Category Archives: Samhain

Sequel to How to Decorate for Samhain

Merry meet all,

I am really in the mood for Samhain. Yesterday afternoon, I was busy crafting up a storm! I thought I would share my own crafts with you to get you in the mood for our fave spooky Sabbat. I painted gourds, created a cool garland and conjured a candle. I will share here in this post how it was all done. So grab your craft supplies and a coffee!

The pumpkins were the easiest craft to do. Gather newspaper for the paint so it doesn’t stain everything else, flat paintbrushes, black acrylic paint, a palette or dish to hold the paint, and a pumpkin. The picture above shows the gourds when the paint dried. Brush a coat on being sure to cover over all the green or original orange coloring. Get the paint into every spot. Let the paint dry between coats. Leave the gourds on the newspaper in an area where they won’t be disturbed  to dry. Then store them with your other Halloween decorations. Black, orange, gold and white colors are good choices. 

Yes that is an Ouija board mousepad peeking out the photo there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Garland The garland was a bit harder to do. I had a thick stack of brown paper lunch bags just sitting there in a linens basket. I really wanted to do something special in terms of decorations this year. I cut out a 7-inch square of the lunch bags and thought about how I would decorate them. Paint each square orange. I decided that the papers would spell out ‘Trick or Treat’. Each bag or paper would be one letter except for “OR’.  Hole punch the top right and left corner of the bag to work the string through later. Measure the bags. Each one should be seven inches long roughly. Measure with a pencil or other marker 5 inches vertically. Then mark that on the bag. Don’t make the markings too obvious. Cut the bottom of the lunch bags to form a point. See the photo to see what I mean. The edges of the paper curled. So I cut out typing paper using one of the painted lunch bags as a template, and painted them black. When the paint dries, I will glue the black papers to the orange papers, remembering to hole punch the black pieces. When you string them up, be sure to have all the letter papers in the right order before you begin. Leave plenty of string. Don’t cut the string till you are sure you like how it is all arranged and you have hung the garland up on a mantle or window. One more tip: Have the black painted papers facing out not in. 

Here are a few more suggestions on how to decorate your home for Samhain. If you don’t have any cobwebs, cheesecloth is a good second choice. Save and paint fake (unless you are me and I save, clean and bleach chicken bones). Paint them gray, white or black. Arrange them for a Halloween/ Samhain centerpiece on your table or mantle. Let the guests wonder if they are real. Use fake vampire teeth to act as a napkin ring.

Lay a white tablecloth down on your table. Layer a black spiderweb lace tablecloth over the white cloth. Set down a black tray or a gold tray, depending on your preference. Then arrange all your beautifully bewitching painted gourds around a (fake-up to you-) human skull or animal skull. Tuck in the bones, maple leaves, gemstones, and maybe some sphagnum moss if you have it. Arrange tall black taper candles in used wine bottles behind the skull. Now you have a charming and magickal centerpiece on your table sure to spark conversation!

Have a merry Thanksgiving!!

Blessings, Spiderwitch

Leave a comment

Filed under magic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain

My Favorite Color is October

Merry meet all,

I went shopping this weekend. I conjured cool Halloween items. The first on the list of cool Halloween items is a very large black (of course) rubber spider web doormat. I love the huge rubber rug. My cat likes it too. The next on the list is a set of 4 skull black and white dinner plates. The plates have a trim and a large skull in the center. I bought a cool black thing you rest your cooking utensil on. I bought some black and orange candles, an orange pillar candle that smells of lovely pumpkin spice, a black wand that makes mystical sounds, a beautiful black wire elven crown, fairy wings that I shall cover with black fabric later and lastly, a black spiderweb placemat and black spider web doilies. 

Yes I am ready for Samhain. I am planning and preparing for a Samhain Séance party. I bought a large jug of cider for my legendary cider mix. I am offering pomegranate seeds, barmbrack bread and pumpkin bread, and of course roasted seeds. Carved pumpkins will glow eerily among the candles and incense shall fragrance the room. I hope it all bewitches my guests. 

One note about the barmbrack bread: I may not leave the traditional items in the bread, to avoid anyone choking. I am trained in CPR but it would be nice to avoid disasters. I haven’t begun decorating yet. I will do that later. 

