How To Make Your Spring Cleaning Actually Exciting

Photographed by Georgina Martin.
It may or may not feel like it where you live, but the warmer months are rapidly approaching. Next Monday, March 20, is the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring. This isn't just a reminder to haul your lighter jackets out of storage — it's also a call to observe the massive shift nature is about to undergo.
Nature-based faiths have long celebrated the equinox as a time of rebirth and fertility. It's also known as Ostara, named for the early Germanic goddess of spring, Eostre, who was said to awake at the end of winter and prompt nature to restart its life cycle.
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In the past, people would celebrate by holding feasts and giving thanks for having survived another winter. Of course, this raises the question: How can we honor this time of year nowadays, considering most of us have access to central heat and little to no knowledge of feast-planning?
We spoke with seeress (one with divine intuition) and shaman Deborah Hanekamp of Mama Medicine to learn how we can make the most of the vernal equinox. Yes, actual "spring cleaning" is involved, but there's more to it than that.
Hanekamp calls spring an in-between time of year. "We don’t have a ton of flowers out yet, we’re not in full abundance mode, but we’re getting there," she says. "It’s a time to plant seeds, set intentions, and bless your new projects."
Click through to discover how even the simplest things — like buying a bouquet of flowers — can spiritually prepare you for the changes of spring.
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Photographed by Tory Rust.
Get seasonal.

Spring is nature's way of hinting at the bounty that summertime will bring. Plants are sprouting, baby animals are being born, and flowers, no longer dormant, are starting to bud and bring some color back into the landscape. Hanekamp says to welcome these signs of rebirth into your own life. This might mean planting new seeds in your garden or placing an egg on your altar (a.k.a. the place where you like to set up your crystals, candles, and any other tools you use for spell work).

"Just meditate on the way change brings balance," Hanekamp says. "Give yourself a little quiet time with what change brings to us and...what you’re wanting to see reborn in yourself."

If you're not really an altar person, don't stress. Hanekamp says your whole house can be your "altar" of sorts — just pick up some fresh flowers and add a few bright accent pieces to your living room.
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Photographed by Ruby Yeh.
Clean house.

Yes, we mean this literally. "The more we want to call in the new, the more we have to be ready to clear out the old," Hanekamp says. On a physical level, a little spring cleaning should free up space for a few pieces from Victoria Beckham’s new Target collection, but if you treat your home like an extension of yourself, you may find you have room for new personal opportunities, too.

"Cleaning out cobwebs and dust in our homes is doing the exact same thing for our spirit," says Hanekamp. Keeping your house uncluttered is always a good rule of thumb, and undertaking a total deep-clean will feel downright restorative during the equinox.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Make plans.

Remember how you spent this month’s full moon activating all the plans you made in the winter? Hanekamp says to keep that up, but remember to keep looking ahead while you tackle all those to-do lists. Forward momentum will be your key to success at this time of year, when there’s so much potential for rebirth and new beginnings. "Bring in new projects, new ideas," Hanekamp says.

Continuing to make plans for the months to come will help you avoid any feelings of stagnation right now.
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Photographed by Georgina Martin.
Be patient.

We know we said to avoid stagnation, but this is not a call to be impatient. Even some of the best-laid plans take longer to come to fruition than one might think. Hanekamp says to look, once again, at nature for the reminder you need. Plants don’t burst into bloom the moment their seeds are laid and birds don’t emerge from their eggs fully grown. In other words, don't stress out if your career change or vacation planning is taking more time than you expected.

This doesn’t mean you should spend springtime waiting around or being overly passive. All your planning won't go to waste if you make patience an active part of your spiritual practice. Believe it or not, patience is a major component in any spiritual ritual, and before you know it, those seeds you plant will start to grow into buds. "Enjoy the process of patience," Hanekamp says.
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Photographed by Georgina Martin.
Take a walk.

At the end of the day, you won't feel connected to the changes in nature if you don't see them for yourself. No matter where you live, taking a quick stroll outside can help you tune back into the world around you. Feeling like you're part of these larger, seasonal shifts can be immensely grounding, and it can help you evaluate the changes in your own life.

Or, as Hanekamp puts it: "Nothing cleanses our emotions or our spirit or our minds more than walking in nature."
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