Now Lammas Yummies for Your Tummy

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments
Lammas Yummies For Your Tummies

Lammas Corn Pudding

By Dame Niamh

Lammas (Lughnasad) is the time when the God is mourned, having died in ecstasy at his mating with the Goddess on the Summer Solstice (Litha).

Far from being sad, Lammas is the beginning of the Wheel’s turning again, as death is followed by rebirth, and so we recognize that the sacrifice of the God (the cutting of the summer harvest) nourishes us and begins his journey to rebirth at Yule.

Corn is often considered the symbol of Lughnasad; the first ears are ripe at this time. I make a Lughnasad Corn Pudding, and put little things into it (tiny figurines of animals and tiny baby dolls) to remind us: “Corn and grain, corn and grain, all that falls shall rise again.” Warn people not to gobble the pudding or they will swallow their little treasures!


Corn Pudding

1 box Flako corn muffin mix (it contains the largest amount)
1 large can creamed corn
1 large container sour cream
1/2 large onion,or scallions, green and white parts, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Grease a metal baking pan, about 8×8 or 9×9 if you want it to come out thinner. Pour the batter into the pan, add little tiny toy figures, and bake at 350 till it’s springy. I stick a toothpick into it; a few crumbs may cling, but that’s all right. You don’t want it too dry.

If you don’t like to use commercial corn muffin mix, use your own recipe to make 8 corn muffins. You’ll need corn meal, unbleached flour and some baking powder. A friend puts 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno peppers into hers. Hot! Hot!



Easy Clean-Up Garden Grill Hash!

By Ana

This recipe is for the garden that’s overflowing with produce! Use whatever you have on hand! And, it’s a no mess dinner, nice on the moms and dads cleaning up:)


Whatever you’ve got growing:) Sliced up
Potatoes (a few, this is your base)
Pepper (I like green, but any will do)
Greens (kale, collards, chard- what you have on hand)
Couple of Carrots
Zucchini or Yellow squash or both
Fresh herbs
Few tablespoons of butter and canola oil (I like having the flavor of both, but you could use only one of these).

Take everything you’re harvesting from your garden this Lammas. Freshly dug up potatoes (yum!!!), a pepper, some yellow squash or zucchini, an onion, couple of carrots, and greens. Cut it all up and place it with a little butter and canola oil on a large sheet of tin foil. Add salt and pepper (I usually add a bit of nutritional yeast as well) and fresh garden herbs. Dill is my favorite, along with chives and thyme or rosemary. Wrap it up. Then take a second sheet of foil and cover the package again for added protection. Put on a low grill for about 40 minutes- it depends on how small the vegetable pieces are. When it’s done, scoop onto a plate and serve with baked beans and some local corn on the cob! Yum yum!!! And nothing to clean up:)



Stuffed Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker

By Ana

Using your slow cooker! That’s right ladies, pull out your slow cooker and let the yummy smells of apples and squashes fill the air for the day… or come home to a nice cooked meal all ready for you:) I’m a big fan of using my slow cooker- it’s not just for soups and stews (although that’s enough reason to use it!). This is a sweet flavorful fall dish- and if it’s still hot in your area, it’s nice to not use the oven and heat up the house! I came up with this based on a slow cooker recipe I found (although I didn’t exactly follow the recipe as usual:)- my family all loved it, so I thought I’d pass it on!


One Butternut Squash (cut in half, or in quarters, depending on it’s size and how you can fit it in the cooker- if it’s lopsided, trim a piece off the bottom so it lies flat)
One Small Onion
One Clove Garlic
2 Tb Olive or other Oil
1/2 Cup Quinoa (or cous cous, or millet, or other grain)
1 1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (or so) of water
1/2 cup of nuts- I use cashews, or you could use pistachios, walnuts, etc. (I’m a cook that goes with what I’ve got)


Rinse quinoa and place in boiling apple juice. (if using cous cous or another grain, just follow the instructions on how much water to use per cup of grain- make about a half cup and use apple juice instead of water). Add in your cinnamon and allspice, and once it is back to a boil, turn on low and cover. Let simmer for 20 minutes or so, until cooked and water is absorbed. While that’s cooking, cut and scoop center out of squash and place in slow cooker bottom (this doesn’t have to be perfect- I have had them slightly sideways, but you need to be able to have the filling stay mostly in place:). Then take a small pan and cook your sliced onion and minced garlic in the oil til the onions are translucent. When your quinoa is done add in your crushed nuts, and onion mixture, and stir. Then stuff the squash with it. If you have left overs, you can save it for lunch or give it to the kids- mine love it because it’s sweet from the applesauce). Being careful not to pour it on the squash, then put the cup of water slowly into the bottom of slow cooker pot. Cover, and put on low for about 6 hours or so. If you like your nuts crunchy, add them last, sprinkled on top (they will get pretty soft in the slow cooker, which is good for smaller kids, but usually not as good for the rest of us:).

