I’ll be completely honest, I don’t smudge my surroundings or myself nearly as often as I’d like to. But next month we are bringing home our second child and while I’m knee deep in nesting, I figure saging the house needs to be part of preparing our home for the new baby.
Smudging the home with herbs or cedar has been a staple in Native American tradition for centuries. The herbs used in smudging are dependent heavily on the particular region and tribe as to what is traditionally used. Today, white sage is the most common herb used in household smudging, but far from the only option.
I have a bundle of white sage and a beautiful abalone shell that I picked up from an amazing spiritual shop in Austin (https://www.ancient-mysteries.net/). I decided to get an abalone shell to hold my sage because the shell itself is not only gorgeous but has amazing protective and balancing energies itself. I like having as many natural elements in my sacred space as possible, so the abalone shell was the perfect choice. I personally like to use white sage because sage grew wild where I was raised in the mountains of NorCal, so it reminds me of home. Saging is about clearing your energies and grounding yourself, so I figure what better way to help ground myself than to have a small reminder of my roots.
To start, I lit my bundle of sage and let the flame dance around for a moment or two before I blew it out. Long enough to catch the herb and create a nice smoke. Hold the sage over the abalone shell (or whatever dish you choose to use) as you walk through the house so any piece of burning herb that falls from the smudging stick doesn’t land on your floors. I started in the entryway and worked my way through the natural progression of my home, following the hallway and into the kitchen. Working my way through my entire house in a clockwise circle, finishing the tour in my bedroom. As you make your way through the house, think very clearly about cleansing every corner in every room of negativity. Invite balance and growth into your space.
When you have reached the last corner in the last room, take a moment to finalize your intentions and gently stamp the sage bundle out in the abalone shell. You can also spray it with water, but at this point in your smudging journey, the sage smoke will start going out on its own. So it’s super easy to finish it off this way and save it for your next cleansing ritual.
I have been saging my home at least annually since I moved into my first apartment in 2010 (so long ago). Personally I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to smudge, as long as your intentions are clear and you do what feels right in your heart. I’ve been told very particular practices, such you can’t reuse a bundle of sage once you’ve smudged with it or you have to recite a specific chant, but that’s just personal preference, not law.
Mabon is the pagan celebration of the autumn equinox and one of the harvest festivals celebrated throughout the year. Summer has officially ended in the northern hemisphere and the days are once again the same length of time as night. Days and nights having the same hours symbolizes balance and unity during this time. During this time of the second harvest of the year, hearty foods such as pumpkins and other gords and apples are ready to be collected and shared in a great feast of abundance.
The sabbat Mabon is named in the 1970’s after a Welsh God, the son is the Goddess who we celebrated to be heavy with child during the summer solstice. I don’t know about you but I found it interesting that the sabbat, along with the two holidays honoring the equinoxes, were named so recently. You can read more about that on this blog post written by Katrina Rasbold (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/energymagic/2015/09/mabon/).
Of all the foods associated with the fall equinox and the harvest, apples are one of the most iconic. I chose an apple dessert not only because of its symbolism but also its versatility! Apple pie, apple tarts, apple bread. There are so many different ways to celebrate this amazing fruit.
Decorate my altar
Apples, fall leaves, acorns, and tiny pumpkins are perfect additions to your altars during this time of year. Since our energies are so intertwined with nature, bringing foods and foliage from the outdoors into your sacred place can help make your meditation place even more special. At least it does for me. Celebrating holidays and sabbats are very personal, so make sure to do what you feel in your heart.
Make a gratuity list
Take a moment to look at everything you have to be grateful for. Even the smallest accomplishments and joys should be celebrated. Family, health, food, books, coffee. Whatever helps you not only get through the day, but thrive is deserving of a place on your gratuity list.
Declutter your home.
Pick a room and downsize things you don’t need. Not only is this a good thing to do for your physical home, but also for your soul. It’s not healthy to carry around all this weight and decluttering your home is a great exercise to literally and metaphorically cleanse your space. Closets and the garage are perfect places to start since these areas are mainly used as storage. We did the garage and the hall closet and it felt phenomenal to have gotten rid of things we should have donated years ago.
