environment

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

October, 2016

Water is Life

Merry meet.

I am among the many pagans who want to support the warriors at Standing Rock. Two sisters in my coven – Debra Cohen and Janet Coffa – wrote a ritual that more than a dozen women chose to
participate in at a Mabon retreat. I’m sharing it below in the hopes that you will use it to enlist the support of others in this important effort.

The protectors, the warriors at Standing Rock represent each and every one of us who understand the need to protect our environment, our multicultural values and the very Earth that supports us.

The statement Water is Lifeis true for every human being and it must be fought for by everyone. The fight must take many forms, from physical presence in places that are immediately threatened to communication with our government and education of those unaware of the impact of inaction.

Standing Rock speaks about clean water, industry greed,
governmental weakness, and the power of money that buys bad
decisions. It also speaks with a vision of potential catastrophe when we fail to consider the future impact of current energy policy. We, our children and our grandchildren have a duty to stand in the face of
intimidation and say NO MORE, YOU SHALL NOT PASS and WE WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING for what is right, just and sacred.

[Invite participants to share their thoughts.]

As in everything, we all do what we can, as we can. It is our
responsibility to share our ideas and support each other in our efforts. These are some ideas about sending support to Standing Rock:

Send donations

Contact legislators

Attend a vigil in support of Standing Rock

Use social media to education and share information

[Participants took turns stating one thing they would do in the name of the warriors at Standing Rock. Each was then blessed with water of determination – in our case it was rain water collected during a
thunderstorm that carried the essence of the power needed in the struggle. Fingers were dipped in the water and touched to the feet, then each hand and then the throat with the following words.]

Bless these feet so they can walk the walk.

Bless these hands to do the heavy lifting.

Bless this to speak truth and defiance to power.

WE ARE CHANGE!

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

Earth

April, 2009

Earth

Want

Need

Do whatever

You please

Ice

To water

Freeze

Unfreeze

Grass

Trees

Burn or

Drown

Disease

To war

Our hands

Filter down

Hearts

Minds

Must become

One

If Earth

Is to live

Undone

What is done

Clean and Green Recipes

April, 2006

If you have trouble pronouncing any chemical found in any household product you are currently using, then it usually has an environmental impact. Think of all the stuff you are rinsing and flushing down the drain into your septic tank. Your septic tank has to have its own healthy ecology (bacteria and such) to breakdown waste products. Disinfectants kill bacteria. So will bleach, ammonia, and lots of other commonly used components of household products. If you are on a sewer line, water treatment plants have to deal with that stuff you have used.

The following ‘recipes’ are environmentally safe alternatives to modern household cleaning products. Using these recipes will help you and your families avoid the health hazards associated with many of today’s cleaners. You will also be helping to protect the quality of our air and water.

These ‘alternative’ recipes have been commonly used around the house for many years. They are often less expensive than commercial products. Better yet, they will help to keep your home a safer place.

White vinegar can be found for as little as $1.00 a gallon. I have yet to pay more than $2.00 a gallon for it.

Borax can be found in the laundry detergent section of the store. It may seem expensive at first glance, but a little goes a long way.

Where vegetable oil is called for, I like to use olive oil. It does not have to be virgin.

All-Purpose Cleaner

Dishwashing liquid or liquid soap
Vinegar
Borax
Water

Mix 1 teaspoon liquid soap, 1 teaspoon borax, and 2 tablespoons vinegar (bottled lemon juice can be used in place of vinegar) in 1 quart water. Wipe or spray onto area to be cleaned; wipe dry with a cloth.

Toxic chemicals avoided: phosphates, glycol esters, ammonia, disinfectants, and caustics.

Window Cleaner

Vinegar or lemon juice
Water

Mix 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice and 1 pint of water in a spray bottle. Spray on. Rub with a cloth diaper or other lint free rag (not paper towels). For outdoor windows, use a sponge and warm water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Rinse well and squeegee dry.

Toxic chemicals avoided: glycol esters, alcohol, ammonia, propellant, and aerosol cans.

Bathroom Cleaner

Borax
Vinegar
Water

Mix 1/2 cup borax and 1/4 cup vinegar in 2 gallons of hot water. Sponge on surface and wipe dry with a rag. After using the toilet, close the lid before flushing—it may help reduce the spread of germs. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly.

