If you need to banish something from your life, prepare a pot of soup.
Draw a banishing pentagram in the soup, then stir nine times counterclockwise, saying:
“Blessed Lord, gracious Lady, hear my plea.
Remove (insert what needs removal) from me.
For the good of all, with harm to none;
once this is eaten, the spell is done!” Eat the soup.

Daily OM for Sept. 9 – Have Fun & Save The Planet

Have Fun And Save The Planet

Think Globally, Eat Locally

We all know that our planet needs our help right now, but we often feel unsure about what to do, where to make an effort, and what will really help. The good news is that we can heal the planet on a daily basis simply by buying and eating food that is grown locally. Food that has been transported long distances doesn’t contain much life force by the time it gets to your kitchen. Making a commitment to shop, buy, and eat locally is not only a very important part of creating positive change, it can also be delicious fun.

One of the best places to begin the adventure of eating locally is a farmer’s market. Stalls brim with fresh fruits and vegetables grown on nearby farms. Not only is this good for the environment, it’s good for the farmers since they benefit from selling directly to the consumer. The consumer benefits, too, from the intimate experience of buying food from the hand of the person who grew it. In addition, the food is fresher and more diverse. In supermarkets, particular varieties of fruits and vegetables are favored due to their ability to survive transport to a far destination. Alternately, at a farmer’s market, you will find versions of the fruits and vegetables you know that will surprise and delight your senses—green striped heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, white carrots, and edible flowers, just to name a few.

Make an effort to buy as much of your food as possible directly from local farmers. You will become one of a growing number of people eating delicious food to save the planet and having fun doing it.



1. Q: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it… don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

2. Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat?

Hay and corn.  And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system.  Need grain?  Eat chicken.  Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

3. Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bits so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain.  Bottoms up!

4. Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have body fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

5. Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain…Good

6. Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!!. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it.  How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

7. Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

8. Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO .. Cocoa beans … another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!

9. Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is so good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Whip Up A Little Magick For Supper Tonight

That’s a Wrap

Wraps — sandwiches that forgo bread and are instead rolled in tortillas — are a fast, fresh and fun way to make a magickal meal in no time. Choose vegetable such as yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, onion or cucumber. Charm the vegetables to enhance their natural power: simply connect with the energies in the food and calll out the attribute most suited to the magick, magnifying the ingredient’s inherent qualities or color associations. Prepare the begetable using a magickal slicing technique, then either put them fresh into the tortilla or quickly saute them in a little butter, letting the heat magnify the magick of your empowered ingredients. Add protein with a bit of cold tofu salad, a nice begetarian assimilation of chicken salad — just drain a package of firm tofu and mash it up with a little mayonnaise and curry powder. If you’re a meat eater, simply add sliced turkey or forkfuls of tuna. Serve rolled in wheat or spinach tortillas, adding cheese or honey mustard if you wish.

Excerpt from:
Ten-Minute Magickal Meals
By Melanie Marquis
Llewellyn’s 2012 Witches’ Companion,
An Almanac for Everyday Living by Llewellyn

Calendar of the Sun for Monday, April 16th

Calendar of the Sun
16 Eostremonath

Iduna’s Blot

Colors: Green
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green place a bowl of apples in different colors, a horn of mead, a polished stone, a bowl of nuts, and many gardening tools such as hoes and spades.
Offerings: Today’s work should concentrate entirely on gardening, even in inclement weather. If there is an orchard, special care should be taken with it.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian. Serve fruit and nuts.

Invocation to Iduna

Hail to you, Lady of the Sacred Orchard!
Hail to you, gardener of Asgard!
Let the other gods quarrel
About who may sit higher than whom,
About whose sword is sharper
And whose spear is keener.
You, Lady, know your place,
And that place is indispensable.
You are the One Who Works,
The one without whom all the plans
And grandiosities of the others
Would simply come to nothing.
Giver of health and immortality,
Keep our bodies sound and strong!
Keep us healthy, that we may, like you,
Get up each and every morning
While the rest of the world quarrels
And go quietly to our tasks,
Working the Earth that you love so much,
Knowing that ours is the real work
And the real life, not some shell
Of unbodied, distanced work
Whose products we will never see.
Help us in our daily round of sacred labor,
Lady of the Sacred Orchard,
And may our gardens bloom as yours.

(The horn of mead is passed around, and the rest poured as a libation to Iduna. Each takes an apple and some nuts as a snack for their work-hours, and then each takes a gardening tool from the altar, thanks Iduna, and goes outside to work.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Best and Worst ‘People’ Food for Dogs and Cats

Best and Worst ‘People’ Food for Dogs and Cats

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

By PetMD

Like buying candy for kids, we often think snacks that have been specially packaged for pets are the best treats in the world. Why would they want anything other than a tasty treat? But a lot of those packaged pet snacks and treats are the equivalent of candy. They are not a big deal, as long as you don’t do too much of it, since they are mostly devoid of nutritional value.

