The weeks around the spring equinox can be unsettled and chaotic, as the energies of nature battle to come into balance. The signs of spring are obvious now, but the weather is still unpredictable. Here, there are spring flowers bursting through the soil wherever I look, yet within the space of days the weather brings us snow, sunshine, fog and drizzle. The wild March winds have made their debut, heralding this season of exuberant energy and movement. It’s a season of growth, symbolised particularly by the dazzling yellow banks of daffodils known as the harbingers of spring. Hares, the totem of the Goddess, are also a symbol of this festival, tearing through the fields with their own mad spring energy. The equinox itself (also known as Ostara or Eostre, after the Germanic Goddess) is a moment of perfect balance, when the hours of daylight and darkness are equal, but following the equinox battle, the sun will have won, and the mornings and evenings will grow lighter as daylight expands.
I can feel the difference in energy – there’s an optimism and a need to clean out and start anew. In the weeks leading up to the equinox, I’ve been de-cluttering – putting aside old clothes for charity and taking the junk that’s accumulated over the winter to the dump. Ostara is an ideal time for spring cleaning, and I find I want to do it at this time of year – to open up the doors and windows and let the spring energy blow in. The brighter light illuminates the things we haven’t noticed during the winter – both physically and spiritually. On a mundane level, I’m noticing all the hidden areas that need to be cleaned and considering which bits of home maintenance need to be done this year. On the equinox itself, I’ll sweep the house with a besom broom – not to get rid of the dust, but to create movement in the energy of the home, to brush out some of winter’s lethargy and make space for the vitality of spring.
I’ll also be considering how I can spring clean my creative process, to rid myself of bad habits and make way for new practices that will help me to work more effectively. Because the real purpose of spring cleaning is to create a space where balance can exist. Creatively, how can you spring clean the way you work so that you have less of what you don’t need and more of what you do, so that you create from a more balanced place?
It’s not enough to clear out the old, useless habits, without bringing in some helpful new ones. Ostara is a time of action. In nature, things are moving. It’s a season of breaking soil, bursting buds and hatching life – shoots pushing through the ground, trees bursting into first leaf, flowers blooming. Nature is in full, intense motion. As in nature, so in your creativity: the ideas that you incubated at Imbolc are now almost at the point of hatching. Then, they were tiny seeds, waiting in the darkness. Now, after the long respite of winter, it’s time to begin to act on them and do something concrete to put them in motion. This year, I’ll be following the ancient tradition of decorating eggs, each one representing a creative project I’m bringing into action. Eggs represent potential – the potential of renewal and birth, whether of a physical or a creative entity.
So, why not try decorating some eggs yourself, with symbols that represent the projects you want to harvest later in the year. Magic is about intention and will as well as the craft of the spell or ritual itself, so as you work, focus your intention on how you will bring your projects to fruition. Then act.