Growth, balance, cleansing, rebirth. These are just a few words that come to mind when I think of the spring season. When I was working 24/7 it was hard for me to get a grasp on how I could celebrate this time of year. With time off from working, I can be more intentional about what this time of year means. And I can share it with you!
Why Does This Matter?
Because connecting with nature can reduce anxiety. Understanding the patterns of nature can help us understand that everything is temporary, things change and wash away the old, ushering in fresh flowers and new perspectives.
What is an Equinox?
There are two equinoxes per year (September and March). An equinox is when Earth’s two hemispheres receive the Sun’s rays about equally, and night and day are nearly equal lengths (Equ=equal, Nox=night). These equinoxes are called Autumnal and Vernal (spring).
What Will I Experience on the Equinoxes?
Depending on if you live in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, you will experience the equinoxes differently (see below). There are so many different approaches and beliefs to what you will experience during this time. Generally speaking, we can think of each equinox as a fresh start - kicking off a new way of being for the period of time that will follow.
Autumnal Equinox (around September 23rd)
Vernal Equinox (around March 21st)
then, flip it:
Vernal Equinox (around September 23rd)
Autumnal Equinox (around March 21st)
I always got confused by the different dates I would hear when it came to the "first day" of something, but here's what I've learned: there is an astronomical first day of spring/autumn and a meteorological first day of spring/autumn. Astronomical dates line up with the date the sun is in a certain position. Meteorological dates line up with the weather that we experience.
Equinoxes and the coming of new seasons have been celebrated since the dawn of civilization. The Ancient Mayans built Chichen Itza, a temple, that does something really cool on the Spring Equinox. The sun reflects an image of a snake down the side of the temple. The snake represented their god Kulkhan, and he was said to be slithering down the side of the temple and into the ground to bless the crops and the spring season.
In Ancient Greek mythology, this is the time Persephone returns to her mother Demeter, bringing a period of of sunshine and growth. There are so many more examples of this! What I love about these examples, and history in general, is how similar our experiences are throughout time and space.
In this way we can feel a more collective connection with all humans.
How can I celebrate the Equinox?
Sometime this week, take time to reflect on the equinox. Here are some things you can think about/do:
What does this time of year mean to me?
What can I let go of that is no longer serving me?
How can I cleanse my space and mind to prepare for the new?
Go for a mindful walk, just listening to the sounds of nature and noticing the patterns that are emerging this time of year.
Take Ashley's Yin class on Wednesday evening - slow and stretchy movements focused on a spring equinox theme.
Create a vision board for this new time of year.
Here's to fresh flowers and new perspectives!!