‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for August 2

By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Prisoners never love their jails. And the same holds true for all kinds of prisoners, whether they be dogs on leashes or human beings tied to responsibilities. If they are there of their own free will and because they have a sense of belonging, the connecting link is made of love.

Responsible people with an assignment, and the feeling that it is theirs alone, will do it to the best of their ability and see it through. But is they must be watched and directed in every step, then it is a jail and the first thought is how to get out.

Freedom to be an individual with the right to make even small decisions is a precious possession. Freedom to come and go can build faith and trust within people, to make them stick closer than brothers. The rigid rules and constant prodding of a free spirit will force them to find that freedom.

We simply cannot keep another in bondage without being in bondage ourselves. To hold humanity by invisible force is to keep constant watch. And even beneath that watchful eye there will be a continual search for escape.

Anyone completely dependent upon others must always bear their will-O-the-wisp attitudes and the rising and lowering of the emotional tides. However, it is presumptuous of anyone to believe they can possibly be completely independent of others. Without other people, we cannot exist.

But to believe we are doing our best for anyone except ourselves is to build on sand. Of course others inspire us. They give us reasons to be better. They give us the benefit of their experience, but we seldom learn from that. We demand experience of our own. So consequently, we err and make it right. We mar and erase. And sometimes we try and fail, but always it is up to us to decide whether we do better or worse.

We can despair easily of allowed to become completely and utterly dependent upon others. They are human and they make mistakes. But we must know some measure of forgiveness the same as we must know some independence, if only in the spirit. And if the spirit is free, then all else shall be too.


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:


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

Elder’s Meditation of the Day August 2

Elder’s Meditation of the Day August 2

“When you get older and you are ready, your ancestors will show up to guide you.”


Many of us, when we are young, spend a portion of our lives in learning. Unfortunately, some of us spend this time learning the hard way. When we are young we sometimes think we know everything. Sometimes we do foolish things. As we get a little older, we realize we don’t know anything. This is when we become teachable. There is a saying that goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. We usually aren’t teachable unless we are ready. The ancestors are waiting and willing to help. When we are ready, many beautiful teachers start to come into our lives. Then we really start to grow and mature. We are ready for the spiritual lesson.

Creator, help me to become ready and teachable.

August 2 – Daily Feast

August 2 – Daily Feast

It is not easy to forget the hours we spent as children along some sparkling stream – and there were more sparkling streams then. It is not hard to remember every sound that carried up the creek, how the fishing was, and how it tasted fresh from the water and cooked in an old tin skillet over an open fire. There were a nv s tsigi, violet flowers, blooming in clusters along the banks – and poison ivy we had to avoid – and didn’t always. A cardinal sang a fishing song and the sound of oars dipped in warm water with a soft splish-splash. Bugs, like people on water-skis, slipped over the surface of water. And as we passed, tsisdvna, crawfish backed into holes in the mud. Every moment was a thing of joy and knocks softly on our minds today when the need for solitude is there.

~ What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night….the breath of a buffalo in the winter time….a little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. ~


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

Daily Motivator for Aug. 2nd – Keep expecting the best

Keep expecting the best

Expect the best. Accept what comes. Make the most of it. Repeat.

It’s always best to expect the very best of yourself, of others, and of life.  Yet those expectations can take time to manifest.

Surely and eventually your persistent positive expectations will bear fruit.  So give them the opportunity to do their best work by diligently doing your best  work.

Embrace each moment as it comes. You cannot change what has already been  handed to you but you can absolutely find a positive course of action.

Keep expecting the very best, and working toward it, especially when  circumstances tell you otherwise. Keep expecting the very best, no matter what,  and you’ll make it happen.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for August 2nd – Trees and People

Trees and People

Children of Mother Nature

by Madisyn Taylor

We can be more like trees opening our crown to the Universe and rooting down deep with our feet into mother earth.
A tree that is beginning to grow sends roots down into Mother Earth even as it reaches and opens to the sky above, seeking nourishment from the sun and the moisture in the air and in the rain that falls. In the same way, we can envision ourselves as treelike beings, imagining that we have roots reaching down into the earth, energetic strands that keep us connected. At the same time, the crowns of our heads lift and open to receive nourishment from above. Just like a tree, we seek the sunshine and water we need to survive and thrive. Both trees and people serve as conduits for the intermingling of the opposite and complementary elements of air, water, sun, and earth. 

