Just in case you’re living in a cave somewhere, let me remind you that Saturday is the Vernal, or Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere. Scientifically, what that means is that the sun crosses the equator and the days and nights are of equal length. A lot of my friends are getting ready to celebrate Eostara, which honors a Germanic fertility goddess, or you can honor Eostre, the Saxon version. My Christian friends are gearing up for Easter in a couple of weeks, and my Jewish friends are getting ready for a six-day celebration of Pesach, or Passover. (For a whole list of celebrations on or around the Spring Equinox, this site gives a nice overview.)
I’m not the religious sort so for my part, I look at this day as a day to start spring cleaning – but not the house. Just as I change the batteries in the smoke detectors on the day we switch to Daylight Savings Time, the Spring Equinox is a reminder that I’ve been in winter hibernation mode for several months and it’s time to clean out the sludge that’s accumulated in me.
The first thing I do is a liver cleanse. The liver functions more or less as the body’s chemical processing center and with all the toxins floating around and my occasionally poor diet, it can get congested and not work as well. When I get up in the morning (at least an hour before eating breakfast and before coffee, even!), I take 1 tablespoon olive oil mixed with one-half tablespoon fresh lemon juice. 3 days on, 4 days off, 3 days on. I also do a week of dandelion root & nettle leaf tea – one-half cup twice each day. This combination is just all-round a good spring tonic.
After that ten-day regime, I feel like Spring has finally sprung internally. Between that and the increased amount of time I’m able to spend outside in sunlight, I have more energy – even enough to tackle the house’s spring cleaning.
Spring cleaning the house falls a few weeks later – after all the pine trees have graciously donated their profuse, thick yellow pollen to the cause (theirs, not mine). I do the standard heavier-duty stuff: cleaning tops of doorways, washing windows, taking books off shelves and dusting behind them. While I’m doing all this, I do a magical cleaning as well. It seems to me with everyone cooped up inside during the winter months negativity seems to build, even when everyone is in a relatively good mood.
Like some, I dislike the smell of smoldering white sage. I’ve only used that when I feel I need some more “oomph”. There are a lot of folks with asthma or allergies that can’t handle smoke, too. For cleaning there are many other herbs you can use and you don’t even need to smudge! My favorite method is to make a strong tea of Rosemary – I usually make a quart. I wet my dusting rags with this the night before I know I’m going to clean and let them dry. I put the rest of the tea in a spray bottle and spritz it into all the corners of the house, visualizing “cleaning” all negativity away (remember, in magic, intent is everything). Rosemary happens to be my favorite herb and when I’m done, the house smells heavenly – at least to me. The atmosphere seems lighter as well.
How do you celebrate Spring?