When it’s done, be careful pulling it out (I use two spatulas and an extra person to hold a plate close- they cook really well. Also be careful with the outer peel- it will be very soft, so with kids, I make sure to peel it off so they don’t eat it.

Serve with a plate of cooked greens. I like a bunch of chopped collards, green beans, or zucchini- chop about a half of onion, add in some oil and soy sauce, and it’s a perfect compliment to this dish. Other ideas would be a green bean casserole, or a light salad and roll. It’s a pretty filling main course, and is very healthy- lots of vitamins, and quinoa is a great protein source (especially mixed with nuts) and has calcium (great with collards for this too).


Easy Apple Cobbler

By Ana

I’m a huge fan of no fuss no muss cooking! I don’t like to waste my time following most recipes- so here’s a general guide for you:) Do this with your kids and get messy:)

Cut up a few apples (4 at most), but if you have a pear or two, or a peach or two, substitute them for an apple or two. You can also add raspberries (yum! see activities!) or other berries. If you aren’t doing any other fruit besides apples, I’d through in some raisins for some sweet flavoring.

Place in a bowl with some lemon juice and cinnamon (sprinkle on to your taste- I like a lot)

Next, take about 2 cups (ok, I’m making this up- I never follow a recipe- but it’s something about that much- enough to cover the apples) of rolled oats, and mix with a small amount of flower (few tablespoons) and some apple juice (if you’re one that has it around, apple concentrate is better, but I never have that and just use the apple juice- taking 2 kids to a grocery store on a trip for that would never be worth the effort when the juice seems to work). Just pour enough in to mix it a bit- maybe a few tablespoons. I also add more cinnamon, but that’s up to you. Now add a bunch of fresh honey (again, see activities!). Mix it up – use your hands here, this is fun! This is where the kids can help. Now that it’s all mixed up (you probably need to wash your hands here!), put it in a baking dish- a square one is nice, but you could even use a pie pan. Then put the ‘crumble’ mix on top. If you are a sweet tooth, put a little sugar on top of that:) Bake in your oven at about 350 degrees (or up to 375 if you like it a little crispier on top) for about a half hour. If the top seems to get too brown, cover with foil. That’s it!



Herb Bread

By Ana

I am not much of a baker (requires too much of following a recipe:), but I have loved this bread recipe and use it often. It is especially wonderful because it only requires one rise, making it a quicker bread to cook. It will make 2 small loaves, which I like, because you can give one away, or have it for the next nights meal as well. It is especially good for Lammas. In the morning I get a handful of my favorite herbs- rosemary, chives, and thyme usually- and then I wash them, and pick off the leaves, dry them on a paper towel, and place them on a cookie sheet in a low oven to dry. You must watch them so that they don’t burn. If you have the herbs dried already (store bought or dried from earlier this summer), skip this step and just use those. I really enjoy the act of picking the herbs for my bread that day, but it is a little more time consuming. Then I follow this recipe, taken from “The Whole Soy Cookbook, by Patricia Greenberg”.

1 cup lukewarm water
1 package fast-acting dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup soy milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp thyme, 2tbsp dried oregano, 2 tbsp dried rosemary (this as I said before, can be from your own garden, or the herbs changed to your taste. I also find this to be too much herbs for my families taste, and use about half this much, or 3 or 4 tablespoons total herbs).

Combine in a large bowl the water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Then add the soy milk and oil and mix. Slowly stir in the flour and salt, mixing until combined. Place the dough on a floured surface, add the herbs on top and knead for 4 minutes or so, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap- let rise. The recipe says it will double in bulk in 1.5 hours, but I find it takes more like 2.5 hours for me. Just keep an eye on it. Once doubled, divide the dough in half and form each into a ball. Place the loaves on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 35 or 40 minutes, until golden brown.