We also share creative ways of growing, regardless of the challenges we come up against in our environments. Trees will even grow through rock, shattering it, in their effort to reach the air and light they need to survive. We are similarly resilient, with a built-in propensity for growth and the conditions that promote it. We find creative ways around the obstacles we confront as we move along our paths, moving toward the light that feeds us, just as trees grow around other trees and rocks as they make their way upward. 

Contemplating the ways in which trees and people mirror one another brings us into alignment with the reality that we are part of Mother Nature. Our children, and the trees and their children, will live together on the earth as long as we all survive, sharing the elements and serving together to forward nature’s plan. Walking in a forest can be a meditation, the interweaving lives of all living creatures and the planet on which we all take root and reach for the sky



To cast a sepll you have to follow the basic ritual structure.

Preparing the Altar.(nothing too elaborate, just a few of your favorite tools). Lighting the candles.

Cleansing the area.

Casting the circle.

Invoking the elements.

Invoking the Deities.

Stating the Purpose of the ritual.

Magickal workings or devotions.

Raising the Energy. Releasing the Energy.


Thanking the Deities.

Thanking the elements.

Closing(or sometimes called opening) the circle.

Cakes and ale.

At the magick working section, you have to use your spell. In this spell you have to use the correspondences to make a good ritual. You have to use the correct herbs, essential oils, foods, trees, flowers, crystals, colours, days, time, planetary hour, zodiac hour. Look along them to see which fits in to what you want, let’s say protection:

Herbs – These can be used in a spell around a candle and then put in a silk bag (of appropriate colour) and carried around as a charm bag. They add energy to the spell.

Essential Oils – These can be annointed on the candle or charm bag, made later

Foods – These can be eaten after the ritual, and for a week after, or until you don’t need the spell anymore, to help you feel more protected.

Trees – These can be used in a wand, or in a talisman, as a writing tablet, where you inscribe symbols, numbers and words. They can also be placed into the charm bag.

Flowers – These can be planted around your house and picked for the spell. The flowers will also act as a protective barrier and as a home for fae, who will help too.

Crystals – These can be used in the spell and afterwards placed in the charm bag. You can make protective patterns from many crystals and that will help protect too.

Days, Times, Planetary Hours, Zodiac Hours – These are used for the right moon phase, sun phase, zodiac house etc. to help achieve the goal. When used in conjunction, all in the right way, there is a particular influece in that time which will help the spell to travel, and for you to concentrate.

Theory Of SpellCasting


Theory Of SpellCasting


Spells are an important aspect of magical training. They require the

use of the combined faculties of relaxation, visualization,

concentration and projection. The casting of spells provides practice

in coordinating these skills and developing them further. Spells are

extremely sophisticated psychological tools that have subtle, but

important, effects on a person’s inner growth. Spells may highlight

otherwise hidden complexes of the person casting the spell.

A person who has conflicts about success will find great difficulty

in concentrating on a money spell, for example. Many times the

practical results of a spell are far less important than the

psychological insights that arise during the magical work, for

discovering our inner blocks and fears is the first step in

overcoming them. Spells also go one step further than most forms of

psychotherapy, in that they allow us not only to listen to and

interpret the unconscious, but also to speak to it in the language it



Symbols, images, and objects used in spells communicate directly with

Younger Self, who is the guardian of our emotions and who is barely

affected by the intellect. We often understand our feelings and

behavior but find ourselves unable to change them, but through

spells, we can attain the most important power – the power to change

our lives.


Spellcasting also forces us to come to terms with the material world.

Many people attracted to the spiritual path of the Craft find

themselves uneasy with using magic for practical or material goals.

Somehow it seems wrong to work magic for oneself, to want things and

to get things. This is an attitude which is a holdover of the Judeo-

Christian world view that sees spirit and matter as separate and that

identifies matter with evil and corruption.

In the Craft, flesh, the material world, none of what is commonly

thought of as matter is separate from spirit. The universe is made up

of the Goddess who is manifest in all things. Union with the Goddess

comes through embracing the material world and all the gifts that She

has placed in it for us. Our major task on this plane of existence is

to become masters of this realm of manifestation. We do not fight

self-interest; we follow it, but with an awareness that transmutes it

into something sacred

Spellcrafting 101

Spellcrafting 101

Contrary to popular belief, witches do not spend most of their time casting spells. Most of us have full-time jobs, busy social lives, families, and other demands on our times. A spell, properly cast, can be a tremendous drain on a witch’s physic resources. It’s not a task to be undertaken lightly.

