April, the Fourth Month of the year of our Goddess, 2014

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‘A gush of bird song, a patter of dew
A cloud and a rainbow’s warning;

Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue
An April day in the morning!’

~Harriet Prescott Spofford  FancyPentagramBar

April, the Fourth Month of the year of our Goddess, 2014

April is the fourth month of the year of the Gregorian calendar, and the first month of the astrological calendar. Its astrological sign is Aries, the Ram (March 8 – April 20), Mars. The name of the month comes from the Latin aprilis, which derives from aper, or boar, as April was thought to be the month of the boar. April delights the senses: the damp earth after an April rain and the sweet fragrance of flowering crab apple trees. Some of the most dramatic changes in nature occur in April. Buds, swell and growth begins. Flowering trees such as dogwood, redbud, cherry, and apple are at the height of their beauty. Azaleas burst into bloom, bringing color to shady places. And weather permitting, gardens and fields are tilled ready to remove early crops of lettuce, spinach, and onion. Birds add to the beauty of April–not only are they busy building nests but their songs now greet us on misty spring mornings. Holidays of the month are April Fool’s Day, when we celebrate the trickster and Earth Day on the 22nd, which makes us aware of environmental issues. The beautiful flowering trees of the month gave April’s Full Moon its charming old-fashioned name–the Pink Moon. Early herbalists and folk magicians used this period to enhance spells concerning health and general well-being..

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Correspondences For April

NATURE SPIRITS: plant faeries

HERBS: basil, chives, dragons blood, geranium, thistle

COLORS: Red and gold

FLOWERS: daisy and sweet pea

SCENTS: pine, bay, bergamot and my personal favorite patchouli

STONES: ruby, garnet, sard

TREE’S: pine, bay and hazel

ANIMALS: Bear and Wolf

BIRDS: hawk and magpie

DEITIES: Kali, Hathor, Anahita, Ceres, Ishtar, Venus, Bast

POWERS/ADVICE: energy in creating and producing, balance is returned to the nerves change, self-confidence, self-reliance, take advantage of opportunities, Time to work on emotional turmoil and get your temper into prospective.

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Symbols for the Month of April

Birthstone

The birthstone for April is the diamond. Usually diamonds bring thoughts of engagement rings and colorless, sparkling stones, but diamonds come in several colors too. Yellow, red, pink, blue and green diamonds are rare and usually more expensive than colorless diamonds.

Flower

The flower for the month of April is the daisy which symbolizes innocence. Daisies come in dozens of colors and are one of the favorite flowers to put in a bouquet. The Gerbera daisy is a very popular flower. It comes in many vibrant colors and is a beautiful reminder of springtime and warm weather.

Astrological Signs

Aries and Taurus are the astrological signs for April. Birthdays from April 1st through the 19th fall under the sign of Aries. April 20th through the 30th birthdays fall under the sign of Taurus.

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Monthly Observations for April

Autism Awareness Month

Jazz Appreciation Month

National Poetry Month

National Poetry Writing Month

Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

Confederate History Month – April 26

Animal Cruelty Prevention Month

Car Care Month (Spring) .

Child Abuse Prevention Month (National)

Financial Literacy Month

Frog Month (National)

Garden Month (National)

Guitar Month (International)

Home Inspection Month

Humor Month (National)

Keep America Beautiful Month

Kite Flying Month (National)

Mathematics Education Month (National) Poetry Month (National)

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Welding Month (National)

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“Make Every Day Earth Day”

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, a result of the efforts of Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), a passionate advocate of protecting the environment and increasing awareness of environmental issues. While social activism was at peak levels in the late 1960s and early ’70s, legislation on environmental issues was nearly nonexistent. Nelson struggled since he was elected to the Senate in 1962 to persuade Congress to establish an environmental agenda. Frustrated by the obstacles and resistance he faced, he appealed to the mood of the public and designated April 22 as a “national day for the environment.” He hoped to impress upon fellow politicians that humans have an enormous impact on the environment. Nelson certainly achieved his goal. More than 20 million Americans participated in the first Earth Day celebration, prompting voter-hungry politicians to take notice. The overwhelming response helped generate a new political focus on the environment. As that focus has become increasingly global, more people than ever are celebrating Earth Day around the world.

