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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in earth-based spirituality
Bright Blessings! A Celtic-inspired Midsummer Ritual

June is summer reaching its full glory. There have been many rites around the world to acknowledge the longest day of the year. The Japanese climb Mount Fuji at this time, for it is free of snow during two months in the summer. The Native American tribes of the Southwest and Great Plains hold ceremonies to honor the life-giving sun. Incan, Mayan, and Aztec midsummer rites honoring the sun gods were among their most important ceremonies. Here is a midsummer ritual my group has celebrated joyfully for years. 

 Essential elements for a Celtic-inspired Midsummer ritual are a wooden wheel, fallen branches and firewood, multicolored candles, multicolored ribbons, food and drink, and flowers for garlands. This ritual should be performed outside, ideally on a hill or mountaintop, at dusk. Call the local fire department to verify the fire laws in your area. You will likely need a special permit to light a bonfire, and certain areas may be restricted. Always clear the grass and brush away from your fire area, and make sure to dig a shallow pit into the ground. Circle the pit with rocks to help mark the edge of the fire pit as well as to contain the accidental spread of fire. Have a fire extinguisher, a pail of sand, and water bottles nearby in case the fire gets out of control. One person not directly involved in the ritual should be on hand to watch the fire at all times. Make sure the fire pit is far enough away from surrounding trees and other landscape features to allow for a group to dance around it.

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Have a Cool Earth Day, No Matter What Your Circumstance

During a stay-at-home order, if it’s not a complete lockdown, reminding yourself there is still an outside beyond your four walls has become imperative. Unfortunately, some areas, including my own in Wisconsin, have had to close our beautiful state parks in order to protect them. They were being flooded with folks desperate for nature and something to do. Although the majority were most likely there with good intentions and to appreciate the parks respectfully, some were definitely not practicing good social distancing guidelines with their fellow park-goers and worse still, were littering and vandalizing. Not cool. This has also been the case with many of our national parks. Sadly, some park workers were starting to test positive for COVID-19. Interestingly, in places now temporarily closed like Yosemite, the animals are having a party. Bears are out and about in high numbers without the usual throng of visitors. At Kruger National Park in South Africa, a whole pride of lions were happily lounging in the sun all along what would normally be frequently traveled road.

I see my friends online, myself and my significant other have become creative as to how, when and where we seek refuge off the beaten path into the woods, prairies, and meadows. The heart of the city can feel not unlike navigating a minefield in pandemic conditions. If you want to go out for a walk on a nice day, a drive to less-populated area is key. Do some research online ahead of time and find out what is and is not available to the public in your area currently. Even if state parks are closed, many smaller county parks remain open. Try to plan to your visit so it wouldn’t be at a peak time that everyone would have the same idea to be there. Wear gloves and masks and maintain the safe six-foot distance on all trails when coming into contact with others. Taking the high road has come to mean, “I will be the one to always veer off the trail if necessary,” to me. You can still be friendly and say, “hi.” Just do it from behind your bandanna, please.

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Witch Craft: DIY Manifesting Money Bags

 Rather than chasing money or possessions, you can simple draw them toward you with wisdom from days gone by. A tiny green pouch filled with the herbs basil and mint, three cinnamon sticks, one silver dollar and a green stone,  peridot or a smooth mossy-colored pebble of jade would be perfect. The untrained eye might perceive this as a bag of weeds and rocks but any practical witch knows this is a powerful tool for creating powerful change into your life and attracting good fortune.

 Prepare your attraction pouch during a waxing moon; the strongest power would be when the sun or moon is in Taurus, Cancer or Capricorn. Hold the pouch over cinnamon or jasmine incense and as the smoke blesses the bag, speak this spell:

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Natural Rituals

Natural Rituals

Sometimes I work with a ritual structure, especially if I am leading a group ritual.  Something along the lines of casting the circle, calling the quarters, inviting deity then working magic & raising energy then closing it all down in reverse.  This format can work very well for wild witchcraft if you want it to.  The elements are after all the basics of nature itself so inviting them in makes sense.  Inviting deity to join you could be in the form of a specific goddesses and/or god that fits with your intent or perhaps a nature deity.   You may even choose to just invite Mother Earth and Father Sky to join you.  And casting the circle can be done with natural items such as autumn leaves or flower petals. It really is all about working with your intuition and going with what feels right for you. 

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The Green Album: a Pagan treat for all who love the Earth

A wonderful new CD of Pagan songs honoring the sacredness of Nature has just blessed us. I have enjoyed it immensely and hope many of you will as well. That’s the elevator speech. Here’s why.

The Green Album is a collection by many of our best contemporary Pagan musicians contributing their original music to honor the earth. At a time when the fate of the place we love is being threatened by greed, ignorance, and fear, music can strengthen those of us who feel powerless given magnitude of the forces we oppose and even penetrate minds and hearts closed to argument and evidence.  This collection does so for me.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Travel the Earth

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)

Photo by ponsulak at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net



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Have Pagans Failed at Environmental Activism?

Many Pagans define themselves as "Earth-centered," and yet, so many of us fail to actually live in harmony with the earth. I've written before on the Pagan Activist blog about environmentalism. And I admit that--in my frustration--I've written a few harsh and perhaps even incendiary posts on the topic. I don't know that those have done anything to change anyone's mind.

However, environmentalism is a part of Pagan leadership and community building, which is why I'm writing about it here.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leslie J Linder
    Leslie J Linder says #
    Thank you for your thoughtful blog! I am an Eclectic Vegan Pagan, and I signed the statement. I had given the authors some info fr
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    Shauna, yours is one of the better posts on the subject. In terms of what can be done and what should be done, the entire race, n
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    And that doesn't even address my pet peeve of over-population!
  • Richard Wachenheim
    Richard Wachenheim says #
    Hello, I consider myself as a reasonable environmentalist pagan. That said, I have been close to the earth for many years and wa
  • Soli
    Soli says #
    I'm one of those people who ended up not signing the pledge, and the "small actions" post I did on Pagan Activist in early April i

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