Winter has at last loosened its iron grip around us and we can finally begin to feel the tentative sun rays on our face. Delicate snowdrops and crocuses are coaxed towards the increasing light and the excited chatter of birds fills the air with anticipation. At this time of new beginnings, we too feel hope and excitement stir within us and we can at last shake off the cobwebs that have gathered during our long hibernation.
What better way to start afresh than to spring clean your home. Making your own natural cleaning products with added essential oils is a fabulous way to freshen and clear out stagnant energy. I love using lavender and tea tree essential oils in my own cleaners as well as white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and Ecover washing up liquid. With no chemicals, these cleaning ingredients are kind to the environment and to us. There are many diy cleaning recipes on line that cover absolutely everything that you could possibly need. So have some witchy fun in the kitchen concocting your own cleaning brews, adding some cleansing and manifesting intentions to the mix while you are at it.
Now that your home is clean, decluttered and buzzing with positive energy, how about bringing in some fresh flowers, plants and candles to brighten up your space and bring a cosy welcoming atmosphere? Burn some incense and hang up little bamboo bags of charcoal air fresheners in each room. These are easy to find online and are fantastic for removing toxins and odours from the air. They also increase the number of negative ions in your home.
You can also give yourself a well deserved spring clean, by spending time thinking about what you are really feeding your mind, body and soul, while thinking about what you can let go of that no longer makes your heart sing. Make your own self care products, spend more time outside (no matter what the weather) and use these spring energies to plant the seeds of your goals, dreams and aspirations. A lovely little ritual that I do at this time of year to manifest my goals is to bury a seed with a piece of paper with my goals written on it into a pot with some compost. The more the seed grows, into a sunflower for example, the closer you get to manifesting your dreams.
Express your dreams and manifest them through expressive art, painting, poetry, journaling, collage or even creating a dream board.
If you still haven’t composted your old Yule tree and it is still lying about the garden, then maybe you could hold a ritual burning of the evergreens, along with any old natural garlands and wreaths that you have forgotten about. You can even add your Yule log if you didn’t manage to burn it all in December. Just remember to keep some back to light this year’s Yule log. In your bonfire or fire pit you can also burn a handwritten piece of paper with all of the things that you want to unburden yourself of. This is a beautiful way of saying goodbye to the old season and welcoming in the new.
Make the most of the lighter days to go out and explore your local area. Many of us plan of escaping to foreign lands, but we actually have so many hidden gems on our very own doorstep that are just waiting to be discovered. Explore your local parks and woodlands. The trees are slowly waking up from their winter slumber, so talk to them, meditate beside them and give them a big hug (of course, ask their permission first!). And before you go, leave them an earth friendly offering.
Imbolc and spring have always been a traditional time to visit holy wells and springs; their waters bursting with potent healing and cleansing properties. It was customary to soak small pieces of cloth or ribbon in the water and hang them on nearby tree branches if the person was poorly. It was believed that as these ‘clouties’ disintegrated, so too would the illness. Today we can do the same and it can also be an opportunity to let go off unwanted habits or negative thoughts.
Visiting a well or spring gives us the chance to tidy the surrounding area and plant native bulbs or wildflowers. Before leaving, an offering can be left for the spirit of the land, like some nuts, a natural weaving you have made or a lovely crystal for instance.
Litter picking is something we can do all year round, but especially during spring time when Mother Nature is waking up from her deep sleep and gasping for air. It is our responsibility as caretakers to do this, even when it isn’t us who have dropped the litter.
The growing season is upon us, so start flicking through those seed catalogues, plant some trees, plan some garden projects (an outdoor altar?) and begin improving the soil in your garden. If you don’t have a garden, then have a look around your apartment, your window sills, balcony or even doorstep. There is always a space where you can place a pot to grow something in.
And lastly, this is the perfect time to put up bird boxes. Just research what types of boxes are the best for your garden and what height you need to place them at. Even though the days are slightly warmer, the nights are still very cold so continue to leave out fresh food and water for the birds.
I hope you have found some of these ideas helpful and inspiring for celebrating the first signs of spring. Have a wonderful Imbolc and don’t hesitate to share your spring projects. I would love to hear about what you are planning to do.