Spring is officially here! At least according to the pagan calendar, for today is the vernal equinox. Dance around a maypole! Wear flowers in your hair! Act like an Aries! Alas, alas, though: it’s wintery-like, cold and snowy in my patch of the U.S., so such celebrations aren’t in the cards for me quite yet. But it’s springtime in my heart, and as a lazy pagan girl, this is how I’m ushering the season in ways both elemental and frivolous. (I admit: heavier on the frivolity, but come on, man — it’s spring!)
Switch Up Your Lipstick
Being always a lippie type of lady, changing up my lipstick is pretty much my favorite way of celebrating any change in life. I generally love reds, but for spring I’m going for a fuchsia pink — ideally in a gloss-balm kind of formula. My ideal would be a gloss-balm stain…makeup experts, got any recommendations?
Pop Goes the Music
Apparently Greeks used to celebrate the autumnal equinoxes with festivals dedicated to Dionysus, the rock ‘n roll god of wine, excess and mad partying. But who gets the spring? Much girlier goddesses, like Persephone (who returned from the underworld back to earth) as well as goddesses devoted to the dawn (Ostara, Aurora, Eos). You can traipse through the fields of flowers if you want, but personally, I just like to listen to girlie pop music.
I could write a whole tome on Zen wardrobe management, but I’ll just say here that lots of people (of course) use this time to clean out closets, reconsider and fine-tune their style and figure out what they want to buy for spring. Being a sartorially-minded person, I spent last weekend trying on my spring/summer clothes (mostly as a tonic to the still-grey, snowy weather outside!) and tossing out stuff that was too worn or beyond repair. Now I’m in the process of figuring out what I want to buy next, and of course, am highly enjoying imaginary fashion concepts and fake-shopping on the Internet. This seems to be a florals and stripes kind of year for me again, but I’m mulling over whether or not I want to take on printed pants or white jeans, since there are so many cute styles coming out in stores now. (Likely answer for me is: no, because above everything, I’m pretty practical — the reason why I wear so many dark colors is because it bugs the hell out of me to have a separate load for whites and lights! But who knows — I could find an inexpensive pair of white denim jeans and just wear the hell out of them for a season. The things I think about!)
Eggs, Eggs, Eggs
Easter eggs and the whole idea of the rebirth of Christ are holdovers of the original pagan meaning of the equinox, which celebrates fertility, rebirth, resurrection after a long winter and all that good stuff. I’m not one to light a candle and dance around, though. But there is one egg-y thing I like to attempt around this time, and that is poached eggs. I love poached eggs, but find them so tricky to make. So that is my semi-pagan culinary challenge for the month!
I like this on both the literal and symbolic levels. I mean, yes, this is a nice time to start planting seedlings and stuff, if you are a hardcore gardener type. (Me, I am not, but I like to pretend: I have one basil plant that is prospering quite nicely. It’s seriously like my pet, and if I could buy it a toy, I would.) But it’s also a nice thing to think about: what would you like to plant now that will flower and harvest later in the year?
The equinox in the spring, of course, means that light and dark are equally balanced, with the balance moving towards the day. It’s such a relief, of course, that days get longer and brighter, especially after a long, dark winter. In my vein of Oprahism, it’s a great opportunity to think about the way we cultivate harmony and equilibrium in our lives, and throw out anything not serving us (including things we think we should like or care about but really don’t). For me, I don’t keep a written to-do list anymore: I’m type-A enough to have it weigh on my mind all the time, so I just feel lighter and brighter when I’m not so oppressed by THE LIST. Instead, I trust my inner conscientiousness to be attentive to the things that truly align with my passions — and use a dry-erase board.
Pagans-slash-pyromaniacs in the past celebrated the change of season with bonfires. I don’t think my apartment complex neighbors would appreciate a roaring fire, though. (Nor would the fire department in my city, as well!) So I’ll make do with some new candles for the apartment. Usually I love rich, spicy, woodsy smells (Mahogany Teakwood and Black Pepper & Bergamot!) But for spring I change it up and do nice, lemony-minty-rosemary-sage-citrus smells.
Clean your Windows, Clean Out Your Cupboards
Ugh, spring cleaning! I don’t have enough of a housewifely spirit to enjoy this, even if I did live through the resurrection of crafty-domestica in the late 90s. It’s enough for me to take 10-15 minutes in a day to clean up my clutter, do dishes, wipe down surfaces, and all that. But I do like to take the opportunity of all the spring cleaning talk to tackle things I normally don’t, like windows and cupboards. I especially like windows, actually: it seems symbolic, and the sunshine really does come in a lot cleaner and brighter when streaming through some clean glass. (A tip I picked up: clean ’em on a cloudy day — apparently they get streaky on a sunny one!)
Re-read a Childhood Classic
Nothing like a preponderance of pastels to bring me back to being a kid. And part of the fun of being an auntie is indulging in those childhood activities I used to love, like dying Easter eggs. (I loved dying and decorating Easter eggs.) For me, it’s The Little Prince. It always reminds me to think with my heart and not just with my eyes and mind. In truth, I’m in a big re-reading phase now, and I have a few old favorites, non-children’s and otherwise, lined up: Howards End by E.M. Forster, Prodigal Summer and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral by Barbara Kingsolver, A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman.
Watch Marie Antoinette
This, of course, is purely for the movie’s palette of Easter egg colors, the unabashed, even aggressive girlishness and that shopping-and-shoes sequence. You might have your own spring movie favorites; this one is just mine, the cinematic equivalent of champagne and bon-bons and yep, Easter eggs.
Have a Crush
Nothing like warm temps and more sunshine to put a bounce in your step and a sparkle in your eyes — and personally, I like to direct this surge of what I call “starry-gooey-eyed-lovebug-bounciness” towards a worthy object of fantasy and affection. Actually, I want to crush out on my beau all over again, and why not? So I’m going to start minor-stalking him again and flirting with him at a cafe all over again and ogling him when he’s not looking.
Magnanimity is a lovely quality and of course should be a year-long thing, but I do like to think of spring being a time to re-think ways we can be generous and giving — whether it’s taking parents out to brunch, supporting a friend’s project, donating to the local food bank, adding a bit of beauty to the world through a lovely outfit or just giving someone your complete and undivided attention over a cocktail or two. (Put down your smartphones!) There are big and small ways we can all be more generous people. After all, nature is ideally unfurling some real beauty soon, and it’s nice to align in some way with that.