Category Archives: Home & Altar

Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

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Category: Home & Altar
Written by Mimosa
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by Kelly Lingen

After the long, cold Wisconsin winter, you’ve probably noticed a build-up of dirt, grime, dust-bunnies, and even clutter in your home or workplace. Spring has finally arrived, welcomed by an abundance of dust particles in the air that winter has so kindly left behind. Yes it’s that time again, folks – spring cleaning time! Now before you make a trip to the store to stock up on some cleaning products and supplies, I’d like you to consider this: many of the items we use to tackle some of our biggest cleaning tasks are not kind to our planet (or your wallet!). Harsh chemicals, wasted energy, and an excess of paper products are harmful to nature, to our animal friends, and believe it or not – to our health. If you’d like to know how you can clean your home or office without harming Mother Earth and her inhabitants, read on. Here are some eco-friendly cleaning tips to help you bring in the spring season.

Tip 1: Ditch Your Fabric Softener

I can give you three solid reasons to ditch your fabric softener: it’s expensive, it’s hard on the skin, and it contains chemicals that promote the growth of some nasty bacteria unaffected by even the most powerful antibiotics. So in place of fabric softener, use sunshine! Hanging your clothes on a clothesline to dry naturally in the sun is free. You’ll conserve energy by not using your dryer, you’ll save money, and your clothes will feel soft and smell fresh. It’s a win-win-win situation.

Tip 2: Who Needs Febreze?

Febreze and other popular air/linen sprays aren’t just tough on odors, they’re tough on respiratory systems as well. Products such as these contain multiple dangerous chemicals that humans and animals breathe in once they’re dispensed into the air, and they don’t eliminate odors anyway – they just temporarily mask them. Commercial air fresheners can cause allergies, irritate the skin and eyes, and studies have shown that excessive use can cause fertility problems or even cancer. Replace these harmful room and fabric sprays with homemade ones. A spray bottle filled with distilled water, a dash of vodka (to preserve it), and several drops of your favorite essential oil(s) does the trick! If you make your own sprays, be sure to label them so that other people in your household know what’s in the bottles.

Tip 3: Substitute Recycled Newspaper for Paper Towels

Before you toss your old newspapers in the recycling bin, use them to clean! Believe it or not, newspaper works better than paper toweling when it comes to cleaning glass and mirrors. Using it in place of paper-toweling creates less waste, and it’s cheap! Newspaper won’t leave lint behind, and it will leave your windows and mirrors streak-free.

Tip 4: Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner

Many commercial all-purpose cleaners contain bleach and other dangerous chemicals. You can make a simple, all-purpose cleaner with equal parts of water and white vinegar, and several drops of tea tree essential oil. Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic – and it’s completely safe. Add a dash of lavender to really make it smell nice!

Tip 5: Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a miracle worker when it comes to household cleaning, and it’s safe for the environment as well. You can use it to remove tough stains and odors, and it’s great for bathroom and kitchen surfaces, too. Sprinkle baking soda on spills to soak up the liquid before it sets in, or if it’s too late – put some baking soda over the stained area and saturate it with white vinegar. Let it sit for several minutes. Gently dab the area with a damp cloth, and clean up any excess baking soda with your vacuum cleaner. It’s that easy. You can use baking soda (and vinegar if necessary) on carpets, mattresses, drapes, and even stained clothing. Baking soda is a powerful odor eliminator and is good to have on hand if you’re a pet owner. A little bit of these ingredients goes a long way making them much cheaper alternatives to the products you find in the store.

Tip 6: Purify with Selenite!

Selenite is a treasure that comes straight from Earth herself, and guess what?! It can clean your space as well as your spirit. If you’re not familiar with Selenite, it’s a beautiful, gentle crystal with powerful cleansing and healing properties. A rough Selenite wand, a few tumbled stones, or a pretty Selenite tower placed in any room of your home or office will keep the  space around you purified and cleansed. (Please note that Selenite is a soft mineral. Do not immerse it in water – doing so will cause it to dissolve.)