I bought a cool Halloween magazine, which is packed with a million suggestions. I am inspired by the issue. Are you all excited about Samhain? I am. Well that’s obvious. The movie It is in theaters if you can’t get enough of the October spirit and horror movies. I may catch Maleficent next week. I enjoy watching Ghost Adventures too. I wonder if they have a special Halloween show. 

My story is published in Paranormal Chronicles about how the Five Fishermen Restaurant came to be haunted! Be sure to read the issue! My other story is published in The Handbook for the Dead and released on Amazon! Add these to your reading list! I am excited about it and I hope you are too. 

I can’t wait to sit and read the October newsletter from the Horror Writers Association! The issue is huge. It is not October without the Horror Writers Association. 

I implore you to enjoy the month of October as much as you can. It’s only once a year but I live like it’s every day of my life. If you all saw the inside of my home, you’d agree. Watch horror movies, make your pet wear a crown, pile leaves and collapse on them, roast seeds, and hang ghosts from the ceiling. Let me know in the comments what you did to celebrate the most magical of months. 

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under gardening, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds

Fall in the Air

Merry meet all,

Tonight I made applesauce. I wish I added a tad more sweetener. The applesauce tasted tart and could have used a smidgen more sugar. That is how I learn. It is beginning to look and feel like fall. 

My garden is dying down. John Barleycorn has died. The metaphorical and literal scythe has fallen. My plants once verdant and green now wither and yellow. It breaks my heart and relieves me at the same time. I know my garden worked hard all summer. My garden has earned its rest over the cold season till spring’s return. 

Pumpkins adorn front porches. The thrift and craft stores are now all well stocked with Halloween products. I went to Value Village last night. I tried on a couple costumes- one of a raven dress and the other was a Witch dress. Neither held my interest. But what did catch my attention were the wings, striped socks- and buckled shoes?, lacy gloves, wands and tutu tulle skirts. I have a costume. This year I want to be a dark faerie instead of the usual Witch. Well one year I was an undead bride. I usually go as myself and this year I want to be different when I attend the annual Samhain Ritual. I happily lost track of time as I explored all the Halloween products. I mean each and every costume, boots, socks, skirts and cloaks. I checked it all out- then went home and enjoyed a hot meal. Yup it was fun. I wished I had some money but that is coming soon. 

This morning, I brought my lemongrass and ginger indoors. Lemongrass won’t survive a winter here in Atlantic Canada. I love the lemony aroma anyway. The ginger had some sprouts so I hope that grows well indoors. I plan to bring in more plants once I obtain terracotta plants. They are better than plastic. I hope the two dill seedlings I brought in fare well too. Time will tell. 

I want to save seeds from my garden too. My tomato plants are ripening on a windowsill. I saved some pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin I pureed and the seeds I roasted!! They are for next year. 

Once New moon arrives, I want to finish my Fire Cider project. The New moon begins in 3 more days. I made Fire Cider, put it all in a jar, and have stored in the fridge. I shook the bottle daily for a complete month almost. I kept an eye on it. I hope the ingredients have blended well. Now I shall strain the mixture and decant the cider into a new clean sterile jar. I will test it and then add sweetener. I plan to have Fire Cider around to combat colds and flu. 

Have any of you begun any fall projects? I would love to learn more. Please comment below. Enjoy Mabon!!

Blessings, Spiderwitch

 

Leave a comment

Filed under gardening, organic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds

Harvest Plant Protection

Merry meet all,

The full moon passed recently. The moon was beautiful! The frost has come this week-it’s early! I have to cover my plants tonight. The tender plants need to be protected. 

Mabon is almost here! I can sure feel autumn in the air. It’s that time of year again. I harvested a good sized green tomato and a tiny cucumber today. The tomato refused to ripen on the vine. It took its own sweet time. So since there was a frost and I was so impatient, in they came. See photo below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To protect your plants from the frost, you can use glass cloches, buckets or old sheets. You may still have some tender annuals that are producing veggies such as tomatoes. See the cucumber in the image above? Btw, garden grown veggies are tastier than the ones you buy in the store. Don’t believe me. Grow your own then comment below. Remove the coverings in the morning. The plants need to breathe but be covered at night. Watering the garden during the late afternoon is a good idea. I just stepped out to protect my plants and it was so cold out! Wow. Good thing for tea. 

