THE 2018 Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere occurred at 12:15 PM, Tuesday, March 20 according to astronomical reckoning.
But what exactly is the spring equinox or ‘vernal equinox,’ as it is also known, and why do so many Northern peoples like to celebrate it every year at this time?
The astronomical event marks the start of spring in the northern hemisphere, which means longer days are on the way and people around the world will celebrate fresh starts.
The phenomenon is a solar event like the solstices that occur on the first days of summer and winter at dawn for two or three days.
Though the length of days are not equal, at solstices the sun seems to linger for several minutes in its passage across the sky, before beginning to double back, another kind of beginning or rebirthing.
In the northern hemisphere the solstices mark the annual return of an ancient solar festival. Indeed, “turnings of the sun” is an old phrase, used by both Hesiod and Homer. The novelist Alan Furst has one of his characters nicely observe, “the day the sun is said to pause,” (NY Times Op Ed): “Pleasing, that idea as though the universe stopped for a moment to reflect, took a day off from work. One could sense it, time slowing down.”
But for Theosophy light has much deeper metaphysical even spiritual implications. Both the Sun and the human heart are the two greatest life-givers we know, both emit light and are indissolubly interconnected. According to occult teachings, both radiate a powerful aura of biological and regenerative energies continuously.
H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine (1:290, xxi) reveals, (from a “Commentary hitherto secret”) that: “The real substance of the concealed (Sun) is a nucleus of Mother substance,
it is the heart and the matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our solar universe.”
“As its substance is of a different kind from that known on earth, the inhabitants of the latter, seeing through it, believe in their illusion and ignorance that it is empty space,” she notes, “yet there is
not one finger’s breath (angula) of void Space in the whole Boundless Universe.”
Ancient astrology and astronomy identify many ancient temples and pyramids around the world were connected to solar symbology. Such sites and mounds are considered mere burial tombs by mainstream archaeologists, most of whom are disinterested in spiritual traditions.
But at the time of their construction these sites were in fact intended, wrote H. P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled (1:270), to be sacred places of initiation. Describing the Spiritual Sun, called “Agni,” the ancient Rig-Veda declared: “His radiance is undecaying …
…the intensely-shining, all-pervading, unceasing, undecaying rays of Agni desist not, neither night nor day.”