Of the whole of the components of Entschtanning, Lenzbutzerei, or Spring Cleaning, is probably the easiest one to explain. It seems readily evident that we are to get our affairs into order, to clear out (repurpose, recycle, donate, or discard) unneeded items, and to make way for new life or new projects to begin.
This cleaning is said in Braucherei (and alluded to in the Wonnezeit myth) to be ordained by Holle. By the time the Wild Hunt returns to this realm on Wonnenacht (Walpurgisnacht, April 30), our homes are to be ready for Holle’s inspection as the host passes through.
Another perspective, though, places this cleaning right into the concept of the “baby bump” arc of the Lewesraad. One elderly practitioner of Hexerei described Spring Cleaning as “nesting” (“am Nischde” or “nischtend zu sei”). This simple use of words brings about an expansion of the significance of this time.
Our ideas, resolutions, and plans are, in a sense, our children. While some ideas are put into action immediately, many projects require planning and preparation and need go to through a figurative pregnancy phase before they are executed or committed to physical form. Thus, Entschtanning’s Spring Cleaning is as much about those new projects as it is about order in the home.
The nesting idea also relates to another concept that we will discuss later in Entschtanning: Gemietlichkeet. In humans and animals, nesting is preparation for the arrival of a new life. Typically, this new life is met with unconditional care, love, and a belonging that transcends the difficulties and challenges encountered in birth. This sense of belonging is what we call Gemietlichkeit or Gemietlichkeet in Deitsch. It translates literally to “coziness,” but it is much more than that. It is also very much an area of concern for our deities because a sense of belonging can thwart the chaotic force of rootlessness. We will discuss this more on Night 10 of Entschtanning.
Spring Cleaning can be challenging. I admit that, for many years, I did what I could, but I relied on putting out a lot of offerings because my energies were being spent on building our communities. Since the house was cleaned and fixed up in 2019, though, I am intent on keeping the place clean. I sweep daily and dust weekly, etc., but Spring Cleaning will be a lot more intentional. I will ritually mop, wipe down, purge, and and replace items as warranted. With some of these chores, I can find myself going into a meditative state. When sweeping, I strive to symbolically sweep away unwanted energies from my home. I make it a spiritual experience. (Mopping, on the other hand, is just a mess for me).
So, as you undertake your Spring Cleaning, think about what you are removing and what, if anything, you are making room for. As you clear away old items or remove dirt, feel the energy flow better around you in your home.
Tomorrow we will have a brief discussion on the importance of oaths, specifically in the context of the Butzemann.