BY LISA MARIE BASILE
The coming of Spring brings with it all sorts of feelings. For many — like myself — it allows us to shake off the heavy cobwebs of winter’s seasonal affective disorder. It bring with it a sense of opportunity, change, and transformation, as the sun’s warmth melts the icy shell we developed over the dark months. In NYC, at least, and in many wintry parts of the world, that coldness makes you go inward, go quiet; the hibernation leads to an introspection and quietude that — although necessary — can feel isolating, exhausting, and endless.
I welcome the spring’s golden light. I am a new seedling each year, and with each spring I bloom again. I feel my body mobilize, my mind sharpen, and heart soften. The colors, the flowers, the balmy winds, the sparkling light that lasts until late into night — it reminds us of life, potential, growth. Here’s how to harness it:
Use the flowers as a reminder of resilience & transformation.
Everything changes form. We wilt. We bloom. And there’s a certain comfort in knowing that we are flexible and fluid — that everything has the potential to change; most of what we feel is temporary. The pain. The sorrow. The exhaustion.
When what we feel isn’t temporary and can’t be shaken off with the seasons, we can turn to the earth for a lesson in letting the light in: While we may have dark moments (or years), we can decide to unfold, as a flower, to let the light nestle into our petals and stems.
What happens when we let that light in just a bit? Can we find one thing to love or be appreciative for?
Create an herbal apothecary, and let the earth soothe your body.
According to the book A Wilder Life, there are many common herbs which have a multitude of uses. Of course, use only with the permission of your doctor (knowing that these may support or promote health, not cure diseases).
The most popular spring-time apothecary essentials:
Dandelion — Anti-inflammatory and diuretic (eat or drink the tea)
Garlic — Antibacterial, can be used for cleansing wounds (use as oil or in food directly from fresh garlic)
Holy Basil — Provides renewal and energy; is considered an adaptogen, for helping the body handle stress (use as a tincture or tea)
Saint John’s Wort — Mood-stabilizing, antiviral support, and can support the transition between seasons (tea or tincture)
Nettle — May provide support for allergies and immunity (tea).
Peppermint — This is a zesty kickstart for low energy, in addition to providing tummy support (tea or oil).
Take part in a daily manifestation ritual
Throughout the winter, it’s easy to think deeply about the wounds, voids, and shadows of our lives. By spring, the light and energy wake us to the beauty of nature — reminding us that we can create the change we need. We do not always have control over circumstances (like our finances or the daily burdens of life), but we can make space within our hearts for possibility.
The ritual is simple: Get a large jar with a lid (or another container that speaks to you), and each day — perhaps right before bed, or as you wake up in the morning — place a small piece of paper with an intention within the jar. Your intention should be written in present tense; it should be for something realistic, but aspirational. It can be for the physical or the non-tangible:
I have confidence in group settings
I am always making space for kindness and love
I am capable of saying what I want
I am assertive at work
I am a successful writer making enough money for rent, food, and travel
I feel worthy, loved, and respected
I have a beautiful summer beach vacation lined up this summer
If you are seeking more rituals and practices, my book LIGHT MAGIC FOR DARK TIMES contains several — many of which utilize the earth’s natural beauty and energy.
Lisa Marie Basile is the founding creative director of Luna Luna Magazine—a digital diary of literature, magical living and idea. She is the author of "Light Magic for Dark Times," a modern collection of inspired rituals and daily practices and the forthcoming "Wordcraft Witchery: Writing for Ritual, Manifestation, and Healing." She's also the author of a few poetry collections, including 2018's "Nympholepsy." Her work encounters the intersection of ritual, wellness, chronic illness, overcoming trauma, and creativity, and she has written for The New York Times, Chakrubs, Narratively, Catapult, Sabat Magazine, Healthline, The Establishment, Refinery 29, Bust, Hello Giggles, and more. Her work can be seen in Best Small Fictions, Best American Experimental Writing, and several other anthologies. Lisa Marie earned a Masters degree in Writing from The New School and studied literature and psychology as an undergraduate at Pace University.