The Spring Equinox, when day and night are equal all over the world, is marked by the Sun’s ingress, or entry, into Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. This is the astrological new year, when we move into the light, active half of the year here in the northern hemisphere. Our energy is turned outwards into the world, to grow and create and blossom, just like the nature around us. At Spring Equinox, we carry the seeds, lessons and growth of the winter season out into the world. Astrologically, we carry the seeds, lessons and growth of the previous cycle of the zodiac into the new cycle, allowing the divine spark of Aries energy to inspire us to action and movement.
The dragon energy of the earth is awakening at Spring Equinox and Aries symbolises our drive to create, to act and to change. It’s the impulse which moves us to action. In Vedic astrology, Aries is the thunderbolt arising from the primordial waters of Pisces, the new cycle born from the old, new conscious awareness born from the unconscious self. Nature is beginning to show her abundance at Spring Equinox as the sunlight increases, awakening the plant’s powers of photosynthesis and greening the landscape. All is rising, blossoming, blooming, even reproducing, as the world explodes with the Aries force of nature.
Aries is ruled by the planet Mars, known as a warrior god who fights for what he believes in (and sometimes apparently for the joy of it!). Mars symbolises our power to assert ourselves, to be an individual, to take action. The warrior energy of Aries calls us to know our own power – and to use it well, for our own growth and also to benefit others. Mars was originally a pastoral god of agriculture and the countryside, a link to the Green Man whose spark of growing energy is so apparent as the sap rises in the spring. In Babylonian times, this sign was known as the “Hired Labourer”, reflecting the busy agricultural season when extra help was needed for clearing the land and sowing new crops.
The traditional symbol of Aries is the ram and this first sign of the zodiac may also have been connected with the ewe goddess Seret in ancient Egypt, a symbol of fertility and nurturing new life. Hebrew mythology refers to Rachel as the Divine Ewe, the mother of the Holy Lamb. The lamb is a beautiful symbol of Aries energy, springing around the fields at this time of year and reminding us of the power of play. Aries is all about youthful enthusiasm, taking risks and trying out new things purely for the fun of it. The energy of Aries is both innocent and energetic, carrying a kind of purity which comes with the new cycle. The lack of experience can be a challenge but can also be a gift, helping us to avoid the traps of fear, self doubt and overthinking. If we don’t know what can go wrong, we’re much more likely to just take a leap, like a young child exploring the world for the first time. Aries is a pioneer, a risk taker, an adventurer, like the tarot Fool stepping off the cliff, free of burdens or expectations.
There’s a simplicity to this sign which is reflected in the newness of nature all around us. Like the newly risen sun or the newly unfurled leaves, Aries energy is full of promise. Aries also brings us the gift of present moment awareness, an ability to simply be where we are without worrying about where we’ve been or what comes next. Again, this may have been much easier when we were children but every year Aries brings us a reminder of the power of celebrating our existence, the wonder that is the nature around us and the simple joys of life.
Astrological Magic for Spring Equinox
A phoenix spell for rebirth
At Spring Equinox we celebrate the birth of the new astrological year – this spell allows you to honour and release the energies of the past cycle of the zodiac as well as embracing the rebirth of the new cycle. Its best done at dawn and ideally when the sun is visible, rising in a clear sky. If you can, light a small fire outside but if not, incense sticks corresponding to sun energies like orange, rosemary or frankincense are just as effective. Light your fire or incense and as you do so, name and visualise all that you want to burn away from the past season or zodiac cycle. As you watch them burn, you can write or create a call to the phoenix, calling in what you want to celebrate and the new life you want to bring into being at the Spring Equinox. Allow the incense or fire to burn out and wait for the ashes to cool, meditating on your intent. Once the ashes are cool enough to touch, scatter them to the wind as you speak or visualise your call. You may be aware of phoenix energies around you or you may see a sign in the coming days. Don’t forget to thank the phoenix for hearing you.
Making your own magical incense brings together the fire energy of Aries with the strong airy energy which is so often present in the turbulent winds of the Equinox. Mixing equal parts of resin and dried herbs, along with a few drops of essential oil (just enough to hold the dry ingredients together), makes a loose incense which you can burn on charcoal discs. An incense for Aries at the Spring Equinox might include frankincense or copal resin, pine or juniper oil and dried nettle, hawthorn, blackberry or birch leaves. It can be burned as part of your Spring Equinox celebrations and / or as a spell to carry away stagnant energies (many of the herbs associated with this time of year have cleansing properties, including the ones suggested here) as well as carrying your new vision and intentions for the coming cycle.
Sacred movement is a great way to tune into the fiery energy of Aries and to become aware of your own energy and inner flame as well as clearing away any stagnant energy from the still winter season. Whatever level of physical activity you’re able to do is just fine, whether its simple sitting stretches, walking, dancing, running – whatever feels good for your body right now. The important thing is to do it mindfully, to be aware of the movement and the energy moving around your body. Listen to your body and let it move you, rather than the other way around.
Lys is a pagan astrologer and tarot reader based in London, you can find her on Instagram @wildstarlys or on her website