Fall is my absolutely favorite time of the year. It’s the season that I spend all of spring and summer dreaming about. There’s something magical about the way the trees shed their leaves, getting rid of old baggage as they begin their journey towards rebirth in the spring. I’ve always admired the transformation and I see humans replicated the process all the time. Letting go of people who don’t help us progress into our better selves, healing from old traumas. Our souls are a lot like those trees outside your window, sometimes barren, sometimes green and full of life. We are more tied in with nature than a lot of people realize, that’s why I make a list every season of everything I want to do to not only honor the corresponding holidays but also to honor my connection with the earth.
Fall Bucket List
1. Visit the pumpkin patch
2. Make apple cider
3. Carve pumpkins
4. Bake homemade pies
5. Have a family movie night
6. Decorate for Halloween/Samhain
7. Take family photos
8. Make DIY candles
9. Watch the sunset
10. Give back (Clean out closets and donate unwanted clothes)
11. Fall cleanse the house (Clean, organize, and smudge)
12. Make baked apples
13. Host a bonfire with friends
14. Prepare a fall picnic
15. Go thrift shopping for a new sweater
16. Make a pumpkin and cream cheese loaf
17. Go on a nature walk
18. Go trick or treating around the neighborhood
19. Cook a meal with squash
20. Craft with fall leaves
Fall is the season for two spiritual holidays. Mabon, the fall equinox and the celebration of the harvest season, and Samhain, which falls on Halloween night and symbolizes the end of the Celtic year. When making these lists, I make an effort to blend the two faiths practiced within my family, and it’s much easier than I expected it, as many of the reserved holidays have deep pagan roots!
Meditation is one of those great things that you can really do anywhere. No need to go back, you read that right the first time. Anywhere. In bed. On the floor. In the shower. On a pillow in front of your altar with incense wafting through the air. Meditation is all about a state of mind, not the picture perfect room to do it in. You can meditate in complete silence (if you have children, this one is a little harder to do) or use youtube videos for assistance. It all depends on what keeps you the most zen.
It’s very personal, much like every other aspect of spirituality. There isn’t one size that fits all. When I first felt a calling on this spiritual path, I thought there was a specific way things had to be done, an exact science to the ritual. I guess that was my own personal experience with religion hanging on for one last moment of influence. Once I did my research and learned that everyone’s path is different and unique, I was sold.
Personally, I do the majority of my meditation in the shower. I’m alone, it’s quiet. The water is warm and calming. It’s the only time of my day where I can get lost in my thoughts and center myself. There isn’t a snoring husband lying next to me. There isn’t a child climbing all over my while I’m trying to focus. No cat meowing at me for a meal, even though she’s already been fed. I’m not going to defend myself and remind everyone how much I love my family. Obviously I do. But I very much value my alone time, and this isn’t something that came about in motherhood. I’ve always enjoyed being alone. Even as a teenager, I would often lock myself away to recharge my batteries, because being a human being is exhausting. After I started meditating and practicing breathing techniques, I noticed a huge difference in my mental state but also my physical health. Because, surprise, the two are very closely tied together.
I have a dear friend who is a massage therapist, and she has specific videos she and her family watch on YouTube that walk you through meditation. She swears by them. So if you’re one of those people who would like a little guidance or if your mind wanders while meditating, give these videos a try! https://www.youtube.com/user/NewHorizonHolistic
In our day to day lives, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed or that you don’t have five free minutes a day to sit and collect your thoughts. I promise you, that if you make the effort and pencil in a fraction of your agenda to your mental health, you will feel a weight off your shoulders. You’ll feel better. You’ll sleep better. Your stress and anxiety levels will benefit. I could make a fifty point list on why meditation is so beneficial, but instead I’m going to go over my personal routine for you to tweak however you please.