Making the conscious decision to use eco-friendly cleaning products is a great way to show respect for our planet and those we share it with. Showing kindness to our environment and animals in this way will undoubtedly attract many blessings from the spirit realm, and your spring will be all the brighter!

Bio: Kelly Lingen is an employee at Mimosa Books & Gifts, a freelance writer, and a busy mom. Her areas of specialty include crystal healing, crystal skulls, tarot and oracle cards, and working with fairy energy for healing and transformation. Kelly became a Master of Crystology after completing Melody’s Laying On of Hands and Laying On of Stones workshops, and is currently studying Fairyology under the instruction of Doreen Virtue. Kelly has created and self-published two oracle decks, The Watchful Eye Oracle and Bright In-sight. You can check out her work by visiting her website lingen oracles

Image: Hanging Laundry, by Kristjan Raud (public domain image via Wikimedia Commons)

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How to Make a Room or Aura Spray

It’s easy to create your own room and aura sprays. These sprays are useful for clearing the energy of your space, refreshing your energy body, or simply providing a sensory link to whatever mood you’re trying to create.

Here’s what you’ll need:

A spray bottle. The indigo glass bottles we sell at the store look pretty and will keep bright light away from the contents, but really any spray bottle will do.

Water. Spring water or distilled water is best, though you may use tap water if you prefer. Our tap water in Wisconsin is very hard, which means that over time it will leave residue in the spray bottle — something it’s probably best to avoid. Tap water may also contain unwanted additives such as fluoride.

Disinfectant: We use a small amount of witch hazel for this, but you can also use vodka. (For this purpose, cheap stuff is fine!) This is to keep the mixture fresh over time.

Essential oil or oils: The Aura Cacia oils we sell at Mimosa work great for this, but really any brand is fine. Just make sure it’s a pure essential oil rather than perfume oil, since anything containing lipids will separate from the water instead of mixing. Popular scents include sage for cleansing, lavender for relaxation, citrus for energizing. For more ideas about which oils to use, see this article. It’s fun to experiments with blends of two or three oils, but single-scent sprays are great too.

Optional: A small crystal to boost the energy and/or the intention of the spray. A quartz crystal will boost the energy of any spray, while a small chunk of Tibetan rock salt is excellent for purification and cleansing. If you haven’t used crystals much, this article might help with some other ideas.

How to mix: For every 2 oz (about ¼ cup, or 60 ml if you’re going metric) of finished spray, you’ll use 1 tsp. vodka and 8 drops of essential oil, filling the rest of the bottle with water. Make sure to focus mentally on your intention for the spray as you work. If it’s not too embarrassing, you can even “talk to” the spray! If you choose to add a small crystal, save this step for the end, as a way to “seal” your intention into the spray.

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How to Create a Vision Board

by Ashley Leavy

A vision board is a visual representation of an affirmation or intention, typically something you’d like to manifest. It may include pictures or words that show what you’re trying to create in your life.

It’s best to hang your vision board in a place of prominence, or somewhere where you will see it of- ten throughout your day.

Creating Your Own Crystal Vision Board:

To create your vision board, you’ll need to start by gathering some supplies. Some helpful items include a stack of old magazines, a pair of good scissors, a large cork-board, and tons of push-pins.

Using a cork board and push pins is helpful because you can change and update your vision board as needed (like when your goals, hopes, and dreams change and grow), but if you’d like, you could just use a glue stick to attach your images or works to a piece of cardboard instead.
vision board in progress
Next, you should browse your magazine stack, cutting out images or words that relate to your specific affirmation and capture the feeling of what you want your life to be. These should mostly be very specific, but sometimes they may be more generalized (i.e. like if you’re representing a concept like “Serenity”).

The next step is to arrange and organize the cut-outs in a way that appeals to you. You may even want to group things together (this is especially helpful if you’re creating a board for more than one affirmation).

