2/17/08

Early Springtide Thoughts

Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous Storm Moon
Moon Sign: Cancer
Weather: Cloudy, light precipitation & moderate breeze
(unseasonably warm, frontal edge due to pass thru soon)

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Soon, it will be the full moon. We have reached the very beginning of the spring season with Imboleg just behind us. Imboleg (also spelled Imbolc) is a holy day in the Wiccan calendar and in several other Pagan belief systems. It comes from the pagan Irish Celts. This was the time of year when they held religious observances in honor of the beginning of the lactation of the herds. This was the first sign of the coming spring and the soon to be birthed livestock. This was also a fire festival.

Herds were driven between a pair of roaring bonfires for the sake of helping to stave off illness. Fleas and other small pests were drawn to the heat and light of the fire, jumping off of their hosts and killed in the flames. This and several other rituals that we have fragmented records of are grounded in such simple roots. The additional sacred meanings were added later.

During this time of year, we find ourselves faced with the bane of the season: boredom. As during the month of February, and in the early part of March, the harshest and coldest times of the year will fall, we are often cooped up indoors for longer then we'd like. We start to suffer from cabin fever and get quite restless. Some of us can afford that trip to some place sunny and warm for that week when school is out. Some of us have the means to get out of the house and go to the mall or off to someplace entertaining (the zoo, museums, or even the movies). There are also those of us who can not do these things.

This is where that infamous thing called Spring Cleaning is actually your friend. While you can not go full bore into it and air out the house, it doesn't mean you can't start. Take some time to sort your linens. Throw away the items too worn out to make rags and the ones that are in good condition (but you still don't want) give away to a local charity. Then, go out and purchase two (or more, if needed) sets of linens that you absolutely love. Get one set that is nice and warm (I find flannel to be just lovely) and one that's going to be wonderful for the summer.

Sort out your clothes and get rid of the things that you will never wear again. That which is too useless for even rags can still have a use if you do handcrafts. If you don't, or if your fabric box is so large that it really should be paying it's way in rent, get rid of it. That which doesn't fit you properly (and you can afford it) get rid of it and go buy some comfortable clothes. Sure, we all have the goal of losing those 10 to 20 (or more) pounds by summer, but we shouldn't have to feel guilty when we get dressed in the morning. The clothes that you love and are getting worn out, take a bit of thread and a needle, mend it up. Some of your rags can make very interesting patches if cut nicely and you can also change the look of your clothes with a few well placed stitches and appliqué.

One of the things I have found that we all crave this time of year is the interaction with something green. Houseplants are wonderful for this. If you don't own any, you should consider investing in some. And yes, I mean investing. You don't need to go buy anything expensive, but take your time to determine what you need and what will be well suited to your indoor environment. Houseplants serve alot of good, even if no one really talks about it. We can always talk to our plants, and they'll flourish just from the attention. It really doesn't matter if we're telling them how beautiful they are or if they're just listening mutely to our sob stories about daily life.

Houseplant also clean the air in your home, which is going to be good for your health. And, let's not forget, that little bit of moisture that they require will also add to the humidity of your home as well. This time of year, the air is so dry that I know that I have problems with my hands getting painful with dry skin. I'm sure you do as well. If you have the space, you can put some newspaper down on the floor and repot your houseplants. Obviously, look up just what these beauties need to flourish. You want to do it right, so make sure that you're armed with all the information you need. But, the smell of wet earth and the feel of the loam beneath your hands will do wonders for cabin fever as well. Do it once a year and you'll find that your plants benefit as much as you do.


Doing these simple and practical things can help bring springtide into your life even when the crocuses haven't quite peeked up yet from the snow.

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