Lugnasadh Moons
By Morrigan

300 gramms of flour
2 teaspoones of baking powder
a bit of salt
30-50 gramms of sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)
now mix this and add
100 gramms of soft butter
mix this with your hands to flakes

Take two eggs, seperate one of them and keep the white egg seperate. Add 100 ml of milk to the eggs and mix this very good until its foamy. Now add this to the flakes and make it a mass you easily can roll out.keep it about 0,5 cm thick take a glass and take out some small moons – half ones, full ones, as you like.put the moons on a baking sheet and coat the white egg on them.

Bake them for 6 to 10 Minutes with top and down heat in the middle rail of the oven that you preheat at 200°C.

Magickal Graphics

Lammas – Fulfillment of Promise

Lammas – Fulfillment of Promise

by Gemini Star Child

Lammas is a rare celebration for  Seattle pagans. It is sometimes the  only outdoor ritual we can perform  without sweaters! The circle to which  I belong tries to celebrate the  Sabbats outdoors as often as possible, but even our tough little group  enjoys the warm bliss of summer’s  high sun at Lammas. While Litha is  the longest day and the pride of the  Sun Goddess, here, in Seattle, real  warmth and sunny skies are often  only an August thing.

So how do we celebrate  Lammas – this “ripening in the sun”?  We gather in a pleasant place where  air and light can play and we bless  the first fruits of harvest. In wheels  past, we looked forward to the coming dark and the shortening of days.  However, we decided that this year,  having finally arrived at our one sunny  Sabbat, we shouldn’t rain on the parade! Let’s live in the present and enjoy it.

Lammas is the fulfillment of the  promise of light and seed. At Yule, we  emptied ourselves completely to the  void, embracing the fullness of fallowness and surrendering all to the Dark  Mother. Light came from darkness and  we recognized it at Candlemas. We  presented our seeds to the light at  Oestara and the Two were blessed in  Beltane’s love. Light Mother gloried at  Litha in the growing life of earth and  ocean. Now, at Lammas, She shares  with us the first fruits of the seeds we  entrusted to Her.

Lammas has, sometimes, been  depicted as a time of hope, for the  full harvest could still fail. I prefer the  optimistic “cup half full” view, however, that sees Lammas as the promise of harvest fulfilled. The vegetables are on the table, the  cornbread is in the oven, and the  apples are turning red. As deeply as  we surrendered to the Dark Mother  in the fallow time, so now we take  joyful satisfaction with the Light  Mother in the fruitful time. Lammas  is the season to bask in bounty and  acknowledge that “Life Is Good”.

Mabon will come and the full harvest, but then we will not bask, for  there is much work to do. Later will  come Samhain when we will store the  seeds and release our bonds to this  life and this cycle. That is then, but  this is now. Be happy and rejoice!  Dance, sing, and eat your fill! Life indeed is good! Happy Lammas and Blessed Be!

Healing Prayer To Hecate

Healing Prayer To Hecate

By Mystic Amazon

O Sweet Dark Mother of the Night,
please turn your sympathy toward us
and send us your deep healing.

Lady, let your glimmering Moon
lighten all the dark places in our hearts
that need your bright clarity.

Send your dark hounds to protect us
and sleep near us, so we feel safe;
heal our pains of body and mind.

Please bring your fiery torches
as we walk beside you in the night time;
teach us more understanding.

Enfold us with the strength of your love;
as you teach us, let us share with others
the love and healing of your Light.

© Beth Johnson

(Mystic Amazon)

Activities For Families and the Young at Heart in the Harvest Season of Lammas And Mabon

Activities For Families and the Young at Heart in the Harvest Season of Lammas And Mabon

By Ana

Harvest your herbs and flowers and use them!
This is fun for everyone. Get up early one morning and pick your herbs and flowers. Or, for even more power, go out late in the evening on a full moon to pick them (bring a flashlight! you could also have a fun fire or hot cider or another special treat and make a night of it!). If you like, allow the children to pick their favorite flowers and make a bouquet to hang upside down to dry. They could keep these in their doorways or rooms for whatever blessing they want- you could say a simple chant while you wrap the ties around them to dry, to help focus the intent. I also like to make smudge sticks- they are simple- take a bundle of sage and wrap it with embroidery floss. Hang to dry- usually takes a few weeks, and then each person will have their very own home grown smudge stick to use through the fall or winter. Another idea is to make dream pillows. Sew small pillows together with fun fabric. If you hate to sew, buy fabric glue and glue together three sides. Then have the children place in a small amount of stuffing along with their favorite herbs (you can try to have this coordinate with what their needs are, or just let their heart lead them to what they need). If a child is having nightmares you could go further with this as a protection from that. Once filled, sew or glue the remaining side! One last idea to use your herbs- go ahead and save some lavendar and rose petals while collecting your plants in the morning. When your work is done, take them and let them steep along with you in a hot bath!