I make sure the water in the shower is nice and warm. I love hot showers so the hotter the better, but whatever temperature you’re comfortable with. Throughout my pregnancies, I’d get tired standing in the shower, so I would sit. Yes, I would sit in the shower. Why not take a bath? Because my tub was small and didn’t hold much water. This way, my entire body is benefiting from the waterfall shower head. Light some candles, dim the lights, put on some soft music. As you let the water run down your body, imagine all your troubles and stress washing away with it. Let the water cleanse your spirit as it’s cleansing your body. It’s like a ritual. As you wash your hair, as you wash your skin, imagine you are scrubbing away your woes. You are doing so much more than cleaning your body in this shower, you are cleaning your aura. It’s like saging yourself, your soul can hold onto more toxins than any other part of you, so make sure you pay extra attention to this purification.
Stay in until you feel ready. Usually for me, this is when the water runs cold or when I’ve been in the steamy bathroom long enough I’m ready for some air. Either way, listen to your body, you’ll know when you’re ready to come back to reality. I am usually exhausted after a meditation shower, so I always do this before bed. Afterwards, lotion your skin and drink some cool water. Put on chapstick, do your nighttime skin care routine (if you don’t have one, I highly suggest you start one). After a long meditation shower, I love to do facials, either a nice sheet mask with essential oils or a brush-on mask that you can wipe off. I’m personally not a big fan of peel-off masks, but use what you have. It’s amazing how these little steps of self care truly improve your sleep. It helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night, so when you wake up the next morning you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Litha is the celebration of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It’s a time to honor our connection to the sun and everything it provides for us living creatures on earth. After the solstice, the days will gradually grow shorter until we reach the fall equinox. Summer is the time to enjoy the warm, extra sunlight and the magic happening all around us. Litha honors the strength of the seeds we plant in the springtime, as we begin to see the fruits of our labor. The Goddess is depicted in the form of the Mother, with child and preparing to give birth during the fall equinox, just as the harvest is ready for gathering. I currently connect to this time on a spiritual level because I can definitely relate to being heavy with a child, waiting for the end of summer to finally give birth.
Before I dove in head first, I did my research. I like to be well prepared and well read on a subject before I even attempt to explain it to anyone else. Even though I celebrated the turning of each season and honored pagan traditions on the holidays, I didn’t do it in the name of spirituality, I did it out of habit. Intention is EVERYTHING when it comes to your spiritual path, so this year I decided to make my intentions clear and celebrate Litha for what it represents.
What I decided to do to honor the solstice
I decorate my altar with flowers and shells. On the solstice honoring the sun, what better flower to symbolize the occasion than a bright yellow daffodil. Shells are a wholesome reminder of the beach and being in the water is one of the best ways to balance out the heat from the sun during these long days.
Read a tarot spread for myself for the season. Having a card reading can be pretty much done any day of the year, but I figured it would be a special way to honor the solstice. It had been months since I did a reading for myself and it was definitely time.
Go outside and soak up the sun. After all, today is all about honoring that massive star up in the sky. I put on some sunscreen and laid out in the heat with a massive cup of peach iced tea. Humans, just like all living things on the earth’s surface, thrive and grow with some warmth from the sun. It’s amazing how rejuvenated you feel after lying out in the sunlight for a bit, kind of like recharging your spiritual batteries.
Bake a lemon tart. Citrus is one of the many food correspondence with Litha, and lemon is a personal favorite in my house. What better way to honor the solstice than with a delicious and refreshing treat.
Many of the items on my Summer Bucket List blog (https://mysticquill.com/2020/06/17/summer-bucket-list/) are a celebration of Litha as well, but I wanted to do something special for the day of the solstice while honoring the season all through the summer months. Celebrating holidays is a great way to boost your happiness and make specific times of the year special for your loved ones. Everything we do for the holidays is just as much for our children and family as it is for ourselves. Even though October through December are considered to be “the holidays”, there are many days throughout the year we can make special and honor nature.
