Spring brings a quickening. Sap begins to flow after a winter of near stillness, new buds emerge from the earth and the tips of trees, and lumbering bears begin to wake in their dens, ravenous after a season spent hibernating. The natural world is a chirping, budding, and persistent reminder of the spiritual meaning of the spring equinox.
What’s In a Name?
The spring equinox is also known as the vernal equinox. Vernal means new or fresh, and the Latin roots of equinox refer to the near-equal length of day and night on this day. This balance can only happen when the Earth’s axis is neither tilting towards nor away from the sun, but rather positioned directly vertical. The spiritual meaning of the vernal equinox, and this upright posture, may resonate with a feeling of lightening and lifting up that has been building since the full Worm Moon.
There is a symmetry present, a deep-rooted balance that is emerging which offers spiritual guidance for those who are attuned to natural and celestial currents. This time brings forth, “light and darkness dancing together, born together, born of each other, neither preceding, neither following, both fully being in joyful rhythm,” as Madeleine L’Engle writes in A Swiftly Tilting Planet.
The Spiritual Meaning of the Spring Equinox
As the shift continues from the quiet and introspective focus of winter to more outward, engaged, and energetic feelings, there may be growing pains that surface. There is often discomfort in the change. Few find change comfortable, and yet it truly is the only constant. How then do we learn to navigate the discomfort, to reconcile with the inevitable shifts that we see so blatantly in nature and feel so deeply within ourselves?
[Read: “Why Change Is Difficult for Us (and Ways to Overcome It).”]
Whenever there is a pull from two directions, in this case from the quiet of winter to the activity of spring, it is vital to find an anchor in the present moment. There will be a part of you that wants to curl up under the covers and go back to sleep even as another part wants to leap from the bed, throw open the windows, and burst forth in song with the birds.
Find Peace With the Spring Equinox
Spiritual direction can be taken from the rhythm of nature. Begin by physically bringing yourself more upright throughout the day. Feel your feet connect with the earth (even if they are physically separated by concrete or wood) and imagine yourself growing roots. As you reach down to the earth, feel your spine lengthen and stretch yourself upright without effort. Let your shoulders drop away from your ears, your heart lift, and your breath becomes easy and full. Imagine that you can lift yourself up with the same amount of energy as you are rooting yourself down. Bring your awareness to your center, acknowledging the gentle draw in both directions, and allow yourself to find the stillness in the center, the ease of existing at the center point.
As you find your way to your still center, learn to move with that stillness as you gently reach out into the world, as a bud would from the end of a tree branch. Let yourself begin slowly, acclimating to a more active state. Come back to stillness when the discomfort becomes too much. Return yourself always to your inner voice, honoring what your true self is telling you, beyond the stories, beyond the limiting beliefs, listen to your truth.
“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” —Madeleine L’Engle, A Swiftly Tilting Planet.
Celebrate spring! Shed and emerge, cleanse, name, and claim with a spring equinox detox.