Make a Scare Crow
This is easy and fun, and looks best in the height of summer and fall. There are many ways to do this. Ours is made using an old lamp post we had lying around (that had broke a year before!), but you could use an old shovel or broomstick stuck in the ground deep. I have an old shirt of my grandfathers placed on the edges of the post (if you use a stick, you’ll need a cross-stick to make a T for the shirt to have shoulders/arms to rest on). Then we used string to tie on old gloves (ones I couldn’t find the match to!) and an we have him holding onto a garden bulb tool (that I hated using and didn’t work so it was fine to give it to the scare crow:). For the head we took old rags, but straw would be very appropriate, and an old piece of fabric in a circle. We then gave him a nice garden hat. For me it’s a sense of garden protection, but more importantly a remembrance of my grandfather. You could also do this as a remembrance for your ancestor, or a spirit or elemental or Goddess protection, using whatever things (beads, colors, etc.) draws that presence out for you. They can watch your garden with you:) This can be a family project, or a child could work on making small protection for their own space in the yard or garden, or near a playhouse or favorite spot perhaps? The possibilities are endless!

Natural Art:
This is something you could change with each season, or with each year. Go out into nature and have your children collect their favorite items- fall leaves, grass stalks, flowers, etc. Then take a large piece of posterboard (or cardboard you have extra- let’s try to recycle what we already have:), and have the children decorate. Make a Harvest Goddess for your window! Make a Summer Sun God (you could get extra fancy with this one, and make it out of something that could be sacrificed- either to the elements by being left out over the winter, or something that could be burned). Or just fingerpaint with nature! Now, as a crafty pagan mama, while this is going on, I can take those leaves and create a altar environment on my dining table… or find things to make a harvest wreath for the front door. To make it more magical, find herbs of protection and blessings for your home:)

Go Raspberry Picking
Something we do every year in early or mid-September is go raspberry picking! This is great fun, and a great way to celebrate the equinox. Last year my daughter ate so many berries I could not believe my eyes! We always pick up some local honey at this farm as well. Then when we get home, I make a berry cobbler, some berry muffins, and then I rinse all the left over berries and let them dry overnight. The next morning I take them and put them in small baggies and freeze them for smoothies throughout the fall and winter season (this is much cheaper than buying berries at the store in winter!).

Salt Dough
Salt dough is a great way to get creative (and not spend any money:) Take 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, and a little over a cup of water. Mix it up and there you go- instant clay. You can make all kinds of decorations for the seasons or esbats.
Use star shapes, or moons, spiral goddesses, sunflowers, and more. You can let it dry, or place them on cookie sheets on your lowest oven setting for awhile to dry them out (or stick them out in the hot sunshine). If you want to save them, take a clear paint (I use those sparkly craft ones) and do a few coats over them (this is nice on a yule tree). One fun activity I came up with lately was a bowl. Each person makes a small bowl- mine was a Goddess bowl, but it can be any type of bowl. Let the children make their own designs in it. Then, after it dries (this takes a few days, or else some time in the oven), have each child place something special to them in the bowl. I used affirmations. But, for the harvest season, one could place things they want to either plant (the Goddess plants her seeds in the fall) to grow in the future, or things they want to be released of or transformed through the death of the harvest making room for new things to grow in their life. This would be for older children obviously- my children just like to feel the dough and listen to circle round over and over again:)



About The Author: Ana is a Level I student in the White Moon School, with Luna Blanca. A stay at home mother of two small children, and focuses much of her energy on them, her home, husband, garden and pets. She is new to the White Moon School this spring, and has been studying pagan paths for the last 13 years or so. Before focusing on mothering, Ana was a yoga teacher and women’s counselor, with a degree in psychology and women’s studies. Her focus as a yoga teacher is on compassion to the self, incorporating meditation and extensive relaxation for the union of body, mind, and spirit. She enjoys reading, gardening, being at the lake, crafts, and vegetarian cooking.

