n the next 24 hours, the Sun will pass through the gateway of the Spring Equinox and enter the fiery and energizing sign of the Ram, Aries. Just as it does so, the Moon will be full in the sign of the Scales, Libra, and Venus and Jupiter, the two benefics, will form a sextile and rain down their blessings.
Here’s what to watch for:
* The Sun’s entrance into the sign of Aries heralds the dawn of zodiacal Spring, which also means that we are now moving into the “yang” half of the solar year from the standpoint of the zodiac’s symbolic orientation in the northern hemisphere. The days will be longer than shorter now all the way until the Sun enters Libra.
* The basic meaning of the Sun in Aries has thus been associated with youth, energy, upward and outward movement, virility, fire, light, heat, and the moment of the scales tipping or of the light taking over from out of the darkness of the yin half of the year and the winter season.
* Think about it, everything you’ve ever heard about the sign of Aries, from bravery and courage to competition, dominance, and self-centeredness, correspond very simply to the moment where the scales tip in favor of the light. The light takes over and begins to dominate the yin, or the darkness, which can be translated in terms of the qualities so easily associated with Aries. It is an initiating, cardinal or “tropical” sign. The word “tropical” comes from the word “tropos,” which means “to turn.” So Aries energy is almost always associated with energy that moves, swiftly, as though turning, initiating a takeover of the yang.
* Accordingly, the Spring Equinox has long been the starting point of the tropical zodiac, which is first and foremost a mathematical circle divided into twelve portions by virtue of the Sun’s movement through the ecliptic from our perspective.
* Why start the zodiac with Aries? Because ancient astrology is oriented in relation to the Sun, and light, and this is the time of year when the light takes over and begins its dominance. This is the turning point of the light. Some might say that the winter solstice turns us toward the light as well, and its true that it is a seeding moment in the solar year, but just as the birth chart is oriented toward “first appearances,” with the ascending sign defining the orientation of the chart in the eastern sky at the time of birth, so too is the zodiac itself established in relation to the first appearance of the “yang” coming out of the yin half of the year, which corresponds to the first signs of life emerging again in Spring.
* Remember, the language is symbolic and although the circle is oriented from a specific place on earth, the orientation is archetypal and therefore the language of the system of astrology is valid from any place on the planet, including the southern hemisphere.
* But what about this Equinox in particular? Isn’t it substantial that it’s taking place at the time of a Full Moon in Libra and the benefics are getting together in a harmonious sextile?
* One hint that may help us interpret the meaning of this Equinox comes from understanding the dignity of the Sun in Aries, which is the place of its exaltation. As light and life and the yang is now rising, the Sun is said to be “exalted” in the sign of the Ram. Traditionally, all the fire signs were also called “royal,” and the element of fire occupied the highest elemental sphere and was closest among the elements to the strata of the planets. In a Platonic sense, the Sun in Aries is, therefore, both subtle, light, energetic, clarifying, and action-oriented, like a philosopher-King. At its best, The Sun in Aries is like a powerful leader who is both wise, kind, subtle, and strong. A wise leader knows what actions to take but also knows precisely HOW to take those actions so that they gain the support of others in the process.
* With the Moon simultaneously rising Full right now in the sign of the scales, Libra, we are also presented with an image of wise judgment or discernment, of the need to weigh and balance our options, to choose wisely, and fairly, and to consider the need for both beauty, truth, and goodness at the same time.
* There is a teaching from the oldest of the Chinese classics, the I Ching, from the 42nd hexagram, called “Increase.” It depicts the blessings of heaven, of teachers, gurus, sages, Kings, or those with power or authority, raining down generously on those below. The basic teaching of the hexagram is that the natural position of divinity is to supply creation with the facility it needs to achieve its desires. “Ask, and you shall receive. Knock, and the door will be opened.”
* The first two lines of the hexagram offer a few more important lessons. The first is that given that heaven is always dispensing its blessings and providing us with the facility to achieve our desires, we should be absolutely sure that we use whatever is given to us in service to divinity, or a higher cause, especially when some unexpected windfall or blessing comes to us. The auspiciousness of receiving something great is actually the opportunity we are being given to make a great offering in return. The second lesson has to do with the trouble we attract if we do not have a higher cause or source to serve when given greater facility. Without this, we aren’t likely to recognize and fully appreciate the gift giver, and the responsibility that comes with being a recipient of some act of benevolence or grace.
* When these two lines change, hexagram 59 appears, called “dispersion.” The hexagram depicts wind moving over the water, dispersing it in all directions. The hexagram also tells the story of a King, who saw that after a joyous gathering, his people’s energy was scattering in all directions and hence losing focus. In other words, they were getting a little too high on the “good times.” It was at just this time that the wise King decided to make a journey to a distant temple, to offer something up to his ancestors and to the gods. His immediate absence after the celebration would help the people to quickly retain a concern for safety and order, while also helping them return to their spiritual center.
* Similarly, though the Equinox brings with it the swift action and fiery blessings of Spring, and with it new facilities and new blessings from heaven symbolized by Venus and Jupiter’s sextile, we should be wise and discerning, like the scales of the Full Moon in Libra, knowing both where to apply this energy and to whom or what we owe our allegiance and devotion, lest we get too high on the newness of the moment and scatter our energy or focus in too many directions at once.
Prayer: We thank you for every blessing and excitement, for the fullness of the life that you give us, endlessly. May we come to recognize the proper use of what we are given, and may you always be our prayerful remembrance.