Cleansing: You Are Love
During the month of February most of our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day cards, bouquets of fragrant and colorful flowers, big boxes of chocolates or huge, adorable stuffed animals. Aside from the romantic connotations of February 14th the month of February had different meanings for past civilizations.
The name of the month February is derived from the Roman goddess Juno Februa, Latin for “religious purification,” whose festival was held on February 2nd. In the early Roman calendar, March was celebrated as the first month of the year, so February was a time of cleansing and letting go of the past in order to make way for the rebirth of spring. It was believed that purification made way for fertility and creativity, known today as spring cleaning. February was the name given to some of these festivals.
The Roman tradition included cleaning the house with salt and spelt. Also, there was a nude dash tradition. This tradition involved practically nude men running around the city with goatskin pelts in hand and was believed to promote fertility while purifying the city.
What Is Cleansing?
Cleansing can be felt as a sense of unburdening and relinquishment, which most of us experience, for example, when bathing. Most ancient medical systems employed cleansing procedures. This was vital for the protection and well-being of the patient. Egyptian physicians, for example, made bathing a requirement for healing, as did all known cultures of the ancient world from East to West.
Spiritually speaking, cleansing is considered the most important step in opening yourself up to becoming whole. Becoming whole is another way of saying becoming awakened or enlightened.
So How Do You Cleanse?
At this time of year we may start to feel a bit of restlessness due to the season. After a long winter some may be feeling a sense of being idle leading to a feeling of unease. We may see that our new year’s plans are starting to take root and will soon come to fruition. We may be planning garden projects, vacations, home repairs and more. But don’t put your throttle into high gear just yet. Don’t rush the quiet evenings or slow afternoons. Stay in and recuperate with family and friends before you take off in the spring. There is still time to rest.
Drink tea, read books, take slow winter walks and go to bed early. We will emerge soon enough with the spring and will be humming and busy as the bees soon enough.
What to plant in February
Do you want to grow tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants? Start these indoors around February. Then, around April you should start watching the weather and, as soon as it is warm enough, go ahead and transplant those into the ground.
It is still cold at night, but warmer in the morning. Pruning now will bring back many plants that are looking a little sad, encouraging new growth. Look for iris, heliotrope, pentas, primrose and snapdragons at the viveros. Now is the time to put radishes, carrots, Swiss chard, kohl rabi, leeks, and beans (wax, runner and bush), broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, kale and snow peas in the garden. For flower growers, start morning glory, evening primrose, liatris, clarkia and tuberous begonias in pots. It’s an excellent time to get the garden cleaned up and ready for the hot, dry months ahead and the new things you will be planting. Don’t forget to deadhead, water and keep up with your compost.
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