At last, the vernal equinox—commonly celebrated as the first day of spring—draws near, bringing with it the dawning of the bright half of the year. Even regions still veiled by late-winter frost can enjoy longer daylight hours and begin looking forward to excursions into nature.
In Wiccan tradition, the spring equinox is celebrated as Ostara, a holiday dedicated to Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn. Pagans both ancient and modern use this time to shake off the cold and clutter of winter and embrace the warmth and brightness of the season to come.
Traditionally, this includes a flurry of cleaning as we open doors and windows to let the brisk, cleansing spring breeze blow through our homes and sweep away all the dust and stuffy air that gathered throughout the winter months.
[Read: “Clean Your House and Your Mind Will Follow.”]
In pagan homes, spring cleaning usually also means cleansing and clearing out stale energies. This can mean giving your home a simple smoke cleanse with incense, or giving your personal energies a polish by releasing things that no longer serve you.
3 Ways to Do a Spring Equinox Detox
Harness Ostara’s essence to brush away the last of winter and step fully into spring with these three practices.
1. Name and Claim Your Home
The ancients believed that names have immense power, which is one reason our ancestors often named their homes (for example, “Ingleside” or “Hazeltryst”—two historic homes in Selsey, England). Certainly, this made them easier to find in a pre-street-address world, but it also gave the owners greater influence over the energies that entered their homes.
Ostara is a time when we assess and cleanse the energies around us, making it the perfect time to tighten up the influences we allow into our personal space. Naming your home defines its identity and strengthens your connection to it. This spring equinox detox also makes it easier to draw in or repel people and entities alike.
[Read: “How to Stop Taking on the Energy of Others.”]
How to name your home:
- Start by cleansing your space while speaking to your home. Ask what it would like to be called, and allow your mind to drift until it grabs onto a particular word or set of words.
- Go to your home’s main entrance, place your dominant hand on the door, and say, “This place is called [name]. Let no harm enter or good fortune be stolen away.”
- Keep the name secret to help it retain its power. Any long-term residents in the home may participate in this ritual, as long as they can be trusted. (Small children, for example, may forget the need for secrecy.) You can say the name in the presence of others who know it, but try to avoid writing it down in correspondence that may be seen by non-residents.
2. Declutter Areas Where You Spend a Lot of Time
This spring equinox detox could focus on your work desk, car, and/or favorite lounging spot. These places tend to gather a lot of stuff, especially during the winter when they act as a refuge from the cold.
Refresh these spaces by wiping them down with a little rose water (fantastic for energy cleansing!) and reorganizing them. Lint-roll your desk chair, delete that cache of old emails, vacuum your car and add a small trashcan to it, and put all those little items you keep in your lounge spot in a decorative bowl or basket.
Adding a quartz point or amethyst to each of these areas will also help keep their energy clean and fresh.
3. Transmute Your Energy With an Emergence Ritual
The vernal equinox signals a significant change in the seasons. The cold and clutter of winter give way to the fresh new buds of spring. Flowers begin to blossom, ewes give birth to lambs, and butterflies emerge from their cocoons after a miraculous transformation.
This is a powerful time to enact personal transformation through a cocooning ritual in which you symbolically shed energies and habits that no longer serve you until you emerge as your most authentic self.
What you’ll need:
For this spring equinox detox, you’ll need clothing and blankets that can be easily layered, along with a private space. Prep the space to feel cozy and safe by lighting candles and playing soft music, or anything else you find comforting.
- Lay out the clothing and blankets, and disrobe to your comfort. Name each layer as something you wish to shed but still carry, such as a hot temper or negative self-talk. Put each layer on after you’ve named it, feeling the weight increase as you go.
- After donning the final layer, let yourself feel the heaviness of the things you’re carrying and think about the dichotomy of strength and strain it takes to do so. This is a physical reminder of how hard it is to carry these things in your heart and mind.
- When you’re ready, shed each layer, saying “I cast you off [thing]!” After shedding the final layer, stretch and move your body, reveling in your new freedom.
- Wash the layers you shed to rid them of negative energy, then indulge in a warm shower and your favorite clothing and snack. As you relax, journal about your experience and ways in which you can continuously shed these negative habits and improve your relationship to yourself.
Up for a body cleanse? Try this one (from someone who hates cleanses)!