Spring Equinox: Planting the Seeds for Growth
Each year we have four seasonal markers that help us follow the rhythms of the natural world and offer us the invitation to incorporate them into our personal lives: Fall equinox, winter solstice, spring equinox, and summer solstice. These four calendar markers help us track seasonal changes, and have long histories that can connect us to our ancestral lineages. In the past, they helped us know when to till the earth and plant seeds. They helped guide us to know when to harvest the fields and when the hunt would yield the sweetest meat. They helped us know when the weather might shift to become more inviting for travel, to awaken the spirit, and to rekindle the flame of life.
As we moved away from a nomadic life, from an agricultural life, from a life more connected to the natural world, rituals celebrating the seasons offered us a way to tune in to ourselves and the world around us. Around the world communities celebrate the changing seasons with a variety of activities, holidays, and celebrations.
Spring Equinox, March 20th 2021, marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is a time where we celebrate coming out of the darkness, out of scarcity, out the harsh cold stillness of winter, and into the light, into dreams of summer growth and fall abundance. It is a time where we wake from the deep sleep of winter, crawl out of our dens, and stretch into the sunlight that falls upon our faces – waking us to the possibilities that may come.
River ice breaks and the water flow becomes vigorous and alive. Snow melts providing moisture to the parched earth. Birds begin their long flight back to their summer homes, where they will begin their mating dance and settle in for the riches that summer will yield. The fallen fall foliage now becomes fertilizer for the spring unfurling of rebirth and growth.
Possibility is in the air. Aliveness vibrates.
This spring’s equinox feels especially charged as we hold visions of a post-pandemic world. We can see the potential end to our year-long hibernation that came with stay-at-home orders as vaccines roll out and establishments (re)open. Seeds of possibility, such as travel, dinner with friends, and in-person interactions, are being planted, with the hopes that soon we can grow these dreams into realities.
Spring offers us the opportunity to start over, to have a fresh beginning, to (re)vision, to (re)birth.
It has been a long dark winter for many of us. As we look towards spring, what do you want your garden to look like? I invite you to journal with these prompts. If you’re so inclined, you might want to get out your crafting supplies and paint, draw, sculpt, or collage your responses.
What do you want to plant, to grow, to (re)birth? What areas could use joy, creativity, (re)visioning? What excites you, what draws your attention, what engages you? Where could you invite in possibility, warmth, and tenderness? What textures, colors, flavors, varieties could support your process? As with our physicla gardens, when we plant seeds and wait for the shoots to unfurl. Where can you invite in patience, compassion, and dedication?
This blog post offers several activities, rituals, and invitations to connect to the spring equinox and to (re)awaken the child within.
Spring Equinox Rituals & Practices
Seven Rituals to Usher In Spring
Go for a walk and take notice of life budding all around you. Notice the tender shoots and spring greens waking up and budding on the ground, on the trees, and in the garden. See if you can find other subtle signs of life, such as the chirping of baby chicks, morning dew on the young grass, or wild game with swollen bellies ready to give birth. Watch the changing landscape and the growing babes throughout the season.
If you live in an area where the air quality is healthy, open your windows and allow in the fresh clean air. If you live in an area where you can’t do this, consider taking a drive up into the mountains or out into the plains.
Plant something. If you have outdoor space or access to a community garden, consider getting your hands into the dirt to plant something. An edible garden can offer continued delicious delights throughout the summer and fall. A wildflower garden can offer visual delight throughout the summer and provides support for community bees, birds, and butterflies.
Create a cleanse. Out with the old in order to make room for the new. What needs to be cleaned out? Maybe it’s cleansing unhealthy patterns: negative self-talk, toxic habits, or getting rid of those pants you don’t fit into. Maybe it’s physical spaces: the overstuffed closet, the forgotten areas of the garage, the crawlspace, attic, or basement. Maybe it’s cleaning the car, the refrigerator, or the air vents. Maybe it’s relationships that no longer serve you or negatively impact you.
Bring in the new. What do you want to add to enrich your life? What mantas would support your process? What healthy habits would you like to foster? What do you need in order to support this?
Bring in the joy. What areas of your life could use some joy and play? Spring is about connecting to your inner child, your youthful self. In what ways could you celebrate yourself, laugh, move, and enjoy the simplicity of life?
Get creative. Spring wants to bloom! Start a creative project, paint a room, try something new, be spontaneous.
Spring and Your Mental Health
Although we are coming back into the light and our days are getting warmer, seasonal affective disorder is still very real for many of us. The sun is out but the outside temperatures can still be uncomfortably cool. The restlessness of still living in a pandemic world in addition to the nicer weather can cause some of us to feel the reality of cabin fever, the ache of a long winter, the fatigue of the daily routine. If you find you are struggling or need support in any of these areas, the therapists at Evolve in Nature are here to support you on your journey.
Sow Your Magic into Your Seeds this Spring Equinox
In Pagan tradition, the Spring Equinox is known as Ostara and celebrated as the beginning of a new cycle, new life, fertility and creation coming into form. Seeds are stirring, plants are pushing up, livestock are giving birth, baby birds are cracking out of their shells- it is a burst of life! Watching the snow melt while simultaneously watching snowdrops appear is really something beautiful.
As we witness new life return- like the return of the songbirds, baby ducks and geese on the ponds, and flowers poking up their heads- you can really start to feel that parallel within yourself. As we see life emerge from the Earth, this energy awakens our own growth, fertility and creation. And so it is a powerful time to be thinking about what we want to create in our lives during this light half of the year- where the Sun rules, and active, creation energy is in abundance!
At the Spring Equinox, we are in perfect balance between the light and dark. Everything is in harmony- just like at the Fall Equinox (Mabon), but now the light is growing and the Sun is drawing closer to us. Welcome light! Welcome new life! Welcome Spring!
enchant your seeds this spring
In this Spring Equinox activity, we’re going to enchant our kitchens and homes with plants and herbs that will carry the energy of the intentions we charge them with. You’re going to start everything from seed indoors, and then once they’re established you’re welcome to transplant them into your garden, into a larger pot on your balcony, or keep on your kitchen counter to continually bless your space.
Choose Your Seeds
When choosing your seeds, keep in mind whether you’re going to keep them in a container, or whether you’ll be transplanting them into your garden. Do a little research to see which herbs do well indoors, and which herbs should be growing outdoors. Try to buy heirloom seeds as you are not only supporting small-scale gardeners, but you are also ensuring that you can use the seeds from your plant to regrow more plants the following year. Look for the term “open-pollinated” on your seed package. (GMO plants don’t actually produce seeds that can be replanted- you actually have to go out and buy new seeds again the following year.)
Herbs that grow well in indoor containers:*
Rosemary: has protective and cleansing qualities. Burn dried leaves to purify the home.
Basil: brings prosperity, happiness and love
Thyme: promotes courage and self confidence, as well as good fortune. Burn to ward off negativity.
Oregano: promotes joy, tranquility and health
Mint: improves psychic and verbal communication (including prayer), and adds strength to your words. Helps break streaks of bad luck and negativity.
*All these herbs are amazing to cook with, make tea out of, and to use magically
Witchy herbs to grow in a garden:
Calendula: joyful Sun energy, promotes love, and wonderful to make salves out of
Mugwort: promotes psychic and lucid dreams; wonderful to dry and smudge with
Rue: protective and cleansing
Yarrow: protects the auric field, and used for divination
Garden Sage: for wisdom, protection; great for culinary purposes and teas
Lavender: promotes relaxation, calms the nerves and promotes sleep