As the cold weather starts to ebb here in the Northern Hemisphere, new beginnings sprout. We’re now approaching the astrological new year and a full supermoon in Libra. And as we do, we notice the reappearance of the sun and later sunsets, as well as the scent of things starting to grow just beyond our sight. On Wednesday, March 20th, we welcome the official start of spring with the equinox. With it, the universe ushers in the opportunity for our own personal fresh starts (even in the midst of Mercury retrograde!).
This is the energy of the equinox and the restart of the zodiac calendar: fire, emerging and leveraging our physical body to chase our dreams.
The Astrological New Year: Restarting The Calendar On The Ecliptic
While Eastern traditions consider late January the start of the new year via the Chinese zodiac, in tropical western astrology Aries, or the Spring Equinox, commences the zodiacal beginning. The moment the Sun moves from the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, into Aries at 5:58 PM ET on March 20th, when the Sun hovers over the equator, we enter into cardinal fire.
Think of it this way… While we’re planted firmly on Earth, our planet is tracing a path around our stationary sun. This path—the ecliptic—along with the tilt of Earth’s axis, allows us to relate to different constellations at different times of the year. It looks like the sky and the stars are moving, but actually, it’s us. We live on the earth, that rotates on its axis while traveling around the sun. As we travel around the Sun, our vantage point and proximity changes.
How the Zodiac Works
As someone who studies the cosmos for a living, I’ve come to believe that the Earth’s transit through Universe exposes us to different potentials throughout the year. As we enter into the season of Aries, we become hardwired to initiate new beginnings. From the perspective of chronobiology, we respond to either the sun’s climax or decline (depending on where we are in the world) and this activates the rhythms that guide our life.
So, while we say, “the sun moves into 0 degrees in Aries” at the equinox, in reality, the sun isn’t moving at all. We’re moving, and in doing so, we sidestep the sun and clearly absorb and experience the energy of this constellation.
Tapping Into Aries Season: Connection Through Movement
As above, so below. In the words of New York Times write, Nicholas St. Fleur “The spring equinox is a point in Earth’s orbit where the sun shines directly above the Equator, creating nearly equal periods of daytime and nighttime across the globe.” And with the sun shining so brightly on the equator, symbolically we resume a connection to balance.
Thank goodness, because who can’t use a bit celestial balance in their lives?
This “movement” in the sky is a signal for our own cells to shift. Aries asks us to use the insight and intuitive hits we received during Pisces season to resume forward motion again.
Aries is the sign of the stalwart ram and is ruled by passionate and fiery Mars. With the sun in this sign, you can expect a gust of physical energy, willpower, grit, and maybe even a calling to step into a leadership role.
How will you leverage this powerful energy to write the first chapter of a new story?
This is the season of blossoming, love. Use the reserves you’ve built up all winter to extend your unique and essential energy forth in the world. Unfurl your petals, spread your wings. You can support this external fire energy by paying extra attention to your relationships with the masculine/Mars. Take concrete steps toward your goals, and make extra time in your schedule to move your body.
Full Moon In Libra: Finding Balance In Relationships
On the same day we welcome the spring equinox and Aries season in the Northern Hemisphere, we also get a supermoon in Libra. This is rare for the equinox and full moon to concurrently occur.
Libra (balance) is the sign opposite of Aries (independence), and a full moon happens when the sun and moon oppose one another. Think about it: the earth and sun align so that the sun shines directly above the equator. And at the same time, the sun and the moon align so that the moon stands opposite of the sun. Here the moon is capable of receiving the sun’s light and reflecting it back to as a full moon.
This moon highlights the push and pull between independence and our relationship with the greater good.
If you’re feeling this internal tug, you’re not alone. I’ve spent the past month (past year, really!) exploring the connection between my personal and professional goals and how I show up in my relationships. Letting some things go so I could be emotionally closer with my husband and strengthen the bonds of our marriage was one of my top priorities. And, I’ve had to move my physical body to the hustle of Manhattan so I can be with him as I write my book and simultaneously, serve my community.
To be clear, after so much exploration of where I do best in life, I am clear it’s not NYC. However, as I round out my tenth year of marriage to a partner I love more than life, I am making a compromise, and am spending more time in the city, so that I can support him with his career.
Thankfully, (on the Equinox), I’ll be getting the keys to a new apartment, an apartment I consciously chose so I could be super close to my gym, Central Park, and the library where I spend most of my time these days writing. I am optimizing my life in the city, and of course, still, spend lots of time upstate—my literal sweet spot.
This is my version of balance. It’s a fresh start that helps me honor the clear boundaries I have with my time and energy while showing up to the best of my ability for my husband.
How are you balancing the dichotomy of Me (Aries) vs. We (Libra) in your life
This full moon occurs at 0 degrees in Libra at 9:42 pm ET on March 20th. It happens with Venus in Aquarius and Mars in Taurus in a square (a harsh angle), while the sun conjoins Chiron. As a supermoon, this full moon travels close to earth, amplifying emotions. Saturn, Pluto, and the moon’s south node (which symbolizes past life karmas) come into very close orbit with one another in a trine to Mars, amplifying the intensity of this full supermoon even more.
Since this full moon opposes the sun/Chiron conjunction, now’s not the time to avoid looking at the dark parts of ourselves that prevent us from forwarding movement. Even with Mercury retrograde until March 28th, you’ve gotta make some choices.
Thankfully the equinox happens on the same day as the Libra full moon—a full moon in the sign of balance on the day of balance between light and dark—so aim for equanimity. Look to find the place within that helps you stay centered no matter what. With so much energy swirling about in the cosmos, it’s no wonder it’s tempting to want to hide away and avoid the world around us (hello, Mercury retrograde, anyone?). However, I urge you to practice cultivating equanimity instead.
Cultivating Equanimity on the Most Equanimous Day of the Year
In the ancient Yogic and Buddhist practices, equanimity is known as upekkhā or upekṣā, and is the fourth of the brahmaviharas. Cultivating equanimity means accepting, or even welcoming, both “good” and “bad” experiences with equal fervor, knowing that you can enjoy both. Each is fleeting and teaches us something unique about ourselves. While this can sometimes be misconstrued as being detached from reality, this belief is a misunderstood one at best.
Equanimity means allowing yourself to be influenced, moved, and inspired by the happenings of the world around you without allowing it to disturb your peace within. It’s the symbolism of the ocean’s choppy surface and her deep stillness. It is not indifference to suffering or bliss. Rather, it’s the acceptance of the fluctuations of life that come hand-in-hand with being a human on this planet. It allows for a peaceful inner existence, despite the excitement, horror, and other emotional twists and turns that present themselves to us on a daily basis.
So, we can look at the sky and curse it, hide in our beds, or lash out at the world around us. Or, we can do as the Buddhists and Yogis do, and thank the cosmos for offering us the opportunity to practice. Remember, this too shall pass.