What is the Spring Cleanse?

What is the Spring Cleanse?

What is the Spring Cleanse? Image

A few weeks ago, I posted about how Imbolc has always been a struggle for me. You can read that post here. February is not a season of spring or the beginning of spring in my geographic location. Truth be told, even Ostara is a bit early for spring celebrations where I live. However, I will soon be beginning my spring work and I do run it by the calendar. The Cleansing Period.

I do not run my seasons by solstice or equinox, I run them by calendar date purely for simplicity’s sake.  I decorate my home seasonally because I like to and really however my home is decorated is what season it is. In my home, summer is June, July and August. Fall is September, October and November. Winter is December, January and February. Spring, however, does not start until spring equinox, Ostara. The period between March 1st and Ostara is my cleansing period for deep cleaning AND spiritual cleansing of my home. March is typically when I see the heaviest snowfalls. Temperatures are no longer bitter cold, by my standard, and March is wet. We almost always see one or two “snowmageddons” of 1-3 feet of snow falling within a couple hours, crippling the town for a day or two. Day temperatures are in the mid-30’s to mid-40’s and we deal with some flooding. Its not winter, but it sure isn’t spring. It’s mud season!

So what do I do in that three-week period? I rip apart my home, room by room, clean it and organize it. When it's put back together, I cleanse it, protect it and ward it. I do this as a means of preparing for the physical and spiritual wakeup of spring at Ostara. The to-do list is massive and involves the whole family, but it is a three-week period to get it all done and at the end, it is the most refreshing thing I do all year.

If you’re interested in what I do, and what you might desire to implement, here is the breakdown:

On March first we removed everything from the walls. All decorations, wreaths, pictures. If it’s hanging on the wall, it comes down. Even family pictures from my gallery wall come down for the entire 3-week period. The walls all over the house remain blank for three entire weeks. On the physical side, this allows me to organize my seasonal decorations, see if anything needs repaired, rehomed or replaced. It allows me to spend a moment with all family pictures and reflect on that memory. It allows me to see if the wall needs any patches or painting and of course, it gives me a good chance to dust things I never think to dust. On the spiritual side, it allows me to bless the moments in those pictures. The energy that is bounced, absorbed or emitted from those various items is no longer at play during this cleansing period. And — my personal favorite — it gives my brain a chance to reset. The blandness of the walls for three weeks resets what I am used to seeing, so when I DO decorate for spring, its ten times “Fresher” feeling, both physically and spiritually. We do this all over the house, in every room. Bathrooms and closets included. I do take down curtains to wash them, but those go back up for privacy from neighbors.

The middle bits are in any order that fits my family that year. We go through all of our clothes, as the transitional period typically means all season clothes will be needed. Does it fit? Do we like it? If not, can it be rehomed or repurposed? If not, can it be sold? If not, toss it out. Same with dishes, towels, toys. I make a particular effort with puzzles. Each category of household item, garden tools even. We go through them, clean them if applicable (because really, how would I even try to clean a coloring book?) And while putting back what we will keep, I bless it for a productive and loved year. I bless the puzzles, the pots and pans, I bless the dustpan, even the extra bedsheets — I give them a blessing, just verbally with no tools, for their energies to have their purpose. It empowers me to appreciate what those items do for me and my family. I go through essentially every item in my home and ask: “Do I use this?” If I do use it, I ask “Is its current home allowing it to serve its purpose or do I need to find new place to keep it?” If I don’t use it, I go through: “Can I repurpose it easily?” if not “Can I sell it quickly?” if not “Can I rehome it” (give it away or donate it) and if not… I toss it out.  This sounds a lot bigger than it is. I do this while doing laundry. When I pull a shirt out of the basket, I KNOW if I like it or not. Clothes we don’t wear often will need going through and chances are, we don’t use it.

While going through these items, we deep-clean their homes. That could mean wiping down the shelves in kitchen cupboards, it might mean wiping out the inside of dresser drawers. While I don’t normally clean with vinegar, I do this time. Vinegar is fairly energetic neutral and that is the point. Cleanse all energy. Often, I will also smoke-cleanse the inside of closets, cupboards and drawers when I clean them out during this period.

I even get crazy and clean out, cleanse and bless the inside of my vacuum. I routinely use my vacuum in cleaning, why not vacuum up energy while cleaning the house? If you cannot yet tell, I like to clean and cleanse at the same time.

Those walls have been bare for about three weeks now. I pull furniture and appliances away from the wall, sweep under them because why not, and wash the wall down again using vinegar but this time I go over that with a second wash using a combination of plant products, including pokeroot. SO yes, I go around my home, room by room, and wash the walls twice over. Once to clean them, a second to cleanse and block unwanted energy from clinging to them. I also bless the walls and thank them for protecting my family. This tends to take a few days.  Note: Pokeroot is a skin irritant, use gloves; and it’s not kid or pet friendly.

When the entire home has been cleaned and cleansed, when all the items have been put away and blessed… I fully smoke-cleanse my entire home. This is a big day and I try to do this two days before Ostara. I do this according to my spiritual needs and tradition. The next day we bring back all the wall decorations, the spring items and we decorate our home festively in preparation for Ostara, which idealistically would be the next day. We honor our ancestors, the land vatir and the land itself. Then, and only then, it is spring in my home.

Some would say this is my Imbolc, but I don’t feel it is and I don’t call it that for many reasons. Imbolc is a specific holiday set at a specific season and this isn’t that. The purpose of this season is to clean, cleanse, protect and ward my home in preparation for Ostara. While yes, it is preparations for Ostara, which is spring, Imbolc IS spring.

It is a busy time but we don’t work all day for three weeks. A select few days are work-heavy but the rest falls inline with our normal routine. The fresh feeling our home provides back to us is euphoric, knowing the wards on the home afresh is comforting and the blessing of my home is soothing.