It’s almost summer time! While the hot and humid weather in the south isn’t exactly my favorite flavor of tea, there is something beautiful and unique about each of the four seasons. Summer is no exception there. The days are longer, the sun rises higher into the sky and everything in the northern hemisphere is vibrant and alive. Summer is the time to get outside and enjoy the water and thank the sun for giving us warmth and balance.
To honor the summer solstice and the entire season, I made a list of twenty activities I want to do between June 24 and September 21. While three months is plenty of time to check items off your own seasonal bucket list, it’s important to take the time to enjoy each activity. Think about why you’re doing each one and live in the moment.
Summer Bucket List
1. Make s’mores over a bonfire
3. Make fresh popsicles
4. Watch fireworks on Independence Day
5. Have a BBQ with friends
6. Make ice cream floats
7. Go to the farmer’s market and try a new recipe
8. Have a lake day
9. Watch the sunrise
10. Eat a funnel cake at a fair or make them at home
11. Go fishing early in the morning
12. Have a water fight in the backyard
13. Try a new food truck
14. Unplug for the entire day
15. Put out a hummingbird feeder
16. Brew sun tea
17. Make a DIY bird feeder with orange peels and seeds
18. Make a flower crown
19. Make homemade smoothies
20. Make a sun catcher
My summer bucket list is a combination of fun childhood memories mixed in with my spiritual beliefs honoring the summer solstice. The summer solstice, or Litha, is the celebration of the longest day of the year and the earth being as close to the sun as it ever will be. After the solstice, each day will gradually get shorter until we reach the fall equinox. With so many creative ways to celebrate summer, the seasonal bucket list options are endless!
Last Friday on June 5th was the last full moon, known as the full strawberry moon. It’s referred to as the strawberry moon because June is the month of the strawberry harvest. The moon cycles are always a good time to take a moment of gratitude and set your intentions for the new lunar cycle. As I’ve stated before, I’m not a fourth generational expert. I listen to my heart and follow my own personal calling. While everything has its own meaning and symbolism, there truly isn’t a witchcraft rule book. There isn’t a right and wrong way to practice and honor yourself, and the moon is no exception.
What the full moon means
This is a time to move forward with your intentions that have already been established. The full moon isn’t a time for a new beginning or to take on new projects, but honor the things you have yet to finish. Take this time to celebrate what you’ve done and honor the progress you’ve made and continue to make. There is a misconception that the full moon makes people act out of character or transform into entirely new beings, but to me the full moon has always been a source of joy and completion.
What I cleanse/charge and why
I cleanse everything. Myself, my deck of tarot cards, my crystal necklace, my little herb garden. I make moon water to use in various places (meditation, ritual, you can even make tea with it).
Making Full Moon Water
Take a clean, clear glass jar with a secure lid. I use leftover jelly cars, personally but you can use literally whatever you have lying around. Fill the jar with filtered water and secure the lid. Sit in the light of the full moon for as long as you can. Remove the jar before you go to bed so that it’s off the window sill or back inside the house before the sun rises, that way the water absorbs the moon only. I store my full moon water in the pantry where it’s dark and use it when I feel the desire.
You can make moon water during literally any moon cycle, as each phase has its own energy and symbolism. I use full moon water the most because I use my moon water to bring power and charge to my rituals and to myself.
The full moon has always tugged at my heart strings. I remember in college when I would work late, I’d call my husband in the break room and ask him to set my old deck of tarot cards on the window sill and I’ll never forget the looks I’d get. Omg, she’s one of THOSE. You’re damn right I am and contrary to belief, there’s a lot of us who hear the moon’s siren call.
Aligned AF. I don’t know about you, but I tend to go the extra mile making sure my soul is aligned and I am centered in my own energy. Alas, I’m a human and sometimes I fall short. In those cases, AF stands for anxiety and forgiveness. Two of the things I struggle with the most.
