‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for April 22nd

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:

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.

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…. ~


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

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
The Daily Motivator

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.


The Daily OM


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.

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

Every Day is Earth Day

Every Day is Earth Day

Author: Peg Aloi 

I write to you from Boston, where last week we had a day that hit NINETY-THREE degrees (breaking the previous record for that day by eleven degrees!), and yesterday we had an earthquake measuring 5.1, and tonight, I hear, it’s going to snow. Global warming? NAAAAHHHH… .

Today was Earth Day. Did you celebrate?

A picnic in a favorite park, perhaps? An outdoor benefit concert with inspirational speakers? (I went to an Earth Day concert in Central Park a few years ago: Mario Cuomo spoke, and the B-52s played. And there sure was a lot of trash on the ground afterwards. Same with an Earth Day concert on the Esplanade in Boston several years ago. Cool bands, great speakers, boatloads of garbage.). Maybe you participated in a community clean-up effort? Or maybe you just did some things to make your own environment more earth-friendly: put in low-flow shower heads or toilets, or planted herbs in pots on your windowsill, or finally recycled all those empty bottles, or replaced high-watt bulbs with more energy-efficient ones. Or perhaps, being a pagan or a witch, you performed a ritual to heal the planet, or created a special altar in your garden.

Good for you!

What will you do tomorrow?

Every day is earth day, you know.

I was born in 1963. That means I was coming of age during the environmentally conscious 1970s. I remember Carter implementing energy-saving laws, I remember nation-wide advertising campaigns about using LESS of everything: less water, less electricity, less gasoline, less oil. Conserve! Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! I remember little signs posted in classrooms and office buildings: “Save Energy: Turn off lights when not in use.” Or “Conserve water; turn off the tap while brushing teeth.” And I did that stuff. Drove my family nuts, but I did it.

And I remember crying when Iron Eyes Cody did, his single tear falling after he rode his horse through a polluted valley and saw his beautiful homeland covered in garbage. A very successful ad campaign, why, so successful they even bring it around every few years so people remember: People Start Pollution. People Can Stop It. Recycling a TV commercial from the 1970s! Gosh, that’s clever.

Except it isn’t working.

Americans today are worse litterbugs than ever (and just so you don’t think I am only picking on America, I was horrified the last couple of times I went to great Britain: they have finally caught up with us on this one and are as disgusting about throwing trash in the streets as we are. London’s streets were so full of trash that in some areas it looked like a war zone). We buy huge amounts of over-packaged convenience foods in non-recyclable containers because we just don’t have time to cook (never mind what this is doing to our bodies , the increase of garbage in the landfills is also harming us). We buy artificially flavored nutrient-empty junk food because our obese nation has an obsession with snacking all day, every day (and of course we can’t be bothered to throw our cookie wrappers, soda cans and chip bags in the proper receptacle! Why should we? Everyone ELSE throws them on the ground!)

We eat chicken and beef that has been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, so much so that girls in this country now start their menstrual periods an average of five years earlier than they did twenty years ago. Japanese kids who started eating American beef in their lunches outgrew their school desks in one generation. Pueblo Indians in the Southwest now have soaring rates of obesity and diabetes due to their “Americanized” diets full of fat and sugar. American factory farming practices has so polluted our water table with potent pesticides that hardly any so-called “pure” spring water source can be guaranteed untainted. These same factory farming practices (which stress production over conservation of the land) have so eroded topsoil that vital minerals and nutrients once present on our vegetables (read that “dirt in our diets”) have all but disappeared, leading to an alarming rise in asthma among children. The use of bovine growth hormone in milk products (the only purpose of which is to make cows produce more milk and increase profits in an industry that is already struggling to sell its product for even slightly more than what it costs to produce it) has been shown to lead in some cases to sever endometriosis and increased rates of breast cancer in women. Irradiation of fruits and vegetables could be exposing to gods only know what sort of toxicity. And genetic manipulation of our foodstuffs may well end up altering the food chain as we know it.

We have to wear the latest fashions and so we buy up those fancy new threads made in Taiwan or Thailand by workers who make pennies a week, but so what? We need new clothes! We drive around huge gas-guzzling SUVs to transport our groceries to our homes or our kids to soccer practice. We complain when gas prices go up, forgetting that in other countries gasoline is four or five times the price we pay here. Hey, why shouldn’t I drive a huge vehicle? Everyone else has one! Besides, I feel more aggressive, er, safer on the road when I drive one. We have bigger and better electronic devices that use enormous amounts of electricity and we are so desperate to “stay connected” that we use our cell phones everywhere (even while driving! Gosh, THAT sure is convenient!) that unsightly towers have been erected all over the country just to make sure those signals keep us in touch with our friends, family and business associates and can have those loud, inane, one-sided conversations in public (researchers are exploring the effects of cellular phone use on humans, and the relationship of increased cancer rates to the proximity of cellular towers to residential areas).

