Blog: New Beginnings, New Potentials at the Spring Equinox
By Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
Since December’s winter solstice season, when the days were shortest and the nights the longest of the year, the days have been growing steadily longer and the nights shorter. Now, at the time of the spring equinox, they are of equal length. The spring equinox is always a time of renewal and rebirth as the earth reaches this point in its relationship to the sun.
In the Sacred Stream Center garden, there is new growth – and new members of the plant community. We have several new pitcher sage plants which are known for their powerful healing capacities in restoring health and well-being. Their beautiful purple flowers are always at the height of their bloom during the spring equinox season. This year, we celebrate their coming as we celebrate the renewal of the year along with the new moon which dawns just after the equinox on March 20.
We join a long tradition of celebrating the equinox as a time of renewal as people from cultures from around the world have since time immemorial. For hundreds of years at this moment in the calendar, the sunlight has been moving downward over the Kukulkan Pyramid, giving the impression of a snake slithering down on the stones at Chichen Itza, the Mayan pyramid complex in Mexico. Archaeologists believe this effect was created to evoke the Mayan feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl, whose return to earth marked the beginning of the planting season.
At the Mnajdra Temple complex on Malta’s southern coast, temples were built with a specific alignment toward the equinox and the solstice. On the equinox, sunlight has been directly entering the central corridor of the South Temple there at sunrise for many centuries. In this way, people have been able to mark their place in time and space. The Persian New Year, Nowruz is also celebrated on the spring equinox. It marks the first day of the first month of the Iranian calendar. The phrase “Nowruz” means “new day,” and this is a time of hope and rebirth.
As we contemplate renewal and hope at the equinox this year, we are also celebrating the new moon at almost the same time. For gardeners, the new moon is always a time for planting. For astronomers, it marks a new cycle, a new journey of the brightest light in our night sky. With this double emphasis on new beginnings in the sky, we may find support as we take our first steps in manifesting something new in our lives.
In order to manifest what we want, we have to look at how we set our intentions. Setting intentions that bear fruit is actually a bit of a science – one that requires us to align ourselves more fully with universal forces to bring forward the fruits of our intention. Now is the perfect moment to align ourselves with the new beginnings of this season and allow ourselves to imagine, to dream and to intend what new possibilities we might want to bring into our lives.
It is very important that we believe that we can create something new and fulfilling. This can be hard to do when so many of us have been just trying to get through all the challenges that the world is presenting to us. Yet, we can all take a moment to look to the sky, to the brightening of the sun and the expansion of the moon and align ourselves with them as we step into imagining and intending a new way of being, a new way of thinking, a new relationship with the world.
This is a perfect moment to step toward manifesting the new potential the sun and the moon are pointing us toward. As we do this, we can let the words from John O’Donohue’s beautiful poem, To Bless the Space Between Us, guide us:
“Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.
As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.”