Nature, Wheel of the Year

Spring Equinox

In astronomical terms, the Spring Equinox marks the beginning of the Spring season in the Northern hemisphere. This year; in 2020 the Spring Equinox falls on March 19th/20th when night and day length are close to equal.

The word ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘equal night’ and twice a year, on both the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, night and day length are in balance. The light has slowly but surely been increasing from it’s lowest point at the Winter Solstice in December. It will now continue to expand, overtaking the hours of darkness, until it reaches its peak on our longest day at the Summer Solstice on June 20th.

In the natural world the Spring Equinox heralds a time of birth, renewal, new beginnings and an increased energy. As the light increases, the days warm and conditions become more favourable for life to return with vigour. The time of year can be symbolic for us too as a time to shake off the Winter and welcome new ideas and energy.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss where we are currently in the seasonal cycle and suggest ways in which we can use this to cultivate inner reflection and growth.

Element: Air

This time of the year is associated with the element of air. The energy of air can encourage movement, change, new beginnings and a freshness in ideas or perspective. It can bring lightness into our mind and bodies and dissolve the stagnation that may have gathered over the winter months.

As with all the elements, air can possess more and less helpful qualities. When in balance this energy can feel like a ‘breath of fresh air’ in our lives. It may feel cleansing, stimulating and renewing. When out of balance this energy may leave us feeling rushed, unsettled, overwhelmed and with racing thoughts.

Outer observations

The word that resonates with this season for me is growth. This time of year is a feast for the eyes, ears, heart and soul. It is impossible to spend time outdoors and not witness signs of colour and life bursting out. Green rushes back into the colour palette, filtering its way through the ground and out through unravelling leaf buds. The energy of birdsong alerts us to a new season and as the first flowers open, their delicate yet vibrant petals uplift and expand.

Other words associated with this time of year include: birth, renewal, life force, opening, expansion, growth, new beginnings.

Inner reflections

The time of year can be a guide for inner reflection. It may help to spend some time in nature, and just notice and observe the season that we are in. What words would you use to describe it? Be aware of what feelings it brings up for you. This will be different for us all, depending on where we are in our journey. Below I have provided some points of reflection that relate to the themes of the season. Work with them as suits you best but it may be helpful to do so outside or after having spent a moment in nature or somewhere quiet.

  1. After a long, dark Winter the light has been slowly but surely increasing. Today marks the point at which light and darkness are in balance once more. After today, the light will continue to grow and expand. Equinoxes can be a good time to reflect on any areas in your life that may sometimes feel out of balance. Are there any areas you may wish to bring more light? If it suits take your journal and see what follows as your write the sentence, ‘I would like to cultivate more balance in my life by…’

  2. This time of year is associated with air energy. Air can bring lightness and movement to any areas that stagnation may linger from the Winter months. In your journal see what follows as your write the sentence, ‘Air brings lightness, movement and fresh energy. I would like the support of air to…’

  3. The natural world is growing steadily under our feet and above our heads now. For the next 5 minutes or so, observe or imagine a plant or tree that is growing. As you observe it gently consider what the plant has needed in order for it to grow so far. Acknowledge what this plant has gone through on it’s journey. Does it grow all year? or does it have a cycle? When you are ready, pick up your journal and reflecting on growth in your own life, see what arises as you write the following sentence, To grow I need…’  you may also wish to finish with ‘the areas that I would like to cultivate growth in this year are…’

    To summarise, observing what is going on in the natural world can provide useful tools for exploring our inner world. Feel free to return to these exercises over the coming weeks and if you have any questions at all, feel free to get in touch.

    Spring Blessings
    Nicola

 

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