The Vernal Equinox approaches and I wonder how many of you agree with me that this ought to be when we celebrate the true New Year. Although we have all learned January first in the Julian calendar of Julius Ceasar as New Year’s Day, we find ourselves still in the darkest, coldest, and shortest days of the year. Natural life is largely dormant. But Springtime, when we begin to come out of a winter that has been for many this year seemingly never-ending and into the season of new light and renewed life, seems so rightly the beginning of a new year—at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere! (The Southern Hemisphere’s Vernal Equinox is actually in September, again, the beginning of spring … so perhaps there ought to be two New Year’s celebrations … seriously!
It turns out that the ancient Persian calendar denotes the onset of spring as year’s beginning with the Festival of Nowruz, still honored today throughout the mid-east as it has been for 3,000 years. The early Egyptians recognized the sun’s passage into Aries as a sacred turning point of the year, and built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising Sun on the day of the Spring Equinox. And, of course, Easter, the most sacred moment of the Christian year, is surely tied to the Vernal Equinox. Easter is determined each year as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox.
And, perhaps most meaningfully to those of us who seek connection with our mystical and intuitive natures, the Astrological calendar begins when the sun moves into Aries, the first sign in the Zodiac, at the Spring Equinox—the day of equal day and night when the sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic. In 2015, this moment falls on March 20 at 6:45 P.M. EDT; 3:45 P.M. PST. From this point on, the days grow longer and the Sun begins to regain strength and overcomes winter’s cold. We catch “spring fever,” as plants and trees sprout and begin grow vigorously and bear fruit. We sense love and fertility all around us. This is a wonderful time of the year to begin or revive a romantic relationship, or to initiate a special new endeavor. It’s time to be alive, to experience new beginnings and to celebrate life! It’s a great time to be purposeful in our intentions for what we want for ourselves and those around us in the new season of growth.
What I would like to suggest is that we in the north joyfully embrace the Spring Equinox as a true new year’s extravaganza. How best, then, to honor and celebrate this passage into the new and most life-affirming season? Daily Horoscope.com offers this list of rituals with which to “ring in spring” that I have taken a few liberties with:
- Light red candles to honor Aries, then speak aloud your intentions for the new year
- Throw a party, invite your most engaging, outgoing friends and play—board games or cards, baseball, tennis or toss a Frisbee. Learn again to laugh,
- Enroll in a gym, take up a sport or start walking every morning
- Weed out your closet, toss anything depressing or old and buy a bright new outfit
- Color and decorate eggs, perhaps with children
- Go for an outing to see wildflowers and trees in bloom and bees and butterflies and birds
- Invest in a relationship with someone intriguing, or propose marriage to the one you love
- Restore your commitment to faith and spirituality; pray, meditate, study, sing, enjoy—best yet, get a psychic reading from a well-qualified practitioner!
Have you any other suggestions to add to this list of ways to feel most alive this spring? Share them here, if you like: