Spring Equinox is just around the corner, what plants and earth rhythms are you seeing around you in nature? What medicines are calling you to invigorate your body and spirit? Here’s an sample from the Ostara/Spring Equinox Plant Medicine for Earth Cycles lesson below!
It’s full of nature awareness practices, recipes for spring plant medicines and foods, meditations & journalling prompts for the Spring season!
Ostara- Spring Equinox- March 21
The wheel has turned again- as we approach the Spring Equinox. At Imbolg we began to feel the stirrings of seeds within, at Equinox, those seeds are beginning to emerge. The energy of spring is abounding in full force. the energy of the plants, the trees and the Earth around us is upwards and outwards. Leaves break forth from the surface of the soil and reach up toward the light of the sun. Sap rises in the trees! Leaves begin to unfurl in the light of the sun.
At this time of year there is a perfect balance between amount of light and dark we see on the planet. From this day onward we will be within the light half of the year, when there is more daylight than darkness. It is the time when we shine the light on all our inner hopes and dreams and begin to expose them to the world- gently gently, as this is just the birthing stage! The time of introspection and gestation is coming to a close as we approach spring equinox. It is now the time to decide what you will give birth and life to this turn of the wheel- and what you will invest your time, your energy, your love in creating this year.
Plant Medicines for Spring
This is the time of year for the first bitter spring greens that emerge from the Earth after long winter slumber, the time of revitalized roots, of sap running in the trees, and the first tree buds bursting opening and swelling. The plants of spring are revitalizing, and nourishing, full of minerals and vitamins, as well as a strong life force energy that encourages movement and increased function in our organs. These plant medicines support and improve liver, kidney, and digestive function,elimination, skin health, vitality and energy after a long winter of rest, stillness and rich, heavy foods. I have picked a few of my favorites for us to go into depth here, but remember that many spring greens are available and may be more common where you live- for example we have a lot more rocket mustard and mallow than nettles and dandelions in the southwest. MAke sure to become aware of the spring greens popping up near you….chickweed, mustard, nettles, dandelions, violets, mallows, dock leaves, evergreen tips.
Nettles is like a plant manifestation of Gaia’s life blood. She is the green goddess. She is an infusion of GREEN LIFE FORCE! She is the teacher of careful attention and intensity. If you can, practicing harvesting nettles bare handed is an amazing lesson in attention, focus and the intensity of life and boundaries. Her little stings are reminders to stay present in the moment, with what you are doing right NOW. When you can harvest your nettles without getting stung (too much anyway) you will have deepened your understanding of this… those little stings remind us of the intensity of life and feeling. the sting and the itch only last a day or so, and will not spread like poison ivy. Some people even sting themselves with nettles on purpose to alleviate arthritic joint pain!
Dandelion flower fritter
If you wait until the flowers come out, they make delightful treats! Add them to your salads, infuse in your tea, or just eat them straight. The petals are delightfully sweet- just remove the green sepals if you want to remove the bitter.
Fritters are a fun way to make flowers into something edible, but they can be added to pancakes, cookies, or breads as well.
1 1/3 c. flour (almond meal works well for gluten free/grain free diets)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk (again use almond, or coconut for dairy free)
1 well beaten egg
Mix batter and dip dandelion flowers into the batter using a fork, and fry on both sides for about 2 min in a hot skillet. I prefer butter or ghee, but coconut oil works well too. You can dust your fritters with honey if you like.
If dandelion is grounding, burdock is even more so. It has a deep, sturdy tap root that dives deep into the earth and holds on with fierceness. Digging a wild burdock root is a challenge, even for the hearty of us. She is deep and strong. Resilient and tough. She can lend her toughness, resilience and rootedness to you as a medicine. And don’t forget those tough burrs which hang on your clothes or animals fur. It was the model for the development of velcro. She teaches us about hanging on with tenacity, and rooting ourselves deeply deeply in what nourishes and replenishes us- the body of Gaia.