Blessings, Earthlings! In celebration of the day I wanted to share some resources and ideas. Thinking about environmental challenges that we face these days can be overwhelming. Everywhere we are hearing that we need to reduce our carbon emissions, but it can feel like individual actions are pointless when whole nations of others, let alone our own neighbors may still be refusing to do so. But there is hope. Reducing our carbon footprint and our ecological impact involves more than just how many cars are on the highway, or what factories and industries may or may not be willing to concede to. One thing that each of us has control over, that can have a surprising impact on carbon emissions, is how many animal products we consume.
If you would like a quick and easy download of information about this positive environmental impact that you can have, check out this link. It gives some quick and basic info, followed by very detailed links to practical advice for making more plant-based choices. So check out: http://www.greenyourdiet.org/
It's thoroughly in keeping with the irony-laden history of the modern Craft that one of the most common names for the Goddess of Witches should derive ultimately from the name of a first-century member of the Judaean royal house.
Well, it's a long story. (I'll tell it to you some time. If you don't already know and want to find out, you can do so here. Scroll down for the good stuff.)
No, my purpose today is much simpler: stress. Is it a-RA-di-a or a-ra-DI-a?
Should we link our politics and our faith? This is a question that is beginning to be asked in our community. Some of that has to do with the stir that Gods & Radicals has created, especially the recent controversy.
I try to stay out of online bickering, and when I feel I must get involved I try to do it in the form of a column so that we can have a mature, intelligent debate rather than a bunch of back-biting, pot-stirring and name-calling, with the usual wake of vultures showing up to cannibalize whomever looks weakest for their own self-glorification through gossip. Hard experience has taught me that wading in to the mix while the shit is still flying is never helpful. But even I was drawn partway into this one. I guess it’s because it’s such an emotional issue for me. It’s a button-pusher, and my buttons were pushed.
C. G. Leland tells the story in his 1899 Aradia: Gospel of the Witches.
In those days there were on earth many poor and many rich.
The rich made slaves of all the poor....many slaves escaped. They fled to the country....[I]nstead of sleeping by night, they plotted escape and robbed their masters, and then slew them. So they dwelt in the mountains and forests as robbers and assassins, all to avoid slavery.
The Moon, as all-seeing Lady of the Night, witnesses her people's troubles and, in her mighty ruth (mercy), she sends her daughter Aradia to teach them magic and herbcraft, so that they can hex and poison their oppressors.
A wand is a magical tool, an extension of the power within your own hand, projected through the wand, to affect the world via your Will. The Yule tree was once a living reflection of the wand’s magic. It drew its own strength from the earth—it’s source—much as the wand draws its strength and direction from your Will, channeled through you. The Yule tree directed water and nutrients upward through its trunk, expressing these elements outward as branches, needles and pine cones. They, in turn, affected the world by providing shade, shelter, protection, food, and the seeds of a new generation. Therefore, at a time of freshly flowing sap, and the awakening of nature, a wand can be fashioned from the offering of branches of the old tree, copper wire to conduct energy, and quartz crystal to focus it.
The crafting of an Equinox swag carries the seeds of the Yule spirit forward. If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.
For Earth Day this year, I suggest keeping it simple. Pack a handful of your nearest and dearest in a roomy auto and go road-tripping. It could even be more fun if you have no particular destination in mind. You can call on the directions to help guide you to a beneficial place for all. There really are only a few prerequisites to make for the optimum road experience: gas, tunes, and snacks.
To be fair, why not have each rider pitch in with a playlist of road-worthy songs and take turns playing them? Speaking of pitching in, if you're not the driver, don't forget to offer some cash for fuel. The other kind of fuel you require is of course, munchies. You should cover sweet, salty, crunchy, protein-rich, and throw in something healthy if you can. Veggie Straws, celery and carrots, apples, grapes, cheese, hummus, trail mix, and fair trade dark chocolate all make my list. These don't really require a cooler, either. The other thing you don't want to be without is beverages. Water, iced tea or coffee drinks, and juice are all good bets.
Try to get rolling by high-noon so that you still have plenty of daylight to get out and go for a hike, if you choose. Crank the windows down, sing along, and let the good times roll. There is a lot of gorgeous green earth still out there. Get out and enjoy her while you can.
COLLEEN'S CRAZY TRAIL MIX A perfect blend of salty, sweet and spicy. organic dark chocolate-covered cranberries organic Dried Turkish Figs sesame sticks (Cajun) brown rice miso crackers roasted, salted Peanuts organic raw pumpkin seeds Greek yogurt-covered pretzels wasabi peas All of these items should be available in your friendly neighborhood bulk foods section. You can use equal parts of each, or go heavy on your favorites to create your own mix! (Recipe concocted by Colleen DuVall, due to the tree-nut heavy trail-mixes already out there)
BEET HUMMUS Start to finish: 20 minutes Servings: 5 This hummus is a vibrant bright pink thanks to the addition of steamed beets. 1 beet (small, trimmed and peeled, cut into chunks) 1 1⁄2 cups cooked chickpeas 1 clove garlic (coarsely chopped) 3 tablespoons tahini 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1⁄4 cup water (plus up to a 1/4 cup more if needed) 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin 1⁄2 teaspoons salt Place the beet in a steamer basket above simmering water and steam, covered, until tender, up to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the beet pieces. Place the garlic and chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the tahini, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of water, cumin, salt, and cooked beets, and process until smooth and creamy, adding more water, a couple tablespoons at a time, to reach the desired consistency. (Recipe adapted from www.dailyburn.com by Willy Street Co-op in Madison)