And just as we encourage kids to eat their veggies rather than another candy, we can also encourage a love for veggies in our pets. These low calorie, low fat, vitamin and mineral-packed “treats” are a great alternative to the packaged dog biscuits and kitty chews.

Which Vegetables Are Best and Which Vegetable Are Not Safe for Pets?

There are some plant foods that are toxic to pets, so you will want to be familiar with what to avoid and even prevent access to. If you are unsure, check with your veterinarian to make sure that your planned treats are not going to be harmful to your pet. Also keep in mind that while dogs are omnivorous and thus more open to trying different kinds of foods. Cats, on the other hand, are carnivorous. They are not just picky about what they eat — they are constitutionally incapable of digesting some types of foods.


Good Foods

  • Apples – without seeds or core (apple seeds contain chemical compounds that are poisonous to animals)
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon – without seeds
  • Frozen bananas
  • Green beans
  • Carrots – raw or cooked
  • Sweet potato – cooked, cubed or mashed without butter or seasoning; regular potatoes are also good, but in limited amounts since they are high in sugar and can increase weight
  • Squash, zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Popcorn – unsalted and unbuttered
  • Catnip or cat grass


Bad Foods

  • Grapes and raisins – contain chemical compounds that are toxic to dogs
  • Garlic and onions – both have chemical properties that can be toxic and even life threatening to dogs and cats
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms – particularly wild mushrooms
  • Fruits with pits, such as peaches, cherries, and plums – in some cases the pit can be toxic or can simply present a choking hazard
  • Nuts – particularly macadamia nuts, which are toxic to pets


What is the Best Way To Feed These Types of Treats?

The foods should be baked or steamed, cut up into smallish pieces, and only given in small amounts at a time. This will prevent both choking and an overload of carbohydrate- and calorie-rich foods. You can give the vegetables and fruits by themselves, or you might mash or puree them and mix them up with the prepared food and given at meal times.

Replacing your pet’s dense, high fat packaged treats with healthy treats like fruits and vegetables will be one of the most beneficial things you do for your pet. Over the long term, your pet’s health and immune system will be stronger, aging will not be as severe, its weight will stay steadier, and if weight is already an issue, you may even see your pet’s weight become more manageable — if you stick to it and include moderate exercise.

With any change in diet, it is important to observe your pet for issues that can arise in response to the change. If your pet begins to show digestive or behavioral changes, stop feeding the new foodstuff and consult with a veterinarian if the problem does not go away in the absence of the added food.

Spring Garden Maintenance

Spring Garden Maintenance

Springtime Tasks

By Amy Jeanroy, Guide

When spring is approaching, it is time to start organizing your garden. Make a list of herbs that you want to plant, and compare the time needed to harvest them to the length of your growing season. If you do not have a long enough growing season, try starting your herbs with plants instead of seeds. This will decrease the time needed until harvest by weeks. Lay out your herb garden on paper before planting anything. This way you will be able to organize planting based on how much sunlight an area receives and how much drainage the soil has in that area and plant accordingly.

Important Spring Garden Planning

Spring is the time to start planting your garden with the full summer growth of the plants in mind. Be sure to read the final growth height and spacing of the plants and make sure there is optimal room for their full potential. Your spring garden may look sparse when first planted, but you will be glad you were conservative during the summer months as the herbs fill out.

My Garden Notebook In Spring

Your garden notebook will become much more interesting now. You will write down all the herbs you planted and if you used seeds or plants to start with. Write down if your perennial herbs from the past year have come back. Mark the days you plant and any changes from your original garden plan. I also write down where I get my plants from. In spring, it seems that I can find new, out of the way places for purchasing a few herbs. If I don’t write these tidbits down, they are gone for the next year. You may think you can remember, but the season is just beginning. Write it down!

Spring gardening is also the time to amend (prepare and enrich) the soil so the plants have the most nutrients available right from the start. Traditionally, spring gets the most natural moisture and you can take advantage of that by including enough organic matter in the soil to help hold moisture for the long, dry days ahead.

Magical Gardening Around the World

Magical Gardening Around the World

By Patti Wigington, Guide

Around the world, people tend to garden in different ways. Someone living on a large family farm plants their crops differently than someone on a half-acre lot in the suburbs. A resident of a big city in an advanced nation will grow things in a different fashion than a family living in an impoverished, third world country. While one person might use a large tractor and motorized equipment, another may use a simple shovel. Still another might only use a pointed stick to make a hole in the ground. Since time began, the human race has managed to find ways to make things grow where before there was nothing.

In the early spring, many of us who follow earth-based spiritual paths begin planning our gardens for the coming season. The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself. To cultivate something in the black soil, see it sprout and then bloom, is to watch a magical working unfold before our very eyes. The plant cycle is intrinsically tied to so many earth-based belief systems that it should come as no surprise that the magic of the garden is one well worth looking into.

Let’s look at some of the folklore and traditions that surround gardening and planting magic.

