Preparing for Spring
Rituals for Spiritual Revitalization
It starts for me just after Imbolc, I get that itch. That twinge of restlessness and that eager feeling every time the sun peeks through the clouds. Spring is near! Mentally I exclaim, “There’s only about 6 more weeks of frigid temps, coupled with mountains of ice and snow! Hooray!”
When the feeling begins to take hold of me, I need to make myself busy. I need to begin planning my spring activities right away. There is so much to do, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed and perplexed. However, it isn’t a bad kind of overwhelm, instead it is fun and exhilarating to consider the possibilities.
Since it is too cold to do much outside, I have to limit myself. I have to wait to engage in the activities I really want to jump into. Patience there girly!
Instead of pouting, I sign petitions encouraging Hades to return Persephone, and I occupy myself with my own 3 month cycle of spiritual practices and home maintenance. My spiritual practices as a Witch, and more specifically a Kitchen Witch, are directly linked to hearth, home, and the many activities we typically find mundane. I find this type of alignment requires a bit more maintenance compared to my earlier practices, where spirituality and mundane life were separate.
My regular habit of re-evaluating and adjusting my mundane life and spiritual progress, helps me remain balanced. This regular maintenance schedule helps me deliver the quality recipes, and spell work I expect for my practice.
Each season as I feel the wheel turn I start focusing on what I must do to prepare for the changing seasons. I would like to share with you some of my practices for spiritual preservation, momentum, and maintenance.
You will see these tasks are basic. Don’t let their simplicity fool you. I am a firm believer that there is elegance and deep meaning in simplicity. Sometimes the most un-assuming task is what helps launch us toward our greatest goal.
1. General Cleaning for the Home (and when weather permits, the garden)
I like to begin with cleaning and organizing! Okay no… I don’t particularly like cleaning, and organizing is ok. These areas are certainly not at the top of my “exciting things to do list”. However, I do put them at the top of my general to do list. I find this first step is essential to my well-being as the seasons change.
As winter comes to an end, I begin thinning my heavy winter wardrobe. I take a time after Imbolc, up to about mid-march, to store what I can. Just a little here and there, I begin to put away the heavy sweaters, and other garments I may not need as much over the next several weeks. It is always my hope that I will not need any of it, and instead get away with wearing a light sweater or hoodie. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Still, the transition of wardrobe seems to mimic the seasonal transition happening.
In addition, I take time to do a 3 month deep clean of my home. This 3 month ritual helps keep my home in good physical condition. Which helps keep me remain sane. I am a creative person who does not do well in clutter. I know it’s weird, but I find having things clean and organized helps me greatly. Energy just flows better and I can think clearly.
For me the Magickal spark comes during the process when I incorporate chants, and then again after everything is organized and clean. The feel of the entire house is calm and this allows Magick to thrive.
2. Cleansing Energy and Implementing Change
Cleaning the house is great, but when it is all said and done, we are not truly balanced or content if we have not worked on ourselves from within.
Over the winter months I have taken time to read a few books that help me work on my inner self. By the time spring comes around, I feel ready to implement (if I have not already) the helpful ideas and practices I read about. Some of these practice require some serious inner cleansing and adjusting. Others are more relaxed like simple meditations or visualizations.
Doing regular spiritual cleansings and adjustments are essential. As we transition from one season to the next, we sometimes collect counterproductive habits, thought patterns, energies, and other funky stuff. These things can divert and disable our spiritual path. It is important to re-evaluate our mental clutter and quiet the harmful internal chatter which will allow ourselves to effectively move forward. Taking simple steps, helps us remain focused and clear.
My rituals of inner cleansing and energetic cleansing is diverse. I might choose ritual bathing, room sprays, diffusing scents, smudging, etc. The key is to find rituals that speak to you and make you feel truly refreshed and ready to move ahead. Rituals that cleanse the energy in your home are just as important as those intended for cleansing your mental chatter and adjusting your mindset.
I have shared with you a short visualization at the end of this post to inspire you. I do this visualization often as the season of winter changes to spring.
3. Planning the Garden
This is by far my favorite activity. I get very excited about the vegetables, flowers, herbs, and fruit I might have in my garden. There are so many possibilities and so little time. Somehow, in my head my little garden is a 20 acre farm! Sadly, the reality of my limited space hits me every year!
As I mentioned previously, much of what I focus on is related hearth and home, which includes cooking and spell work in the kitchen. My garden will reflect my need to have fresh food and herbs for the duration of the growing season. My goals are always to have foods I can use fresh, while having a surplus I can dry and/or preserve for later.
