It’s finally here – the days are longer than shorter, and the world around us is beginning to look a little more lifelike. There’s more birdsong in the air, the sunlight is warmer, and the first flowers are opening. Spring has arrived in all her changeable, temperamental glory.
Take it easy, Persephone!
There’s a prevailing energy of newness right now. The northern hemisphere’s religions are all celebrating Life in one form or another. Rebirth, fresh starts, hope and positive change are the order of the day.
One of the most useful things I’ve learned to do as a witch is to ride waves of energy and emotions. The Navajo have a word for this – ‘hozro.’ Its rough translation is to be in harmony with your environment – to work with the prevailing conditions rather than against them. On a practical level, this would mean that rather than performing weather magick during a drought, one would find the lesson and rhythm of water scarcity.
There’s a reason New Year’s Resolutions tend to falter out – the prevailing energy of January, at least in the Mid-Atlantic, is one of stillness and hibernation. We are curled in on ourselves. We crave heavier foods, more rest, and finding the energy to go out is really tough. Starting new patterns when the energy is oriented toward an inward, recovery-oriented spiral is an uphill fight in the mud. There are better ways to create change in life, and one of them involves landing your surfboard on the spring wave.
Right now, we want to move. The warm days call us outdoors. We find our appetites shifting toward lighter foods, summer fare, fresh veggies, dinner that comes from the grill rather than the crock pot.
So, what do you want to shift? The energy is with you right now. What are you trying to begin? To change? To transform?
One of the techniques that I both practice and teach is called Life Sculpting. It’s an intentional, deliberate way to change or redirect a life path. Many times, we wish for change but don’t actually sit down to examine how to address that desire and then make a plan to manifest it. So, here’s your chance. Sit with me a while. Grab a journal or open up a blank document on your device. Let’s do some thinking.
What do you wish to change? What new thing are you trying to manifest? Visualize this completely, and write it all down. How will you feel? What will it look like? What areas of your life will change, and how?
Once you have that goal firmly detailed, we can begin breaking it down into the Elements. I find this is a useful exercise for figuring out smaller steps we can take in order to move toward that transformation.
Elemental Earth – where we root: money, cars, houses, practical stuff. What simple, practical, earthy changes can you make to support your transformation? If your goal is to get outside more, acquiring good walking shoes is a simple first step toward that goal.
Elemental Air – what we think: patterns of mind, attitudes, beliefs, learning. What thought patterns or self-talk should change? What mental practices will best support your transformation? Or, what do you need to learn? Continuing with the ‘get outside more’ goal, something to learn would be where the walking trails are nearest you. You could also consider implementing some ‘get moving’ affirmations or a daily energy-building meditation.
Elemental Fire – how we burn: time management, passions, energy. What can we shift in terms of our time? Start small here – this is one of the hardest parts. Remember that change is incremental, and successful change is the process of many tiny shifts as opposed to one big tsunami. Where can you schedule the time you need for this transformation? What is the appropriate amount of time for this new practice? For ‘getting outside more,’ maybe that’s setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier so you can take a 10 minute walk before work. Maybe it’s blocking off an early evening or two per week for meandering the local walking paths. This will be different for all of us depending on our schedules and responsibilities.
Elemental Water – how we live in our wonderful, watery bodies: strength, rest, sustenance. What do our physical bodies need in order to support transformation? What simple steps can we take to help our bodies? If you need more rest, get back in the habit of shutting off your devices and going to bed earlier. If you need less stress (a physiological as well as psychological condition), implement a short calming meditation every day. Maybe you need better overall health and vitality – this is a great chance to start feeding yourself better foods. Add some veggies to the rotation. All of these options could support ‘getting outside more.’
Elemental Spirit – what we believe: connection to our higher selves, the gods, and our religious practices. What simple alignments can we make to support our transformation? What spiritual practices will help us? For ‘getting outside more,’ bringing an offering of water to the land spirits of the places you visit can be a very enriching spiritual practice. Maybe there’s a God or Goddess who values the kind of life you’re aspiring to – begin connecting with them. Read the myths, stories and legends that foster the kind of growth you’re exploring.
That journal entry is probably getting pretty big by now. The good news is that you’re not going to implement all these changes at once. Remember, change is incremental, especially for adults. Pick just ONE shift to make. Two at the absolute maximum. Implement those changes. Then, let them perpetuate for three weeks. It takes roughly 21 days to form a new neural pathway, which is exactly what we’re doing here. Once that first change is stable, go back to your journal and pick another simple step to add.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Also, build in some rewards for your work. Plan to treat yourself regularly for consistent practice. Two months on the transformation wagon? Sounds like a good excuse to go tubing to me.
So, what are you going to transform this year? Hit me up in the comments. And if you need help, remember that I offer pastoral counseling and spiritual co-creation sessions. Those can be a great way to narrow down the field and get started on building your life in the spring sunshine. Blessed Spring!
2 Replies to “Restarting a Dormant Life – Elemental Awakening for Spring”
Thank you for this! And yes, my resulting journal entry is quite long…Started outside in the spring late morning sunshine, looking at (and listening to) birds and daffodils. The hardest part (possibly) is the choosing just one or two things to change. I do Not know how to do this. How to pick? How to be OK with what feels like giving up on all the changes that I Don’t pick as the first one or two? But I know that I have cycled through trying to do all the things / doing none of the things / bursting forth in flower / collapsing in spent seeds. Thank you for helping me break this down into different elements, it helps to think about where resistance and struggle is and where support can come from as I try and incorporate changes. When I wrote that just now, it struck me for some reason how sometimes changes – illness, job loss, relationship changes – get thrust upon one, and they have to be incorporated. To have the chance and take it to create change in a planned and supported way is a real gift.
I’m so glad it was helpful for you!! And yes, change comes in two forms – self-initiated and invasive. Invasive is more challenging since there’s an added element of shock, but the response is essentially the same: how can you use that change to bring you into alignment with where you *want* to be.