FINDING BALANCE IN THE EQUINOX
The vernal (or spring) equinox takes place on March 20 and signals the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and Fall in the Southern Hemisphere. During the equinox, the amount of daylight and darkness is nearly the same in length. The word equinox comes from the Latin “aequus,” meaning equal, and “nox,” meaning night. The Earth tilts at an angle of 23.5 degrees on its axis relative to its plane of orbit around the sun. As the Earth orbits the sun over the course of a year, different places get sunlight for different amounts of time. An equinox occurs at the moment when the Earth’s axis doesn’t tilt toward or away from the sun. Someone standing on the equator on an equinox can observe the sun passing directly overhead. Additionally, equinoxes are the only two times a year that the sun rises due east and sets due west.
Celebrating New Beginnings
The March equinox has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth in the Northern Hemisphere. Many cultures celebrate spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox, like Easter and Passover.
The cycle the earth makes around the sun symbolises light, darkness, and death. Astrologically speaking, the Vernal or spring Equinox is the start of a brand-new year. It is when the first zodiac sign begins.
As we approach the Equinox, this symbolic day of equal day and night, we are reminded of the delicate need for balance. As we integrate the light and shadow aspects within ourselves and others and find the dance between them, we fine tune and harmonize our polarities.
This energy of integration exists in all of nature and reflects to us the give and pull, and the larger harmony inherent in the apparent chaos. What ultimately free us and helps us regain our balance, is the opening to the present moment in acceptance of all it holds.
This symbolic point of balance has been celebrated by out ancestors since the beginning of time. In cultures across our planet this period marks and initiation and symbolic integration of the forces of light and dark.
It is a time of renewal, new beginnings of life and growth blooming gloriously and ushering in a renewed sense of energy brought in to help you focus and move forward in new, fresh, positive ways. We can burst forth and reinvent ourselves.
Watch out though because Jupiter and Mercury are going retrograde on March 9th and 22nd. This will require you to do some self-assessing and deep introspection.
March is a Universal 5 Energy month which brings with it a desire for fun and experiments. You will need to prepare yourself for when Aries enters the picture and Mercury goes direct again. You will want make sure your focus and momentum is aimed in the right direction.
SPRING EQUINOX TRADITIONS
In ancient times rituals were performed at this time involving cleansing old energy out in their homes, temples etc. This is where our tradition of ‘spring cleaning’ came from!
For centuries, people have celebrated the vernal equinox. At the ruins of Chichen Itza, the ancient Maya city in Mexico, crowds now gather on the spring (and fall) equinox to watch as the afternoon sun creates shadows that resemble a snake moving along the stairs of the 79-foot-tall Pyramid of Kukulkan, also called El Castillo. On the spring equinox, the snake descends the pyramid until it merges with a large, serpent head sculpture at the base of the structure. While the Maya were skilled astronomers, it’s unknown whether they specifically designed the pyramid to align with the equinox and create this visual effect.
At Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in England featuring the remains of a circle of huge standing stones, druids and pagans congregate to watch the sun rise on the equinox and welcome spring. However, it’s unclear what, if any, meaning the equinox held for those who constructed the ancient monument, as they left no written record about why or even how it was built.
Among various spring holidays is Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which starts on the vernal equinox. The centuries-old holiday is observed by millions of people around the world and lasts 13 days. In Japan, the day of the spring equinox is a national holiday called Shunbun no Hi. Some people commemorate the day by tending to the graves of their ancestors.