Corn at Lammas

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

Corn at Lammas

By Rhianna

As a child growing up in Ohio, August was one of my favorite months. The best sweet corn in the world was harvested then and we would eat it almost every night for dinner. It was super sweet and succulent and the juice would explode in your mouth, bite after bite. All summer long, the fields and fields of corn would tease us with its perfect rows of green stalks and golden tufts. These days I don’t reside in Ohio but I still love sweet corn and Lammas, the first harvest holiday, is the perfect time to give thanks for the “first sister”.

Corn was an important, if not the most important staple for the Native American Indians. Corn figures in many Native Indian myths of the beginning of people on earth and each tribe has their own story. The Navajo believe that corn was among the First Ones and that First Man and Woman were created from two ears of corn, one white and one yellow.

Corn, the first of the three sisters as the Native Indians referred to them (squash and beans being the other two) was not only a food staple but symbolized the essence of life – fertility, growth and renewal. The early Pilgrims would never have survived their first winter if the Indians hadn’t given them the gift of corn and the instructions to grow it. It truly is the symbol of life.

Corn is associated with some Goddesses, such as Demeter, but there is also the myth of the Corn Maiden who gave of her own body to feed her family so they wouldn’t have to hunt animals. After she passed on, she was reborn in the cornstalks and provided seeds which continued to provide food for all.

Not only is corn delicious but it can also be incorporated into our rituals and spells. Whenever you need to add abundance to your life, find a way to add corn. Add dried cobs of colorful Indian corn on your altar, cook some corn and infuse it with intention to manifest upon consumption, add some dried corn kernels to an amulet, or use the husks to make corn dollies or braid them into special symbols. Use your intuition and imagination. Finally, let’s take a moment during this harvest season and remember to give to thanks to the Goddess for the abundance already in our lives.


About The Author: Rhianna is a High Priestess in the Order of the White Moon and will soon be opening her own branch, Sisters of the Spiral Garden. She is an ordained minister through the Ministry of Light Interfaith Church and a Reiki Master/Teacher. She lives in Texas with her husband and two furbabies.

Harvest Time

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments

Harvest Time

The Boughs Do Shake And Bells Do Ring,

So Merrily Comes Our Harvest In,

Our Harvest In, Our Harvest In,

So Merrily Comes Our Harvest In,

We’ve Ploughed, We’ve Sowed,

We’ve Reaped, We’ve Mowed,

We’ve Got Our Harvest In.

Magickal Graphics

Meditate on the Heart

Meditate on the Heart

by Deepak Chopra

The purpose of this exercise is to give you the experience of making your  heart pure enough to witness spirit. Pure here doesn’t mean good and virtuous;  it means free from impurity, with no value judgment intended. In the words of  William Blake, we are cleansing the doors of perception.

Sit comfortably in a quiet room by yourself, choosing a time when you feel  settled and unhurried. Early morning is best, since your mind will be alert and  fresh. Close your eyes and focus your attention on the middle of your chest,  where your heart is. (Your spiritual heart lies directly behind your  breastbone.)

Be aware of your heart as a space. Don’t try to hear your heartbeat or any  other sound you think a heart makes as it pumps blood. The heart center you want  to find is a point of awareness where feelings enter. In its pure form it is  empty, pervaded by weightlessness, absence of care, peace, and a subtle light.  This light may appear as white, gold, pale pink, or blue. But again, don’t  strain to find a light of any kind. You are not trying to sense the purity of  the heart center right now; all you need to feel is whatever is there.

Letting your attention rest easily there, breathe gently and sense your  breath going into your heart center. Here you may want to visualize a soft  pastel light, or a coolness pervading the chest. Let the breath go in and out,  and as it does, ask your heart to speak to you. Don’t phrase this as an order;  just have the faint intention that you want your heart to express itself.

For the next five or 10 minutes, sit and listen. Your heart will begin to  release emotions, memories, wishes, fears, and dreams long stored there, and as  it does, you will find yourself paying attention.

Paying attention to your heart is the object of this meditation.

You will notice as you continue this exercise that three things are naturally  coming together: Meditation, purification and attention. You are learning to be  with your heart in order to heed its spiritual meaning—this is  meditation. You are letting repressed material come up to be  released—this is purification. You are listening to your heart  without judgment or manipulation—this is attention.

