The Spring Equinox has arrived. This marks the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It also means we have almost equal amounts of daylight and darkness. This is the earliest spring since 1896! (This has something to do with this being a leap year). Incredible!
There are signs to look for in nature that let us know that this is the spring equinox. Here are a few signs for the Northern Hemisphere; earlier dawns and later sunsets, the arc of the sun across the sky every day is shifting towards the north, and birds and butterflies are migrating toward the north along the same path of the sun. Warmer weather is coming with the longer day, and trees and flowers are budding and beginning to bloom. A new cycle has begun.
In the Southern Hemisphere the opposite is happening, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer and winter is approaching. The Northern Hemisphere, however, is trying to fit into their swimsuits, dusting off their flipflops and making their summer vacation plans.
Perspective from a Different Culture
The Chinese philosophy is that spring is associated with the color green (this is also a western philosophy), the wood element, things sprouting, your eyes, your liver, anger, shouting, patience and altruism. Have you ever seen pictures of a green dragon pertaining to the Chinese culture? This is also associated with the signs of spring according to the Chinese. Spring is also associated with the direction east, which is the direction of the sunrise. What’s all this about? you ask. It has to do with the Five Phases or Five Elements in Chinese beliefs. It’s a description of nature. And nature, as we know, never stops moving. These phases or elements correspond to the seasons. But of course they do. The Chinese tend to tie everything back to the sun, stars and universe. How cool is that? 1. Things sprout and grow in the spring. 2. They ignite or bloom in the summer. 3. They reach completeness in late summer. 4. They dry and wither in the fall. 5. And they rest in winter.
Once you understand the Phases, you start to see it in many things surrounding you. Winter promises spring. Understand that the profound cold of winter must happen first in order for things to come alive in the spring. So as things have been dormant in the winter, expect new endeavors to grow and sprout in the spring.
Celebrate the Spring Equnox
Plant a garden. In Chinese philosophy, springtime, green, and your eyes all correspond to each other. Have you ever taken a drive in the spring and noticed all the different shades of green and wildflowers along the side of the road? It actually feels good to the eyes to see all the different shades of green and beautiful colors. If your eyes ever feel strained and achy from staring at your computer screen all day, take a drive or a walk and notice all the colors. Really notice. Your eyes will love it.
Shout it out! It’s time to start anew and let it all go. It really is ok to do this. In fact, sometimes it is very necessary. Find somewhere you are comfortable, and then just let it all go with conviction. Out with the old and breathe in the newness of the spring and all that it has to offer. Expect great things to happen.
Stand facing east and give thanks to the sun which rises every single day. Be thankful for the phases in life and all that surrounds us that nurtures us and keeps us alive; food, water, sunshine, trees, plants, the earth, bees, etc. We couldn’t really have one without the other. That’s pretty powerful.
You can start to recognize these phases in all aspects of life; relationships, the aging process, the course of a day, a musical, a meal, etc. This is how it is supposed to be. There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Happy Spring Equinox everyone!