I continue my journey through the Urglaawe calendar with my second seasonal focus. This one is a big push for ending and cleaning out old burdens, symbolized by tasks such as cleaning out your hearth and home. Frau Holle will be returning from the Wild Hunt on the night of April 30, and when She does, She is going to be inspecting all our homes. Thus the annual ritual of Spring cleaning: is your home in order enough for a domestic Goddess to give Her approval? 😉 Joking aside, this is an important time to get your home in order both physically and spiritually. Cleaning work can be dedicated as an offering to Her. This is also a great time to renew any wards you have in place around your home.
This is a time of feminine creative energies, and also receiving messages from the other realms. I have felt a huge boost in both of these at this time, being inspired on many different writing projects. I also learned how to make temari, a Japanese artform that involves making balls of thread that you embroider intricate patterns on. I feel these have many spellwork applications, and I’ll be talking more about them in a future post.
Since I just moved to a new home at the end of November, you’d think that I wouldn’t have a lot of cleaning work to do, but actually I do! A lot of my work centers around unpacking. I’m really determined not to live surrounded by boxes. I’ve been working especially hard in the last few days on unpacking and rearranging things. Since I’m sharing a home now, I have to make what I have fit into the available space, which is a challenge. Thanks to my various adventures in minimalism, I’ve been reducing what I have, because I have no desire to have to manage a lot of excess in storage. If I can put something away in storage, do I really need it in my life? I think in most cases, the answer is no.
From a spiritual sense, I’m still getting established energy-wise in my new location, so reinforcing cleansing and wards is even more important than usual. Deitsch traditions tend to be very practical, so I combine a lot of this with the actual cleaning process: blessing cleaning supplies, dedicating my work to Gods, praying while I work, tying spellwork into the cleaning, and so on. I find that putting my environment in order helps me to put myself in order, and that my surroundings make a huge impact on how I feel day-to-day. I try to keep things around me that enhance the energy of my home and make me feel more spiritual, like plants and gems. I make my own gem elixirs and use them all the time on myself and my home, and I raise tropical plants, especially orchids. Orchids tend to bloom in the Winter, extending their flowers into March and April in some cases, which is nice when the frigid weather outside doesn’t jive with the changing of the seasons we’re supposed to be observing in the religious calendar.
This year, though, the seasons are changing steadily, with blasts of 70+ degree weather making random appearances throughout the month of March. I celebrated my personal holiday, First Crocus Day, on March 16. First Crocus Day is quite simply the first day of the year that I see blooming crocuses, one of the first recognizable signs of Spring in my area. I take pictures of the crocuses, meditate upon hope and renewal in my life, and send wishes to my loved ones for the same, accompanied by the crocus pictures.
This time, I needed my First Crocus Day more than ever. After 6 months of some of the darkest times in my life, I watched my guinea pig Little Bit suffer a terrible illness that resulted in her death. Not even two weeks later, my good friend Leah died. She was only 35, and it was completely unexpected. At this point, I will hold onto any hope I can grasp. Not surprisingly, a lot of my personal goals were interrupted by such painful events in such a short timespan.
I have to remind myself that our spiritual lives aren’t just about lists of duties that we need to complete. They’re about having something to hold onto when it seems like there is nothing to hold onto. The Urglaawe calendar, the seasonal focus, for me, is about so much more than just choosing to do certain activities to reflect the seasons, or recreate what our ancestors might have done. It’s about knowing that good times are coming, even during the bad. About knowing that I am connected to a world much larger than me, and that my own pain and sorrow does not comprise all there is, and that there are Gods, Spirits, and Ancestors Who care about me, and offer Their support and comfort so abundantly and lovingly. About having a structure to hold myself and my life together, a routine that can comfort me when things are chaotic, and a plan of action in the face of seemingly insurmountable problems.
Looking ahead to the next seasonal focus, or, I should say, the one we’re currently in, from March 20 to April 30, now is the time to put those plans into action, to prepare for planting, and to reflect upon the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, as we do at the dark opposite to this time of year, when we approach Allelieweziel. I’ve narrowed my focus during this month down to just four key goals: to meet a particular financial goal with my earnings, to write 35,000 words on my novel in Camp NaNoWriMo, to complete my unpacking and Spring cleaning in time for Frau Holle’s return, and to observe All Species Week in honor of the bird spirits I work with. Time to take action!