Share Your Summer Bounty

Share Your Summer Bounty

by Judi Gerber

As I have written here before, one of the ways that gardeners can make a difference  is to share their excess produce with those in need, while getting rid of those  crops that they might have too much of, like zucchini or tomatoes.

Not only will you be helping to fight hunger, but you will be helping your garden. How so?  Too many mature fruit will make the plant stop producing, so you want to make  sure to harvest so you can extend your harvest season.

If you want to donate excess produce, you can do so through Ample Harvest. They have created a campaign to get home  gardeners to donate their excess harvest to local food pantries. As the  organization states on its website, “One out of six Americans (including a  quarter of all kids under six) does not have access to healthy fresh food at  their food pantry. The Campaign is a national effort utilizing  the Internet that enables 40+ million Americans who grow food in home gardens to  easily donate their excess harvest to one of 3,485 registered local food  pantries spread across all 50 states.”

You can find these registered food pantries in your area simply by typing in  your zip code. I was surprised to find about 20 within 15 miles of my zip code.  There is even a special  page for gardeners with tips on what kinds of produce are best to give to  those in need, when to pick them in order to donate them, and other frequently  asked questions. They even have smart phone apps on their site.

Another site that features maps showing food pantries is Feeding America. Here too, you can find food pantries in  your area simply by typing in your zip code.

If you don’t have your own garden, or if you want to do something different  for your summer vacation, you can volunteer with organizations that donate fresh  produce by gleaning excess or unwanted produce.  Traditionally,  gleaning is collecting “leftover” crops from farmers’ fields after they have  already been harvested. After harvest, there is an abundance of high quality,  marketable produce left in the fields that cannot be harvested economically or  does not meet commercial standards.

4 Sunny Activities for Summer Stress Relief

4 Sunny Activities for Summer Stress Relief

by Wild Divine

Everyone looks forward to summer outdoor fun, and you may even feel your  energy pick up when you head outside, but it’s not just a summer state of mind.  It has been proven that the sun can improve your mood, increase your energy, and  provide measurable health benefits.

According to Dr. Casey Adams, board-certified alternative health practitioner  and book author, the sun offers up multiple benefits: “The sun delivers heat,  raising core body temperature. Higher core body temperatures facilitate  increased cell function and higher energy. This increases our detoxification and  purification systems. Sun also regulates our natural biorhythm cycles. Boosted  core temperatures increase cortisol levels during the day, ushering more  relaxation and deeper sleep during the night.”

In addition, Dr. Adams, among others, points to the need for vitamin D  production. It has been reported that as many as one in seven adults is vitamin  D deficient; however, vitamin D can be synthesized by exposure to sunlight.  Vitamin D is converted to calcidiol in the liver which is in turn converted to  calcitriol in the kidneys.  Calcitriol regulates the amount of calcium and  phosphate in the bloodstream, which ensures healthy bones and teeth.

So despite the warnings to minimize sun exposure, moderate sun exposure  (including a thorough application of sunscreen) can have tremendous health  benefits. For sun-aided stress relief, here are four suggested activities:

1) Meditate in the meadow – or anywhere outside. If you are  an experienced practitioner, simply find a comfortable place and let the fresh  air breathe new life into your practice. If you are a beginner, simply find a  comfortable seated position. Then close your eyes and take slow deep breaths.  Feel the warmth of the sun and allow it to flow through your body – from the top  of your head to the tip of your toes. Quiet our mind and think only of the  breath and the warmth. Smile.

2) Downward dog in the daylight. Take your yoga mat and find  a nice flat area outside and perform literal sun salutations! Many have found  that a higher body temperature improves their yoga practice. Doesn’t a warrior  pose in the park breathing in fresh air sound like a nice change of pace from  the hot yoga studio?

3) Walk with wonder – take in everything around you. No  matter where you’re heading to – the store, to find lunch on your break, or  nowhere in particular – notice everything you pass. The trees, the flowers, how  the sunlight reflects off the buildings, the birds chirping – just take it all  in. For that moment, think of nothing else but what your senses are delivering  to you at that very second in time. You are truly in the present.

4) Journal your joy. Step outside to write down what makes  you happy, what you are grateful for, why you feel joy.  Removing yourself from  your walled environment – whether it be home or office – can help you let get  past the distractions and away from the sources of stress so you can open up  your mind and heart to feelings of gratitude and contentedness.

