Spring is just about here. The planet is waking up after a long winter sleep, and everything is coming alive. The snow melts, colorful buds burst through the frost, the geese come back, and air starts to warm up again. This is one of the most (if not, the most) beautiful occurrences in nature, and we can never take that for granted. Just because something happens yearly, that doesn’t mean that it’s too ordinary to have a bit of magic in it.
People too often get numb to the beauty around them because it’s always there, and the natural cycles and seasons of things are no exceptions. This is one of the many reasons people don’t treat the Earth well and take it for granted. Gratitude is so important in every setting, but especially in the context of nature. It’s a privilege to exist on such an extraordinary and stunning planet, and that should be acknowledged daily, monthly, and seasonally. A powerful way to do this is to take a note from paganism (and witchcraft) and welcome each season in mindfully. This can involve many things, but here are just a few ways to welcome spring in the witchy way.
Fill your home with signs of spring.
This can mean decorating with dried flowers (or fresh flowers if they’re blooming) from your region. Try to stay as local as possible to minimize carbon emissions (ideally you could just responsibly forage for flowers yourself if you have access to blooming spaces in the wild) and put them around your house. Hang dried flowers upside down on the wall or put fresh ones in a vase. This will make your space smell beautiful, and it will also be a great way to honor the land that you’re on (as well as springtime itself). To make this as mindful as possible, research native plants and flowers in your area that will be in bloom around the start of spring. Pick ones to use by going with ones you’re naturally drawn to. Don’t think too hard about it—just trust yourself. Whether you order them or forage for them yourself, when you bring them home, before you put them up make sure to mentally thank them for bringing so much beauty and fresh life into your home (that is the nature of spring). This thanks can involve just a mental nod of gratitude, or you can create your own witch ceremony to do so (incorporating flowers and other appropriate pieces for the ritual).
Another way to bring spring inside is to be aware of the colors in your space. Witchcraft involves a lot of work with color (though that can vary among witches), so while color therapy is a real thing, and it’s important to fill your space with colors that uplift or inspire you, it’s also great if you’re wanting to get in touch with your witchy side. Choose colors that strike you as embodying spring. Greens, pinks, blues, and oranges are among the many colors to evoke feelings of spring, but get specific. Maybe turquoise, carnation pink, and mango orange hit you the most. In that case, bring in those specific colors. Make candles in these shades, create art using those colors, or bring home crystals that are in those tones. There is no such thing as too much color (my home looks like a rainbow and I love it—don’t feel like you have to stick to the trends), and it’s such a powerful way to welcome in the season. If you’re a witch who does physical rituals, consider involving these colors into your practice as well if they complement your goals.
Try your hand at green witchcraft and grow some spring plants.
Green witchcraft is a popular one among Millennials, since it’s accessible and feels very much normal for those who garden and talk to their plants anyways. If that resonates with you, it’s a great time to try your hand at it. Try starting with something simple to grow and go from there, incorporating witchcraft into it all. Consider growing herbs and putting crystals, love notes, or other tiny gifts for your plants on the soil next to it. Use plants in your daily meditative practice, water them with moon water, or put your plants by a window or outside (assuming it’s safe for them) so that they can moon bathe. These practices will help you get in touch with that spring feeling, and will serve as a beautiful nod to new life and the season of gardening. If you have an actual garden, consider these houseplant practices on a larger scale (sprinkling moon water on every plant when you water them, putting crystals or gifts in your garden, or meditating in the garden).
Open your windows.
It may sound simple, but one of witchcraft’s main components is the act of connecting with nature. It can be hard to do that if you’re inside all day (or most of it). So to maintain a bond with nature, open your windows—as many of them as possible. When you open them, focus on your connection to nature and meditate on it for a few minutes (or if you feel comfortable, do a little ritual to express it). Breathe in the fresh air coming in and close your eyes, really holding on to the moment. Exhale, and open the next window. Throughout the day, stop every so often to feel the breeze drifting in or to listen to the sounds coming from outside. Right now the winds and temperatures might be on the chillier side, so pay attention to the gradual heating of it as spring approaches. By the time it does, you will have absorbed the full cycle of the season.
When you are able to get outside, take off your shoes. Go earthing somewhere with grass or dirt, and focus on how the ground feels. How does it feel to be so close the Earth? Try to help that make you feel emotionally close to it as well. Spend at least a few minutes doing this, being contemplative as you do so, but if you can take a walk barefoot that is even better. Earthing is a very old practice, and it’s one that strengthens the bond to the planet and the natural world. Do that as much as you can, but especially as spring approaches.