Spellcraft does have its place the life of a witch, but not nearly as major a one as many people suppose. In fact, a wise witch is very sparing in her use of spellcraft. Pagans practice first and foremost a religion — a religion quite unlike many others, in that beliefs and practices vary, but a religion nonetheless. We have many different conceptions of what the Divine might be, but we do all believe that One exists. By definition, God/dess is more powerful and wiser than us. So before we jump in and try changing things according to our own limited understanding, we consider the situation carefully.

Remember the Wiccan Rede

, a basic ethical guideline that Wiccans – and many other pagans – follow: An it harm none, do what you will. As has been discussed elsewhere, the Rede is deceptively simple. Obviously, physical harm, emotional harm, slander, theft, and other crimes are verboten according to the Rede. But what about other, more subtle forms of harm?

Most witches agree that curses, hexes, and other harmful spellcraft is more trouble than it’s worth. Hand in hand with the Wiccan Rede goes something called the Law of Returns. In general terms, this Law states that all energy you send out into the Universe comes back to you. It may not come back right away, and it may not come back in the form you’re expecting, but it does come back. Different traditions put their own twist on the Law of Returns, saying that the energy comes back threefold or fivefold. I’m not so picky about the math, but I have seen the Law in action, and respect it highly.

Interpreting the Rede

Witches continue to disagree over other grey areas. For instance, does casting a spell on another person without consulting them first constitute harm, even if the intentions are good? What about actions taken in self-defense?

Personally, I avoid all actions – whether mundane or magickal – that can cause harm to another being. In my experience, acts of hatred and vengeance are best countered with actions of love and kindness.

Working my will on another person without their consent constitutes harm. To that end, I never cast a spell on another person without obtaining permission first. Manipulative spells designed to make someone else fall in love – whether with me or with a third party – to move away, or to leave a job ultimately backfire on the person who casts them. This policy also extends to more beneficial spells, such as spells for healing, prosperity, or other kinds of blessings. Only the Goddess has the power to know what is best for another person. No matter how noble my own intentions, it is presumptuous and ultimately harmful for me to meddle in someone else’s affairs.

That’s not to say that I haven’t done a little juju for my friends. Far from it; I’ve prepared charmed sachets for newlywed couples, given suggestions on how to attract jobs, held a healing circle for my lover, and even suggested a ritual to help a friend open herself up to the possibility of a love affair. But the main ingredient in all that magick was consent. Before I drag out my herbs and my athame, I get the permission of the person whom the spell is meant to benefit.

Often times people ask me if I have spells. Yes, I have spells. Some have worked, some haven’t. What a witch must keep in mind is that what works for me, may not work for another witch. Magick is within everything. How it is perceived is different from witch to witch. Some think patchouli oil is the best oil for a prosperity spell. I prefer clove oil and have had success in using it. One of the wonders of magick is that there is normally a wide variety of correspondences to choose from for any one desired result. There must be about a hundred different herbs listed for love and at least thirty for wealth and money (a few of which I have listed).I prefer to perform candle magick. Candle spells are simple, they are not time consuming (very important to a witch with little time) and they work. When I do a candle spell, I carefully choose an appropriate color for the candle, a stone, an oil, and three herbs, one for the physical realm, one for the mental realm and one for the spiritual realm, plus one more as a type of catalyst (normally these catalysts are either Dragon’s blood, Mandrake or Mistletoe).

How do I pick my correspondences? First, I must know what I’m doing the spell for. Is it a prosperity spell, a healing spell, a spell to find a new job or maybe to improve communication with a loved one? Once I determine what I’m trying to accomplish, I hit the books. Within my library, I have several books that index what various colors, herbs, oils and stones correspond with various desired results. I try to be as specific as I can and try to blend my choice of correspondences to better “describe” my desired result. If I’m going to perform a prosperity spell, what attributes are going to be needed to reach the final goal? Creativity, physical strength, courage? I try to chose some herb or the oil to correspond with those added aspects and keep in mind that most herbs and oils have several attributes. Its is very possible to have an herb with the attributes of both wealth and, say, strength. With one herb you can accomplish two ends. I leave the color of the candle to the core of the spell. For a prosperity spell, green, a banishing spell, black. The same applies to the stone I use. I leave it to the core of the spell.

Having said all that, now I must also add, use what you have! One of the first spells I did I literally raided my spice cabinet for the herbs I needed. Okay, so maybe fennel would not have been my first choice, but it worked! I am fortunate to have an orange tree in my back yard. Yes, I use the leaves, blossoms, fruit, and bark in place of other possibly more popular herbs. Use what you have!