Not only will participating in these activities bring your relief in the  daytime, they have also all been proven to help you relax and sleep better at  night. Combined with the boosted core temperatures and increased cortisol levels  achieved by the sun exposure, you should not have any trouble drifting off. And  there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to relieve stress.

Many have observed that moods elevate in the summer – and there is a  scientific explanation. But by proactively harnessing the power of the sun, you  can leverage this phenomenon to even greater benefit. So, put on something cool  and comfortable, lather on the SPF 30, and drink in the summer sunshine. Your  mind and body will reap the rewards.


Olympic Dreaming: 4 Reasons To Watch With Your Kids

Olympic Dreaming: 4 Reasons To Watch With Your Kids

by Ronnie Citron-Fink

It’s that time again – the Olympics are rapidly approaching. The London  Olympic Games are expected to be viewed by more than 200 million people over the  17-day telecast.

Will you be watching? If so, there are number of ways you can both educate  and inspire yourself and your children by watching the Olympics.

Why watch the Olympics with your kids?

The Olympics are about people who sacrifice their whole lives to compete and  represent their country on the world stage. Not only does that make for some  fine international drama, watching the Olympics with your kids allows the whole  family to enjoy something together.

4 Reasons To Watch The Olympics  With Your Kids

1. Learn About Teamwork and Sportsmanship

Watching a team sport is the perfect way to show kids that working hard for a  common goal is good for the individual and for the team. While they may compete  against each other, they still cheer for each other and for their country. Every  now and then there are unfortunate examples of how players treat other teammates  and competitors poorly. Either way, teamwork and sportsmanship are important  lessons for kids to learn, and the Olympics set a wonderful stage for having  conversations about this.

2. Find Out About Geography and Culture

The Olympics present opportunities to discuss geography, weather,  transportation, food and cultures that are different from your own. Keeping a  globe and map handy can highlight where competing countries are located. Here is  a world map of the Olympic Cities. This interactive map lets you follow all the action from  London.

3. Learn New Sports

There are so many varieties of sports to choose from. Kids may get inspired  to try one when exposed to the various kinds during the Olympics. Years ago, my  family visited Lake Placid, home of the 1980 Winter Olympics. My daughter, who  was a little figure skater at the time the picture above was taken, wanted to  try as many Olympic sports as possible. Here she is cruising the luge run.

Here’s a list of some of the 2012 Summer Olympic sports:



Beach Volleyball











Synchronized Swimming

Table Tennis



Water Polo

4. Learn About Attitudes and Goal Setting

A can-do attitude is infectious and it’s great for building self-esteem.  Listening to the stories of the athletes with their tales about the personal  hurdles and shortcomings they went through to get to their given Olympic sport,  allows kids to see that we all may not be born jumping out of a ski gate, but  with perseverance and a can-do attitude, some reach their goal. Check out the stories of the US Olympic  team.

5. Learn History

Sharing the history  of the Olympics with kids is both educational and inspiring.

Make Olympic Crafts

Kids will enjoy all of the excitement of the games with this round-up of Olympic  crafts.

One more reason to watch the Olympics with your  kids:

One day your kid will grow up and have dreams of her own.


What Is the Significance of the Olympics?

What Is the Significance of the Olympics?

by Sarah Cooke

With the kick-off of the Olympics this  past weekend, there have been dramatically varying reactions to the significance  of the games and, in particular, how that relates to culture and politics in the  United States.

One typical reaction to the Olympics is the blindly patriotic one. Many  Americans have a tendency to view the Olympics as a stage for the United State  to boast its supposed superiority. Of course, this is a very narrow way to view  both the games and the place of the United States in the global community.

On the other hand, many Americans reject the games outright because they do  not support many of the policies of the United States. They feel that the games  promote nationalism and that to care about the Olympics is to demonstrate  support for policies with which they disagree.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I enjoy the games as a demonstration of human  accomplishment. As a nation, we should absolutely be proud of our athletes – not  because they are American, but because they have worked hard to accomplish great  things. To me, the Olympics are not about what country walks away with the most  medals. The Olympics are a manifestation of the strength of the human  spirit.


Editorial Opinion – July 30

I believe as you have come to know me. You have never heard me speak of politics until now. I have always tried to stay neutral (which I hope I am still about to do), taking neither side. Matter of fact, you don’t know if I am Republican or Democrat. And I feel it should stay that way, Witchcraft and Politics don’t mix in my opinion.

