Good Lazy, Hazy Sunday Morning To All My Wonderful Friends!

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Good Sunday morning all! I must apologize for running late. I have been working on the blog. I am trying to get everything caught up and added the way it is suppose to be. I am going to get some information on the two blank page on the main screen today (one way or the other, lol!). Even if I have to hog tie a little bobcat! Razzy has been up playing like a wild kid. I am hoping I have wore her out and she will sleep for a couple of hours. She tickles me. The first thing she does in the morning is take her big paws and wrap them around my leg. This way she had ahold of me and I am not going anywhere. It is her way of telling me, “time to play, momma!” And she doesn’t play for a few minutes then quit. No, no, she plays for hours. Right now, we are down to about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I am hoping as she gets older, she will want to nap more. I hope!

Well how did you like yesterday’s blessing? Like I said it is one of my favorite ones. It is a little bit dirty but at least you can tell who doesn’t like you, lol! Here is another blessing I would like to leave you with today…..

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,

The foresight to know where you are going,

And the insight to know when you have gone too far”  

Have a very blessed and relaxing Sunday, my friends!

~Magickal Graphics~

Going Solar: Answers to Common Questions

Going Solar: Answers to Common Questions

By Erica Sofrina,  Author of Small  Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

Solar energy has been around for decades, but in the past few years it has  finally started to take off in residential markets. Previously it was considered  too expensive, but times have changed. The rising electricity costs,  improvements in panel technology, mass production of them as well as federal and  local governmental incentives have driven costs down.

Given all these current factors, going solar now is a much more affordable  investment which can lead you to free energy, increased property value & a  chance to do your part in going green.

As a part of my green home series, I interviewed my friend David Javate of SolarUniverse and asked him if he would  demystify solar and answer some common questions and misunderstandings:

Erica: Could you explain in simple terms exactly how solar energy  works?

David: Solar panels consist of “cells” of chemically treated silicon. These  silicon cells, when hit with light, induce a chemical reaction which produces DC  current. An inverter converts DC current into AC current which can then be  used by your household. Any unused electricity gets fed back to the grid, which  in turn spins your energy meter backwards.

E: Is solar reliable?

D: Absolutely. Solar energy has been around for over 50 years, and is a safe  and reliable source of energy. Panels are normally warrantied for a 25 year  lifespan, but usually last longer. There’s a reason that NASA chose solar  panels to power their satellites. You may also notice them on street signs and  some public buildings.

E: What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

D: Traditionally, electricity is generated through the use of fossil fuels  such as coal and natural gas. Use of these fossil fuels produces carbon  emissions which cause pollution and global warming. The main environmental  benefit of solar energy is that using solar does not produce any carbon  emissions. Throughout the lifespan of a photovoltaic solar system for a 3  bedroom house, one could potentially reduce the carbon emissions equivalent to  140,000 tons of carbon, 227,00 miles not driven, or 2,500 acres of trees  saved.

E: Is solar a good investment for the basic homeowner?

D: It depends on the household and your usage. Physical issues first need to  be considered: Your roof should be south or southwest facing, should have  minimal shading obstructions and should also have enough space to hold the  appropriate number of panels to cover your energy goals.

In California where we are based, we usually recommend it as an energy  solution if your electric bill tends to be over $130/month if you are  considering a leasing option; however, if buying is an option, homeowners with  bills of $50-75/month can reap the benefits.

Currently, there are a number of incentives available, such as a 30 percent  federal tax credit, rebates through your utility company, and local incentives,  such as the GoSolarSF initiative which provides a $2,000 grant towards  installation for homes in San Francisco. If you choose to buy your system,  typical systems can have a payback period of 5-7 years. After you’ve paid it off  you’ll be able to reap the benefits of free & clean energy for the next  20 years!

E: What if someone doesn’t have the money now? Are there financing  alternatives?

D: The most attractive financing alternative is leasing. These come in  different forms, with or without a down payment, with or without a fixed  interest rate, and in a prepaid form, where a bulk amount of the lease  payments are made in advance at a discount. Depending on the lease you secure,  you should be able to take advantage of a substantially lower electric bill, at  a monthly predictable rate, without the upfront cost of buying.

E: If someone is interested in looking into a solar alternative, what  should they do next?

D: Do some research:

  • Look at your electric bill. Has it become a rising and annoying cost for  you? Is it causing you to limit your enjoyment in some activities?
  • Research solar companies in your area. Check them out on review websites  like Yelp & Angie’s list.
  • See what solar incentives are available to you through your utility  company, your city and county.
  • Consider buying versus leasing.  Buying can be a great investment  which pays for itself in a few years. Leasing can reduce your electric bill,  while also giving a predictable fixed rate for energy.

Solar energy can be a great energy solution which can zero out your electric  bill, add value to your property, and help reduce carbon emissions which harm  the environment. Not all homes are ideally suited to take full advantage of  solar, but with the info given in this article you should have a good starting  point to figure out if going solar is a wise choice for you.

