Tuesday, February 18, 2014

3 New Ways to Welcome Spring

This winter just doesn't want to abate; between massive snow and ice storms, rogue polar vortices, and the usual dearth of daylight, I think it is safe to say that most of us Northern Hemisphere folks are eager for spring.

Spring is a glorious season, one of rebirth, of renewal, of hope. As animals emerge from winter dens and we ourselves emerge from within houses and from underneath layers of coats and scarves, discover a few ways to bring the feelings of spring's vitality into our homes, our offices, and our spirits.

  1. Make a Decorative Spring Broom.
    Deborah Blake's newest release, The Witch's Broom, includes the history and lore of broomsticks and the witches who use them. Along with original illustrations from Mickie
    Mueller and anecdotes from well-known witches (including Christopher Penczak, Tess Whitehurst, Linda Raedisch, and Melanie Marquis), the book includes instructions for making several brooms, from decorative to ceremonial to special occasion. Bring the essence of spring into your store or your home with a decorative spring broom, instructions courtesy of The Witch's Broom.
    Many witches like to decorate their homes or apartments with items that are related in some way to their practice of the Craft. Brooms can be a wonderful ornamental touch, and you can make them obviously witchy by covering them with pentacles, runes, and the like, or keep them subtle (lots of people have small cinnamon brooms hanging in their homes, for instance, and most of them aren’t witches) if you share your space with a non-witch, or live in an area where being openly Pagan can get you into trouble.
    As with most other brooms, you can buy one already adorned and ready to hang on your wall, or start from scratch and decorate it any way you want. The only limits are those of your imagination and crafting skill (and maybe your wallet, since some things cost more than others).
    How you decorate your broom is completely up to you, and will depend on your own personal style and desires. No two decorative brooms will be exactly alike, just like no two witches are exactly alike. And isn’t that grand!
    Decorative brooms can also have a theme and a purpose. Here are a few suggestions for a decorative Spring Broom, but the possibilities are truly endless. (For our Southern Hemisphere friends, this is a perfect craft to create and put away for a few months; or, conversely create a decorate Autumn broom to welcome that portion of the seasonal cycle.)
    • Pastel colors such as pink, lavender, light blue, pale yellow, and pale green (ribbons are nice in a rainbow of spring colors)
    • Spring herbs and/or dried flowers, such as daffodils, tulips, or anything else that grows in your area. You can even use fresh flowers to give it a spark of life
    • Representations of spring goddesses and gods, such as Persephone, Brigid, Eostre, Flora, Freya, Osiris, Pan, and Eros
    • Hang the broom up every Spring Equinox, and take it down at the Summer Solstice (when you would replace it with a similar summer-themed decorative broom)

  2. Cast an Ostara Serpent Magic Tarot Spread.
    Coming in May is 365 Tarot Spreads, the newest release from Tarot Diva author Sasha Graham. Make the hallowed (and for many, daily) practice of tarot into daily journey for
    answers to any question with interesting and magical results. Featuring spreads for multi-cultural traditions, holidays, rituals, lore, and magic, this guide can be used year after year, with spreads falling on every possible calendar date. Each one is based on an important historical, magical, or fascinating occurrence on that particular date in history. This daily guide is concerned with the essential journey to find truth and answers, rooted in every spread with topics from love and money to career and life path. With an explanation of each spread and questions to focus on while reading, you’ll achieve your quest for answers every day.
    The Ostara Serpent Magic Spread
    On This Day (March 20)
    Ostara is the Anglo-Saxon spelling of the name for the Germanic deity of spring. Her attributes include eggs, babies and bunnies, coinciding with Easter but holding pagan rather than Christian resonance.
  3. Summation of Spread
    Spring, in addition to its fertility rites, marks the awakening of all slumbering creatures, ideas, and plans. In Scotland, highlanders traditionally pounded the ground with a stick until a serpent emerged. The reptile’s behavior gave an indication of how early spring would come. The Ostara Serpent Magic Spread seeks to discover what slumbers within in you.
    Cast Your Cards
    An excellent spread to perform on a warm spring day, be sure not to rush through it. Arrive at specific answers to each question before moving ahead. Cast the cards as a snake uncoiling itself:
    1. What is reborn this year?
    2. How do I activate my passion?
    3. How can I stimulate my intellect?
    4. What must become conscious?
    5. How do I become an active participant in my life?
    6. What does metamorphosis mean to me?
    7. What can I uncoil and become free?
    8. What message does the serpent whisper in my ear?

  4. Clean That Neglected Closet (or Drawer, or Garage....)
    Spring is the time of year that everyone associates with cleaning: the opening of windows to circulate fresh air; ridding the home of what was gathered over the long winter and is no longer needed; and the removal of many months' of accumulated salt, mud, and grime. Llewellyn has several books on feng shui, including more recent releases Mind, Body, Home by Tisha Morris and Magical Housekeeping by Tess Whitehurst. Tisha's book presents your home as an integral component for holistic living, correlating every room with its physical, mental, or emotional counterpart in you. Your home is a reflection of you, from foundation to roof, and being in tune with its energy allows you to create positive changes—from enhancing wealth to improving relationships—in your life. Tess's book reveals how your home can be a powerful catalyst for personal transformation and manifestation, and she offers a variety of simple, whimsical ways (like a Magical Stress Eraser Mist) to create a harmonious home while enhancing your own happiness, intuition, and magical power.

    One of the first mandates put forth in each book: clear that clutter! As Tess Whitehurst put it in her article, "Make Your Home a Magical Tool:"
    "Remember 'As above, so below?' One thing that means is that physical clutter is never just clutter. It always reflects and holds in place unwanted conditions in our thoughts, emotions, and life experiences. And, when we look around our homes and everything we see is something that lifts our spirits and makes us feel good, our lives are characterized by harmony, joy, and success.

    So, let go of the extras. If there's clutter in your home, there’s nothing better you could be doing than clearing it. Take your time, knowing that every time you let go of a piece of clutter, your energy field is lightened and clarified, which immediately nourishes and benefits every area of your life."
    Tisha Morris recently contributed a guest blog post to our Body & Soul blog, titled, "Home is Where the Heart is…And Where Our Shadow Sides Lurk." In it she describes the correlation to

    that one drawer, closet, room, garage, etc. where we keep things hidden behind closed doors and our "shadow side," that part of ourselves we want to keep from the world at large. The aspects of our shadow sides—as varied as a hot temper or a hidden talent—can actually be useful in our daily lives, if only we address them. Until we clean those hidden compartments, we cannot reclaim aspects and parts of ourselves that we need in order to become whole and step into our authentic selves.
So tackle that clutter, cast your cards, and brighten your home or office with a spring broom! Bring the essence of the season into your heart and home.

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