Once I’ve gathered my correspondences, I then charge them with the purpose of the spell. How is this done? There are a few techniques that must be utilized for this part of spellworking.

Ability to Meditate

This is the art of clearing the mind of all mundane thoughts and feelings. It is a state of relaxation and peace, the goal to reach a state of non-thought. This is not easy and I still haven’t mastered the technique yet, but do the best you can. There are several very good books on the subject and even in many of the books on Wicca and witchcraft there are simple techniques to help in mastering meditation. This is essential to spellwork. Your mind must be at peace so that you can focus on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Ability to Visualize

This is the ability to see with your mind, not with your senses. Although it is called visualization, remember, use all your senses! Close your eyes. Within your mind’s eye, see a tree, whatever kind of tree you want or are familiar with. Let your mind see its limbs, its leaves or needles (depending on the type of tree), the trunk, etc. Let your mind feel the bark. Is it smooth, rough, spongy? Does the tree have a fragrance? Let your mind smell that fragrance. Let your mind hear the wind as it rustles the leaves. Visualization is not easy for some, but with practice you can visualize anything. (Taste also falls into this category, but for our little discussion, tasting a tree may not be prudent.) During spellwork you will visualize your goal (and be specific and detailed!) before directing it into the item you’re charging.

Ability to Direct Energy

This is the ability to take the energies of the correspondences and your own energy and directing it towards your goal. When you charge an object, that energy is initially coming from you. From within yourself imagine (visualize) a bright light, maybe white or the color that corresponds with your goal, forming within yourself centered between your chest and stomach. Let that light grow and expand. Then direct that light up through your body, down your projective arm, out your fingertips (or through your athame or wand) and into whatever your trying to charge. While you direct that light, that energy, you will be visualizing your intent with as many specifics as you can.

It is important to realize that magick is energy flow. It is not power. All spells create a tangible connection between the objects used and yourself. When you work magick, be specific, but be careful! If you do a spell for a new job, remember to be specific in that your new job doesn’t come at the expense of another! “An Ye Harm None” Remember these words when you work magick. As you finish your spell, (for me after I light the candle), I add something to the affect of “May the energy of this magick harm none and take a path that is for the good of all involved.”

For candle spells remember that the flame must be allowed to continue to burn until it goes out on its own. I use three and seven day candles that are in glass jars. You can sprinkle your herbs on the top of them and they are safer. Remember not to leave a burning candle near drapes or where something flammable may fall into the flame. Keep in mind that the glass jars get hot, so handle with care and as the candle reaches the bottom of the jar, make sure the candle is not sitting on something that might burn from the heat. I suggest getting a ceramic dish and put some sand in the bottom to act as insulation. When I leave my home, I place the candle in my bath tub, just in case. If for some reason it gets knocked over, there is nothing in my tub that could catch on fire.

For positive spells, once the candle is out, use the stone as a talisman. Carry it with you or put it someplace where its presence will have an affect. For banishing spells, very carefully remove all remnants, of the candle, especially the stone, without touching it. Wrap the remnants in white paper and bury it outside, preferably some distance away.

Remember to write down your spells! You can either keep these spells in your Book of Shadows or elsewhere. My Book of Shadows is riddled with pieces of paper, napkins, whatever I happen to jot notes and spells down on. Some choose to use their computers as their BoS. Regardless, with the spells written down, can keep track of what works and what doesn’t and you can also keep track of what you are doing while you’re doing it.

A few words about magick and ethics. Most magick, at least initially, is done for yourself. There will be times when spellwork will be used to benefit other people. Any ethical witch WILL NOT do a spell that will affect someone else specifically without that person’s permission. A witch must respect another person’s soul path. What if you can’t ask them (i.e. you can’t reach them, the person is unable to communicate, etc)? Then you must honestly consider if that person would object. If your favorite aunt were deathly ill and could not communicate, and you wanted to do a healing spell for her, you would need to consider if she would agree to the spell if she could. If she were a devout Fundamentalist Christian, chances are pretty good she’d say no. You must respect her choices and her soul path.

No witch in their right mind will perform magick that is intended to manipulate, control or harm another. Remember, what you send out will come back to you threefold.

A witch should never sell a spell. If someone asks you to do a spell for them, it is not unreasonable to ask them to cover the expenses of the materials used, but other then that, no money should be received for the magick you do. That is counter productive and can cloud the intent of the magick.

