Monthly Archives: February 2013

You eat clean, do you clean green?

Standard

Dorak, the MagnificentAh, it is so nice for a change to look out the window and see the ground wet.  This is Florida’s  Dry Season, so every rain drop is highly appreciated.

As much I enjoy the freshness the rain brings it does cause a little bit extra work within my home.  I am the pet parent of three active dogs and days like this means I am mopping the floors several times a day.

This brought me onto the idea of writing a bit about how to reclaim the sacredness of the kitchen.  I will write specifically about the kitchen being the heart of any home at a later time, now I would like to focus on the cleaning.

I understand that cleaning “green” has led to a new awareness on the products we use, which is great, however I have noticed that many of the products claiming to be “all natural” are still abrasive and aggressive.  Earth-friendly  products sold in Health Food Stores are fine, but I still don’t buy them, I make my own.  My household products of choice have never been inspired by the “Go Green” Trend but by my spiritual convictions.  As a practicing witch, I’ve always respected Mother Earth and over the decades, it has become second nature. Today’s newly drive to feel connected with our inner self and with the planet we  share allows me to offer you a new perspective on a chore many wish to get done with as quickly as possible.  There is magic in the simplest task.

Nothing discourages rooting and being grounded as toxic and carcinogenic chemicals used in your home and a kitchen smelling like the local pool.  Mixing up Baking Soda with  fresh lemon to scouring the sink doesn’t cost a lot of time or money and it leaves you with the feeling of living in a healthy home.

Actually, I don’t use much more than White Vinegar, Salt and a dash of dish liquid.  I do add various ingredients, depending on what I wish to accomplish – after all I am not just cleaning but I am weaving a purpose into my action as well.

Sometimes I make a strong herbal infusion and add that to my cleaning water.  The aroma and good energy will go a long way towards making my kitchen and home feel connected to Mother Earth.  I just throw a handful herbs into some boiling water, let it steep, then strain right into the bucket.  The herbs correspond to various wishes and desires and here I will list only a few:

Cinnamon: The primal home-and-hearth spice and corresponds with a happy home, healing and protection.  Please only use the sticks, the powder will make a mess.

Basil:  Associated with wealth and fidelity.  Also has the luscious summery scent of yummy pesto.

Angelica:  As name states, it corresponds with the Angelic Realm and invites them into your home.  Also brings purification and blessings.

Lemon Peel: No matter if you go with fresh or dried.  Very uplifting and cleanses away negativity (one of my favorites).

Rosemary:  Also clears out negativity and encourages clear thinking

Salt:  Another favorite of mine and a staple for any witch.  Purification and protection.  If I have no time to prepare an herbal tea for the cleaning water, salt is always in my cleaning water.  I will however,  add  a dash of Florida Water for the fresh aroma and for the magical properties.

Once my home is physically clean I don’t forget to clear the atmosphere and let the smoke of a sage braid waft into every corner of the home, room and into the cupboards as well.  I usually enjoy a rush of serenity and well-being after my tasks are done and I welcome the spirits which I had asked to come.

Facial Pampering Part II

Standard

Coconut Oil

pretty bottles

pretty bottles (Photo credit: Kvitsh)

– not just for the kitchen!  I am sure most of you out there know about the value of high quality products we use for cooking can also be used for skin care.  Coconut oil falls right into that category as well.

I have stopped using almost all commercially sold cleansers, toners, masks and so on such a long time ago.  I cycle through a variety of lotions and creams I whip up myself.  Using products from your kitchen  work just as well for your beauty care, are less expensive and without a long list of ingredients which no one can pronounce nor understand what it is.  Many of those ingredients have no place in that bottle or jar to begin with and possibly do more harm than good in the long run.  Check out my articles “Stay Away from Phthalates!” , “Keep it Simple” and “Facial Pampering“.

As always, make sure the products are of high quality.  You can pick up organic coconut oil for about $5.50.  One of my homemade exfoiliant consists out of a blend of that wonderful coconut oil and an equal part of Baking Soda (inexpensive and found in most homes!).  It’s ready to use just like that but I like to add a few drops of lemon juice to diminish any dark spots. Other recipes use sugar in place of Baking Soda.   Massage onto face and rinse well with tepid water.  There might be a slightly greasy feeling but the skin absorbs it quickly .  Feel free to follow-up with a light moisturizer if you wish or use a homemade  herbal skin tonic (I have a post on that as well).

