Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Agrimony Benefits

Agrimony (Agrimonia) comes from the Greek word Argemone, meaning "plant that heals the eye." From ancient Greeks to modern Americans, people have put this herb to use for more than eye health. The Chinese used it to treat menstrual issues and insomnia. Some Native American tribes used it for skin conditions, cough, sore throat, and diarrhea.

The plant contains polyphenol tannin which is a natural astringent. Steep a strong tea with it and apply it several times a day to treat skin inflammation such as acne, rashes, psoriasis, and eczema. Use the essential oil or add it to coconut oil as well. Studies reportedly indicate that the plant may help fight skin cancer due to the palmetic acid. Although bitter, drinking a tea made from the plant aids with the health of hair, skin and nails.

The tea recipe:

1-2 teaspoons of Agrimony leaves /flowers
1 liter of hot water
Steep 5 minutes for weak tea.
Steep 15 minutes for strong tea.

Making a weak Agrimony tea and drinking it up to six times a day can help relieve diarrhea. Gargle a strong tea for a sore throat or a cough suppressant. Add the tea to an edible grade, liquid coconut oil and a spray bottle for a homemade Chloraseptic spray. Use the same strong tea to make a compress for skin wounds or styes on the eye.

Use Agrimoney as a protection and hex reversal herb. Hang it in a medicine bag in your foyer and in each bedroom to ward off evil spirits. Hang a bag in the kitchen to ward off poisoning. Dress a black candle or reversing candle with Agrimony oil or dried herb to repel hexes, and send them back to the person who sent them. Place the leaves in your pillowcase to prevent nightmares.

*I am not a doctor. Use at your own risk. Seek the advice of a healthcare professional before using any herbs. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

White People Don't Belong in Voodoo

First let's define Voodoo. Voodoo / Vodou / Voudon is a religion that is derived from African polytheism and ancestor worship. It teaches a belief in a supreme being named Bondye who is described as an unknowable, uninvolved, creator god. Practitioners worship Loa / Lwa, many spirits who represent different aspects of Bondye and life. They believe in a universal energy and a soul that can leave the body during dreams and spirit possession.

So why don't white people belong in Voodoo? Well, the simplest reason is their ancestry. As stated before, part of Voodoo is ancestor worship. Practitioners call upon their African ancestors to assist with their specific needs. Although there are many different branches of Voodoo (Haitian, Louisiana, West African, Dominican., Cuban, and Brazilian), all branches lead back to Africa.

Imagine being an African ancestor being called upon to assist with the struggles of this life. You cross the veil to assist your descendant and instead find the descendant of the colonizer who committed genocide against your people. They enslaved your tribe and stripped you of your indigenous language and religion before shipping you across oceans and delivering you into captivity. Now one of their great-grandchildren wants you to serve them for whatever trivial needs they seek to fulfill. How likely are you to grant that petition? Quite frankly it's an insult. After all that white people have destroyed in the name of colonization and Christianity, they now want to appropriate one of the last surviving sacred gems from the very people they sought to destroy.

Another reason is that white people commercialize everything they touch. Once white people were brought into Voodoo communities, Voodoo became accessible to anyone and everyone online. Wiccans were combining Voodoo spells with their own and were marketing it as authentic Voodoo spells. Etsy and Ebay stores popped up with goods and services by a "real initiated Voodoo Priestess." Shops in Louisiana became novelties, owned and operated by white people dressed in Gothic attire. Each proprietor claimed to be an authority on someone else's culture and religion. Today, there is no part of Voodoo culture or religion that is not for sale. It was never meant to be this way.

Though there are several more reasons, the final reason i'm going to list is appropriation. Cultural appropriation is the act of taking on another culture as your own, without permission, and presenting it to others with autonomous authority. Take Yoga for example. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines originating in Ancient India. Now, it is a way for white American women to stay fit and socialize during collective "me time". Yoga pants have disappeared and have been replaced with stretch pants bearing the stolen moniker. There is zero spiritual connection with yoga now. Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism have been replaced with the local gym instructor and goats. Honest to God, goat yoga exists now. Show me a white woman with a sippy cup of Starbuck's coffee and I'll show you a cultural appropriator on her way to yoga class. I can't remember the last time I found a yoga class led by an Indian man or woman. This is what white people do to Voodoo.

Herbs and candles have quadrupled in price as they invade the botanicas and nurseries that used to be exclusive. Voodoo dolls are sold as cute emo toys and key chains. They vacation in Africa and post sacred rituals on YouTube. Everywhere there is an offbeat African drum, there is a white person being initiated into a religion that was never meant for them. They then create Facebook groups where they regulate conversations they have no authority over in the first place.

If you're a white person seeking spiritual guidance and belonging, try wicca or Christianity since your people committed genocide across the globe in honor of it. But please, leave voodoo alone. It isn't for you. It never was and never will be.

A Wrinkle in Time / A Loint of Paw Reading Assignment

After reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, I assigned reading comprehension and writing activities to my child. One of many assignments was the short story A Loint of Paw by Isaac Asimov. No, that was not a typo. The assignment is as follows:

Read the short story here.