When someone asks you to do a spell for them, if possible, instead of you doing the spell, teach them how to do it. The spell will have a better chance at success and they will have a better understanding of how the magick works



To be a witch is to love and be loved.
To be a witch is to know everything, and nothing at all.
To be a witch is to move amongst the stars while staying on earth.
To be a witch is to change the world around you, and yourself.
To be a witch is to share and give, while receiving all the while.
To be a witch is to dance and sing, and hold hands with the universe.
To be a witch is to honor the gods, and yourself.
To be a witch is to be magick, not just perform it.
To be a witch is to be honorable, or nothing at all.
To be a witch is to accept others who are not.
To be a witch is to know what you feel is right and good.
To be a witch is to harm none.
To be a witch is to know the ways of old.
To be a witch is to see beyond the barriers.
To be a witch is to follow the moon.
To be a witch is to be one with the gods.
To be a witch is to study and to learn.
To be a witch is to be the teacher and the student.
To be a witch is to acknowledge the truth.
To be a witch is to live with the earth, not just on it.
To be a witch is to be truly free!

33 sick in 7 states from salmonella in beef

33 sick in 7 states from salmonella in beef

By JoNel Aleccia, NBC News

At least 33 people are sick, including 11 hospitalized, from salmonella-tainted ground beef linked to nearly 30,000 pounds of recalled hamburger on Sunday.

People in seven states have been infected with salmonella Enteritidis linked to beef produced by Cargill Meat Solutions of Wyalusing, Pa., officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

The 85-percent lean ground beef was produced on May 25.

Ill people include 14 in New York, 10 in Vermont, three in Massachusetts, two in Virginia and New Hampshire and one in Maine, the CDC said.

Illnesses began in early June. Those that occurred after June 29 might not yet be reported because of the lag in time between when illness occurs and when it’s documented.

Cargill officials recalled 29,339 pounds of meat, packaged in 14-pound chubs, after the outbreak was detected. Federal officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service linked the beef to five infected patients.

Consumers should check their freezers for recalled products and discard them. The recalled meat bears the establishment number “EST.9400” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Antiseptic wipes made in China pulled in U.S.

Antiseptic wipes made in China pulled in U.S.


By JoNel Aleccia, NBC News

Chinese-made antiseptic wipes and swabs distributed in the U.S. by a New York medical supply company have been recalled because of potential microbial contamination.

DUKAL Corp. of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., issued a nationwide voluntary recall of 4,300 cases of benzalkonium chloride swabs and antiseptic wipes, saying they may contain Burkholderia cepacia, bacteria that can cause infection and illness in people with underlying health problems. The recall was issued on July 25, but posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday.

“All customers are advised to discontinue use of products identified in this recall immediately as their use could lead to infections, some of which pose certain health risks in immune-suppressed patients,” the company said in a statement.

Two of some 50 lots of products, including Zee antiseptic swabs and Dukal BZK swabs, were found to contain the bacteria, John Grasso, vice president of operations for DUKAL, told NBCNews.com.

We’ve actually recalled the product back to 2009,” Grasso said.

The swabs were manufactured by Jianerkang Medical Dressing Co. The company’s website indicates it’s located in Jintan City in Jiangsu Province, China.

For information about specific brands and packages, click here.

Grasso said FDA officials detected the contamination during a routine port inspection of imported products. The problem was traced to a faulty machine at the Chinese plant, he added. It has since been resolved.

DUKAL makes a wide range of medical products including antiseptics and cleansers, bandages, tapes and gauze dressings. Many of those products are included in first-aid kits and medical kits sent to people with medical problems. They are sold both over-the-counter and as part of kits.

No illnesses have been associated with the potentially tainted products, Grasso said.

“For average healthy people, the presence of Burkholderia cepacia is not likely to cause serious health risks,” the company said.

FDA officials could not immediately comment on results of inspections or other enforcement actions at the Chinese plant.

Echoes of past tainted wipe recalls

The recall of antiseptic wipes comes more than a year after a massive recall of swabs, wipes and other products made and distributed by sister Wisconsin firms highlighted serious health risks and regulatory failures regarding microbial contamination in medical supplies.

As of June, FDA officials said H&P Industries Inc. and the Triad Group of Hartland, Wis., remained closed under the terms of a federal consent decree that prohibits the firms from making or distributing products.

The firms have been cited in nearly a dozen lawsuits nationwide that alleged that contaminated wipes or other products led to serious illnesses and death.

The family of a 2-year-old Houston boy, Harrison Kothari, alleged that he died after contracting an infection caused by Bacillus cereus, the bacterium detected in the H&P wipes. The boy’s parents, Sandra and Shanoop Kothari, settled their lawsuit with H&P Industries in April, according to court records and interviews.