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Eleven Facts About Earth Day

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.

Earth Day originated in the US but became recognized worldwide by 1990.

On Earth Day 2009, Disney released a documentary film called Earth that followed the migration paths of four animal families.

On the very first Earth Day, 20 million people gathered in the streets of America to protest the industrial revolution. An environmental movement was born as a result.

Every year on April 22, men, women, and children collect garbage, plant trees, clean up coral reefs, show movies, sign petitions, and plan for a better future for our planet.

Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day while he was working as a US senator.

Earth Day was renamed officially by the UN in 2009 as International Mother Earth Day.

Some schools and communities celebrate Earth Day for a whole week to expand the time frame that people focus on the earth and how they can preserve it.

On Earth Day 2012, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel.

In an Earth Day celebration in 2011, 28 million trees were planted in Afghanistan by the Earth Day Network.

In Panama, 100 endangered species of orchids were planted and maintained to prevent their extinction in honor of Earth Day.

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Earth Day Anthem

Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time
With our gentle hand and touch
We make our home a newborn world
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time

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Wishing You A Very Happy & Blessed Earth Day As We Honor Mother Earth!

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‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 22nd

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

To be in harmony with others, we must be in tune with ourselves. This is not always a state of mind easily come by, but necessary and possible to those who truly want to put their best foot forward.

They must cultivate and recultivate the things that make peace within themselves. They must not only have faith, but they must depend upon it, drawing from it energizing joy, love, and lightness of heart. They must know and understand the moods and manners of their coworkers and express to their colleagues their happiness and enthusiasm for the good things of life.

At times everyone has fits of uncertainty concerning their way of life. And it is gratifying to have someone capable of lifting us out of the blues and scattering the doldrums. But the job is mainly ours. We have to cross examine ourselves again and again to be sure there’s nothing that will not contribute to our best self, or draw less than the best from others.

To be cooperative is not only beneficial to associations with others, but to our own health, peace, and happiness. Let there be peace and harmony and let it begin with me.

____________________________________

Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site:
http://www.whitebison.org

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 22

Elder’s Meditation of the Day April 22

“Each creature has a medicine, so there are many medicines. Because they are so close to the Creator, they are to communicate that medicine. Then they bring help and health.”

–Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

The Elders say everything has a purpose and everything has a will. We should never interfere with purpose or the will of everything. Every plant, creature, animal, insect, human being has a purpose to be here on the Earth. Each has a special medicine to contribute for the good of all things. Each person also has good medicine, a special talent, a special gift. These medicines are to help others or to help make us healthy. What is your special medicine?

Creator, today, help me discover and use my medicine to serve a greater good.

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April 22 – Daily Feast

April 22 – Daily Feast

In the seventeen hundreds, the Natchez mother of a young chief suspected he had become involved in a conspiracy and was being used by his elders to do wrong. She said, “Open your ears and listen to me. I have always taught you not to lie.” Liars are lost in a world of their own making. We have seen it glamorized in a world of make believe until the real world has difficulty telling the truth, even when there is no need to lie. Even the little white lies thought as harmless are barriers, wrongs, that stand in the way of honor. A lie, in whatever form, is deceit, and deceit is a major block to answered prayer, to friendship, to stable lives. The biggest lie of all is that lying is in any way harmless. Truth sees through the thin veil of a lie and all credibility is wiped out. But Truth stands forever.

~ I have always taught you that a liar is not worthy of being considered a man…. ~

STUNG ARM

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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The Daily Motivator for April 22nd – Peacefully engaged

Peacefully engaged

Peace is not arrived at by merely doing nothing. On the contrary, peace is attained by doing substantive and significant things, and doing them without conflict.

That means living with purpose, with love, compassion, forgiveness and genuine tolerance. It means putting your very best into the effort while at the same time detaching your sense of self worth from the result.

Your life, your work and your whole world are all filled with conflicting interests. Yet that doesn’t mean you must handle them by fighting.