The pagan belief is that the arrival of spring brings about balance (which is scientifically true, since the equinox consists of an equal amount of daylight and nighttime), so a lot of traditional rituals and preparations for the season involve that. You can make it your own by thinking about ways that your life could use more balance. What things in your life are taking up more energy than others? Do those things feel worth the amount of energy put in, or are their outputs benefits equal to the input of energy to do them? Consider journaling during this time to track that, or at least make mental notes of things in your life that need to be reduced or increased.
Consider making spaces symmetrical around the house, to promote balance. This can be done by arranging art on your wall symmetrically, or creating balanced designs in a zen garden or when you paint. Try arranging your plants in balanced formations, arrange your bookshelves evenly, or try wearing symmetrical hairstyles or clothing (like two french braids or an equal amount of rings on each hand on the same fingers).
One final way to promote this pagan concept of balance is of course to physically balance. Try incorporating yoga into your daily routine, and focusing on balancing poses. Focus on the ideas of balance both literally and emotionally as you do the yoga. If yoga isn’t your thing, you can always practice this concept through slack lining, boarding of any kind, or various versions of skiing (for water and snow).
Look forward to Ostara
Ostara, or the spring equinox, is an important pagan holiday, and one that most witches observe. It’s the second of the three spring holidays (or the holidays celebrating the warming of the planet and the awakening of the Green Man, a pagan god). To prepare for this holiday, make sure you have plenty of baby greens, asparagus, and sprouts in the house to munch on. Figure out dishes that taste best to you, and decide what you’ll make with them on Ostara, when spring actually arrives. These are traditional foods to eat on the holiday, so if you’re planning on eating traditional food, that’s a good thing to start planning. Make sure you also have baskets around, since that is a classic symbol of the holiday and you’ll want them on the day (hopefully to use for foraging clovers—another symbol of the day). You can make your own or buy some locally to support local businesses.
Ostara (which is a movable feast but traditionally is celebrated on the 20th) also happens to mark the beginning of Aries season (on the 21st), something that witches at least nod to. As an Aries rising and Aries moon, I feel really connected to this season (I’ve always loved spring) and have a lot of ways that I celebrate as a witch. Since Aries are fire signs, and arguably the most fiery of them, incorporating that into your spring preparations is a great way to look forward to it. Consider lighting candles (especially if they’re warm colors as well), eating spicy food, using warm toned eyeshadows and lipsticks, building a fire with those you’re quarantining with, decorating the house with gems like citrine, or wearing warm colors. These can all evoke the fiery nature that Aries are so tied to, and it can help you feel more connected to the season even if Aries placements aren’t there in your chart. Aries season begins with the warming of the natural world, and aptly so. Honor that. Practice boldness, seek things that bring warmth to your life, sunbathe, watch the sunrises, and try to live courageously. These are all classic Aries nods, and while they’re important things to practice during all times of the year, it can be especially rewarding during this season. Before Aries season comes, get in the mindset for this.
As a society we don’t notice or worry about the seasons as much as our ancestors did. We don’t feel like our lives revolve around them, so we often just ignore them or take them for granted. The thing is though, just like the pagans (past and present) have expressed, we do in fact depend on them. Think of every memory you have of summer vacation, the first snow, berry picking, playing in the fall leaves, picking flowers, and so on. None of those would have happened without the seasons. No matter where on the planet you live, everyone has a form of seasons. As the climate emergency worsens, our seasons are getting more and more out of balance. Summers are starting to bring scorching droughts rather than bursting fruit and bounty. Autumns are starting to heat and not go through the magical color transformation of the trees. Winters are getting harsher and more deadly, and springs are now home to many more dangerous floods. Because we have tried to separate ourselves from the planet and the seasons, we as a species are being killed by them now; by our choices. We are the reason why this harmful shifts are happening, and therefore we can restore the beautiful balance that we humans thrive with on the Earth. We can eat as little animal products as possible (or go vegan altogether to do the most good), minimize our carbon footprint by buying local or purchasing carbon offsets when we travel, and strengthen our bonds to the planet. Spend time outside and never take it for granted- the Earth, the forests, the oceans, and yes, the seasons. It all matters so much, and if you’ve forgotten that, take a note from pagans and start celebrating them regularly.
Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photo: Emily Iris Degn