Other wipe-makers have recalled products because of potential contamination as well. Last September, Professional Disposables Inc. of Orangeburg, N.Y., recalled all lots of five different kinds of non-sterile alcohol prep pads because of possible contamination with Bacillus cereus.

And in April 2011, Rockline Industries of Springdale, Ark., recalled nearly a million units of baby wipes, including brands sent to Winn-Dixie stories and Walmart, because of potential contamination with Enterobacter gergoviae.

In February 2011, as scrutiny of the Triad alcohol prep pad recall was heating up, the DUKAL Corp. issued a press release from its Shanghai office.

“Dukal’s alcohol wipes are manufactured in accordance with all applicable FDA guidelines and strictly controlled and monitored by Dukal’s quality assurance department,” the release said.

Just In – Garden Fresh recalling 7 tons of packaged salads

Garden Fresh recalling 7 tons of packaged salads

MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin company that makes packaged salads is recalling nearly seven tons of products because they contain onions that are the subject of a separate recall.

Milwaukee-based Garden Fresh Foods makes packaged pasta salads and chicken salads. The company is recalling 13,600 pounds of products that contain onions possibly contaminated by the bacterium Listeria.

The onions are from supplier Gills Onions LLC. The Oxnard, Calif., company launched its own recall last month due to contamination concerns.

The Garden Fresh products have the establishment number “P-17256” or “Est. 17256” inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture mark of inspection. A list of the specific recalled products is available on the USDA website.

No illnesses have been reported in connection with the products, which are sold nationwide.

Rhyming Charge of the Goddess

Rhyming Charge of the Goddess


I am the harmonious tune of the songbird And the laughter of a gleeful child.
I am the bubbling sound of the running brook
And the scent of the flowers wild.

I am the floating leaf upon the breeze
And the dancing fire in the forest glade.
I am the sweet smell of rains upon the soil.
And the rapture of passion when love is made.

I am the germination of seed in the Spring
And the ripening of wheat in the Sun.
I am the peaceful depth of the twilight
That soothes the soul when day is done.

I am found in the twinkling of an aged eye…
And found in the birth of a newborn pup…
Yes…Birth and Growth and Death, am I
I am the gracious Earth, on whom you sup.

I am your sister, your mother, the wise one.
I wrap you gently in the warmth of my love.
That which your seek you shall find within:
Not without…not below…not above!
Remember always, my children, be reverent.
Be gentle, loving and kind to each other
And hold sacred the Earth and its creatures:
For I am the Lady: Creatrix and Mother!


Quiz of the Day – Is the Simple Life Right for You?

Is the Simple Life Right for You?

by Annie B. Bond

Many of us yearn for plain, simple surroundings where our basic needs are  supplied in very simple ways. But there are always trade-offs. There is a  paradox that comes along with simplicity: choosing a simpler life usually  entails more activity on your part.

Given the sort of person you are and the sorts of things you enjoy, do you  think simplifying your life physically would yield you greater pleasure? Here is  a quiz that will show if a radically, physically simple life would work well for  you:

1. Would you delight in the extra exercise and sensual experience involved  in, for example, chopping wood, riding a bicycle, kneading dough, sweeping,  using a pole lathe, hand-sanding old furniture?

2. Does reading about people doing those sorts of things or seeing pictures  of them give you a feeling of excitement, pleasure or envy?

3. Do you feel a yearning for more exertion and the kind of weariness that  comes at the end of a day of physical labor?

4. At those times in your life when you have done that sort of work, or when  you have shaped something by hand instead of buying it, did that feel especially  satisfying to you?

5. Do you go camping and enjoy the simplicity of a tent and a campfire (or  even a caravan) and then find yourself slightly averse to all the demands of a  modern house when you return?

6. Do you love taking trips to places far away from telephones and  television, where mobile phones don’t work?

7. Were you a boy scout or a girl guide and do you remember, with pleasurable  nostalgia, what fun it was to go tracking, to make campfires, collect firewood,  make “gadgets” by lashing sticks together?

8. Do you enjoy gardening? Cooking? Sewing? Crafts?

If you said “yes” to all or most of these questions, you are a likely  candidate for  radical, physical simplicity. If you said “no” to most of them,  you will need to think carefully before implementing anything which simplifies  your life physically. You must watch that you don’t simplify in ways which will  create chores you later come to resent. Or chores which, one day, you may be  physically unable to do. (If osteo-arthritis sets in, will you still be able to  chop wood and ride your bike?)