Keep adding images and words until your board is full of positive, life-changing scraps of paper! Once you’ve finished your layout, you can use the push- pins to hold the paper scraps in place (or you can glue them down using your glue stick).

Finally, take a step back and look at how amazing this project turned out. You’re sure to feel motivated by all of the positive energy that has been put into it.

Again, it’s important to remember that it’s okay if your vision board changes as the year progresses, but that’s really the true beauty of it – it changes and grows with you (getting bigger and better all the time).

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Home Protection Crystal Grid

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by Ashley Leavy

I am often asked about using crystal grids for protection of the home and family. A crystal grid is a geometric arrangement of healing stones used with intention to manifest a desired result. Using crystal grids is very powerful as it combines the energy of the stone with Sacred Geometry (the language of the Universe). In this way, the crystal energy is enhanced exponentially because your intention is being amplified through the stones and then sent out to the Universe in a clear and direct way through the sacred geometric formations.

I’ve developed a crystal grid recipe that can be used effectively in any dwelling. For extensive protection of your home, you can place Black Tourmaline in each of the corners of your home (as well as on either side of any exterior doors and windows). You can then place Selenite along each of the walls (energetically connecting the Tourmaline stones), between the corners and any exterior doorways or windows. The Tourmaline acts to set an energetic protective boundary, while the Selenite aids in cleansing and purification.

home protection grid

This is a heavy-duty protective grid (and most people won’t need to use nearly this many stones). This is an ideal grid if you had an unlimited budget, but most people will find that a piece of Tourmaline in each corner of the home with a piece of Selenite along each exterior wall (optional) would still work very well for their needs. For example, in the diagram of the home below, the ideal grid uses 20 pieces of Tourmaline and 13 pieces of Selenite. However, by placing the Tourmalines in just the corners of the home, this can be reduced to only 6 pieces. Additionally, by placing just one piece of Selenite per exterior wall (optional), the number of pieces of Selenite used is reduced to only 5 pieces. The resulting grid would still be very effective for most situations, but would only be a fraction of the cost (making energetic home protection a bit easier on your pocketbook).

Before placing the stones, they should be cleansed thoroughly. As you place each crystal in the grid, hold an intention of your choosing clearly in your mind (i.e. “This crystal creates a protective energetic boundary.” OR “This crystal protects me and my family.”). After placing the stones, it is recommend that you “activate” the grid by energetically linking the crystals together. This can be done with a Crystal Laser Wand (a single-terminated clear Quartz point) or with your finger. Point the crystal or your finger toward the first crystal in the grid (some people like to begin with the crystal in the northernmost position) and move around the home “drawing” energetic connections between each stone. In this way, you connect the crystal energetically so that they are better able to act as one harmonious grid, rather than many individual stones. After the grid has been activated, remember to cleanse the stones fairly often.

Black Tourmaline and Selenite have additional properties that may add to the qualities of the grid (if you intend them to do so).

SELENITE, COLORLESS: (Also known as Colorless Gypsum) Use at the 7th Chakra (Crown Chakra) for purification, to cleanse the chakras and the aura, to promote a connection with one’s divine self, to aid in the ascension process, to clear the mind before meditation, to enhance one’s ability to follow his or her spiritual virtues, to bring the light into one’s being, and to promote peace and harmony.

TOURMALINE, BLACK: (Also known as Schorl or as Aphrizite) Use at the 1st Chakra (Root Chakra/Base Chakra) for protection against electromagnetic pollution and negative energy, grounding, increased physical energy, to banish negative thoughts, to enhance positive thinking and creativity, to reduce geopathic stress, to strengthen the immune system, for cleansing the physical and ethereal bodies, and to aid in decreasing arthritis pain.