In fact, diverse and conflicting interests can absolutely be resolved in much more positive ways, and it happens every day. That is one of life’s great challenges, and working through the challenge produces great value.

Seek not merely to do significant things. Seek to achieve what you achieve with a peaceful heart, for that is true and sustainable achievement.

Be fully engaged in life while also being completely at peace with who you are. It is indeed a powerful and fulfilling combination.

— Ralph Marston
Source:
The Daily Motivator

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The Daily OM for April 22nd – Before the World Wakes

Before the World Wakes
Morning Meditation

by Madisyn Taylor

In the first moments of day before our mind is fully awake can be a wonderful time for meditation.

Just before the coming of the pale rays of dawn, Mother Nature exists in a state of flux. Earth’s energy is stable, free of the disordered vibrations that are a by-product of humanity’s comings and goings. In these first moments of day, when the sun’s golden light is only just peeking over the horizon, our animal mind remains in the land of slumber though we ourselves are awake. Deep sleep has washed away the impurities of existence that accumulated within us, so our mental, physical, and emotional potential is heightened. To meditate in this peaceful yet energetically charged in-between time is to connect with the divine in an extremely intimate fashion. We discover a new kinship with the universal life force during morning meditations because our awareness becomes a mirror for earthly consciousness—we wake as the world wakes, quietly embracing the joy of being and setting the tone for a serene, fulfilling day.

In the first glorious glow of morning, the light, air, and energy flowing around us speak in hushed tones of the activity to come. While we recognize that another day of being means becoming once again immersed in the challenges of action and reaction, we also understand that we can draw upon the unique energetic qualities of daybreak for comfort, creativity, and vigor. There is bliss in the simple knowledge that we have been given the gift of another day of existence. We are inspired by sights and sounds of the sun’s gentle ascension. Birds serenade the luminosity, which grows richer by the minute. And though we may feel a residual lethargy, our vitality returns as our meditation helps us to become one with the stirring of other beings rubbing the sleep from their eyes. At the start of each day, our destiny has not yet been written, and so there is nothing we cannot do.

How we choose to meditate is less important than our choice to attune ourselves to the spirit of wakefulness that travels round the world each and every day. Even the briefest moment of quiet contemplation in the muted light of the sun can put all that is yet to come into perspective. As a consequence of our daybreak reflections, our lives are imbued with the same stability, tranquility, and increased awareness that humanity has long associated with the stillness of early morning.

Source:

The Daily OM

 

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Children Touched By God/dess

Children Touched By God/dess

Author: Faythe 

My little sister, Jennasea, leans against a tree, admiring the leaves. The sun filtering through the branches sends splotches of light drifting across her 7-year-old cheeks. It was Earth Day, and she had just finished making faery houses out of moss and dragging me in to the forest to see them. I had admired them and together we set offerings for the faeries: bread with butter and sugar.

We were just finished offering the food when Jennasea looks at me with dancing eyes and says, “Can we do a ritual spell to heal the earth?”

Thinking how cute it was for her to ask, I consented. I had not done with a ritual with her in a couple years, on request and behalf of my parents. We all believed that Jennasea should wait until she was older before she chose her religion. Until then, we wanted to educate in all manners of belief so she wouldn’t be ignorant.

But today I thought, why not? She loves rituals, or at least she used to, and I hadn’t done one with her in so long.

If I left out the amazing part, the ritual would sound fairly generic. We cast the circle, called the Watchtowers and the Goddess and the God, did some energy raising, and pressed out hands to the earth while visualizing the whole earth being healed. After that we opened the circle and grounded. But if I went with the boring example, this would be a useless article.

What was the amazing part, you ask?

While we did the ritual, my little sister said the exact same words as me, at the exact same time I said them. She knew ritual structure and how to visualize, and she could feel the energy pulsing through her as she thought about the earth being healed.

Now, you might rationalize this, saying she has a good memory. But I haven’t done a ritual with her since she was 4, and since then my method of casting a circle have changed.

