Ostara brings to many warmer temperatures, budding trees, spring flowers, and a time for planting, the beginnings of rebirth and abundance.
Here… a bit diverse in comparison. To look out upon my wooded world one would not see Spring’s telltale signs by first glance. In it’s stead are snow drifts, some waist high. Crusted icey snow banks that you can no longer walk upon without crashing through, and at times the potential of loosing a knee cap in doing so. Ok… a bit dramatic, but it’s nasty.
I do love Winter though, I love all the seasons, for me it is a way of life. To live seasonally as much as one can enables you to truly experience the seasons, and their folklore. To celebrate the wheel of the year, both the dark and the light.
I eat and drink seasonally for it’s health benefits that happen to be needed for my body at that time, and to be connected to the season. Think elderberries in winter or early spring, or lilacs for a Spring love affair. A time of change, when our bodies need and respond to the support that these magickal plants bring.
One of the many reasons I love living in the woods is it totally makes you see and understand the deep and magickal change of the seasons. You become a part of it, a part of the wild, you see and feel how winter is a hardship…at times harshly so. That is also part of living within the seasons, for life truly is about death and rebirth.
Buy knowing and understanding my land, what grows upon it, and how I can use it to heal, create, or magickally inspire is yet another way I find to connect. By foraging I not only eat and heal seasonally, but the lore of these plants, their spirits, and the magick they can bring is also in tune with the season. I like the animals see years of it’s abundance, and declines, and being in tuned with that is a true connection to the wheel of the year.
So as said, this time of year it’s not about traditional spring doings for me, it’s a time of leaving the bear spirit, and joining the wolf or the fox. I work with the bear spirit in winter to aid journey into other realms, as the bear is a well known astral traveler in his hibernations. The wolf and fox are the true cunning animals of the woods. They are the unseen, see all, biding their time, watching, and waiting…. The signs aren’t plainly seen now in the woods, so one has to watch, stay intuned… like the wolf and fox. So I work with them in spirit and bone.
Here the first sign of Spring is the return of sunlight, it is becoming strong now in light, just not in warmth, a perk that remains aways off. The plants indoors know well what season it be, even though they look out into that wooded winter wonderland. They begin to leaf, show growth again, and are coming out of their hibernation, their colors becoming more vibrant. I prepare seeds for planting now, and plant indoors, to stay connected to a season that’s still frozen.
In areas where the sun hits and the snow is lower I still forage for birch bark, a symbol of spring’s renewal, for birch is the tree of spring and the “Lady of The Wood”. She knows well of both death and rebirth.
“The birch has always been associated with the spirits of the dead and with those that mourn, for, in sympathy with the sorrowing, ‘weeps the birch of silver bark with long dishevell’d hair’.”
Trees and How They Grow by G Clarke Nuttall, 1913.
I gather pine needles and resin, as it helps to still get out in it and to be a part of those small changes.
It is also a time of healing, cleansing, and rejuvenation, so I focus on treatments, herbs, and essential oils to aid me in doing so. I steam with essential oils to detox, do yoga and spend quality time in meditations. Healing and strengthening the aura, bringing myself out of the dark, and more into the gray of the season.
I burn cedar smudge bundles I made last summer to drive out negative energy, and to bring upon the change of spring.
I work crystal grids to bring spring’s renewal and abundance. They are placed in my plant room, where the sun charges them and my intentions daily.
I simmer essential oils such as thyme to purify and invigorate, or rosemary to restore health, and to clear and focus the mind. Ways to wait and prepare for spring’s true arrival.
That is what it’s about now for all the spirits that dwell here, a time to wait, a time to watch for the signs of the darkness of death to fade, and the energy of rebirth to unfold. The deer watch the roadsides for patches of grass to reemerge, the owl watches to see the wood mice scurry freely again, the land spirits and fae await for the wild to return. We all bide our time…. And wait )0(
Here’s a herbal blend for you to try in your bath to bring Spring balance and healing to your aura, body and mind. Enjoy!
Herbal Aura Balancing Blend for your Bath ~
Combine the following in a cloth drawstring bag, placing it under the water flow. This blend will aid cabin fever, anxiety, or melancholy. It will strengthen the nervous system, release stress and tension, invigorate, and clear one’s mindset.
3 tablespoons lavender 3 tablespoons peppermint leaves crushed
3 tablespoons of vervain (verbena)