We demand newer and bigger homes and so we demolish historic houses, we want a new office building so we take the wrecking ball to the slightly-dilapidated old municipal buildings in the town center, we have to house a new multiplex and so the old art-deco opera house (which costs a lot to heat and besides the paint is peeling) gets torn down so we can put up a climate-controlled glass and cement monstrosity… and those weather-beaten, beautiful old barns? Unsightly! And so hard to keep up! Tear ’em down. I remember in the 1980s, when yuppie greed and wastefulness was everywhere (everyone had a new BMW and snorted coke off its dashboard), and the environmental movement seemed all but forgotten. Then, to appeal to the baby boomers that were perhaps feeling a bit guilty at leaving their morality and ideals behind once their stock portfolios became all important and they needed money to buy Baby Nikes and designer water bottle holders. Then some smart entrepreneurs had an idea: put “green” and “environmentally-friendly” on the package and people will actually think they’re doing something good by spending their money on it! Dolphin-safe tuna! Recyclable container! All natural! Fat-free soda pop! I think the straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when the company formerly known as “Chem Lawn” changed their name to “TruGreen” AND put pictures of killer whales on their vans (whales? Are these a danger in suburban America?). That’s almost as bad as when Kellogg’s took the word sugar out of their cereal names, but Chem Lawn’s act is far more insidious. I mean, we can taste the sugar in cereal. But we don’t go around eating our lawns to see how much pesticide is on them. Here’s a tip: if it has the letters “icide” at the end, IT KILLS LIVING THINGS. It may kill bugs and weeds faster than it can kill us, but all such products are certainly doing a job on our planet, and how many of the diseases that have become more prevalent in the late 20th century and 21st are due to our toxic environment?


Perhaps you think I am ranting to no purpose. After all, issues such as a nation’s nutritional habits , and the loss of topsoil, and sweatshops making our running shoes, are all very complex and there are no easy answers. And of course it is easy to become angry or frustrated or overwhelmed by all this. But what can one small person do? (Besides implement the many earth-friendly tips given in this week’s update compiled by our lovely Dio!) What can we do? It all seems too much to comprehend at times, and depressing.

That is why I leave you with one simple, singular thought, on this Earth Day, 2002.

LIVE in HOPE and WORK for the future.

That means: don’t just see the dirty river or the trash on the banks: see the sparkling water that COULD be there if effort is made now. LIVE as if the Earth is generously allowing us to stay here, and as if She might toss us out on our butts any minute if we don’t clean up our act. HOPE that government and local organizations will start to clean up natural parks and communal areas. But know that all of us can and must WORK to make this happen. That might mean something as simple as picking up a bag of trash every couple of weeks until others start to take the hint. (I have been doing this in my own favorite nearby nature spot: Franklin Park, part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, an amazing historic park designed by Frederic Law Olmsted, that sometimes has more than its share of trash). Start your own local society for the preservation of your favorite spot! You’d be surprised to find how many others in your community would be willing to clean up a park they also like to use. One tear from Iron Eyes Cody was all it ever took for me… to this day I cannot understand why people litter with impunity. I mean, I really don’t get it. But I am willing to set an example, anyway.

LIVE as if there’s a point to it all, as if a healthy lifestyle is actually making a difference not just to yourself, but to your loved ones, and to all humanity. HOPE that our frenzied consumer culture will evolve and start to see the problems with going too fast, buying too much, and not cleaning up after ourselves. But this takes WORK. Study alternatives to the status quo. Walk or bike to school or your job. Find a farm in your state that raises natural poultry and see if your local stores will stock their products. Turn off your cellphone. Turn off the computer. Take a walk. Smile up at the sky. Hug a tree. Love your Mother.

Go outside already! What are you waiting for? Tomorrow?

Peg Aloi

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes – Dishwasher Detergent & Liquid Dish Soap

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes

Dishwasher Detergent

For a natural dishwasher detergent, mix 1 cup borax, 1 cup baking soda, and 1/4 cup citric acid (found at nutrition store). Mix and then grind to fine powder. (Recipe found here.) Transfer to an airtight container to store. (Recycled glass jars work well.) Use 1 tablespoon of mixture per load. Use vinegar as a rinse agent.

Liquid Dish Soap

For a natural and homemade dish soap, combine 2 cups of liquid castile soap, 1/2 cup warm water, and a few drops of essential oils for scent (optional, especially if using scented castile soap). Shake or mix well and place in container of your choice. (Recycled dish soap squeeze bottle is one idea.) Shake well before using.


