By Tess Pender
Spring is about to arrive in the northern hemisphere! The spring equinox is one of the eight Sabbats, or festivals in the annual calendar, used by many Pagan groups (both Equinoxes and Solstices, plus each halfway point between them). It ends the time of slumber during the winter. Spring is the season for planting all that you want to nurture in the coming year.
Spring equinox arrives at 3:28 AM on Monday, March 20, 2017 for those on Pacific Time. This festival is traditionally used to set intentions and begin the process of new growth. It honors the return of the Maiden Goddess Kore (Persephone, in the Greek myth of the lovely girl kidnapped to be the Queen of Hades). It is the time to celebrate innocence, freedom, and to decide on the year’s projects.
Because of the “awakening from the dead” aspect, it is the time of Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection. Celebrations emphasize fertility, awakening, and the end of scarcity. This is the real time for “New Year’s Resolutions” to plant the seeds of intention to make changes in yourself, your environment, your activities, and your values.
Celebrate Spring with Cleansing & Renewal
Spring cleaning clears the fields – eliminate the old to make room for the new. An old spiritual principle is that nothing new can attract where there is no room for it. If your goal is to form a loving, lasting relationship, you must first let go of any “old standby” lovers you keep on call. If a new wardrobe, the closets must be empty. It is true that “nature abhors a vacuum” and will rush to fill the empty spaces – but will NOT try to squeeze in where there is no room. So grab a broom and make space for your dreams!
Choose the crop to plant. Decide on a clear goal; remember the mnemonic SMART for goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. A SMART goal for a year of seeking a relationship might be: go out on two dates each month (Specific and Measurable), With people met on an on-line dating site (Achievable and Realistic) every month in the next year (time-bound). Note that this goal focuses on the process, not the outcome.
Nurturing What You Have Planted
Now provide the food to bring your crop to maturity: sunlight, water, and food. Shed light – perhaps announce your goal to a supportive person or group, and create a healthy environment. Using the relationship example, join a dating service, respond to requests within 24 hours, meet everyone who asks for coffee. You may also want to create a vision board to help you visualize the desired outcome (made by creating a collage of magazine pictures that symbolize the desired outcome).
Do not pull up your crop to see if there is growth! (Pulling up the crop by the roots is done by giving free rein to your judgmental side “everyone on those sites is not looking for a relationship” and talking yourself out of doing the work that is needed!) Just follow that process you’ve set out, and trust that the universe will conspire with you to make your goals a reality!
Celebrate Spring with This Example
One more example: Overall crop: Accumulate a new wardrobe that expresses my personal style.
Clear the field – Ruthlessly donate or discard anything that 1) has not been worn in the past year; 2) doesn’t fit; 3) doesn’t fit the style you want to establish. At the end of this process, your closet should be nearly empty!
SMART goal: Buy one piece of clothing every month (Specific) that fits my desired style (Measurable), that fits me correctly (Achievable) within my budget (Realistic) every month this year (Time bound).
Fertilize the crop: Read fashion magazines to develop the desired style, find appropriate shopping outlets (style, size, price range), and visit them at least monthly, create a notebook or collage to document your personal style choices.
Steady Focus on Most Important Goals
The fastest way to destroy a garden is to plant too many, competing crops. Choose the most important goal(s), develop a plan, then go to work. Everyone who has ever tried a self-improvement bombardment (lose 20 pounds, redecorate the house, start school, and change careers) knows that these goals only last a month at most before the overwhelmed crash of all the plans! Limiting yourself to one (at most two) goals is to seize the opportunities presented by the Spring Equinox, and go forth to meet the Goddess with love, ceremony, and trust!
Tess Pender is an ordained Interfaith Minister, active in 12-step programs for over thirty years. Her spiritual practice began with Native American Sweat Lodges, and continued with a series of Vision Quests. She led a Teen Spiritual Education Program, and regularly teaches classes on accessing intuition. She practices Earth-Centered Spirituality, and can be reached on Facebook.