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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vernal Equinox

“Persephone” Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) 
a daughter of Zeus and Demeter, abducted by Hades to be queen of Underground and allowed to return to the surface of the earth at the Vernal Equinox and then to return to Hades at the Autumnal Equinox.

The Spring Equinox

The Vernal Equinox is the time when the Sun reaches the balancing point in its path through the zodiac. It marks the beginning of the new astrological year, as the Sun enters the first degree of Aries, the Ram. It happens in 2010 on March 20 (17:33 UT – but bear in mind that the Equinox is a day and a night, a phase not a moment), marked in the Christian Calendar by the Festival of the Annunciation of the Virgin (Lady Day) on March 25. This major calendrical event is the focus of religious and social festivities in all cultures, and is the key to the timing of Easter. 

The death of the old year and the rebirth of the new has been celebrated since time immemorial, on or around the spring equinox, which is why the death and resurrection of Jesus is celebrated at this time. Aries is the sign of the exaltation of the Sun, for it marks the time when the days of light begin to outstrip the nights of darkness (for this reason the Ram is also the Fall of Saturn). 

The word equinox means "equal night": the duration of the day being equal to that of the night, an event which occurs but twice a year, the one marking the astrological beginning of spring and the other the ending of summer. Interestingly, the actual equal duration (equilux) need not occur on the official Equinox, which is more cultural and celebratory than scientific. The Autumn, or Fall Equinox marks the harvest celebrations in September, outlined later in this article. [See NOTE for Southern Hemisphere.] 

Spring is a time of new beginnings, both spiritually and physically. Crops germinate and shoots peek through the earth, flowers bloom, young animals gambol about and everything feels new. It is a truly energising time, when people feel bold and ready to take on the world! In an earlier era, the Equinox marked New Year's Day (in Christian times, the New Year marker was taken on by Lady Day – up to 1752 when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced in England). It is still the beginning of the year in various calendars, including the Iranian and the Bahai. 

Astrologically, the March Equinox marks the beginning of the tropical astrological year, being the entry of the Sun into the Cardinal Fire Sign of Aries, the Ram. Aries is traditionally ruled by Mars, so the ancient Roman festivals of the equinox centered around Mars (hence the name of the month "March"). The Lupercalia was a fertility festival at this time, said by Cicero to be so ancient as to have been instituted before civilisation and law existed. Interestingly, the name "Easter" derives from the ancient fertility festival of the goddess Eostre, the teutonic goddess of spring. All cultures have spring festivals of this type and the Vernal Equinox is still widely celebrated as a holiday in many countries across the world. 

Thanks to a rare retrograde period, Mars has been travelling through the constellation of Ursa Major (traditionally known for expressing a martial nature), contacting several of the stars involved. Ursa Major, the Great Bear, is rarely good for nations and political leaders whose charts are affected. Fortunately, Mars turned direct again on March 10, 2010, in the first degree of Leo, remaining in that degree for much of the month, forming a potent trine with the Sun at the Equinox. Mars is at this time in conjunction with Talitha, in the forepaw of the Great Bear, offering a guide to the nations as they turn from the angry persuasions of the retrograde phase. The Sun in Aries and Mars in Leo at the Equinox are in the favourable relationship known as mutual reception, greatly aiding the benefits associated with the trine aspect. It's an ego-boosting time. The energy is dynamic and will give a big boost to courageous activities, and a dynamic push to get ahead. Nevertheless, do not take things too much for granted, or become too sure of yourself, as Mars is not to be trusted, especially when so highly stimulated. During this phase, Mars is moving slowly forward, but returns to full speed ahead by May 17th.

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