Natural Cleaning Tips for Your Kitchen

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes – Disinfectant and Sanitizer

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes

Disinfectant and Sanitizer

Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are great for disinfecting and sanitizing. For a natural disinfectant and natural sanitizer, put undiluted vinegar in one spray bottle and three percent hydrogen peroxide in another spray bottle. DO NOT MIX THEM TOGETHER IN ONE BOTTLE! Disinfect surfaces with alternating sprays of each. (It does not matter which is first.) Research shows this method kills virtually all bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Another option for a disinfectant and all-purpose cleaner is to mix a few drops of liquid castile soap, 2 cups water, and 15 drops each of tea tree and lavender essential oil (or just one oil, but 30 drops). You can spray this on all surfaces, like cutting boards, counters, toilets, walls. It will streak glass, though. Remember to disinfect countertops, cutting boards, sinks, faucets, and refrigerator handles regularly.



Natural Cleaning Tips for Your Kitchen

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes – Countertops

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes


Vinegar is the best all-purpose household cleaner and can clean almost anything. For a natural countertop cleaner, add water and vinegar to a spray bottle (in a 1:1 ratio) and spray on countertops, windows, and walls. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can add a few drops of either liquid castile soap, essential oil, or lemon juice to the mix as well. Another option, especially for those with granite or concrete countertops, is to sprinkle baking soda on the surfaces and scrub. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this. Lavender and tea tree oil have anti-bacterial qualities. I will say that this method does tend to leave a residue that requires more and more rounds of wiping the counter down. Another option for stone or concrete countertops is to mix five parts water and one part liquid castile soap. This is what I do; I like keeping it simple and using just soap and water! Notes: Do not use vinegar on marble, granite, or other stone countertops as it may etch the stone surface. Never use undiluted vinegar on grout. Essential oils are NOT the same as fragrance oils, which are artificially created and often contain synthetic chemicals. Make sure the essential oil you use is of the highest quality and 100 percent pure.



Natural Cleaning Tips for Your Kitchen

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes – Oven Cleaner

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes

Oven Cleaner

Oven cleaner is one of the most toxic cleaning products. Thankfully, there is a super simple, inexpensive way to make your own natural oven cleaner. Just sprinkle a cup or more of baking soda over the bottom of your oven and spray with enough water to make a paste. For dirt on the sides of the oven, create a baking soda and water paste and then apply. Let the mixture set overnight, spraying it a few times to keep it wet. Then just wipe it up. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid castile soap on a cloth or sponge to wash the remaining residue from the oven. The first time I tried this I was amazed at how well it worked!



Natural Cleaning Tip for Your Kitchen

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes – Cleaning Stainless Steel

Earth Friendly Tips and Recipes

 Cleaning Stainless Steel

For a natural stainless steel cleaner to clean fingerprints and other streaky stains on appliances, simply put some olive oil on a clean, soft cloth and wipe. Olive oil also works on sink stains, too. To get rid of water spots on stainless steel utensils and cutlery, dip a cloth in vinegar and rub on the utensils. It’s a great way to polish and sanitize them. Club soda works well for removing stains from stainless steel cookware. Remember, never use abrasives or steel wool on stainless steel.



Natural Cleaning Tips for Your Kitchen


Do Pagans Celebrate Earth Day?

Do Pagans Celebrate Earth Day?

By , About.com


Question: Do Pagans Celebrate Earth Day?

I know that there are eight Pagan sabbats during the year, as well as a bunch of Esbats, but I also notice you’ve got Earth Day on the calendar. Is Earth Day even a Pagan or Wiccan holiday?


Well, no, it’s not, but then again neither is Tartan Day or the anniversary of Bewitched, but those are on the calendar too. It’s important to note, however, that many Pagans and Wiccans view the environment as something really important. Although it’s not an “official” Pagan or Wiccan holiday, if you’ve sworn to be a steward of our planet, then Earth Day is as good a reason as any other to honor Mother Earth.

The first Earth Day celebration was held in 1970, and sponsored by the Earth Day Network. This annual celebration is a time when people worldwide honor our planet and (hopefully) take a few minutes to try to make a difference in the world.

Some things you can do to make a difference in your own space? Try one of the following:

  • Turn off the lights you’re not using
  • Pick up some garbage that isn’t yours
  • Ride a bike to work instead of driving
  • Plant a tree
  • Use cloth grocery bags instead of paper or plastic
  • Recycle your stuff
  • Plant a garden of your own, or buy from local growers
  • Build a birdhouse
  • Adopt a stream
  • Shut off appliances that don’t have to be on all the time

Regardless of how you observe this day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, take the time to thank the earth for her gifts, and take a moment to be glad we’re part of it.