It may or may not feel like it where you live, but the warmer months are rapidly approaching. Next Tuesday, 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.
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.