana, make runes like a Viking, knead soda bread for Imbolg, and drink the herbal teas of the season. All the traditional stories, songs, and celebrations take the family through the year with joy and blessing.”
— Caitlín Matthews, coauthor of The Lost Book of the Grail and author of The Art of Celtic Seersh
“From the Cailleach to La Befana, this skillful storyteller--this blessed shanachie-- weaves a splendid wreath to revel in the seasons of the rolling year. Beautiful illustrations, recipes, and an inspiring foreword by Jane Yolen envelop this tender reminder of the importance of myth and story in making us healthy, happy human beings. A must-have for your bedside reading stack!”
— H. Byron Ballard, author of Seasons of a Magical Life and Roots, Branches, and Spirits