Although we have gone from blizzards to uncanny warm days this winter, spring is finally in the air. Spring is the time when cultures around the world celebrate the possibility of new growth and fresh beginnings. In fact, the New Year was originally celebrated in March and early April, and anyone who didn’t realize it was considered an “April fool.”
Remember, symbols are the language of the soul, and ritual speaks that language fluently.
Here are six powerful rituals you can use to welcome spring and experience the seen and unseen worlds of infinite possibilities:
1. Love Mother Nature.
Every culture, past and present, celebrates the natural beauty of spring with yearly rituals. In Rome, the lengthening of the day that followed the vernal (spring) equinox was marked by sacrifices to celebrate the death and rebirth of Attis—the god of vegetation. Goddesses of fertility—the Greeks’ Aphrodite, the Native Americans’ Spider woman, Mexico’s Tonantzin, Africa’s Oshun, Norway’s Freya, and Rome’s Flora—were all honored in the spring as well.
Outdoor rituals infuse the world with new energy, so go out and plant a tree, clean up your local park, or participate in a community garden. Have a picnic in nature and bless some seeds for the coming season—hold them in your hands and visualize how each one holds the full potential for life. When you are finished, plant them in the earth and leave some for the birds to eat. Think of nature as a window into the natural world of the Divine.
2. Clean your home.
In ancient Rome, women cleaned their houses in honor of Vesta—the goddess of the hearth. Take a cue from them and release the heaviness of winter by cleaning out your home. Get up early and gather clothes, toys, books, and other items that add clutter to your space. Donate them to a shelter, school, or needy family.
This is a great way to create space for new life to emerge and reinforce the idea that giving is a blessing. When you’re finished, you’ll feel lighter, and so will the energy in your home. Purify your space even further by burning sage or copal, or opening all the windows to let in the fresh air.
3. Disconnect from negativity.
Our thoughts affect our emotions, which then influence the choices we make. Think about how you feel when you walk into a room where everyone is happy and positive, and then consider how you feel when you're surrounded by complaints and negativity. Emotions are contagious, so decide whose opinions you want to listen to and drop the rest. Carefully pick films, books, and TV shows that lift your spirit, and tune out the negative ones this season.
4. Create a basket of support.
On separate pieces of paper, write down the names of people, places, animals, or objects that you feel support your efforts and have your back. Include those who have passed on to Spirit. Place the slips of paper into a basket or bowl and, once a week or more this spring, pick out a name from the basket and consciously send and receive love with that person throughout the day.
You can send them an email, pick up a phone and call them, or simply think of them. It's been amazing to hear some of the people I reach out to tell me that they'd been feeling sick or scared and saw my presence as a source of comfort.
5. Gather scented gemstones.
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and the one that begins our spring season, so why not create a magical bowl of scented gemstones to harness the symbol's energy? Gather gems that elicit spontaneous, daring, active, and courageous energy for springtime, like jasper, garnet ruby, diamond, amethyst, aquamarine, carnelian, or topaz. Anoint them with clove, coriander, frankincense, neroli, or pine, and breathe in the aroma to strengthen the Aries in you.
6. Make flower wishes.
Write your wishes for the season on ribbons and tie them around flowers. You can gift these spirited bouquets to loved ones, friends, and even people you've just met. This simple act of generosity reminds me of the early peace marches in New York when people gave daffodils to strangers as a sign of peace and hope for the world.