Mental health has a huge stigma behind it, and even in this current social climate where we are being as open and honest as ever, we still get judged for the chemicals our brain is releasing. Like we have any control over it. I’ve had anxiety my entire existence. Stories of how I would stress myself out so badly I’d get sick has sprinkled my childhood. Most of those stories are told with humor rather than thinking I could ever be anything other than what was perceived as “normal.” I’ve been called emotional, mean, and controlling all because of my anxiety. The times where my anxiety has literally caused me to shut down and internally panic, I’ve been called spoiled and lazy. Pretty much every negative adjective you can think of, all because I’ve been constantly stressed. It’s a struggle to balance out what my brain perceives as reality and what is just me overthinking everything. What people’s actual intentions are over what I assume they are doing. As a Libra, balance is EVERYTHING. It’s enough to make a person go insane, and because of all of this confusion and stress, some sticky situations have arisen. That brings up the next big issue in staying aligned AF. Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is tricky. Sometimes we have to accept that in life there will be times that we will have to forgive and move on, even when an apology isn’t offered. Not because those who wronged us deserve forgiveness, some of them genuinely don’t. But that doesn’t mean that we deserve to carry about hate in our hearts. All it does is keep us awake at night while the people who hurt us probably sleep soundly. Wrapped up in a blanket with the fan on, nice and comfortable while they dream of who cares. So why don’t we deserve to sleep soundly, cozy and safe on our mattresses? Why do we get hurt, but carry the weight of that on our shoulders when we didn’t ask for it? We may not be the ones who put the burden there, but we are the ones holding onto it. And sometimes we need to, we cling to it like a shackle, waiting for the cut to scab over. But long after the scar tissue has set in, we still hold onto those boulders. We act like songbirds trapped in a cage, but the door is wide open. All we have to do is step out. All we have to do is drop the boulder and stretch out our poor, overworked muscles. It’s amazing to see how much better we can breathe when we aren’t hunched over. But that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, especially when it comes to freedom.
The reality of anxiety and forgiveness that I have come to is, I’m not responsible for other people. Not how they act. Not how they interpret my good intentions. Not how they perceive my life choices. None of it. And I’m not here to impress them anyway. At the end of it all, what truly matters is that I am happy with myself and my family. What matters is that my relationship is strong and healthy, and that my children are happy and healthy. Everything else is just background noise. And yes sometimes the background noise gets way too loud, but the good thing about that is, we hold the remote. We can turn down the volume. Distance ourselves from the bullshit, get some noise cancelling headphones, whatever you need to do to align yourself.
It’s taken me a long time to get here and some people never do, because it takes an immense amount of energy and work to get to this milestone. Hard work isn’t for everyone, but good news is, you are a gem. You are a unique snowflake with a design that never has and never will be repeated again. You are not like everyone else, and thank the universe for that. Being your own shade of rich color is one of life’s greatest blessings. Once you see your own worth, a whole new color pallet opens up. Imagine what beautiful portraits you can create with an array of hues designed just for you.
Recently, I signed up for an herbalist course online through Groupon. One, to get closer to nature but also to head in the direction of a more natural medicine cabinet. So many of us use chemical compositions from the pharmacy shelves to help cure common colds or a skin rash when we can just as easily turn to Mother Earth. We have been provided such a wide variety of natural cures in our own backyards, it would be a shame to let them go to waste. Of course, modern medicine has its place and there’s a reason we developed it, but there are many instances in daily life where herbalism can assist our healing and help promote a healthier lifestyle.
Many of these herbs have medicinal and spiritual purposes that are miles long, so I just listed the ones that I felt most relevant. It’s amazing all the various uses for these common kitchen herbs aside from making our dinners more delicious. It’s always important for me, personally, to have representation of the four elements in my sacred space. Herbs are a wonderful way to honor the earth.
The herbalist course was a great beginners introduction into herbal medicine. Another great source, as always, are our beloved books. The first herbalist book I picked up was medicinal, Herbal Remedies by Andrew Chevallier, and it’s a great source with easy to identify photos and references. If a plant has even a shred of medicinal uses, it’s in this book with an instruction on how and when to use them.
