The rites of spring: Celebrating the vernal equinox

Spring equinox

By Charlynn Avery

As the year turns and perpetuates the cycle of change, a day I always look forward to is the spring equinox. This important date marks the official recognition of spring and is a celebration of moving toward all things fresh and new. Although we celebrate the New Year at the beginning of January, this date is truly one that indicates beginning. It is time to clean out, begin anew and rejoice in the increase of light each day.

I choose to celebrate this important day as a way to recognize my own interaction with the natural world. After a winter spent mostly indoors, I am ready to get outside and plunge my hands into the earth to reconnect and remind myself of the beginning of the cycle of life. I do small things – rites, if you will – that help me create my own transition to warmer days.

Ushering in the new
If the weather is cooperating, I will remove the winter plastic from the windows, throw them open and invite the light and fresh air in. This act is a way of ushering in the new and dispensing with the old. I buy some fresh flowers, bring new plants into the home and start plant seeds indoors that I will transplant outside. I refresh potting soil for the current plants and get into a general mindset of new life all around. I clean the house and update or refresh curtains to those more appropriate to warmer days while trying to spend time outside too.

As much as possible, I engage my sense of smell in the process. I fill my house with the aromas that are reminiscent of all things bright green and leafy. For me, essential oils like peppermint, spearmint, rosemary and sweet basil are the aromatic embodiment of spring. I diffuse these oils to feel energized, cleansed and refreshed. Or, I might burn a little dried sage to clear the spaces left stale and stagnant from the months spent indoors.

These small acts are a reminder to stop and pay attention to the natural world around us. The seasons are reflective of the patterns of our own life cycle – we change as the year changes. The shift from winter to spring can create a new approach and attitude and can remind us that the world is, once again, coming to life.

How are you celebrating the official start of spring?

Charlynn AveryAbout the author: Charlynn Avery, aromatherapist and educator for Aura Cacia, is on a quest to change the way we look at health and healing in the U.S. She has spent her career practicing and teaching in the arena of holistic health and wellness as a licensed massage therapist, and currently holds additional certifications in Holistic Nutrition, Thai Massage and Life Coaching. Although she loves natural healing, she loves spending time in nature even more. An avid traveler both for work and pleasure, she can often be found getting her U.S. National Park Passport stamped or reading a good book in an airport.

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