Last week the Full Moon in Libra arrived, referred to by some as the Pink Full Moon, originally named for the abundance of pink phlox emerging in the warmer spring days. And although I did not see an abundance of pink phlox, but instead the yellow blossoms of forsythia, scotch broom and Oregon Grape, it was an invitation to me to consider working with local plants in my full moon soul work and rituals. Perhaps you are inspired by other plants, such as the early blossoms of witch hazel, the soft buds of the pussy willow, new leaves on the trees, or the fragrant sticky buds of the cottonwoods.
But we have another influence at this time — Spring Equinox and the changing of the seasons — which invite us to work with additional correspondences.
In Spring, the birds around me are busy nesting and new eggs have been laid, and hopefully soon hatching in the trees above… an inspiration to plant and hatch my own eggs of inspiration! So I will continue to work with eggs, to represent the seeds of my dreams, and Spring inspirations and intentions.
Although eggs are very much a symbol of Easter (associated with Spring season in the Northern Hemisphere, and Autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere), the tradition of working with eggs in Spring is not specific to any one hemisphere or spiritual tradition.
There are many ways you can use eggs in your own spiritual practices — including setting intentions, divination, cleansing, release rituals — as well as in craft projects and, of course, in the kitchen.
Today I share with you a lovely ritual for setting intentions: Plant an Egg for Inspiration. And do check out our previous blog post on using eggs in a release ritual, Release Ritual with an Egg.
But first, a little inspiration!
Inspiration from the Bards
From Mary Oliver… Her poem reminds me that the sacred and the wonderful is all around us, if we raise our awareness to it, and that we can touch it and be moved and inspired.
With Thanks to the Field Sparrow, Whose Voice is So Delicate and Humble
by Mary Oliver
I do not live happily or comfortably With the cleverness of our times. The talk is all about computers, The news is all about bombs and blood. This morning, in the fresh field, I came upon a hidden nest. It held four warm, speckled eggs. I touched them. Then went away softly, Having felt something more wonderful Than all the electricity of New York City.
RITUAL: Plant an Egg for Inspiration
Some rituals are complex with many steps, but I love this simple ritual using an egg and a tree to hold the intentions of birthing new beginnings during Spring season.
In spring, I perform this ritual for setting intentions with an egg, and not just any egg: a red egg to symbolize the energy of the Maiden in her first flow, her first blood mystery. It is said that the Druids planted red eggs in their fields at the Spring Equinox, to bring the fertility of the goddess to the crops and to reap her blessings.
The symbol of the red egg shows up in many other cultures and religions: the red egg of the Greek Easter Bread symbolizes the blood of Christ (Easter also celebrating Death and Renewal), the Chinese red egg celebrates new starts and is often a feature at birthday celebrations.
For this ritual you will need:
- one or more eggs for boiling and dyeing (white shelled eggs may work better in this instance, but any colour is fine)
- onion skins for dyeing your egg(s)
- a pencil, crayon or chalk for writing your intention on the egg
- a quiet location where you can bury your egg into the soil of Mama Earth
- A white birch tree, the Celtic tree associated with new beginnings, would be perfect for this ritual. If you don’t have birch trees in your location, check your local tree lore for something that might be appropriate or simply ask any tree for permission.
- a tool for digging a small hole to bury the egg (even a big spoon would work)
- a length of red ribbon, yarn or string to honour the goddess and the tree
Prepare one or more red eggs for your ritual:
- Gather some yellow onion skins (from a half dozen or more onions) and add them to a saucepan of cold water, adding 2 tbsps of white vinegar.
- Add your egg(s) and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for up to 30 minutes or until the eggs have developed a reddish hue. White eggs will be brighter but you can also use a brown egg.
- If not used immediately, keep the eggs refrigerated until used in your ritual.
While your eggs are simmering, reflect on your intentions, your inspirations, what you want to bring into your life in this new season. You might choose to capture that in your journal.
Once your eggs are ready and cooled, assemble your tools and go to the place where you will perform your ritual, such as a quiet place with a tree or shrub.
At your chosen tree, first ask its permission to plant the egg. If you receive a yes, continue. If you don’t, choose another tree and ask for permission once again. Continue until you receive a yes. Tie your red ribbon or thread to the tree securely, to mark the place.
Create sacred space in your usual way, and call on your guides, allies and goddess(es) to support you in the ritual.
Hold your egg in your hands. Reflect back on your meditation during the egg preparation stage and write your intention(s) onto the eggshell. This is the intention you will nourish in this moon cycle or in the coming season.
Once again, hold the egg in your hands and call on the energy of your guides, allies and goddess(es) to infuse that intention or affirmation into the egg. Then, dig a small hole, just big enough for your egg and protected from the elements (including hungry animals!).
Gently place your egg in the hole and ask the spirit of the tree (some call this a dryad or deva), Mama Earth and all your guides and allies to support your intention, to nourish it, to protect it. State your intention again, with your inner or outer voice. When you feel you are ready, cover the hole once again.
Thank the tree, the egg, and your guides, allies and goddess(es) as you complete your ritual and close your sacred space.
TIP: Make sure you note where you planted your egg (and tied your string), as you may want to return to it as your intention manifests, to nurture it with your energy — your own private nest of intention.
Make this ritual your own
Of course, there are always alternatives! In keep with the theme of “planting an egg”, you can nurture your inspirations by using an egg as the vessel for planting, as pictured above, rather than planting the egg itself in soil.
Modify the ritual as best suits you, or create a new way of working with eggs, but if you wish to use the egg as a seed starter I would suggest that you incorporate these steps into the ritual (but be sure to still create sacred space, meditation, set intentions, etc):
- choose some herbal or floral seeds (small seeds work best… no avocado or pumpkin seeds!) for planting and nurturing, preferably something you will use in a herbal or culinary preparation, so consuming that loving inspirational energy you bring to the ritual
- crack open a few eggs (and waste-not-want-not, be sure to use them in the kitchen) and give them a quick rinse
- fill about two-thirds full with a seed-starting soil mix
- add your seeds, following instructions on your seed pack (typically only one or two for this small container), including any watering instructions
- be sure to tag the egg planters with the type of seed used, if using more than one seed variety. These can be easily made, as in the picture above, with a toothpick and piece of paper.
- reuse an egg carton with the filled seeded eggs and place in a warm sunny place and watch them sprout
- be sure to keep the soil moist by very lightly misting every other day, or so, and be careful not to over or under water.
- once the true leaves have emerged, move to larger pots
There are many resources available on the internet with guidelines for using eggshells as seed starters. You might find this post a good resource.