Spiritually, my favorite that I’ve picked up is the Green Witch by Arin Hiscock-Murphy. I stumbled upon several reviews on pagan instagram accounts and blogs, and it’s currently a favorite among the community. I loved it because it helps establish the mindset and lifestyle of a green witch beyond keeping a simple herb garden. I picked up Hiscock-Murphy’s trilogy of pagan books and they are all fantastic.
These are the six herbs that I landed on after doing my research. Not only are they the most used herbs in my kitchen, but they all have amazing medicinal purposes that I had no idea existed before embarking on this journey. I have been using white sage smudging sticks to cleanse sacred spaces or new apartments that I moved into for over a decade, but I was amazed to learn that the additional herbs that had been sitting in my space cabinet all along could enhance my craft as well. I got a bit of a late start in planting these herbs with the shelter in place orders, but since I’m working with an indoor garden, I don’t have to worry too much about the weather outside. I just have to worry about keeping my cat from eating them when they sprout.
The best thing about these six herbs, they all require similar sun light each day as well as similar watering schedules. Since I’m keeping these plants indoors and the ceramic pots I picked up were on the smaller side (four inches), I only put a few seeds in each pot. Plenty of seeds left over in case some don’t sprout or if I have to start over for any reason.
Culinary– Rosemary is one of the most versatile herbs, used primarily in pork and chicken dishes, as well as potatoes. One of my personal favorites is in bread, dipping oils, and herbal butter. Rosemary is also a great addition to soups, salads, and surprisingly desserts.
Medicinal– Rosemary essential oil is commonly used for stress relief, anxiety, aches and pains. Rosemary tea also has all the same benefits and is incredibly easy to make by steeping rosemary leaves in hot water for about ten minutes, strain and drink up.
Spiritual– Rosemary represents cleansing and purification, it can be used to make smudge sticks alone or mixes with sage. Burn a few leaves to purify your space before meditations.
Culinary– Basil is good for tomato base sauces, making pesto or eating raw in caprese, salads and pizza. If it’s Italian cuisine, basil is the perfect spice.
Medicinal– Basil naturally boosts the immune system and promotes healthy liver function. It can also relieve stress and lower cholesterol. Basil tea can help calm nerves and settle the stomach.
Spiritual– Basil symbolizes luck, peace, protection and success. Plant this in your garden to bring prosperity to your home.
Culinary– Cilantro is the perfect addition to salads, wraps, sandwiches, guacamole, salsas and most Mexican cuisine. It can also be used to elevate rice, chicken and seafood.
Medicinal– Cilantro is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, as well as a sleep aid.
Spiritual– Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant and has its own spiritual uses. Coriander oil can be used to bless candles and put in a satchel above your bed for a peaceful sleep.
Culinary– Parsley is a rich, versatile herb that can transform salads, soups, sauces and Mediterranean dishes. I put parsley in the majority of dishes I make. Used fresh or dried, it’s the perfect elevation of flavor. Parsley can also be used in dipping oils and herbal butter.
Medicinal– Parsley reduces inflammation and assists in cleansing the liver. It can also be used to strengthen the immune system, aid digestion, and is rich in Vitamin K and C.
Spiritual– Parsley is considered the herb of the dead, used in ancient cultures to honor those who have passed on.
Culinary– Sage marries well with pork, poultry, sausage, and seafood. I also put a bit of sage in homemade alfredo sauce, which surprisingly is the perfect addition.
Medicinal– Sage helps when dealing with digestive problems. It can also assist to relieve stress, lower cholesterol levels, reduce hot flashes and night sweats. Sage can be used as an essential oil or drank as a tea made from sage leaves using the same method as making rosemary tea.
Spiritual– Sage represents purification and protection. White sage smudge sticks can be used to cleanse a meditation area or your entire house, just make sure to open up a window or five depending on the size space you’re working with. Other herbs and flowers can be tied into a smudge stick to assist in cleansing negative energy.
Culinary– Oregano pairs well with chicken, beef, and pork. It’s another herb that is made for Italian cuisine, especially pasta and pizza. Bread, dipping oils, and herbal butter.