Answer the following questions.

1. In what year is this story set?

2. What point of law is raised in the story?

3. What do you think happened with the law after the judge handed down this decision? Why?

4. If the tesseract had become common knowledge, as time travel was in "A Loint of Paw," how might it have affected the laws of the word? Give examples of laws that have been made to regulate the effects of technological advances.

5. Why types of new technologies have come about in your life time?

6. What laws were written or changed to govern these new technologies?

7th Grade Summer Math Lesson 2

The second lesson was a short review of powers and exponents. This is to prep for 7th grade exponents and radicals. 

Begin with reviewing the basics.

34= (3)(3)(3)=81

3 is the base
4 is the exponent
(3)(3)(3) are the common factors

ex. Write  63 as a product


ex. Evaluate 54

54= (5)(5)(5)(5)

ex. Write (4)(4)(4)(4)(4) in exponential form.

The base is 4. It is used as a factor 5 times. So the exponent is 5.
(4)(4)(4)(4)(4) = 45


Write each power as a product of the same factor.

  1. 73
  2. 27
  3. 92
  4. 154
Evaluate each expression.
  1. 35
  2. 73
  3. 84
  4. 53
Write each product in exponential form.
  1. (2)(2)(2)(2)
  2. (7)(7)(7)(7)(7)(7)
  3. (10)(10)(10)
  4. (9)(9)(9)(9)(9)
  5. (12)(12)(12)
  6. (5)(5)(5)(5)
  7. (6)(6)(6)(6)(6)
  8. (1)(1)(1)(1)(1)(1)(1)(1)

Monday, June 25, 2018

How to Transform DIY Cleaning Products into Spiritual Cleansing Products

Spiritual cleansing for me is like performing a hard drive clean-up or pressing ctr+alt+del on my computer. When I am feeling overwhelmed or under spiritual attack, I like to take a spiritual bath. Living in a home where the master bath has only a shower, I don't really have the opportunity to take baths at all. I just can't relax in a tub located in my children's bathroom. So, I have to cleanse my home to make up for the times I can't take a spiritual bath.

I make all of my own cleaning products. From dusting spray to laundry detergent, toothpaste to floor polish. All of it is DIY. I find that the act of cleaning my home can de-clutter my mind and liberate my spirit. Part of the reason is the aromatherapy derived from the essential oils and other ingredients used in my cleaning recipes. I began to wonder what would happen if I combined the ingredients from my spiritual bath with my DIY cleaning recipes. The results were wonderful.

This is an easy thing to do. All that is required is adding a few more ingredients to your cleaners and documenting your new recipe for safety reasons. You don't want to accidentally mix incompatible ingredients.


Add lemongrass, lemon oil or even lemon water to your dusting, glass and all-purpose cleaners. The smell is invigorating and aids in fighting depression and even procrastination. In the absence of lemon, use citronella. You can use the oil or the plant itself.


Add rose oil or rose water to your homemade Febreeze or fabric freshener and spray it all over your bedroom to improve romance. Magnolia oil can be used to improve romance and ensure fidelity. Add both to your laundry to improve your sex life.

Negative Energy

Add Florida water to your floor cleaner and all purpose cleaner to purge your home of negative energy. Add sage oil to your fabric freshener, floor cleaner or all purpose cleaner to wipe away negative energy.

Insomnia / Anxiety

Lavender, Chamomile, and sandalwood can help soothe a person to sleep or ease anxiety. Add it to your fabric freshener, laundry, or furniture polish.

Pretty much anything  you use in your spiritual baths can be added to your current cleaning recipes. Just tailor the recipe to your specific needs.

DIY Dusting Spray

I have used this recipe for the past three years and I don't think I will change it. This recipe not only cleans dust, it prevents it from adhering for at least a week after use.

You will need:

8-12oz spray bottle

1 cup water

1/4 cup citrus vinegar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1. If you already have citrus vinegar on hand, you will combine it with the other ingredients and shake well.

2. When dusting you want to spray first then wipe away the dust. Then spray again before using a polishing cloth for shine and restoration.

3. You can follow the instructions for making your own citrus vinegar here.

Summer Journal Prompts Month 1

Both of my children are being asked to maintain a summer journal. My rising 7th grader and rising 3rd grader are given the same writing prompts. My eldest child is given the option to share what is in his journal as he has reached the age where his private thoughts may be included in his journal entry. My youngest child loves to share her writing, so she reads her entry out loud to me. If at any time she feels she doesn't want to share what she writes, that's okay too. The point of the activity is to stimulate creative thought, improve writing skills, and to encourage the use of journals as an outlet for expression.

They're only required to write once a week but they are welcome to write as many different times a week as they prefer. Here are the first five writing prompts of the summer.

1. Describe what your family would be like if every member became a super hero.

2. If you had a time machine, what year would you travel to and why? What do you expect to find once you arrive?

3. What is your favorite memory from this past school year? What was your worst memory?

4. Name three things you want to accomplish this summer and why?

5. Describe your favorite video game and how you would improve it?