Though winter may seem to still be holding on very tightly at this time of year, spring is only just around the corner. The days have noticeably lengthened since the Winter Solstice, birds are starting to pair up in readiness to raise their broods, and the first spring flowers are starting to appear.
Spring is a great time to give your home and your life a good cleansing in preparation for the year ahead. After the period of withdrawal and contemplation provided by winter it is time to shake off the literal and metaphysical cobwebs, let in some fresh air and welcome in the new possibilities that life has to offer.
First give your home a really good spring clean. Sweep the floors, vacuum behind the couch and under the bed, polish the windows and dust behind the radiators. Get some bags and boxes ready to store clutter and ensure you take anything you no longer need or use to a charity shop. Throw open the windows to air the place. Even if it’s still chilly outside all your hard work will keep you warm!
If you like, you can concoct some home-made cleansing products that will be kind to the environment and make your home smell great! This is a favourite essential oil blend of mine, a zingy citrus-floral, perfect for spring. Mix 10 drops lemon oil, 10 drops orange oil, 10 drops geranium oil and 5 drops rosemary oil in a glass bottle*. Use a few drops on a damp cloth to wipe down surfaces. Your space will smell heavenly – but you can of course use your own favourite oils if citrus really isn’t to your taste, or choose oils for their magical properties (consult a good magical herbal). As you clean, concentrate on those things you need to clear out of your life to make space for new and better opportunities to arise.
If you’d prefer not to use essential oils, white vinegar is a great non-toxic disinfectant to use around the home, and although the smell is not to everyone’s taste it doesn’t tend to linger once it’s dried. But if you’d like to get a better fragrance you can infuse the vinegar with citrus peel – chop up lemon, orange or grapefruit peel and use to loosely fill a wide-necked jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in enough white vinegar to cover the citrus peel and leave in a warm place for at least a fortnight. Alternatively, experiment with fragrant herbs such as rosemary or thyme. Strain the vinegar and bottle.
Or why not try making the legendary ‘Vinegar of the Four Thieves’? The story goes that a group of thieves were able to rob plague victims during an outbreak of the disease by protecting themselves with this disinfectant brew. There are many different recipes for Vinegar of the Four Thieves, but the version I’ve used involves steeping sage, rosemary, wormwood, rue, lavender and thyme in cider vinegar. Garlic is an ingredient listed in many versions of the recipe – and it’s certainly a great antiseptic – but I opted to omit it for house-cleaning purposes as I didn’t want the place smelling like a pizzeria!
You can clean windows, mirrors or glass surfaces cheaply and easily with a few drops of vinegar in a bucket of water. Wipe them over with a cloth dampened in the vinegar water, then polish dry with a sheet of scrunched up newspaper – guaranteed to give a streak free finish! While doing so asking your deity or ally of choice to help you see clearly that which you need to see.
Sprinkle baths, shower stalls, sinks or tiled surfaces with bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and scour clean with a damp cloth. I say ‘scour’ but though it’s very effective, it is actually quite gentle. Rinse clean and polish any chrome fittings with a dry cloth until they sparkle! Take the opportunity to meditate on whatever you wish to wash away out of your life as you do so.
Now change the linen on your bed, symbolising a clean start and a comfortable place to dream. Nearly done! Give the floors a good vacuum, sweep or mop.
Take a moment to look around. Doesn’t it look great? To end the cleansing of your home with a magical flourish, walk around each room sprinkling salt water and saying something like, ‘I cleanse this space of all negativity. I bless this space with peace, harmony and joy.’. When you have completed the cleansing/blessing, you may like to light a special scented candle or arrange a vase of flowers on your altar as a blessing for your home.
And finally, you. Strip off your house-cleaning clothes, go into your beautifully clean bathroom and take a well-earned shower or bath. Use your favourite shower gel or bubble bath, maybe give yourself a salt scrub to really deep cleanse both your skin and your aura. Watch the water disappearing down the plughole, taking any residual negativity with it. Dry yourself with your fluffiest towel, dress in the clothes that make you feel your best self. Reward yourself for all your hard work with a nice cup of your favourite tea or coffee. Sit in your beautiful, clean home and know that you are now well-prepared for the coming spring and all the adventures to come.
*Do note that some essential oils can irritate sensitive skin, so consult a good aromatherapy book if you’re not already familiar with essential oils. And do not use any of the products mentioned if you are allergic or sensitive to them. There are plenty of alternative products out there you can use instead!