That night, when I was putting her to bed for my mom, I asked her how she did that. She got all uncomfortable and squirmy, giggling and saying, “I don’t know. I just have a good memory, I guess…”

Was it that infamous childish intuition that we are taught to ignore as we grow up? Has she somehow been teaching herself Wicca, even though she can’t read quite that well yet? Or is her “good memory” her memory from a past life, perhaps in the 60s, 70s, and 80s when Wicca and Witchcraft was booming?

Whatever it is, I was amazed. And it got me thinking of other times I’ve seen children doing or saying incredible things; things that they shouldn’t know yet. Mature things you would most expect from an experienced old person.

I work at a daycare/preschool at the local Christian Community Church, so I get to spend a few hours a day after school observing and playing with little kids ages 1 to 5. (This is off-topic, but working at a preschool is a wonderful way to bring out your inner child. It’s rather euphoric.) I’ve observed many of the children displaying an incredible intuition that I haven’t often seen in adults and teenagers.

One day when I was having a very bad day, I arrived at the preschool after school. One of the little girls, Page, ran up to me and gave me a big hug. When I returned the hug, she looked me in the eye and said, “If you feel bad, you should ask the lady in the earth for help.”

The lady in the earth?

I asked Page who she meant, at which point she got all wiggly and giggly. “You knowww…the lady! The one with the pretty robe. That Mary person.”

And yet another day, I was playing in the sandbox with several of the children, including a little boy named Payton. He was making some kind of mound, with a moat-like ditch around it.

When I asked him what he was making, he replied, “It’s Jesus’ home.”

He pointed to the little sticks coming out the mound. “That’s us. All the people on earth live with him.”

I asked Payton where he lived. Like the other kids, he got wiggly and giggly, pointed to the ground and the sky, and said, “Here and here and here and here…everywhere, but nowhere!” At which point he resumed playing.

Those are just a couple examples of things the children I’ve played with have said. But regardless of what they say and do, I’ve seen the remarkable minds these children, and all children, display.

Are these children I’ve met that do those kinds of things touched by God/dess? Or is it that wonderful intuition we are all taught to ignore as we grow in to adults?

I think it’s both.

Everyone are touched by God/dess, because we all have God/dess inside of us. But children are more…how should I say this? Attentive to the God/dess inside and around them. They feel the touch of God/dess all the time, and know how to understand it.

All of us have this potential, this intuition, inside of us, but we are taught to ignore it. So…what if we could get this intuition back? Think of the things that would be discovered, the happiness there would be! When I picture that intuition returning to us, I picture happy, optimistic lives full of positive potential.

But how do we get it back?

Well…I should think it’s obvious:

Became a child again. Once more get in tune with that child sleeping inside of you. Play on a playground, build things with blocks, do connect-the-dots, color in coloring books…do everything you liked to do as a child.

And in terms of magick and ritual, I have read in almost every book on magick that adding childish play in to the spell, or before the spell, enhances the results because you temporarily transport yourself back to that state of innocence and simplicity.

I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than playing with blocks, sitting in the sandbox, and climbing trees.

We don’t stop playing because we grow old: we grow old because we stop playing.” —-Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Blessed Be, potential children.

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Earth Religions on Earth Day

Earth Religions on Earth Day

Author: H. Byron Ballard 

It used to be that the media only wanted to hear from folks like me–you know, Witches, Pagans, Wiccans–once a year. Like clockwork, the phone would start ringing around 20 October, and every reporter and her brother wanted to talk to a “real” Witch about “Sam Hane”. Well, no more! That’s old hat now–the media is so savvy they’ve done articles on Beltane and the Winter Solstice, along with the seemingly ubiquitous Samhain pieces. And that’s in a newspaper here on the Buckle of the Bible Belt. The press in other locations has been even more astounding.

But the phone’s been ringing at another time of year, too, for a holiday that doesn’t appear on my charts of the Wheel of the Year, and that holiday is Earth Day. It’s a little tricky for those of us who celebrate Beltane because it’s only a couple of weeks before, but I’ve grown to love the inherent possibilities of such a secular holiday.