David Javate is a SUN Advisor for SolarUniverse South San Francisco, and currently services  homeowners in the San Fransisco Bay Area.  You can reach him at  djavate@solaruniverse.com Website: www.solaruniverse.com

Readers please note: This article is solely for educational purposes, I  have no financial connection to the company mentioned.

 

Light, Love and Fluffy Bunnies, Oh My! (Thoughts on Polarities)

Light, Love and Fluffy Bunnies, Oh My! (Thoughts on Polarities)

Author: Corvidae

I’ve always been a non-conformist. I suppose a lot of us are, or we wouldn’t be Pagan in a largely Judeo-Christian society. Here we are, doing the best we can to better ourselves spiritually in the most non-hypocritical manner possible.

So when I come across books and people that stress again and again the importance of light, love and compassion, unfortunately my knee-jerk reaction … is a gag.

No really! Let me explain! I’m not some goth pessimist who’s into the Pagan community just for the shock value and the cool darkness theme. I consider myself a student of Life and actively read anything I can get my hands on with mention to Paganism, new, old or ancient, well or poorly written, just for a nice broad spectrum to base my opinions on. When I was first initiated into Wicca, the reading list was rich and informative. Now it’s hard to find a read out there that isn’t blandly 101 or just a rehash of what I already know. So I started reading the basics once again. Just to see if there was anything I’d missed.

Oh boy.

The concept of polarities was consistent in every page I turned, and it got me thinking very hard on some of the more “fresh” books in my library. It occurred to me that a lot of advanced or specialized published material out there stresses the goodness, wholesome love of our Source and how we should spread the love and be good, decent people to better all of humanity.

All well and good of course. Very noble indeed.

Polarities kept nagging me. So you’re trying to ascend to a “higher vibration, ” “seek the light” and “open the love” in all you meet. In a world where such crappy things keep happening such as violence, rape, intolerance and greed, its no wonder a lot of people are trying to pull away from such a nasty mindset. Kudos for those who are trying, I’m sure the world could use a bit of uplifting. But when I review the most basic fundamentals of polarities, I find that favoring this “higher vibration” is no better than being in the dark and ignorant of higher consciousness.

I would much rather be in balance with the vibrations of the world. To be so high up on that divine ladder is to lose touch with our humanity. Gods are Gods for a reason; we are human for a reason. Life is to be experienced, not transcended. Some humans may indeed move on to another stage of existence, and more still may even guide humanity in a positive or negative fashion. But here, now, in the present, the only moment that truly matters, we are human and experiencing what it’s like to be incarnated.

Some humans (most even) are entrenched in their primal instincts (or vibrating on a “lower” or “denser” level) , and simply using their self-awareness and intelligence to serve their own egos and are slaves to their whims. These kinds of people are clearly out of balance and could use a bit of light and love.

But what about the rest of us?

It would be ridiculous to think that one side of the spectrum is better over another. Striking the right balance should be our goal, as many of us knew when we first saw an image of a yin yang. Favoring the light over the darkness would be like favoring men over women, day over night or right over left. Forget the terms good or evil – there may well be no such thing as pure manifestations of either. Neither the high nor the low end of this vibrational spectrum has anything to do with such simple-minded notions. But as for the rest of the comparisons… it doesn’t make much sense to play favorites, does it?

Let’s face it, negative emotions exist. Fear, anger and sadness all have very useful functions. Some of our reactions to them may or may not be acceptable, but to think of a world without such things? How would we know when we were happy? Starhawk once said, “To light a candle is to cast a shadow.” You simply cannot have one without the other. Some fantasy utopia in which everyone is happy and lovey and full of nothing but light is nothing but that – a fantasy. In that world, we would be mindless robots with no motivation to seek, change or develop. Boooooooring.

Helping people grow to the point where they can control their reactions to negativity in a productive manner might be a more realistic goal. “An it harm none, do as ye will.” That’s a loaded moral code right there, and the topic of other essays, but living it out in a mature fashion might be the better destination.

There is no one single point upon which we are all in balance, either. Balance for one person might be totally wrong for another. To better ourselves as human beings, finding that middle ground (not a monotonous, static stay-in-one-place point, but a baseline of sorts) in which we can make wise and unbiased decisions seems to be ideal.

So forgive me if the world “naive” comes to mind when people start talking about “being one with the light” and “being filled with nothing but compassion and love for all of humanity.” Yes, yes, but don’t be so silly to believe that you are above anger, fear or even hate. We are human. As humans, we need to deal with both the joy and the horrors of being incarnate. It is our duty to do so in a responsible manner. Why? Well that one is up to you, according to your creed or personal ideals. I think it’s a pretty universal concept in Paganism however, to want the best for our brethren and ourselves.

Why not go back to some basics, and see what you can find for yourself?


Footnotes:
Starhawk (1979) . The Spiral Dance. First Edition. San Francisco: Harper.