As winter draws to a close, the cycle of spring begins. Some believe that spring does not start until sometime after or around the Spring Equinox, and that the seasons follow a much more astrological calendar than our fixed 3 month system. There is some evidence to suggest that ancient peoples utilised an astronomical seasonal calendar for harvests and ritual practice, and modern Pagans try to follow similar methods and traditions. Religion aside, there is much that the cycle of nature can reveal about our own health and wellbeing.
Rest and Rejuvenation
During winter, we see many trees lose their leaves and sun loving plants shrink back during the cooler, darker days. We can observe that plants grow older and frailer, resting before rejuvenating in the spring time. We too become recluse and spend more time doing introverted activities during winter, before stepping out in the spring sunshine to experience the world anew.
Some plants may also pass in the winter because of extreme weather or as part of a natural cycle. We too can become unwell during the winter months with illness such as influenza, the common cold, seasonal affective disorder and vitamin deficiencies. Just as we protect and nurture our gardens ready for winter, we too can help our health by eating a wide variety of nutritious foods, drinking plenty of water and getting enough rest.
When shopping at the supermarket we can often find many fruits and vegetables all year around. This is thanks to a global market of fruit and vegetable trade- and this can make out-of-season produce much more expensive too! Living in the cities it can be easy to forget that produce grows on trees as part of a natural cycle. Try shopping for seasonal produce— not only will it often be cheaper, it reflects what is going on in the land in response to seasonal cycles. This can create an enhanced sense of connection with the earth.
Spring, Allergies and Green Spaces
Allergy sufferers are getting their antihistamines and saline nose rinses ready for the burst of pollen that signals spring. But before we curse those plants for spreading their itchy pollen around, take a moment to consider the importance of spring time for the natural world. The first full moon after the spring equinox is a significant time to the earth: the coral reefs are seeding new life, animals mate and the plants spread their pollen and seeds to fertilise the earth. Though we might not be a part of this cycle any more, feel rejuvenated by take some time to observe spring in full bloom and the treasures that nature has to offer.
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