Earth Day is a good interface between the dominant culture and the Pagan one. You don’t have to be a bona fide dirt-worshipper to enjoy the parades with giant puppets and the lectures on recycling and the pretty blue flags. You can be a school-aged child or a soccer mom or a dreadlocked activist. Of course, some of us wear Birkenstocks as well as pentacles, so we move easily through these peaceful waters. Earth Day presents a lot of opportunities to talk to our neighbors–as well as the media–about our love and reverence for the Big Blue Ball. While everyone’s feeling warm and fuzzy (or ashamed and guilty) about the planet, we are often encouraged to talk about Gaia-focused theology. A couple of years ago, I was even asked to do an interfaith Council of All Beings. Amazing.

I encourage all of you “Earth religionists” to write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces, to take leadership in your interfaith communities. Our time has come to talk clearly and sensibly (maybe even poetically) about one of the things we do best–loving the biosphere.

There’s a catch, of course, at least in my community. Mainstream and liberal Christian churches–bless them!–are taking up the cry of “stewardship” and earnestly reading books by Berry and O’Murchu (even Thomas Merton, who went to his reward decades ago, has a new book about environmental justice) and attending meetings. I was part of an interfaith dialogue on the subject in which we were asked to brainstorm some scenarios. #3 began, “If you had a magic wand…” and the facilitator went round the focus group so each could speak. When my turn came, I carefully explained that I actually had a wand (polite titters) but what was really needed was energy and courage and a strong stomach. Less talk and more action. But we weren’t there to discuss action–we were only there to talk about guilt and sin and stewardship. We didn’t even go out and clean-up the roadside after the meeting and, as I recall, the coffee was served in styrofoam cups.

As I’ve said before, it’s vitally (and I mean that quite literally) important that the majority religions in our culture realize the extent of environmental degradation and begin to speak publicly about it. I applaud them for their efforts. No one does conferences, workshops and teach-ins better than those well-intentioned and passionate liberal Christians. Maybe they’ll even convince the Methodist-in-Chief in the White House that caring for the environment is what his god would like for him to do. Now, that’s a tall order.

And though I don’t think the notion of stewardship goes far enough regarding respect for and love of nature, we members of earth-based religions are certainly here to share our knowledge and experience. To be there when the discussion about “magic wands” finally turns to action. I encourage those who can to take opportunities by the media to make points about the interconnected web and the natural world. Fill in those gaps between “taking care of God’s creation” and “this earth is not our real home”. Be helpful and knowledgeable–remind them of the power and bounty of the natural world and how we are part of it, not separate and superior. And to be a part of such a complex and beautifully balanced system is paradise enough.

If you belong to an interfaith group (and I suggest you check out your local Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative), watch the reactions of your colleagues when you speak about the planet and the concept of connection. Another interfaith meeting found us discussing what we nurtures us most about our spiritual path. A Jewish friend talked about the tradition of learning and scholarship in her chosen religion. A colleague from the United Church of Christ spoke movingly about the concept of grace. When it came round to me, I talked about the joy I find in waking each morning, connected to the world around me. As I spoke, I looked at the outdoors through the nearest window and explained why I always take a seat near a window for our interfaith gatherings and why the moment of silence never works for me because it’s too short for a deep meditation and too long to just practice deep breathing. My colleagues laughed. Then I talked about the deep peace I feel when I look out the window at a tree. Any tree really, I’m quite the tree-hugger. I like them in all seasons and I’ve been known to talk to them and listen intently for their reply. I told the group that I never felt alone and rarely fearful because the earth was so strong, so powerful, so giving. And that I am part of all that. When I turned back to the folks assembled at the table, I noticed tears in some eyes. And a retired Episcopal priest said, “I want what she has.”

Earth Day is another educational opportunity for the Pagan community. So take advantage of the heightened publicity, my tree-hugging dirt-worshippers. Right wing talk radio may think anyone who’s environmentally canny is a Satanist, but this holiday is a chance to connect with other people in your community on a subject you know well. Let them know it’s okay to love our home–there’s no place like it! Happy Earth Day!

H. Byron Ballard

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