Are you feeling a shift in the light over the last few weeks? Maybe even seeing some early crocuses or other shoots coming up in your garden? Yes, Spring is really around the corner!
Every change of season prompts us to take a moment to reflect, pause, and review our lives. The Spring, or Vernal, Equinox marks the point on the Wheel of the Year when you can begin to emerge from winter’s deep, inward energy to set intentions and goals for the next round of the Wheel. And at the Fall, or Autumnal, Equinox, you have the opportunity to consider how you want to move from the expansive activity of the summer to the slower, hibernating vibe of the winter. That’s usually a little harder transition for many of us, but an important one just the same.
Beginning with the winter solstice, the sun has slowly been making its way back north, on its way to that moment of maximum light on the summer solstice, and the Spring Equinox marks the halfway point on that journey.
What’s going on in the cosmos on the Spring Equinox and what does it actually mean for us humans?
Scientifically speaking, the Spring equinox begins when the sun moves across the Earth’s equator and into the constellation of Aries. This year, that moment happens to fall on March 20th, although it can typically occur anytime between March 19th and 21st. And since Aries is also the first sign of the zodiac, it’s the beginning of the astrological year as well, so it’s a big deal for all zodiac signs.
The word equinox originates from the Latin aequinoctium: aequi meaning “equal” and noct meaning “night”. So, equinox literally means “equal night,” and for 3 days before and after the Equinox moment, there will be an equal number of daylight hours and nighttime hours. After that, the scale gradually tips toward more light as we head to summer… if you’re a sun worshipper, that’s great news!
That makes this the perfect time to consciously embrace the symbolism of balance in your life and relationships. Is your own mind/body/heart balance out of whack? Where in your life do you need to re-align your thoughts, feelings, or assumptions? What is your commitment to your self-care vs. nurturing others, or your connection to nature vs. your fascination with technology? Lots of rich metaphors to play with here.
Celebrating the Spring Equinox in spiritual traditions around the world
And don’t forget that Springtime has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth and resurrection all over the world as well. In fact, did you know that the Spring Equinox is used to calculate the date of Easter each year? Back in 325 CE, the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon occurring on or after the Spring equinox. So, it’s actually a moon-related holy-day, too!
Embracing this theme of rebirth and resurrection, many of the Equinox myths describe deities who journeyed to the underworld and struggled to return; some of these twice-born deities include Odin, Addis, Osiris, Dagda, Mithras, and Persephone. The Christian holiday of Easter, another resurrection celebration, is named after Eostre, the Norse Goddess of the Spring whose sacred symbols were the egg and the hare – hence, Easter eggs and bunnies!
Mother Earth is thawing out and ever so gently waking up. Tentative tendrils of roots are spiraling down, pale green shoots are poking up and we’re all coming out of hibernation, plants, and animals alike.
Create your own Spring Equinox ritual to tap into that energy of rebirth, expansion, new possibilities, and restoring balance.
- First, create sacred space by creating a simple altar with fresh flowers and any symbols that represent new life and new growth – seeds, eggs, images of baby animals. Maybe an image of Eostre, the Norse goddess of Spring. If weather permits, it’s lovely to do this outside; otherwise bring as much nature as you can into your indoor sacred space.
- Place a bowl of moist, rich soil on your altar, along with a little paper cup and some seeds you’d like to plant.
- As you settle into your body, imagine that you’re “planting” yourself where you’re seated, and begin to slowly extend your “roots” into the depths, into the darkness, returning to the seed from which you were born and which, as women and men, we always carry within. As your roots take hold deep in the earth, continue to draw your energy deep into your own being. Breathe deeply, creating a place of potency, power, and potential. You are deep in the womb of Mother Earth now. Feel her presence as you reflect on the issues and areas of your life that you want to transform and bring to light.
What commitments to new growth and possibility do you want to make right now? What positive seeds of hope, of connection, purpose, and re-alignment do you want to plant?
- Staying in a meditative place, breathe deeply to come back fully into your body, and gently begin to plant some of the seeds in your little cup with the soil that has been imbued with Equinox energy. To fully energize your seed intentions, you might want to dance to some light, air-y music as you hold your little cup!
Then as you move out from your sacred Spring Equinox space, begin to feel the first sprouts of your seed intention peek up through the rich soil of your heart, knowing that you will continue to nurture it through the spring-tide.
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Life & Relationship Coach, Deborah Roth, MA is also a Counseling Astrologer, and Interfaith Minister. She leads women’s New Moon Circles and Full Moon TeleMeditations every month and loves designing creative, meaningful rituals for individuals and couples to energize their lives and relationships.