(Hang on, what’s an equinox?)
Over the past few years, with the rise and rise of the new women’s movement, it’s perhaps not all that surprising that interest in ancient (sometimes quite “witchy”) traditions and customs has also increased.
Whereas once upon a time it was just a very small number of dedicated Moon-lovers who would celebrate New and Full Moons, now you can find gatherings of women of all ages, colours and creeds honouring the Moon cycle, in pretty much every big city and even in many smaller towns. (Want to join in? Check out via Facebook groups and Meet Up lists! I also do monthly Facebook Lives about the New and/or Full Moon at www.facebook.com/yasminboland.)
Along with the increased interest in working with the Moon comes an interest in working with the seasons.
Sadly in Australia, where I grew up for much of my life, over the years, the patriarchal media (in my opinion!) has done all it can to detach us all from the four seasons. Which is why we now celebrate the start of summer on December 1 and the start of winter on June 1.
These are totally arbitrary dates, used for purely convenience!
In fact, traditionally, the change of seasons was always marked by the passage of the Sun into one of the four so-called Cardinal zodiac signs. (The traditional dates are still used in Europe and the USA).
Equinoxes Down Under
In the southern hemisphere, before this seasonal travesty, the seasons always worked like this:
The Sun’s move into Aries (around March 21) marked the start of autumn
The Sun’s move into Cancer (around June 21) marked the start of winter
The Sun’s move into Libra (around September 21) marked the start of spring
The Sun’s move into Capricorn (around December) marked the start of summer
(I say “around” because the Sun will move into these signs a couple of days either side for the 21, from one year to the next.)
And in the UK and USA it’s the opposite!
The Sun’s move into Aries (around March 21) marks the start of spring
The Sun’s move into Cancer (around June 21) marks the start of summer
The Sun’s move into Libra (around September 21) marks the start of autumn
The Sun’s move into Capricorn (around December) marks the start of winter
Running tandem with these traditional dates we get the two equinoxes. These are when the centre of the Sun is directly above the equator. They happen in March and September.
Down Under, we call the March equinox the autumnal equinox and the September one, the spring equinox.
(The difference between equinoxes and solstices is that a solstice takes place at the point of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun when the sun is at its greatest distance from the equator, while during an equinox takes place when the Sun is closest to the equator.)
What about this month’s equinox then?
The March Equinox 2019 falls on March 21 – click here for the times around the world.
As the March equinox ushers in the sign of Aries. the first sign of the zodiac, the March equinox has traditionally been seen as being all about new beginnings.
So now is the time to plant new seeds in your life that you wish to grow.
Although most people in the west regard January 1 as the start of the New Year, for astrologers, the move of the Sun into Aries is the astrological New Year.
In other words, think of the March equinox as a time when you can start all over again if your 2019 hasn’t gone as you would have liked so far.
As well, since equinoxes are times of equal-length day and night, they are a time when we need to call our lives into balance.
The astrology of the March 2019 equinox
Astrologers look at a chart called “the Aries ingress chart” which is set for the moment that the Sun moves into Aries, and we interpret it.
This year, the stand out feature has to be that the Sun at 0 degrees of Aries (each sign has 30 degrees) is in the same place at the wounded healer, Chiron.
This suggests that healing and wounding is going to be a prevalent theme in the coming months. On a personal and practical level, it’s a wonderful time to ask yourself:
– Where do I need to heal myself and what am I willing to do about that?
– Where do I need to heal my relationship with someone else and what am I willing to do about that?
– What would healing look like?
Note that it’s important to define how you will decide something is healed so that you have parameters to work with.
The 2019 Aries New Moon
One step on from the March equinox and the move of the Sun into Aries, we get the New Moon in Aries on April 5. Click here for the times around the world.
For me as a moonologer, this is an even more “start again” date for my diary. For one thing, the New Moon combines the male and female energies and as such as great power in it.
For another, the New Moon has always marked a new start, so the New Moon at the start of the astrological New Year is an even more powerful time to tap into, at least in my opinion.
A ritual for the March equinox and/or the Aries New Moon
Note that the New Moon in Aries this year falls on a Friday night which is perfect for doing a ritual alone or with friends.
– Light a red candle and call in Venus Aphrodite and ask her to bless you
– Mark out north, south, east and west around with a crystal or tea light and stand in the centre.Honour the Call your life into balance. Just breathe and think the phrase “I am balancing my life!” Equinoxes are all about balance.
– Make a commitment about love, as the New Moon falls on Venus’ day, Friday. What do you intend for your love life, moving forwards, through the coming 12 months,
– Make some commitments about cash (another of Venus’ domains)
– Call in the Hindu elephant God Ganesha who helps us at the start of anything and ask for him to be with you throughout the coming 12-month astrological cycle as the Sun moves through all the 12 astrological signs
Whatever you do, celebrate with fiery Aries fervency!
Want to learn more astrology? Yasmin Boland has a free mini-course made with Hay House UK for that – click here!