No matter how much you grumble about Daylight Savings Time (and that lost hour of sleep), pretty much everyone can agree that spring is the best. The flowers! The leaves on the trees! The sun that doesn’t set at 4 p.m.! The seasonal progression not only brings physical changes to the environment, but deeper, spiritual shifts, too. The spring equinox is a time to come out of the shell of winter and blossom into the bright, lively person that’s been keeping warm under covers all winter long. Knowing the spiritual meaning of the spring equinox is a must if you want to harness the power of spring to its full potential.
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, spring officially arrives with the 2022 spring equinox on Mar. 20. The equinox is the part of the year where the amount of daylight is equal to the amount of nighttime. Across different cultures and time periods, the spring equinox has represented new beginnings. More than an appropriate time to spring clean your home, Marie Kondo-style, the spring equinox also introduces the ideal occasion to revamp your lifestyle and put the plans and intentions you’ve created during the winter season into action.
“As the Earth lets go of the inner, colder half of the year, allow yourself to witness what is falling away within you, too,” astrologer Jordane Maree, founder of Girl & Her Moon, tells Bustle. “You have been on an inner journey of transformation in order to be reborn once again in spring.”
While most of the bitter winter months were spent setting intentions for the rest of the year, the spring equinox offers a time to foster new beginnings. Maree prompts people to ask themselves: “What are you letting go of? Where are you ready to bloom?” Read on to learn more about the spring equinox’s spiritual meaning and how best to use its magic.
What Is The Spring Equinox?
The spring equinox, also known as the vernal equinox, is the seasonal transition into spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs when the sun moves directly above the equator and daylight and darkness become equal in length. “The word equinox is derived from the Latin word meaning ‘equal night,’ referring to the roughly 12-hour day and 12-hour night that occurs only on the two equinox days of each year,” Maree explains. “This day represents the balance of light and dark, day and night, outward and inward, and marks a coming together point in the Earth's cycles before she shifts directions.”
Since the winter solstice, the darkest night of the year, which falls in mid-December, daylight has been steadily increasing each day, heralding in the warmer, longer days of spring for those living in the Northern Hemisphere. “As we meet the spring equinox, the cold meets warm, dark meets light, inward meets outward, and shedding meets growth,” Maree explains.
When Is The Spring Equinox?
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the first day of spring can change each year. Because of Earth’s orbital precession, which refers to Earth’s rotational axis shifting its orientation, its axis persistently moves in different directions. In the case of the vernal equinox 2022, the first day of spring is Mar. 20.
What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of The Spring Equinox?
In many religions and cultures, the spring equinox is an incredibly important time. The passage of the new season represents the renewal of life itself. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Mayans celebrated the resurrections of their gods during the spring equinox, and the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia aligns to the date. In ancient times, people performed rituals during the equinox to cleanse old energy in themselves and in their homes. Some Pagan religions celebrate the equinox with a ritual called Ostara, which involves observing agricultural changes: it’s a time for earth-focused meditations and spring festivals (as well as classic activities like egg dyeing). The Persian new year, Nowruz, is still celebrated on the spring equinox.
The holiday also holds a lot of meaning in astrology, too. “While we meet this shift in the Earth's cycle, we also meet the astrological new year as the Sun moves into Aries,” explains Maree. “This speaks to a brilliant, powerful new beginning. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, straight out of the gate sprinting towards what it desires, with no intention to slow down until it arrives at its destination.” Not only does Aries pave the way for the rest of the zodiac, but it’s also ruled by the first house of self. This house is considered the ascendant house, which rules things related to identity including your sense of style, self-image, and your assertion of self to others.
From a spiritual standpoint, the spring equinox ushers in a divine opportunity for reinvention. This seasonal passage symbolizes a transformation that’s felt on a personal and collective level. Think, tweaks to your appearance, attitude, and aesthetics.
Spring Equinox Rituals
Where the winter solstice is spent quietly reflecting, resting, and meticulously planning your next moves, the spring equinox acts as a gateway to making all the changes through action. “[The spring equinox] is about excitement and initiation, boldness, and confidence. It’s a beautiful time to connect with what excites you, what projects or chapters you are ready to bring into your reality,” explains Maree. Capitalizing on the fresh energy of the spring equinox involves letting go, appreciating change, and resetting the clock.
Meditate on Changes In Nature
What better way to welcome spring than looking for the first signs of it? Just like ancient cultures that appreciate agricultural changes during the spring equinox, showing gratitude for the earth’s reawakening is not only a meaningful way to celebrate the spring equinox, but also a method to stay mindful and present. Take a nature walk and immerse yourself in the vibrant shifts in your environment — breathe in the smell of flowers and acknowledge the budding of leaves.
One way to express gratitude for the transition of spring is to give back to nature. Starting an herb garden, growing flowers, and propagating house plants can make a positive impact on the environment — not to mention bring beauty to your home. Don’t have a green thumb? Planting seeds metaphorically — by setting goals, manifestation journaling, or making vision boards — are all great ways to ring in the new season.
Perform An Energy Cleanse
Releasing things that no longer serve you is a powerful way to rid yourself of sinister energy that may be lingering around your home. Banish negativity by carrying out a smudge cleansing with an herb or oil that’s meaningful to you. Create a mantra like, “There is no place for negativity in this space; only love and light are welcome in my home,” and repeat this as you burn smoke or spray cleansing oil around each door and entryway. Visualize the bad, unwanted energy leaving and inviting purity and positivity inside.
Deep Clean Your Space
Spring cleaning does more than make room in your closet for sundresses and crop tops. In fact, decluttering and organizing your home has also been found to improve focus and mental clarity, according to some studies. Take time to sort through each room and donate unwanted clothes and home goods. Not only are you getting into the spring spirit by creating space for newness, but you’re also getting into the spirit of giving, which isn’t exclusive to the holiday season — it carries on after the winter solstice is long gone.
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