  • Many gardeners swear by the idea of planting by the phase of the moon. The first quarter is when they plant crops which bloom above ground — spinach and lettuce, cucumbers and corn, to name a few. The second quarter, leading up to the full moon, is the time to plant above-ground seed crops like beans, watermelons, squash and tomatoes. During the third quarter, the week following the full moon, root vegetables like carrots and potatoes should go in, as well as bulb flowers. Finally, the last quarter of the waning moon is the time to avoid planting altogether — instead, work on garden maintenance such as tilling and weeding.
  • Appalachian folk magic is rich with tradition when it comes to planting. Pound a nail into the northern side of your fruit tree to bring a higher yield come harvest time. Also, if you want your hot peppers to grow really hot, then plant them when you’re good and mad about something. For maximum growing potential, have a pregnant friend help you plant beans, and the beans will flourish.
  • Medieval English folklore says that if you plant daisies, they’ll help keep the fairies out of your yard. Once they’ve bloomed, make a daisy chain for a child, to keep the fae from leaving a changeling in the child’s place.
  • Certain tubers, such as yams, are believed to increase lust and fertility. In some West African nations, the white yam has been linked to high birth rates, particularly that of multiples such as twins.
  • If you’re planting blackberries, roses, or some other brambly, thorny bush, train them over an arch in your garden. In Restoration-era England, it was believed that walking through a bramble arch would cure just about any ailment.
  • A South Carolina rootworker named Jasper says that his family’s Gullah heritage has shaped a lot of their planting traditions. Women who are menstruating are not permitted to harvest okra, because it might spoil when they put it up for canning. Also, pickles won’t be crunchy if canned by a woman having her period. Mustard, collard, and other greens planted near your bedroom window will help prevent conception of a child. The color blue keeps evil spirits away, so plant blue flowers near your front door.
  • Some Native American tribes planted beans, squash and corn in an arrangement known as Three Sisters. In addition to being a self-sustaining ecosystem, in which each plant helps the others, the planting of this trio is associated with the concept of happy families, abundance, and community.
  • During the Victorian era, the secret language of flowers became popular. Each flower had its own association, so if you wished to attract love, for example, you might plant love-linked flowers like geranium and lilac.
  • In Slavic countries, wild roses are said to keep away vampires. In many other places, garlic is known as an anti-vampire plant, and in some parts of Central Europe it is used to ward off the “evil eye.” If you think someone might be trying to do you magical harm, plant garlic in abundance.
  • There’s a number of tales about never eating tomatoes off a silver platter, or you might die. This actually has some historical basis – Colonial settlers found that they often became ill after eating tomatoes. Rather than it being a problem with the tomato itself, this was due to a reaction between the tomatoes and the settlers’ pewter dinnerware. Despite the rumor being proven false that tomatoes are deadly, in some parts of the country tomatoes are never dished up in anything silver.
  • During the westward expansion of the nineteenth century, some Midwestern areas believed that if a girl found a blood-red corn cob among the yellow ones, she was sure to marry before the year was out. Forward thinking young men occasionally planted a few random kernels of red corn strains among their crops.

7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food

7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Food

  • Judi Gerber


Not that being part of a trend is ever a good reason to start or learn something new, but if it helps you move forward by being part of the “in” crowd, then you really need to plant your own edible garden this year.

That’s right, having your own vegetable garden is now trendy. In fact according to the 2009 Edibles Gardening Trends Research Report conducted by the Garden Writer’s Association (GWA) Foundation, over 41 million U.S. households, or 38 percent planted a vegetable garden in 2009. And, more than 19.5 million households (18 percent) grew an herb garden and 16.5 million households (15 percent) grew fruits during the same period.

The study found that there was a growth in edible gardening from both experienced gardeners and from an influx of new gardeners: 92 percent of respondents had previous experience and 7 percent (7.7 million households) were new edible gardeners.

And one-third of the experienced gardeners grew more edibles in 2009 than in the previous year. The GWA indicates that given the strong response for plans to grow more edibles into 2010, the vegetable gardening trend will continue and there will likely be a new high level of edible gardening activity this year.

Another survey done by the American Gardening Association showed a 19 percent increase in new hobby country farms and urban edible gardens in 2009 over 2008.

So, aside from its popularity, do you need some other reasons to grown your own food?

  • The GWA’s survey found that the main reason given for increasing or maintaining edible gardening last year was to supplement household food supply — to help them save money on food. That alone is a very powerful reason.
  • There is nothing more local than food grown in your own backyard, your windowsills, or on patio containers.
  • Growing your own fruits and vegetables means that you know exactly what does and does not go into your food and exactly where it comes from.
  • You will get healthier in a number of ways. Not only will you end up eating more fruits and vegetables, but you will be getting added exercise. Did you know that you can burn as many calories in 45 minutes of gardening as you can in 30 minutes of aerobics? And, working in the garden reduces stress.
  • You will get a bigger variety of your favorite fruits and vegetables because you can choose from hundreds of different varieties and you can grow the things you like the best.
  • You can teach your children or grandchildren where their food actually comes from and that it doesn’t come from the supermarket but from the soil, the earth that we all depend on.