Ostara, Easter, Passover, Spring Equinox - whatever you call it we're all united in celebrating the same key elements of Spring: more daylight, planting seeds, and the fertility of the Earth!
Many of us think of rabbits and eggs at this time of year, but rabbits don't lay eggs - and neither did Jesus. What do these symbols represent and how did they come to be such firm traditions in the lives of most religious and non-religious peoples? I think the excerpt below from Paulina Campanelli's book "Wheel Of The Year" explains it the best:
"There is little doubt that clutches of eggs laid by many different kinds of birds in the Spring were a welcome dietary supplement to early hunter/gatherers after the sparseness of Winter. It is also possible that gathering a variety of eggs from the nests of birds...gave rise to two customs still popular today - the Easter egg hunt and coloring eggs in imitation of the various pastel colors of the eggs of wild birds."
Eggs are symbolic of fertility, birth, and something new coming into our lives. Spring is magical, as it comes after months of barren, cold Winter when everything looks and feels dead. It is a time to reflect on our goals, our inner births, and our inner cleansing. Winter was cold, so we may have put on some extra weight to keep warm and strong. Spring comes with a cleansing, green, lightness that allows us to shed the excess that came with Winter. Here are some simple ways to start:
Dandelion Root Infusions
Dandelion is one of our favorite herbs. I would write more about it but, since my charming holistic partner in crime has already done so here, I'll save her, and all of you, from being redundant.
Use one tablespoon of dried dandelion root to one cup of boiling water. We like to use the four cup mason jars and steep it overnight, then drink it in the morning. Steeping it overnight makes a potent brew that will flush out excess water weight, add minerals to your blood and bones, alkalize your body, and help the body to better metabolize fats. Add dried yellowdock and burdock root and you will have a very potent liver cleansing tea that is sure to spring you ahead into the new season. Roasted Dandelion and Chicory root tea is another great way to clean your blood and liver after a dense Winter. You can read my article about it here.
If you're like us, most of your Winter fare has consisted of porridge, stews, and salty soups. Now it is time to walk away from the sodium-laden foods and toward the potassium that is abundant in green sprouts. Sprouts are super concentrated in enzymes, minerals, and phytonutrients. Some health experts even claim that brocolli sprouts are more nutritionally potent than a whole head of brocolli. Add a liberal handful to salads and sandwiches each day.
Green powders are made from the dehydrated juices, or whole leaves, of wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, and other young green grasses. They are naturally gluten free, inexpensive, and a potent, convenient source of chlorophyll, potassium, beta-carotene, and enzymes. Start each morning with a scoop of green powder in pure water on an empty stomach.
In addition to these foods, supplements, and herbs it helps to generally incorporate more vegetable foods into your diet, instead of animal foods. The potency of animal foods that may provide nourishment in the Winter is no longer necessary in the Spring and Summer months. It can actually become detrimental to your health. Incorporate whole grains, lightly steamed vegetables, raw salads, sprouts, and fresh seeds into your Spring regimen.
The cleaner your diet, the cleaner your blood and liver. When your blood is clean, disease cannot live in it. Breathe in the fresh, crisp air of Spring and affirm your own fertility, growth, and plans for the Summer. Nourishing your body is the first step to nourishing your life.