Medicinal- Oregano is great for promoting respiratory and immune system health. Oregano is also rich in vitamin K, iron, magnesium, and a great source of fiber and antioxidants. It helps reduce inflammation and ease minor aches and pains.
Spiritual– Oregano can assist to calm nerves and grant clarity and courage. Oregano can be added to charms and meditation to invoke joy and promote letting go of old habits or lovers. It’s also a great addition to a herbal protection sachet or an herb infused bath.
Today is the 50th year anniversary of Earth Day! On this day in 1970, one of the most overlooked holidays (in my humble opinion) was born. Now, over 190 countries around the globe take part in honoring the Earth, which is incredible, but there is still plenty more we can do this day and the other 364 days in our year. Earth Day offers an endless list of ways to celebrate and especially now, a time to reflect on how our own actions affect the planet we call home.
One of the hardest things to do as humans is to look inward and recognize that we are part of the problem. Whether it’s accepting blame for hurting someone’s feelings or recognizing that we have made mistakes that cause serious ramifications, the truth is we are all human and all of us trip sometimes. It’s not entirely the mistake that we should linger on, but what we can do to correct it. Now that we are all staying home for the time being, it means most of us are not only stuck in the couch, but also stuck inside our heads. While that can be a scary thing, it’s not always a bad thing. We need to reflect on ourselves from time to time. Just like we call our friends and family to see how they’re doing, we need to ask ourselves those same questions. Are you okay? How are you sleeping? What can I do to help?
That last question echoes and I decided one of the steps my family and I can make this Earth Day is take that one extra step to caring for our beautiful planet. We may all feel stuck at home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t step out into the fresh air and take a moment to appreciate nature. Side note, isn’t it amazing to see the planet healing while all of us cut down on waste and pollution? We are already doing so much for our health and environment by staying home but since it’s Earth Day, we can always take things a step further in the right direction. This year, my family is keeping it simple. We picked up trash around our neighborhood.
It’s mind blowing how much trash ends up littered on the side of the road or in public parks. Just our neighborhood alone, trash always gets caught in the fence that separates our back yard from the small creek running through base. Cleaning up after ourselves is completely free and a great way to honor our Mother Earth, not just today but every day. This was also a fantastic learning experience for my nearly three year old daughter. This simple act not only teaches our children to simply not litter, but to teach them that we only get one planet. The energies that flow through us are the same energies that flow through the streams and the breeze that rustles through the trees on a warm spring day. When we take care of the planet, we take care of ourselves.
1: Pick up trash.
2: Go for a walk.
3: A day of no driving, no pollution. If you are an essential worker and have to work on Earth Day, commit one of your days off to stay home or walk rather than go for a drive.
4: Make a donation to a charity dedicated to sustainability or animal preservation.
6: Invest in reusable bags for everyday shopping instead of using plastic. This includes the plastic one-use produce bags at the grocery store.
7: Invest in reusable metal or silicone straws and reusable storage bags to reduce plastic waste going into the oceans and landfills.
8: Subscribe to paperless bill pay/online payments.
9: Don’t leave the water running when washing hands or brushing teeth. We can potentially waste gallons of water by letting the tap run when we aren’t actually using it.
10: Unplug electronics when not in use. It’s easy to forget about those small kitchen appliances sitting on our counter. Leaving your toaster plugged in all the time actually uses up energy even when you aren’t making delicious toasted snacks. This goes for phone chargers and other power cords around the house as well.
BONUS for those who practice the craft:
Earth Day is also a great time to gather elemental representation for your altar or meditation space right in your backyards or local parks/trails that are currently still open to the public. Stones and dried flowers are perfect to showcase earth. Bird feathers for air, and if you live close to the ocean, a small vial of sand and a seashell are classic representations for water. Fire is a bit harder to scrounge up in the wilderness but a simple candle is always a good choice. These are just a few items on a long list of options for your sacred space, and the most obtainable items I was able to obtain when enjoying Mother Earth this specific holiday.
Park bench photo by Kaboompics on Pexel.
Wood Light Vacation Picnic photo by Pixabay on Pexel.