In many Slavic countries, the end of winter continues to be celebrated by the drowning or burning of Marzanna, a straw effigy said to represent the goddess of death. This rite welcomes spring, brings good luck to agrarian communities, and helps ensure a good planting season and harvest. The dummy is often fashioned by young children of the town.
Use this rite to banish any bad spirits or ill will lingering about you. Gather scraps of cloth, bits of dry leaves or dead flowers from your garden, odd bits of paper, or even old newspapers or magazines. As you create the effigy (as large or small as you wish), keep your thoughts focused on ridding all that is troubling you. Infuse the dummy with these negative thoughts. When you feel the time is right, submerge your version of Marzanna in a tub of water or burn it in a fireproof container. Throw the dummy or the ashes away, outside of your home and off of your property.
Welcome spring refreshed and protected. Say:
“Ill feelings and humors of winter dead,
Placed upon this poppet head.
With water or fire carried away,
Then welcome in this fine spring day.”