Hardy plants will be fine. The temperatures warm up during the day time. Don’t smother the plants! Keep an eye on the temperatures on the websites. Trust your instincts. Stock up on soil and pots if you want to bring plants in for the winter. I plan to bring in the catnip for Penny, the lemon grass, the ginger, the geranium and my herbs such as basil, parsley and maybe a few other ones. I do plan to plant garlic this fall but in a different spot than before for bigger garlic heads. 

I hope this all helps you eager gardeners to protect your plants from the frost. I am sad because I want to help my plants grow as wonderfully as they can. At the same time, I know that time of year is here! But I will keep draping old sheets over my garden at night and letting them get sun all day. If you do the same for yours, you can still have a good harvest! Your plants worked hard for you. They deserve care too. 

BB Spiderwitch

11 Comments

Filed under Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain

Autumn Harvest Time

Merry meet all,

Mabon is almost here! I survived the hurricane Dorian. It was super crazy here. My garden survived the hurricane. I harvested the shallots, a cucumber, a tiny cherry tomato and several purple beans. I froze the beans, am drying the shallots and stored the cucumber in the fridge. Last night when I had power back in my apartment, I conjured a pot of health boosting vegetable soup. 

When I had power in my apartment again, I made a pot of coffee and pancakes fast. It is amazing how weird everything is when there is no electricity. Nearly 500,000 people were without power. Now that the storm has passed, it is time for recovery. 

The stores are carrying Halloween stuff now. It is the most magical time of year. I love Mabon. I personally like to think of the whole month of September as being October 30th leading to October 31st. Now is the time to think about the harvest- metaphorically and literally. I have harvested herbs, veggies and flowers from my garden. I shall also reflect on what I am harvesting over the year since the last Samhain. 

Soon the stores will be carrying pumpkins! The Full Moon this weekend is also a Harvest Moon! That is a good time also to reflect on what you achieved or gained over the year. I plan to do a full moon esbat. I usually perform them solitary but I am not really alone. Spirit is with me. So take the time to reflect on your year. 

On to a new topic:

I have a friend who truly is being harassed by a nasty spirit, or what some may call a demon. I believe him and I always know when a story  or cry for help is genuine. A good sign is that the one who is being haunted if he/ she is fake, then they are boasting. He is not boasting, he is suffering. That is a huge difference. I am able to actually see spirits so I may have a different perspective here. I wish I could help him in person but he lives far away from me. I could really help him if I lived where he lives. I am sure I could and I wouldn’t be as affected by the demon because I know how to shield and deflect such bad energy. He wants to attempt an exorcism. I wish I could teach him how to shield himself. Once you cast off that bad energy, then you can’t be affected or overpowered again and the spirits hate that. 

They want you to be weak. They want you to suffer. They feed off of that. 

Yes I am a Ghost Adventures fan. I read Zac Bagans’ book, I am Haunted. In the book, he describes how he takes a long time to get rid of parasitic ghost pests. Sounds like he doesn’t know how to shield himself either. I feel now like I am privy to elite secret information, knowing how to shield myself. Maybe this will show you all just how important it is. 

Samhain is not far off. Not only is this a good time to harvest what we reaped, but also a good time to prepare ourselves for a spooky season. !!

 

Blessings, Spiderwitch

3 Comments

Filed under Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain

Cemetery sentiments

Merry meet all,

Recently I visited an arts store because they carried Halloween stuff. I strolled through the aisles, and made mental notes on what to buy once I finally had some money. Seeing the Halloween stuff ( statues, skeletal arms, witch dolls, upside down bats, brooms) cheered me a little. Samhain is my favorite time of year.

The air is cooler today. It is still August but the leaves were falling already in the cemetery. I was also recently in a cemetery trying to write poetry. I did get one poem done though it is far from word perfect. I like the cemetery I visited. I saw a moth flitting over the ground, birds pecking for seeds, crows screeching from the treetops.

