organizing a home herbal apothecary

Spring Equinox is here!  It’s time to celebrate Spring! 

Or . . . is it? 

Why do I celebrate the Spring Equinox? 


As I sat outside to write a Spring themed message to you darling readers I suddenly had a realization. As I write this with my winter jacket and hat on it seems that celebrating Spring is a premature endeavor. 


The ground is frozen solid and not a peek-a-boo of flowers or leaves. 


To me, a celebration is a way to honor a pivotal moment. Usually celebrating a finished goal – wedding, graduation, birth, end of life, etc. 


Celebrations are like the punctuation at the end of a sentence. 

  • We waited for the baby and now it’s here!
  • The courtship took time and now they are married. It’s settled! Huzzah!


All my life I’ve thought celebrating holy days were marking the beginning of Winter, Summer, Spring, and Fall. As if those were the days a season had arrived in all its glory. When, in fact, it barely felt like it crawled in. I am suddenly aware of a tension I’ve always held for solstice and equinox celebrations. 



If it’s not the arrival of Spring that I’m celebrating . . . what is it?


What comes after the period of a sentence? 

The next sentence. 

Celebrations can also mark the beginning of the next cycle of life. The awareness that it’s coming.


So here it is. Spring Equinox in Northern Wisconsin with snow in the forecast and at least another month before I can even think of planting the cold crop or seeing the cold hardy herbs emerge. 


Even when I celebrate with the Christian cycle of holy days, Easter, seemed a premature celebration of Spring in Wisconsin. My family observed the Christian holidays even though we didn’t observe the Christian reason. Easter was to celebrate Spring and Christmas for Winter. 


About a year ago I decided to stop observing the holy days of a religion I didn’t align with and start aligning with Nature’s transitions.That felt good. It felt true and authentic to my being. 


How odd I feel, as I write this, that I’m realizing this undercurrent of tension within me about celebrating solstice and equinoxes. A bit of “it’s not fair! It’s Spring, but there aren’t any flowers! It’s fall equinox, but it’s still 90 degrees F! Where are my piles of leaves?!”


As if somehow these set dates on the calendar are supposed to mark when plants will bloom, emerge, go to seed; when I plant and harvest; or when the soil is ready for life to flourish from it. 


I’ve been duped by the commercialized marketing. I’ve fallen for the optics of their daffodils, lily of the valley, green grass, summer dresses. I see this now. Wow! I love this realization! Another layer of the dominant paradigm shedding away. 


What do I do, as a person who loves to celebrate nature-based spirituality when nature doesn’t cooperate with my nicely packaged version of a season? 


How am I supposed to celebrate the beginning of solstices and equinoxes if I don’t feel the shift to these seasons in my neck of the woods?


Shift my perception. 

Out of the dominant paradigm.

Away from marketing cycles.

And into the Earth cycles.

Ride the seasons.

Reflect with them.

Shift with Nature.  


I imagine a person who lived before electricity in my region. What would this season be worth celebrating? Wouldn’t they be in the worst part of “starvation season”? There wouldn’t be pot herbs to stew, berries to pick, or roots to dig. Maybe some animals would be easier to find for hunting. 


What would be there to celebrate?


The light. 


The ability to see. 

The ability to move around outside the dwelling with a bit more ease. 

The blessing of the warm sun on one’s face. 

The thawing of danger from dying of hypothermia. 


The freedom to move further from the fire, from the huddle of safety, to feel the sun and see the light. To watch nature begin to poke their head, sprouts, and paws slowly from hibernation. Ever so gingerly testing the awakening environment for food, fun, and freedom. 


Spring Equinox is simply punctuating the astronomical event – the Sun’s rays shining right at the midpoint of the Earth. As a result, an equal length of sun and night as the Earth neither tilts toward or away from the Sun. 


I’m refreshed by my own awareness about the tension I held within.


I can be hopeful that warm temperatures ARE coming.

I can enjoy longer stretches of sun above the horizon than below. 

I can prepare for the coming growing season. 


I can reflect on what needs to be washed away in the Spring rains and what I want to seed into life. 


I’m excited to share the new six month on-line workshop “Embody the Green Witch”. 

More details here. 


The growing season is a fertile time to practice embodying the essence of the Witch archetype and skills of the Green Witch. 


Growing, gathering, harvesting, and preserving herbs feels empowering. It supports me in so many ways from physical and spiritual wellness. Would you like to feel this too?


“Embody the Green Witch” workshop can help reclaim the lineage of herbal wisdom.

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