"What are you doing with all the windows open? Are you crazy? It's 50 degrees outside, It's freezing in here!" cried my loving, yet obviously distressed spouse when he returned home from running errands.
He was still put out by the fact that we had taken a vacation day off--while the kid was in school--to enjoy a day of skiing, and there had not been enough snow to make it worth the drive. He had resigned himself to Chinese take-out, a video, and cuddling on the couch, only to come home and find his crazy wife dancing around the house like an idiot on an obvious "chai high" to boot.
Noticing that I had included incense, salt, herbs and essential oils with my cleaning arsenal, he said, "You're doing witch stuff, aren't you?"
I thought that was a keen observation coming from a man who thinks it's amusing that he sleeps in the same room with an altar containing, among other things, a seven-inch "dagger." He resigned himself to grabbing a comforter and curling up on the couch while I started my routine. He would have yet another interesting tale to tell the guys at work about his eccentric, dangerous life filled with daggers and the threat of hypothermia.
I have many seasonal routines, but none as important--or noisy--as spring-cleaning. It has always been important for me to clean magickally as well as physically. As usual, I started out this time with open windows so that all the mold, dust, cooking odors and yucky energy from seasonal depression, colds and other nasty stuff that builds up over the winter can escape.
The cat and hubby stopped what they were doing, took a moment to consider those words and then went about their business.
Consecrating and purifying the house with the elements is also part of the ritual. I walked around the house with each element in turn, incense for Air, a candle for Fire, my chalice for Water, and kosher salt for earth, sprinkling or waving it around as needed.
"Why don't you ever use the chalice I got you for Yule?" came a voice from under the comforter.
"Because, it's in my porta-witch-kit for public ritual honey." I answered back.
Satisfied that his gift was appreciated, he returned his attention to his movie.
A simple chant for each element seems to help the process along, something like "I consecrate this house with the element of Air..." This time, I was in the mood to chant for all of them: "Fire, Water, Earth and Air, we call you to this place. Fire, Water, Earth and Air, to help create a sacred space." This chant stirred up quite a bit of energy, as evidenced by Bad Kitty abandoning her battle with the dreaded mini blinds, then chasing me around the house swatting at me, adding the ringing of her little collar bell to the task at hand.
Next I turned my attention to the houseplants and the nature spirits that inhabit them. I brought each plant down from the shelf, removed dead or damaged leaves and cleaned the remaining leaves. Any plant that needed repotting was taken care of, and they were all fed, watered, and talked to.
"I hope you don't expect me to clean that up!" she said with a disgusted and indignant look on her face.
"No, but I do expect you to clean your room. It's spring cleaning day."
She rolled her eyes as only an adolescent girl can, resigning herself to the fact that when I'm on a roll, there's no point in trying to argue. She headed off to the wilds of her room, but just before her final, dramatic exit, she tossed her head and said accusingly, "You guys had Chinese food without me."
The kitty was not brave enough to follow.
Next, it was the standard tasks: mopping, dusting, laundry and vacuuming that most folks consider a "normal" spring-cleaning, with a few modifications. I have an herb mixture, using the "nine time nine protects thee and mine" formula--any nine protection herbs will do--that I use for protection spells. I sprinkled it on the carpet as a sort of "Pagan Carpet Fresh," prior to vacuuming.