The engravings on the tombstones were too faint to read. I sat on the stone step, my notebook and a pen in hand, and just sat for a while soaking in the atmosphere. Inspiration seized me. I now want to write a small chapbook of poetry. It will be effort but everything is effort. There were tombstones of varying sizes and shapes. Everyone probably considered me weird seated and doing what I was doing, but I don’t care.

There is no safer place to be. The quiet of a cemetery lets me think. They are not such dangerous places but people should still use common sense. I just like dark verse.

One problem or side effect of being clairsentient and writing poetry in cemeteries is taking spirits home with you. Parasitic astral larvae live in cemeteries and often want to come home with me. While they get my empathy, I am just not sure I want to suddenly see dishes fly off shelves or my bed rattle late at night. I leave the energies there when I exit a cemetery. I do feel for them- I am sure being dead is no fun, but I have to establish and maintain boundaries.

Ah fall.. time for cardigans, cider, root vegetable meals, and pumpkins. Onions, parsnips, turnips, potatoes are all excellent healthy veggies. The skins are often the most nutrient rich part of the root vegetable. So go ahead, as you peruse some dark gothic poetry, enjoy soups and stews. If you grew the veggies yourself and cook them yourself, you enjoy twice the amount of nutrients because you know where they came from. I advocate for organic food. I know I will be. I grew my own garlic, dill, basil, mint, lavender, chives, and even shallots this year. I can’t wait to harvest more. I did harvest my garlic and dill and froze the dill, The garlic is braided and hanging up in my kitchen. I am waiting till the perfect harvest time to gather in the rest. The health and quality of growing your own veggies and herbs is unsurpassed- and not tainted by those horrid chemicals from the supermarket.

Enjoy fall!

Blessings Spiderwitch

Leave a comment

Filed under gardening, magic, organic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds

Pumpkins Vine Time

Merry meet all,

The Halloween stuff is in the stores!! Oh my I’ll grab my broomstick and fly over and won’t be back till I’m broke!!! October is three months away. I’m still waiting for my veggies to grow though. I am anticipating a big harvest though. This is the time of year when I get excited. I live for Samhain. It’s time to dust off our brooms and our cauldrons, don our striped socks and head over to the stores selling the Halloween stuff.

My pumpkin vine has flowers!! My zucchini plant has a new flower too. I can’t wait for them to get big already. My cucumber plant has lots of flowers but tiny cucumbers. Oh my goddess it’s not like they have all year to grow. Can you tell I’m frustrated?

A real gardener is patient. I still can’t find that gardener. Since we are in harvest season, I hope you enjoy reading this post and learn how to grow your own!

Here are some tips on how to grow our favorite Halloween fruit-pumpkins. Pumpkins need up to 120 days to mature. Pumpkins can be grown from seed. However this year I had luck with the transplants I bought from the local plant store. Wait until all chances of frost have passed. They will grow in warm weather. They can take over a garden too and need up to 30 feet of room to grow.

Before planting your transplants, add plenty of compost material to the soil. You can grow the plants in hills. You mound up the soil and then (If you want to start from seed), put one seed per hill and plant up to four seeds in each hill Make sure there is plenty of room between the vines.

Pumpkins need tons of water. Be sure to only water the plants enough and to avoid root rot. If they look wilted, then the plant has died. Feed the plants a healthy mix of phosphorus and nitrogen, and add more phosphorus than nitrogen, which helps them grow their very best.

If you want to prune the vines, then be sure the vines have pumpkins on them first. When you carefully prune the plants, then you force the plant to stop concentrating on the vine growth and it focuses on maturing the fruit vine. This produces better fruit growth in the long run. Also, consider sprinkling diatomaceous earth under your plants. I did all summer and I have a healthy big zucchini plant in my garden that is pest bug free!

If insects are a problem on your vines, then plant nasturtiums. You have to attract pollinators to pollinate your plants. Aphids, cucumber beetles and stink bugs are a pest to your plants. By planting flowers such as nasturtiums, you will attract pollinators and the insects that might like some aphids for a tasty meal. Plant lots of flowers to increase your chances of healthy plants overall.

Harvesting pumpkins is fun and saves you money!! When the stem looks dry and the fruit is an orange color, it is time to harvest them! Knock hard on the rind of the pumpkin. It should sound hollow. Scrape your fingernail on the rind. It should not scratch easily. Harvest before the frost!