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Ancestor Altars & Honoring Our Mighty Dead

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Category: Home & Altar
Written by Mimosa
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by Mari Powers

In many parts of the world, including the United States, people still actively honor their ancestors.  Some would call the practice “ancestor worship,” yet this is not how I understand or maintain the practice.  Worship implies a feeling that the recipient of your actions is more worthy of praise and love offerings than yourself, your family, or any other being like you.  For me, honoring my ancestors, both blood-related and chosen, fosters a deep connection and acknowledgment of appreciation and remembrance.  This is a two- way relationship.

Some people honor their relations on the anniversary of their death.  In the Northern hemisphere, many connect with them at the final harvest, called Samhain (pronounced “sowen,” and translated as “summer’s end”).  This is a time of communal or solitary connection at the end of October.  For many it falls on October 31st–All Hallows Eve, also known as Halloween or the “Day of the Dead.”  All Soul’s Day follows on the Christian calendar, while older calendars governed by the changing seasons mark November 1 as New Year’s Day.  Some people celebrate the lives of those loved ones who have cast off their mortal bodies on both the anniversary of their death and on Samhain, while some acknowledge and connect with “The Mighty Dead” throughout the year in rituals small and large.

Different spiritual paths set aside other days to grieve, remember and connect; it is a nearly global spiritual service which has been practiced for hundreds of thousands of years.  Why do we do this?  The answers lie deep in our psyches, hidden in plain view.  Life and death are as intertwined as day and night and the turning of the seasons.  We are all temporarily living, and will one day become ancestors.  Death does not stop love, and we acknowledge that we stand upon the shoulders of those who have come before.

More personal reasons include the need to grieve, let go and move on with our lives.  We remember and share stories to pass on to our children.  We show appreciation of what we learned, and show we still love those who give us so much.  We set aside time from our everyday busy lives to grieve our loss and celebrate the ones who have enriched our lives, known and unknown.

As we descend into the dark time of the year, and nature’s quiet time begins, plants die or go dormant after the final harvest.  This is the time to take a day and a night to honor the endings that make way for new beginnings.

I believe that our dead are not truly gone; they live on in a new form and continue to have a pact with the living.  As we honor and celebrate their lives, we feed ourselves with rich memory and directly connect with the spirit world.  An ancestor altar facilitates this.  And so we light candles to attract our beloved dead to join us.  We tell their stories, mourn the loss of everyday worldly connection, and celebrate their lives as we celebrate and give thanks for our own.

Altars may be small and simple–a picture or two, a piece of jewelry or a tool, a candle, and food and drink to feed their spirits.  Other altars may be large and weighed down with flowers, full plates, coffee or wine, garden produce, pictures, drawings, written prayers or praise songs and items representing what the ancestor loved in life.  Ancestors are fed first, with the best food and drink.  We honor them for helping us to be who we were, are and will be.  We pray that that they are happy and ask that they watch over us and our descendants.  We remember their sacrifices and celebrate their lives.  We ask for their love, guidance and support in the coming year.  It is a living relationship that is reciprocal in nature.

In some cultures people only honor their blood relations; they may call out the names of all who are remembered, even those they never met when living.  In my tradition, I honor all of my relations, known and unknown, and remember by name chosen family, friends, teachers or mentors, as well as blood relations.  Even blood relatives I did not particularly like in life are honored, as they contributed to who I was, am and will be in some way.

I also honor and connect with those who have gone before me throughout the year, as spirit moves me.  Sometimes I simply express appreciation.  Sometimes I ask for assistance or guidance.  I listen with my inner ear and journal what I hear.  The mighty dead can help us solve problems, give us perspective or inspiration.  I know I will be there for those I love when I am released from my body.  I will welcome connection and appreciate their prayers, praise and invitations to assist and guide.

So this end of summer, consider creating an altar to your own beloved dead.  Grieve and let go.  Celebrate their lives and share your fond memories.  Acknowledge their gifts, and make offerings to feed their bright and shining spirits.  Include your children.  It is a great gift to know where we came from and where we are going.  She, or He, who is remembered, lives.

Mari Powers, © October 11, 2012

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