There are four key seasonal events defined by the Sun’s relationship to the Earth at certain recurring times of the year. These events are the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall/Autumnal Equinox, and the Winter Solstice. An Equinox occurs twice yearly when the Sun crosses the celestial equator, around September 21 and March 21, and the length of day and the length of night are equal.
A Solstice also occurs twice yearly when the Sun reaches the highest and lowest point in the sky at noon on the respective Solstice, making for the longest and shortest days, around June 21 and December 21. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice is around June 21 and the Winter Solstice is around December 21.
This article will focus on the Libra Equinox this year, which will take place on September 23rd at 3:50 am eastern standard time (EST). It will be the Fall Equinox for the Northern Hemisphere and the Spring Equinox for the Southern Hemisphere. Like all recurring and special celestial events, the Equinox is an important time of transition that means something profound in Astrology and our lives. Read on to find out about the meaning and importance of the Equinox in our spiritual life.
The Sabian Symbol for 1 Libra is “a butterfly made perfect by a dart through it”. The keyword is ARTICULATION. “This is a symbol of completely unconditioned potentiality, as this may be grasped on the imaginative side of life. Here are the elements of individual consciousness emerging from primordial formlessness, and of wisdom developing through the human spirit’s continual determination to project itself into experience” (Jones, The Sabian Symbols, 151).
Further, he says, “When positive, the degree is man’s awakening to the need for more whole-souled focus of character, and when negative, the loss of all true selfhood by a needless surrender to the world of conformity to its ways” (Jones, The Sabian Symbols, 151). We should all take a close look at our character during this transition day and see if we are living a “whole-souled” life.
The Solstices and the Equinoxes are ideal times to perform a formal or ceremonial act or customary rituals in spiritual work or religious observance. There are many different ways to observe the Equinox through a ritual; one I prefer is walking a labyrinth. Conveniently, I have one on my property that my wife designed. It is very likely that a church, public garden, park, or museum near you would have a labyrinth you could walk on the day of the Equinox.
There are many other ways to perform a ceremonial act honoring the Equinox for your hemisphere. I ran a search on Google for Fall Equinox Rituals and Spring Equinox Rituals and found a couple of excellent blog posts.
What to Focus on For the Fall Equinox
The Fall Equinox, known as Mabon, represents the time of the harvest and the beginning of change towards winter. We are supposed to gather what we have produced, celebrate the work and production of the summer, and set aside what we think we will need to survive the winter. In modern, industrial societies, with global transportation, we have largely eliminated this cycle in terms of food production and consumption, though much of the world still feels these cycles, most people reading this article can get any summer fruit they want any time of the year.
Those of us living the northern hemisphere still feel the change of season as cooler temperatures and shorter days begin. We also become aware that another year is beginning to conclude and we want to take a measure of our accomplishments or our losses. Fall rituals should include gathering family and friends, preparing an altar if you do not have one or reviewing the altar you have and updating it in some way to reflect another year nearly complete, as well as honoring the ways you choose and prefer to relax.
What to Focus on For the Spring Equinox
The Spring Equinox, known also as the Vernal Equinox represents renewal, birth, and rebirth; it is the day when night and day are equal before the day begins to be longer than night. Winter’s thaw is complete and the beginning of the growing season starts. Animals come out of hibernation, new growth begins for plants, and humans start to take on the new energy that will become the vitality of Summer. It is time to “spring” into action.
Of the many rituals to choose from, the Spring Equinox wants us to forge new paths, be open to new experiences, and renew any relationships and situations that we want to continue on for another year. If you have land, planting a new tree or adding something new to your garden or landscape to commemorate the beginning of the year would be ideal. A very common ritual is “spring cleaning”, when we open the windows, beat the rugs, and let fresh air into our homes. Decluttering what has accumulated over the winter is a perfect spring ritual.
Libra and the Equinox
The Libra Equinox is about relationships. In the northern hemisphere, where Libra occurs in the Fall, people should gather and celebrate existing relationships, engage in activities that help sustain and maintain those relationships, and examine where you are and how you belong to your group, tribe, family, or community. In the southern hemisphere, where Libra occurs in the Spring, people should seek out new relationships and new connections; old relationships should be “renewed” rather than maintained. What new beginning do you need to embrace an old situation?
Take time on the day of the Equinox to honor the ending of a season and ask that your transition through the Equinox to the next Solstice is one that you take with a deep sense of appreciation for change and the cycles of life on this planet.