Here recently I have been seeing images, photos, News reports and everything else about Romney being overseas. I stop to think to myself, “what the heck is he doing over there to start with?” Besides embarrassing us in Great Britain, that is all I see he has accomplished. He isn’t the President. He has no power and he surely can’t make our allies any promises. Because he doesn’t know if he will be able to keep them or not. And I surely hope our allies know not to make any agreements with him because he is not President of the United States.  He is only a candidate for President. And really since the Republican’s haven’t had their convention yet, he is not the Republican candidate. Well at least that is how I thought things worked. You don’t presume anything, you have to be voted on, then it’s official. Hmm, just because the rest dropped out, doesn’t mean there could be a person come out of no where and take the nomination. The way I understand the Republicans really aren’t that happy with Romney to start with. So if another person would come out of the woodwork and challenge him, perhaps things might get interesting. At least Romney would stop acting Presidential and go back to acting more like a candidate for the Republican nomination.

It is in my humble opinion, that Romney should come back to the States AND STAY! He has no business overseas. If he was on vacation, that would be totally different. But he is not, he is over there campaigning the American residents and visiting all the Dignitaries and Heads of State.  Which in my opinion, he has no business doing right now. If he wins the Presidency, then make your plans to go visit abroad. But for now, stay home and please keep your mouth shut for the rest of the trip.

I went back and re-read what I had wrote and it struck me. If Romney has embarrassed just as a candidate, what would he be like as President? Do we really want a man in the White House that has already humiliated the American people? I believe his actions now just give us a preview of what’s to come, if he is elected President.  I hope the American people think long and hard about their decision this year.

Just my humble opinion…..

Quiz of the Day for July 30 – Are You Energy Sensitive?

Are You Energy-Sensitive?

by Annie B. Bond

If you have ever found yourself getting irritated or depressed for no  apparent reason after spending time with certain people, the answer may be  simple: you may be a sensitive, absorbing or reacting to energy from these  individuals that isn’t healthy for you.

Answer these questions to see if this could be true for you, and then find  out what to do about it so you don’t continue to feel depleted or irritable when  you’re around these people.

1. Do you frequently feel angry, nervous, tense, or irritable around certain  people?

2. Do you often feel sad, low-energy, drained, or lethargic when you are  around some individuals?

3. Do you ever find yourself wanting to lie or cover-up around specific  people?

4. Do you frequently find yourself folding your arms over your midsection  when you are with certain people in your life?

5. Do you often feel ill-at-ease or uncomfortable with some individuals?

6. Does the mere sight of some people cause you to feel instantly defensive  or angry?

7. Do you find yourself inwardly groaning when you hear a specific person’s  voice on the phone?

The more questions you answered “yes” to, the more sensitive you probably  are.

Most of us are unconsciously influenced by others’ energies. These energies  are what they are, neither good nor bad–but some may be beneficial, and some  detrimental to us. The extent to which you are affected is a sign of your  sensitivity. Becoming awareof the energy-effects of interactions is a  wonderful first step in becoming more conscious, and in undoing the negative  effects of others’ energies on us.

If you think you are being adversely affected when you are in the company of  certain people’s energy fields, here are some things you can do:

If you are around someone whose energy makes you feel drained:

1.  Move away from the person.

2. Politely cut the interaction short.

3.  Redirect the person’s attention.


If you find yourself feeling irritable around someone:

1. First,  realize that you do not need to take this personally. Simply notice, “This is  someone who makes me feel prickly.”

2. Ground yourself. This can be as simple  as just placing your hands on the ground, or as complex as doing a brief  relaxation and grounding exercise.


Daily Feng Shui Tip for July 30 – How To Be Absolutely ‘Irresistible’

Hot, sultry, sensuous and sexy, and I’m not just taking about the weather! If you want to be absolutely irresistible then give this spicy bath a try: Pour two cups boiling water over a cup or bowl holding a pinch of powdered cinnamon, three whole cloves, and a teaspoon each of cardamom seeds and coriander seeds. Let this mix steep before straining and then allow it to cool. Add this blend to a bath filled with warm water and soak up. Let yourself air dry as your romantic apprehensions now flow down the drain. You have now successfully bathed away the beliefs that you are not the single hottest thing around during these hot summer months!

By Ellen Whitehurst for