Toxic chemicals avoided: Chlorine bleach, strong acids, glycol esters, and quaternary ammonium chloride.

Drain Cleaner

Baking soda
Vinegar
Boiling water

This will free minor clogs and help prevent future clogs. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. Let it fizz a few minutes. Then pour down a teakettle full of boiling water (about a quart). Repeat if needed. If the clog is stubborn, use a plunger or a mechanical snake. Cover drains with strainers or screens to keep out hair. Avoid letting grease go down the drain. As a clog preventative, do this once a week in the kitchen and bathroom drains.

Toxic chemicals avoided: lye, chlorine bleach.

Homemade Gentle Kitchen Cleaner

For a gentle but effective kitchen cleaner, blend 1 cup of salt with 1 cup of baking soda. Store in a covered container. This works wonderfully as a scouring powder and will keep indefinitely as long as you keep it dry.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Baking soda
Dishwashing Liquid

Sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl as you would any scouring powder. Squeeze a couple of drops of soap in also. Scrub with a toilet bowl brush and finish outer surfaces with a rag sprinkled with baking soda.

Toxic chemicals avoided: Hydrochloric acid, chlorine bleach, sulfuric acids, oxalic acid, and quaternary ammonium chloride.

Scouring Powder

Baking soda
Dishwashing liquid
Water

You can use baking soda as a scouring powder. Sprinkle it on porcelain fixtures and rub with a wet rag. Add a little soap to the rag for more cleaning power. Rinse well to avoid leaving a hazy film.

Toxic chemicals avoided: glycol esters, chlorine bleach, acids, and disinfectants.

Oven Cleaner

Baking soda
Water
Scouring pad (green or copper)

DO NOT USE IN A SELF CLEANING OVEN

Mix 1 cup of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply to oven surfaces and let stand. Use scouring pad for scrubbing most surfaces, a spatula or bread knife to get under large deposits. Use an aluminum foil bottom-liner and spot-clean often. If something does spill, or catches fire in the bottom of your oven, sprinkle table salt generously on it. It will help in cleanup and immediately put out the fire.

Toxic chemicals avoided: lye

Pot and Pan Cleaner for Burned-On Food

Baking soda
Water

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon baking soda in burned pot. Fill pot halfway with water. Bring to a boil. Remove pot from heat and wash with dishwashing liquid and water.

Chrome Cleaner and Soap Scum Remover

Vinegar

Apply vinegar to a sponge and rub. Wipe dry with a cloth or you will have spotting.

Toxic chemicals avoided: strong acids and bases

Copper and Brass Cleaner

Salt
Vinegar
Vegetable oil

Mix equal pats of salt and vinegar. Rub onto surface with a sponge until clean. Rinse in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly. Polish surface with a little oil on a clean, dry cloth.

Toxic chemicals avoided: petroleum distillates, ammonia

Stainless Steel Cleaner

Baking soda or vinegar
Green scouring pad

Scour with baking soda or vinegar. Rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly to avoid spots.

Toxic chemicals avoided: chlorine bleach, oxalic acid, and silica

Stain Remover for Red Wine

Water
Club soda

If the wine is still wet, blot first to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Saturate the stain with water or club soda. Rub lightly and blot dry. Repeat if necessary. Launder according to label directions.

Toxic chemicals avoided: petroleum distillates, chlorinated hydrocarbons

Stain Remover for Ballpoint Ink

Milk

Saturate stain thoroughly with milk. Rub until stain disappears. Launder according to label directions.

Toxic chemicals avoided: petroleum distillates, chlorinated hydrocarbons

Furniture Polish

Vegetable oil

NOT FOR VARNISHED WOOD

Apply a little oil to a cloth and rub into wood. Wait an hour. Rub to remove excess oil.

Toxic chemicals avoided: petroleum distillates

Watermark Remover for Wood

Toothpaste
Olive oil

Rub toothpaste into area with watermark. Then apply oil to blend color. Polish entire area with oil.

