It’s barely March right now and I’m sitting at my desk watching the chickadees swarm the bird feeder that hangs just out the window behind my computer. The birds are are wild with vigor and lust for life. Their message is that Spring has arrived and they are not sitting inside saying things like, “It’s too early!” and, “We will have another cold snap.” Nope, they are eating and singing and prancing around with a definite clarity about living completely in the moment.
Spring is early this year. Even the wisteria is preparing to bloom, following the wild abandon of the forsythia who didn’t even let February 29th take center stage. Nope, the forsythia was out there waving her yellow flags and shouting, “It’s Spring!”
This is how the natural world works. If there is another cold snap then the flowers will freeze and fall off. The chickadees will hunker down. All will be well.
Isn’t this what Spring calls us to? After a long, dark winter of hibernating by a fire, or a space heater, where we’ve been reading or watching tv or overdosing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Spring flies in like a giant rainbow balloon and, like children, we must follow her colors and magic and go outside!
Spring is, finally, a huge out breath after the long in breath of winter.
There are so many ways to honor this season and looking at the traditional March 21st date with an eye to welcoming Spring, it’s nice to see that it’s showing up on a Saturday—the perfect day to invite all of your friends over for a ceremony. (The actual date is March 19th, 2020, at 11:49 pm.) Remember the chickadees and forsythia, though. Their message is that you do not have to do this ceremony on a specific date. Any time a few days before or after is perfect.
If you have a specific and narrowly defined spiritual path or practice, it’s likely that you already know what to do, that you already have traditions in place, a ceremony or ritual scripted and ready to go. If, on the other hand, your path is a little more weedy and a bit less clear, following are a few ideas to get your ceremony underway. Please feel free to ad lib, edit your doings, and follow your heart. There’s no better time for all of that than Spring.
Ceremonies do not have to be intricate, difficult, or complex. It is perfectly acceptable to go out into your yard, garden, or other outdoor space and to say a simple and heartfelt prayer. Bless the land, the spirits of the land, and the greening of our hemisphere.
If you prefer something more complex, here is one idea: set up a small altar (out of doors, if possible), this can be any flat surface, including a piece of ground that your focus and intention create an altar space. Place items on the altar that represent the coming burgeoning of plants, the growth of the season, the time of year when everything is bursting forth and blooming. You can create a small medicine wheel, leave offerings for the nature spirits, birds, and small mammals, or even simply create an altar in a public space using things you find on the ground. It’s a simply way to honor the changing season.
If you want something more complex, a more Pagan or Wiccan way of honoring the Equinox, there are many really good books out there filled with ideas for rituals and ceremonies for each of the festivals.
My friend, Mare Cromwell, a Gaia communicator and nature lover, has some ideas on her website for March 21st and throughout the year. She is asking that we all offer our apologies to the Nature Spirits at this time and has some wonderful ceremonial tips. You can find them here: https://www.marecromwell.com/apologiesnaturespirits.html
For those who are new to all of this, the basic elements of Ritual and Ceremony are as follows:
Creating Sacred Space
Releasing Sacred Space
An Intention can be very simple or quite complicated. “I wish to honor Spring and the Vernal Equinox,” or, “I wish to honor the guardians of the land I live on, create a practice of daily ritual and prayer to keep my Spiritual life abundant and thriving, and to manifest the perfect new-to-me vehicle.” Whatever you are very clear about and feeling called from your heart to offer as your Intention is the right thing. Do remember that this is not all about asking for things that you want, this is more about giving than receiving.
Gathering Materials is just that, what do you need to create the Sacred Space as you envision it? I usually like to have an altar cloth, a candle (or more than one), a few stones or crystals, a flower or flowers, and maybe other objects that are relevant to the work at hand. This can be as simple as a stone on the root of a tree, or as complicated as the streets of Rome. You get to choose.
Creating Sacred Space is often done by calling the directions. Some use 4 directions, others use 5 or 7. Do your research and find what calls to you in your practice. Once you’ve called the directions, light your candle and maybe sing a song or circle up with the others who are attending, holding hands, sending the energy out through your right hand and receiving it back through your left hand. You might also wish to call in your guides or spiritual team, guardians of the directions, animal spirits, ancestors, nature spirits, etc. Please be certain that part of your request and intention is that these beings are beneficial, have the best interests of all participants and the ceremony itself at heart, and that they are carrying a preponderance of white light energy.
Now you do your Ceremony. You might use invocations and prayers, you could meditate in each of the directions or offer a guided meditation. This is really limitless and very personal, so I won’t offer much here.
Be sure to offer gratitude as part of your ceremony. It’s okay to be really specific about what you’re grateful for. I generally send off waves of gratitude that are non-specific. There is so much to be grateful for!
Releasing Sacred Space is actually quite simple. Thank the beings who have supported you, including those in attendance and speak aloud your words: The Ceremony is Done! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Again, there are myriad ways of doing this and this is very basic and offered for the beginner in need of some guidance.
Don’t be afraid to jump in and begin. Soon enough you will find yourself comfortable and feeling competent at doing ceremony. You have all that you need within you.
I wish you all of the blessings of the returning light, burgeoning Earth, and all of the happiness life has to offer.
Be Essert is a facilitator for the Shamanic Priestess of the Sacred Shield and Shield Maidens. Both processes are focused on helping women or girls honor their sacred nature, sovereignty, and divinity through a series of initiations. She is also a Space and Personal Clearing Practitioner; a Reiki Master; a Cranial-Sacral therapist; an herbalist; and a Holistic, Professional Organizer. Be lives in Chesapeake, VA with her family, 3 horses, 2 dogs, a goat and a menagerie of other animals.