Spring equinox is the traditional date to greet Spring. Also, spring equinox (also known as Ostara in the neo-pagan community) was on March 20th and 21st. Obviously, I missed it, being busy with packing and preparing for Amsterdam, but I wanted to greet Spring anyway, and I figured they (Spring) wouldn’t mind me celebrating a little later.
The following post is about something between crafts (namely witchcraft) and religion, neo-pagan spirituality and my personal practice of the latter. If you’re not into things like that and don’t want to read about it, this might be the right time to skip this post.
Part one happened two days ago. I went on a walk the day before yesterday – I already posted my outfit – mainly to go and take pictures of my finished duffel bag, but then I noticed all these tiny heralds of spring. The first violets making their way through the thick pine needle carpet at the Art Department’s building, the daisies already being full abloom, the willows greening. At the river it wasn’t any different. Due to the rainstorms we’d had during the last week the riverbank was flooded and divided into small islands, with streamlets and babbling brooks between the trees. A water rat scurried through last year’s dead, white grass and through the new sprouts, and water fowl and songbirds were everywhere.
I sat down on a log, the sunshine warming my body, smelling the moss and the river and the soil.
I don’t meditate often, but that moment just felt right.
My mind went into the current, the fast-flowing stream, dissolving and playing its way around obstacles; up into the air, into the wind that stroked the newborn leaves and shook the bare crowns of trees awake; into the warmth of the sun, calling nature to rise again for this year. And in the end my mind and soul and whole sank, no, plummeted, on purpose, into the earth, connecting with every little being down there in the soil, under the moss, between the thinnest of roots, down in the parts of the land that was warmed by the sun, and further down where it was still cold.
It took a while to come to the surface again, and I was kind of distracted through the rest of the day, but things like that happen when you sink your soul into the ground for a while.
For the second part I chose today. Or today chose itself. A lot of people celebrate today so maybe it’s just a part of the narrative. Anchors if I know.
I usually just use my window sill as a temporary altar, I don’t have a fixed one. The spring onions from our last dumpster haul in their jars were already around and they have “spring” in their name, so why not use them, no?
The jaw halves next to the Triple Hare pendant are from a rabbit I prepared for Yuletide ages ago back when I was a teenager. And the incense cone is sandalwood because I liked the colour, honestly, and it was the first I grabbed when I reached into my candles-and-incense shoebox. I’m simple that way.
I made the yeast plait when I made cinnamon rolls a few days ago, and I guess there was turmeric in the colour I used for the orange egg, the way it coloured the bread, too.
I cleansed the two crystals I use most with all the elements present, the smoke for air, the flame of the candle, the soil in the seashell and the water from the streamlets I had taken with me on the walk the day before. I guess it needed doing anyway.
The red onion I used as a second earth symbol is from the dumpster haul, too. The dead bumblebee I found on one of the foot paths of a nearby graveyard and I didn’t want it trampled and then somehow it came with me. The swan feather’s from the river, and the oyster shell I used for the soil was a finding Scoundrel brought me from his last visit at the seaside.
I used a variation of this blessing, making it a orison to and with Mother Earth, asking her for fertility not necessarily for my body, but for my creativity, my mind, my soul, my love, my thoughts, my garden and seeds, my anger as long as it is righteous, and the same for all the people I care about.
By the time I had finished the incense had burned down and my hands had grown cold from the still frosty air and I hadn’t noticed.
I prepared an offering to the Small Folk (which ironically includes giants in my definition) before I closed the window. I use dried orange peel halves from when my mother makes juice as offering bowls. They’re biodegradable and smell pretty when they dry, and they hold liquids quite well. The offering was part yeast plait, part tea I was drinking that moment, part chai syrup because I think they might be quite into sugary stuff and part self-made lemon rum.
I hid it in the shrubbery outside, because that’s what you do with offerings for that kind of people.
And then I had breakfast.