My planning includes a notebook with diagrams of specific plants with their space and growing requirements. I also include recommendations, like companion planting, and my specific garden measurements (here is where my reality check comes in, and I quickly realize how limited my space is, Darn IT!). This obviously helps me determine what goes where, when to start my seeds, and what can be planted in harmony with the actual size of the garden.
It may sound like a lot. I will not lie, at first it is. When you get into the rhythm of it year after year, the organizing becomes very easy. You will already have a good idea of your limitations, and the flow of your garden. This makes the task much easier moving forward.
4. Create Something
YES! I love creating. It fuels my inspirational fire and the Spring Fever I seem to develop each year.
There are so many great spring projects to try, and I have a habit of taking on too many. I have to focus and commit to one, or two early in the season so I don’t take on too much.
This year I am working on naturally dyed egg votive candles. I hope to have them ready for Ostara so we can make a nice little altar. I might even use some of these dyed eggs in a center piece or spring themed wreath. I am eager to begin boiling my cabbage, turmeric, etc. to make the different colors I plan to use.
Starting early also helps me work out the bugs. This way when I have the kids join in the fun, I know what to expect and there are few kinks.
Again, the possibilities are exciting and seemingly endless. This drive and excitement is (to me) what spring is all about. It is about breaking out of the funk of winter, and into something creative that drives and motivates us.
5. Give a Gift to the Gods of Spring
What is a spiritual practice without a show of spiritual devotion and attentiveness? Libations are one of my favorite forms devotional display. This is a practice I perform often, and in my opinion, should never be neglected.
In my garden, I have a small section devoted to Agricultural Deities and universal energy. Over the course of the planting, growing, and harvesting season, this section will house my offerings to Deity and universe. Sometimes it is a faerie garden, in more recent years it has been a rock garden. This year I will be redesigning it as I am planning a light garden.
In this section of my garden I grow few plants, usually herbs. It typically has a small stone altar and a place to set a couple of candles. The altar I am planning for year it will be made of glass, candles, and solar lights. I will be using recycled glass pieces, in addition to flat stone. The idea is to make it sparkle during the day, and shine at night.
Early in the planting season I will pour out an offering of milk and honey. This is my ritual offering to the agricultural Gods/energies that help us have a bountiful season. It is no coincidence that it is also an ancient of practice. Throughout the season, I will leave tea, alcohol, cakes, ale, wine, etc.
Setting up your own practices
When you create your own rituals and practices, they should excite you and make you happy when performed. You only need to know what you want and allow yourself time and space to refine these rituals.
To me finding my own rhythm has been extremely beneficial and important to my spiritual routine. I hope it proves the same for you!
Spring Revitalization Visualization
As promised, here is one visualization I use often to gain clarity and balance during the winter to spring transition.
Find a space where you can take about 5 minutes to relax and visualize. When you are ready breathe deeply, close your eyes, and begin counting slowing from 10 to 1. Remember to breathe slowly in and out as you count.
When you are relaxed and ready; in your mind’s eye see in front of you a large piece of paper. Envision it as though it is a large screen stuck there in front of you.
On this sheet of paper envision an area of your life where you feel there is particular struggle or need for improvement. This can be a spiritual struggle, a mundane struggle, family, relationship, financial; anything you feel needs adjustment.
See this image as a time line or video of turmoil playing in front of you; feel the emotions that come along with it. When you are ready, in your head, tear up the paper, let go of the negative emotions you have encountered, and light it on fire. Allow it be completely destroyed. Once it is gone take a deep breath.
Now turn to your left and see a new sheet of paper. This one is clean and white. Project onto this paper the solution to your troubles. Project how the situation would look if you could implement a positive outcome.
If your issue was lack of money see yourself engaging in the activities that will bring you money, and positive balances in your bank account. If your issue is a broken relationship, see you sitting and having a good discussion with the person. Then see you both hugging/shaking hands as you come to mutual agreement and find empathy in one another.
Feel the joy, the calm, the exhilaration, and the peace you would feel if the issue was resolved. Let this positive scene play for a moment. Soak up all those progressive feelings.
Now fold this paper with your positive vision on it. Make it as small as you can and place it in your pocket.
Take a deep breath and begin counting from 1 to 10, as you bring yourself out of your visualization. Once again breathe deeply, open your eyes, and feel refreshed. Feel ready to go out and make your positive changes happen.
I invite your feedback.
Tell me what you think.
I love to know what my readers are up to and how you put the thoughts and experiences shared here to use in your life.
Also, if you have any suggestions on subjects for future posts let me know your thoughts. I’m listening.
© 2015, The Magick Kitchen