Use your favorite witch tool or boline to cut the pumpkin from the vine. Leave a few inches of stem to avoid disease. Let the pumpkins to cure for a couple of weeks first and store them properly. When they are fully cured, you will know. Allow for air ventilation and don’t dry them out near other fruit. Fruit give off ethylene gas. You can coat a pumpkin in oil which seals it for storage.

Enjoy your glowing orange pumpkins after all this hard work. !!

Blessings Spiderwitch

 

Leave a comment

Filed under gardening, organic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds

Shadow People Visiting Times

Merry meet all,

I discussed the origins of shadow people in a previous post. Tonight I want to post about what they want from us, or seem to want from us. I get it. It is hard to believe such things exist- until you see them with your own eyes. I am not a fan of Paranormal Activity. I have finally seen the movies. The first one scared me more. I don’t have to watch the movies to get scared if I see a phantom, I do see them. 

I have asked myself the same questions many times over. I suspect I will never have all the answers because it is simply impossible to know everything. There is much debate on the internet about whether they are supernatural phantoms or even aliens. Their true origins are as shadowy as their appearances. They appear as a flicker you catch out of the corner of your eye. You get a glimpse then they are gone. That is long enough for you to question whether you actually saw it or if your mind was playing tricks on you. Then you see it again, and then you again ask yourself if was real or your imagination. (Btw, please don’t be awake all night agonizing whether you did see it or not- you will have a sleepless night. It is what it is.)

They could be spying on us, or indeed out to give us the frights royale, or end up in our domains because they are lost. I suspect is that they want to scare us and are then intelligent enough to (which is scarier), and not lost. I have witnessed a shadow person with a friend. The being manifested in my house and then vanished. It was scary and weird. I was jolted with fear. 

My theory is that they could be here to spy on us and thereby study us- they didn’t come all that way for nothing, right? and scare us. Mortals are limited in their years, and their abilities. I don’t know where they come from, but I am guessing they are here for a reason. It takes a lot of energy for phantoms and shadow people to move around and interact with people, so they have to feed off of energy to be able to get around. The more energy they feed off of, the more they can get around. People with low vibrational energies are still good sources of energy and yet are easier targets. People with higher vibrational energies are even better energy sources but are less likely to be targeted. People who know- like me, how to psychically defend themselves are the least targeted. 

People with low vibrational energies such as abuse victims, alcoholics, or even serial killers or depressed people are often good  targets for shadow people to feed off of. They radiate the low vibrational energies, sending off the electronic signals without being aware. So it is like sending off a beacon on a dark stormy night to the shadow person. If people with the lower energies work on building up their vibrations, they can find themselves feeling stronger and healthier. 

Conversely, people with genuine clairvoyant/ clairsentient gifts are targets too. They may have higher vibrational frequencies but they have a powerful/ strong light inside them that radiates naturally. It also shines like the beacon in the dark. Either way, the phantoms are often irresistibly drawn to them. The electronic signal is the beacon for energy to feed off of and the brighter the signal, the better. 

If you read my previous posts, you can see why psychic shielding is so important and learn how it is done. So browse through the posts till you find them. Then you can shield yourself from them. They often target or attack when a person is vulnerable, asleep. The natural defenses are lowered. I have read online many accounts of people feeling drained of energy while they lay in their beds. I don’t ask that people leave their lights on all night as they sleep, just to be aware of this. The last thing you should do is become paranoid. That leads to more problems. 

Never be ashamed to ask for help. You can obtain more assistance than you realize. Society is changing and becoming more accepting. I hope you enjoyed reading my post on shadow people. 

Blessings, Spiderwitch

3 Comments

Filed under magic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain

Winter Solstice

Greetings All!!!

Many Winter Solstice blessings to all my lovely readers. I’ve been busy baking and decorating. I baked shortbread, cookies and Gothic yule decorations. I have also set up a few Yule decorations on my kitchen table.

I baked cookies for munching on and frosted them. I am also proud to say I have won again in the Horror Writers Association Cookbook Contest. I enjoy baking and put my heart into it. And I don’t care what the recipe says, rolling out the dough calls for tons of flour to keep dough from being sticky. I want to get some white creamy frosting. I didn’t really want the chocolate frosting but I had more cocoa than icing sugar so I went with it. The cookies are now stored in the freezer, where the icing will ‘set’.

