We met a new neighbor last weekend. It was a rare, sunny day here in San Diego and 6 year old Theo was out for a walk with his big sister and mom. We were out front pulling weeds and cleaning up after the recent rains. Mom explained that the trails were too muddy for the hike they planned. Theo positioned his hands on his hips and declared, “I hate the rain!” I tried to console him by saying the rain makes everything so green and pretty. He wasn’t having it. I imagine some of you may be feeling the same. For those of us in southern California, it’s been an unusually long & wet winter.
But let’s not ignore the many benefits of the rain…..particularly for a region that has been in a severe drought for years. The weather is constantly changing and spring is just around the corner. In fact, the Spring Equinox is this coming Monday, that long-awaited day when the sun crossed from south to north over the equator giving us equal amounts of day and night, 12 hours each.
Spring has always held a great deal of significance culturally as well as religiously and astrologically. Regardless of religion, Spring is universally seen and felt like a time of new life, constructive change & revitalization. In earlier times, this transition into spring was even considered the New Year due to it being the season of regeneration and growth of plants and crops.
For centuries in pre-Christian Europe, people worshiped Eostre, the moon goddess of spring & fertility. She is often portrayed as standing among spring flowers and holding an egg in her hand with her sacred animal the hare. This hare laid eggs to honor her and we now know this sacred creature as, the Easter Bunny.
Spend a moment or two contemplating these words: new life, growth, change, renewal. What sorts of emotions & thoughts come to mind? Do you experience any sensations in your body? After the darkness of winter, spring blows in and reminds us that better times lay ahead. It’s not a coincidence that we often experience urges to create radical change during this time. Maybe it’s the simple act of cleaning out your closet (think SPRING CLEANING), unloading those old items you no longer need to make room for the new, or maybe you wish to plan a big event. Spring offers us motivation, desire and that extra boost we need to take on whatever life throws at us.
If you wish to mark this seasonal change, consider participating in a ritual. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or overly involved. Here’s a few things to consider:
Time In Nature
Trees are regaining their leaves, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, the whole earth is teeming with new energy. There is so much new life and beauty around this time of the year! Spring brings with it more sunshine and time for us to be outside earlier in the mornings and later into the evenings. The abundance and new life in Spring is most evident in nature. So, make sure you spend some time reconnecting with the natural world around you.
- Wake up for sunrise, wrap up and sit with your morning tea or coffee and listen to the birds call in the new day.
- Take a walking meditation. Slowly walk around your local park or beach and tune into noticing the smaller details of the natural world you would otherwise miss.
- Plant something. Whether it’s a new herb for your windowsill or flowers in your garden, get your hands into the dirt and nurture new life by growing something.
- Create a wildlife haven in your outdoor space. A birdbath, feeder or insect hotel is not only helping wildlife but is great fun, especially with your kids or grandkids.
Out With The Old
Is there anything more satisfying than a spring clean?! Turn up your favorite tunes, open the windows and clear out all that excess stuff! The Spring Equinox isn’t just about letting go of the thoughts and feelings holding you back. The physical things & clutter in your home have an impact too. Here are some spring cleaning tips.
- Take on just one room at a time!
- Use it as a time to reconnect with your sentimental possessions and all the wonderful memories they hold (but don’t stop there, take action and keep moving).
- Have a bag for collecting the items that can go to charity shops or other local organizations.
Clear the Way
Was this last year complicated? Hard? Sad? Maybe now is the time to step away from everything this last year threw at you. Sometimes a conscious effort to remove obstacles is just the thing to clear the path for what lies ahead. Create a list of events from the last year that have caused you pain & upset and then light a candle, hold them over the flame and watch them burn away. You may wish to use this time to talk to loved ones and share your ideas and experiences. Life is meant to be shared.
Now that you have cleared the way, it is time to look forward! If you find you struggle with New Year’s resolutions in January (you already know how I feel about ‘em), use this astrological New Year at Spring Equinox as your time instead. I don’t know about you but I always feel far more positive & focused on the future once the darkest months have passed.
- Make a list of the things you want to achieve this year. Remember, there is nothing wrong with wanting! Sit with that list and think and reflect on all the ways you can make them possible to achieve! Positive action will get you there.
- Design a vision board. Not only does creating something feel really fulfilling but you’ll have a visual reminder of your hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Even better, do this with friends and share your thoughts as you go!
- Set an intention. Select a single word or short phrase that can become your own personal mantra. Find a time each day to repeat the mantra (maybe when you’re brushing your teeth). You can also use this mantra during your yoga practice.
Pay it Forward
As a sign of gratitude for all that this life offers and the opportunity to start fresh each spring, you may want to give something back in return! It may be that your offering is something for nature, like a bee loving plant for your garden or it could mean donating money to a charity. A wonderful thing to do is volunteer in your local area, putting your words into action. It can be inspiring to join forces with like-minded humans, to make the world a more peaceful & compassionate place.
For additional ideas on how to honor the SPRING EQUINOX, head HERE.