Cleaning a Wood Cutting Board

Dishwashing liquid
Scouring pad

Scrub board with dishwashing liquid and scouring pad immediately after each use. Rinse with hot water. Only fruits and veggies should be cut on a wood cutting board. Always use an impermeable surface for meat, poultry, fish, cheese, and eggs—any potentially hazardous food. To disinfect a cutting board with an impermeable surface, scrub with a scouring pad and a solution of 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 quart of hot water. If necessary, have 2 cutting boards: one clearly marked for veggies and fruits only.

Linoleum Cleaner

Vinegar
Water

Mop with a mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water. The vinegar odor will go away shortly after the floor dries.

Toxic chemicals avoided: phosphates, ammonia, glycol esters, and detergents.

Dentifrice

Baking soda

Good old-fashioned baking soda on your toothbrush will get your teeth and gums just as clean as commercial toothpaste. You can even rinse with 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide (the same stuff in your medicine cabinet you put on cuts and scrapes) in 1/4 cup of water. Just rinse, gargle and spit.

Toxic chemicals avoided: You read the label on your toothpaste. It tells you not to swallow the stuff.

Laundry Booster

Baking soda

Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup baking soda with your regular laundry detergent. It will boost the cleaning power to where you may be able to cut back by 1/2 the amount of detergent you normally use.

Carpet Freshener

Baking soda

Sprinkle baking soda lightly or liberally(depending on odor level) on your dry carpets, rugs, and upholstery. Let it be over-night or at least 30 minutes. Vacuum as usual.

Grease or Oil on Clothing, Carpets, Upholstery, and Concrete

Corn Starch

Sprinkle corn starch liberally on stain. Let stand. Brush or vacuum off. Repeat as necessary until stain is gone. This really works if you give it a chance. I removed olive oil from a silk shirt. It took 3 or 4 tries, but I saved the shirt.

The Power of Baking Soda

What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, a naturally occurring substance present in all living things. It helps living things maintain the pH balance necessary for life. Baking soda is made from soda ash, which is sodium carbonate. For more useful hints, check out www.armhammer.com

Doing Dishes?
Don’t forget the baking soda. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of baking soda to your dishwater. It will help cut grease and loosen food on dishes, pots, and pans. For cooked-on, baked-on foods, soak in a baking soda and detergent mixture, and then use dry baking soda on a damp sponge or cloth as a scratchless scouring powder.

Cleaner Fruits and Vegetables
The experts agree—you should wash produce before consuming it. To clean more of the dirt, chemical residues, and waxes from all varieties of fruits and vegetables, use baking soda. Shake some onto wet produce, scrub, and then rinse. It works better than water alone.

Remove Hair Buildup
For extra clean hair, try adding a small amount of baking soda (about the size of a quarter) to your shampoo. Wash, rinse, and condition as you normally would. The baking soda removes built-up residues from styling products and mineral abundant waters.

Great for Dental Gear
Baking soda works well as a cleaner for dentures, retainers, or mouth guards. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a bowl of water. Then soak dental gear for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water after soaking.

Camping Necessity
Baking soda is a must for any camper. It can serve as a dish washer, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste, fire extinguisher, and first aid treatment for insect bites, sunburn and poison ivy, as well as much more. Plus, it saves space (one box compared to many products!)

Lawn Furniture Cleaner
To clean and deodorize lawn and pool furniture, mix a solution of ¼ cup baking soda to 1 quart of warm water. Wipe the furniture with this solution, then rinse clean. For tougher stains, sprinkle directly onto a damp sponge, scrub with it and rinse.

First Aid
Relieve the itching and pain of an insect bite with a baking soda paste. After you have removed any stinger, make a paste by combining 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply it to the affected area and let it dry. Wash it off and repeat, if needed.

No More Smelly Dogs
Instead of heading for the bathtub every time Fido smells, try giving him periodic dry baths. Rub dry baking soda into his fur, then comb or brush it through and out. Baking soda is nontoxic and safe for use on and around your pets.

***

author bio:

Wyverndreamer

Living quietly with my mate of 21 years in the Southern foothills of the Arkansas Ozarks.

I love to play dress up so we are members of the Early Arkansaw Reenactor’s Association bringing historic territorial Arkansas alive for schools, parks, and other special events.

I have been a pagan since the early ’70’s, and my better half claims to be a dyslexic agnostic. I am either psycic or psychotic depending on what day it is.