The spring equinox seems important for us to acknowledge. Certainly, on a basic level we recognize its importance that warmer days are ahead.
On a deeper level, maybe we remember that this would have been an important time for our ancestors, who were quite familiar with the cycles of seasons and their patterns in relation to celestial movements. This knowledge was imperative in order to survive and live well in a harsh climate. The beginning of the warm season meant the environment came alive again, and hard work was ahead to prepare for the inevitable cold which would return.
Call me an idealist, but I do not believe that our ancestors were primitive, unintelligent cavemen, but that they were probably smarter than us, since they had to live in harmony with nature and this would have required millennia of knowledge about plants and wildlife as well as very competent planning, prudence and resourcefulness.
Back then, you probably lived everyday aware of what nature was doing around you, developing a profound wisdom of relationship with the planet.
Contrast this to what we have today : skills of survival in nature are virtually non-existent, we live very sheltered lives in the safety of commercial housing and grocery stores, and we have technology that allows many people conveniences and luxuries that not even the kings of the past would have had. In spite of all this, people are unhealthy, depressed, diseased and, oh yeah, we are poisoning our environment that we live in. Doesn’t seem very smart.
Indeed, there are clues all around our planet, showing that the ancients were very advanced in astronomy and archeology. There are ancient structures all across the globe constructed to line up with the equinoxes and solstices ; the circles and stone monuments of Europe, the Egyptian pyramids and monuments at Giza, and the temples in Latin America, for example. What’s more is that, we cannot explain how these awesome buildings and temples were constructed, in all these different places on the Earth. To our level of intelligence, it is a mystery.
Maybe this amazing architecture, beautiful with mathematical precision, is what results when you have people so connected to the workings of nature and the stars. Perhaps deep ecological understanding leads to healthy innovation, scientists, archeologists and astronomers.
Or maybe it was all built by an alien race long ago. Who knows.
Again look at what we have today; connection with nature among the population is severely lacking, we live among garbage with ugly architecture and most people have a pretty low IQ, being mostly preoccupied with fashion and pop culture.
Maybe a deep knowledge of how nature works leads to smarter, stronger, healthier-minded humans. It is after all, science. At least we know for certain through research, that spending time in forests does have an impact on ones mental health.
The Vernal Equinox
Let’s review what the Spring equinox is in attempt to connect with the beauty and mystery of the planet.
We’re here, on a planet that is spinning in a circle, completing one rotation every 24 hours, while travelling at a speed of 30 km per second around the sun. Our planet is tilted at 23.5 degrees, causing the North pole to be either pointed towards or away from the sun, depending on where it is in its journey. Today it is facing the sun broadside, neither toward or away, and this is what causes an equal length of daytime all over the globe. From now on, for 3 months, we will tilt more toward the sun until the Summer solstice when we will start to tilt away again.
The earth also wobbles a little, while it spins and travels in an ecliptic. Because of this wobble, the constellation that we see rising with the sun on the Spring equinox isn’t always the same. For our lifetime it will be, as it only changes every 2,160 years. We are right now in the zodiacal sign of Pisces, but by the 2160 we are expected to be in Aquarius.
This phenomenon is called ‘precession’ and these celestial movements are very regular and predictable, only they occur very, very slowly from the human perspective. It has been suggested that ancient peoples in a far more distant past than we have previously imagined, were aware of this precession of the equinoxes. That is because there are certain numbers related to the pattern, such as the the number of years to complete the entire zodiac, the number of time required for the constellation to move one degree on the horizon, etc – these numbers always turn up in the stories of ancient mythologies, from different parts of the planet and in different cultures.
On a very basic level, we know our tribal forebears celebrated the vernal equinox as a time of rebirth and renewal. It is a basic concept, but an important one to earth-based peoples. The Germanic tribes celebrated the goddess Ostara, the embodiment of the renewal of life and fertility, and used eggs and hares to symbolize her.
This doesn’t necessarily imply that there was a belief in a literal deity who was able to exert power over or dictate laws to humanity. The eggs, flowers, rabbits, and goddess motifs are symbols that are important because they impart and capture an essence, in this case the essence of springtime. They kind of reinforce that power of the season. Symbols and decorations allow us to take the ideas they invoke and highlight what it means to us.
Nature inspires creativity and intelligence manifesting in myths, fairy tales, art and decor. Let us not forget the significance of the equinoxes and the solstices deriving from the beauty and mystery of the planet as we celebrate and decorate.