I usually make a weeks worth of any of my products since they will spoil and I keep most of them in the fridge.  This exfoliant however,  is a simple and easy, once a week treat for your skin so no need to prepare any more than you need for that day.

Coconut oil has a nearly endless list of possiblities, I have even made toothpaste.  Sounds messy and complicated???   Hahaha -no way!  I like to keep things simple.  All you need is:  Cococonut Oil and Baking Soda…..:) :):)

Stay beautiful!

Imbolc, Brighid and Poetry

Standard
Brighid's Cross - Imbolc Altar

Brighid’s Cross – Imbolc Altar (Photo credit: alisonleighlilly)

I had wanted to post this on the day of Imbolc but as it turns out, I am a bit late.Some of us acknowledged Imbolc a few days ago, signifying the first day of spring in the ancient celtic religion.  Groundhog Day today, is a leftover from those beliefs, also Candlemas celebrated by some stems from Imbolc.  Although the sources differ on the meaning of Imbolc,  “ewe’s milk” or “in the belly”  –  either way it signals lactating sheep and the beginning of spring.

Those living in the countries still covered with snow and ice may beg to differ, spring seems to be still far away, but the days are growing longer and most of the unseen activity is taken place under the ground.  Imbolc is the celebration of the strengthening of the sun and the awaking of the seeds from their deep winter sleep.

The fiery Irish goddess Brighid or Brid (meaning Bright One) is honored on Imbolc.  She is the goddess of healing, smithcraft and of poetry. She is the keeper of the sacred flame and guardian of the hearth.  Purification and cleaning are associated with her.  When Christianity swept over Ireland, the old gods and goddesses were not forgotten by the people of the land and so the Church had to make concessions and allow the worship of such as Brighid.  Today, she is known as St. Brigid and many churches carry her name.

A poem for that day goes as follows:

Thig an nathair as an toll
la donn Bride
Ged robh tri traighean dh’an
Air leachd an lair

Translation for all Non-Gaelics:

The serpent will come from the hole
on the brown day of Brighid
though there may be three feet of snow
On the surface of the ground.


Juice as Medicine

Standard
English: Fruit on display at La Boqueria marke...

English: Fruit on display at La Boqueria market in Barcelona. Français : Fruits à l’étal dans le marché de La Boqueria à Barcelone. Español: Fruta en el mercado de La Boquería, en Barcelona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love juicing!  I have written about it not too long ago and I thank everyone for stoping by and reading the article.  It makes me happy that so many of you are leaving the path of processed foods.  Homemade fruit and vegetable juices do not only improve your overall health and assists in weight loss but is also extremely therapeutic when it comes to dealing with a whole list of illnesses.

Dealing with arthritis for example….at least a pint of grapefruit juice (please not store-bought!  Already processed juice has no benefit at all). Separately to the grapefruit juice, also prepare a half of pint of carrot/spinach juice, and at least half a pint of carrot/sellerie juice. This means a total of two pints daily, which usually leads to tangible results within a reasonable period. It has also been useful to drink half a pint of carrots/turnips/cucumber juice.

Drink these juice combos throughout the day at intervals of one or two hours between each mix. Keep in mind that mixing the different juice types are important since the chemical composition of each individual juice achieve different results. It is important to know the correct mixtures to battle arthritis.  Heat, pills and electricity deal with the pain only and do not combat the cause of the sickness.

The grapefruit juice for example, contains organic salicylic acid which aids in dissolving the unnatural calcium build-up around the joints. The turnips and wintergreen also contain salicylic acid but its job here is to assist in the cleansing and regenerating of the joints.

The dissolving of the unnatural calcium is only the first step of improving the illness. Now it needs to be eliminated form the body and this is where the carrot/sellerie juice comes into play. The carrot/spinach combo is to rebuild and renew and brings all back into balance.

Going through this process can be very painful, some days will be more so than others. As you know, in natural medicine it is often so that first the symptoms get worse before improvement can be seen and noticed. Sticking with it is the key. It also helps to understand the psychological reason for arthritis, which is long suppressed anger and frustration.  Trying to avoid these factors as much as possible will also speed up the healing process.

I can only speak for myself, this has been my journey, my experiences and I would like to share them.  We’ve been conditioned to swallow a pill for everything that ails us, lulled into not taking the horrid side effects seriously.  There are alternatives and I for one, believe strongly that nature holds all answers.   I use the theraputical juice recipes from Dr. Norman Walker, who was an expert on nutrition and lived to be 115 years old.