I found a large tree branch outside on the ground. It is 23 inches in length. I painted it blue silvery color and coated glitter on it. I made Yule salt dough decorations the previous year and hung them on the branches of the tree mobile. I’ve been inspired to hang Yule goth decorations too. I made several goth decorations ( a cauldron, the crescent moon, bats and ghosts) and I plan to paint them black. I will hang those on the same mobile. I can’t wait and I think it will look real cool. I wish I had a skull cookie cutter. Salt dough is easy to do and costs little.  I am eager to see how it all looks.

Winter Solstice or Yule is almost here. I may conjure a candle for Yule too. I made spicy simmering incense too. For that recipe I gathered ground orange peel, bay leaves, pine needles, juniper berries, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, star anise, rosemary, frankincense and myrrh. I ground it all together to a powdery consistency. It smells heavenly. I wanted to make incense cones but it is not powdery enough for that. I will use it as a simmering incense potpourri. That smells just as divine.

I will join my Sacred Mists fellow Witch students for a magickal Yule ritual on December 21st. This Sabbat celebrates rebirth and renewal, and the return of longer days as the Lord of the Sun is reborn from the womb of the Goddess when life is wrested from the realm of death and light is born of darkness. Wreaths and evergreen trees are used to decorate your home. 

Let the magic of Yule bless you, your home and your loved ones.

 

Blessings Spiderwitch

Leave a comment

Filed under Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, Yule

The Good Faeries of the Garden

Merry meet all,

I know it’s a few months till Samhain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be looking for the spooky happening around you now. In case you don’t believe me, I had a freaky incident recently. I found my copper skull spoon in my garden. I have no idea how it got there. I retrieved it, washed it all the while wondering how’d that happen? So it might be more common than you think. I blame the faeries and brownies.

The movie Mary Shelley opens in theaters soon. I am counting the days and hours till then. I am eager to get to work on my garden. If you are seriously into spirits and faeries, well, working in your garden is a great way to interact with them. Trust me, they are around. And not to mention the spirits in the plants themselves. So that is a lot of spirit work.

I recommend waiting till May Full Moon to do any garden work and planting. There is still a risk of frost. The May Full moon could be a powerful time for inviting the faeries and other helpful nature spirits to your garden. Leave a libation of honey and milk or mead and bury crystals in the soil. Clean the garden, use no pesticides and actually care for your garden. Decorate your garden with artificial lights, wooden pentacles or hang crystals from trees. Add some fairy statues and they will not be able to resist. Faeries care for the earth more than us mortals ever will. So showing you care is a great way to get their help. Then be consistent. If you find certain plants growing unusually well and your garden seeming like it’s more protected than others, it is a good sign the Good Folk are there. I have left my apartment door unlocked (unknowingly to me and unintentionally) and I have never been robbed. I don’t know how I did that. I usually do lock my door. But I am sure something is guarding my place.

One good idea if you like the darker side, is growing dark colored plants. You could grow black hollyhock or black roses. Use your imagination.

If you see pretty bright lights and the birds and insects flock to your plants or bird feeders, they are there. You will know by the auspicious signs you see. But you have to actually be outside to witness the signs. So every time you have some extra organic scraps, offer it to your garden. Keep the feeders full and remember to leave crystals in the soil. They will charge the soil and plants. Leaving offerings to your garden keeps a balance between you and the spirits. Be good to the earth. Try composting and recycling. Honor the spirits. Keep your garden clean and free of debris.

When it is harvest season, you can again leave a libation and thank the spirits for their aid. Decorate your garden with pumpkins, gourds and flowers of the season. The Full Harvest Moon has been allowing farmers to harvest their crops for centuries. There are lots of spirits and perhaps ancestral spirits everywhere. I love the harvest time. I can sense energies so easily. I see them in my house too.

I hope this helps you and keeps you busy during the growing season.

Blessings, Spiderwitch

Leave a comment

Filed under gardening, organic, Paranormal and Witchy Fiction, Samhain, seeds, spring