Spring Equinox ~ The Astrological New Year Begins
“Mid-spring on the fourth, spring hues mark balance.
In green fields stroll moon, blue sky dotted clouds.
Swallows one by one, petals drop by drop.
At night missing wife, hear not singing voice. ” ~ Xu Xuan (916-991 CE)
Spring equinox is the celebration of fertility, longer days, new crops, and new ideas. Winter has served her purpose, as an incubator of dreams, and now we shed her cloak and step bravely into the future.
Energetically speaking, spring equinox symbolizes new beginnings. Many cultures gather meaningful strength during the equinox, as it marks the Iranian New Year, celebrated widely in the Middle East; Vernal Equinox Day in Japan, a public holiday; Chunfen in China, a spring festival that bears great importance to farming and folk traditions; and the beginning of the Bahai’i calendar.
I like to include all these celebrations in my spring equinox blessing ritual to honor the fact that all people find joy in the promise of new life. We are all united in this powerfully simple hope.
The word “equinox” is from Latin, meaning equal-night. It occurs when the sun passes over the celestial equator, and night and day are approximately the same length. It is a virtual balance in the changing heavens.
During the equinox, the Earth’s axis is pointing neither away from nor toward the sun. This is true for both the spring and autumn equinoxes, as the Southern Hemisphere celebrates the opposite seasonal cycle of the Northern Hemisphere.
I find spring equinox extremely mystical because it shows how all things can find balance for a moment as they continue on a never-ending journey through the cosmos.
The magic of spring equinox is available to each of us, and we can harness it to ground us in love, in life’s purpose, and in our deepest spiritual longings.
Our ancestors, who lived by the movements of the planets, saw the sun as the source of all life, and it inspired great awe in them. Even as we make ourselves busy in a technological work and we find ourselves disconnected from nature’s influence and beauty, we are still sustained by that great ball of fire.
In my Wise Woman Tradition, I believe that we are made of stardust. I learn from the planets as I participate with them in a beautiful dance. I observe astrological and astronomical events with reverence. After all, who can deny being humbled by a midnight sky dotted with constellations?
This spring equinox, we can use this opportunity to lie down under the blanket of stars and contemplate our place in the universe. After we find stillness, we may discover a new awareness of the interconnection between our spirits and all that is. There is no separation, once we leave behind our thinking minds.
Spring equinox is the time for boldness and heightened emotions. We’re feeling hopeful and are perhaps falling in love with another or with ourselves. Now that we have found our balance, ideas easily pour forth. We stand surefooted and grounded, ready for the sewing of seeds.
Spring equinox in Aries.
The Llewellyn Witch’s Calendar advises:
The Sun enter Aries at 4:29 a.m. MST.
The Moon enters Capricorn and its fourth quarter. It is void—referring to the period of time either a few minutes or hours in length before the moon enters the next planetary sign. This is a great time to practice stillness.
The day is represented by the color white. Remember this when choosing candles, garments, and flowers.
The stones for March are aquamarine, jade and bloodstone.
The animal totems are the wolf, cougar, and whale.
The flower is the daffodil.
Neptune and Jupiter are the ruling planets during March.
I highly recommend the Llewellyn Witch’s Calendar, even if you are not practicing magic, as a source of insight into life’s grounding aspects.
When the sun enters Aries on the spring equinox, we can be infused with vitality. Aries is a leader, innovator, and adventurer who exhibits a need for control.
When tempered with self-introspection, Aries is a powerhouse.
Spring equinox in Aries.
Arian energy wishes to put love first. Our partner’s or lover’s needs are brought to the forefront. The thrill of the chase is beguiling to Aries, but the impending cool-off can be disheartening. Instead, seek a more level approach, and whether it comes to emotions or sex, make sure your overtures are aimed with balance. Too much of a good thing is still too much for some.
A full on approach to love, with all guns blazing, may inspire our lovers to flee.
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
Watch for Arian influence and allow for some grey areas instead of viewing things as black and white.
Be aware of rigidity around this time because the ruling planet of Aries, Mars, is full of fire and enthusiasm. Sometimes this enthusiasm is boxed tight with expectations. On a physical level, if we are feeling tight and inflexible, this is a good time to begin a meditation or yoga practice to allow more flow into our day.
Spring is about growth and easing into the light. When we practice maitri, we feel unconditional love and kindness toward ourselves. Extend this practice to others. There are many cultural intersections surrounding spring equinox, we are all in this together.
Aries is an astrological teacher, if we’re open to the signs.
A water ritual for spring.
Spring equinox is a rather earthy time, and there are many rituals one can partake in. This year, I will be adding the element of water to my celebrations.
Water, cleansing and womblike, allows for expansion while offering comfort and safety.
Create a cozy atmosphere around the bath, light white candles, and place a vase of white tulips in the room. Find soothing, meditative music. It can be from any tradition: Buddhist, pagan or a Sanskrit mantra.
Add two cups of sea salt to the water. If you like, add these essential oils: Ylang-ylang, rose, lemon, or geranium.
Celebrate your favorite goddesses: Persephone, Freya, Ostara, Brigid, Flora, Situ, Lada, or Konohanasakuya-hime.
This bathing ritual prepares us for the intense activity of spring. Float into awareness: alone but not lonely, grounded by the water’s magic, floating between this world and that, free of demands, listening to our own hearts. We have nowhere to go and nothing to do.
Slowly begin releasing the things that no longer serve you. Don’t do this with the intention of seeking to change yourself but to allow acceptance of your journey. Let the water represent your ocean mother, the salty womb, to remind you of the cauldron of creation, and slip into peace.
Listen to the music as it filters in, no longer separate from you. Let it be your solace.
When you’re done, let the water empty and appreciate the feelings: full and inspired, yet calm and without worry.
Send a blessing with the water as it exits your tub, freeing all you’ve released with love and without expectations.
Care for your skin with an organic moisturizer or coconut oil.
As we approach the spring of your aspirations, we are whole. As we plant new seeds for the future, we are mindful of our practice.
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