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.”
The Guiding Light
“The Sun has but one distinct function,” Blavatsky explains to her readers (Transactions, 116): —
it gives the impulse of life to all that breathes and lives under its light. The sun is the throbbing heart of the system, each throb being an impulse. This impulse is not mechanical but a purely spiritual, nervous impulse.”
A musical celebration of Sun,
Light and Sky, by Celtic Woman:
H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled
These teachings are “related to the spiritual, central sun, whose rays are all-pervading and unceasing, the eternal and boundless life-giver.”
“HE the Point — the centre (which is everywhere) of the circle (which is nowhere), the ethereal spiritual fire, the soul and spirit of the all-pervading, mysterious ether.”
This is “the despair and puzzle of the materialist,” she says, “who will some day find that that which causes the numberless cosmic forces to manifest themselves in eternal correlation, is but a divine electricity…”
“Light is the first begotten, and the first emanation of the Supreme, and Light is Life, says the evangelist. Both are electricity — the life-principle, the anima mundi, pervading the universe, the electric vivifier of all things.
“Light is the great Protean magician, and under the Divine Will of the architect, its multifarious, omnipotent waves gave birth to every form as well as to every living being.”
“From its swelling, electric bosom, springs matter and spirit. Within its beams lie the beginnings of all physical and chemical action, and of all cosmic and spiritual phenomena — it vitalizes and disorganizes.
“It gives life and produces death, and from its primordial point gradually emerged into existence the myriads of worlds, visible and invisible celestial bodies.
“It was at the ray of this First mother, one in three, that God, according to Plato, ‘lighted a fire, which we now call the sun…'”
“…and, which is not the cause of either light or heat, but merely the focus, or, as we might say, the lens, by which the rays of the primordial light become materialized, are concentrated upon our solar system, and produce all the correlations of forces.”
The heart generates significant fields that affect the entire body. The heart “is the Emperor of the system, overruling all,” holistic practitioner Folker Meissner, MD observes.
“The heart is constantly emitting sound, pressure waves, heat, light, electrical, magnetic, and electro-magnetic signals. All the cells in the body are receiving these different kinds of signals at different times, because they travel at different velocities through the circulatory system.”
Centers of Initiation
Theosophical scholar David Pratt points out that “No Egyptian pyramid has ever been found to contain the body of its presumed royal builder —
“…even sealed sarcophagi in pyramid chambers that have never been entered by tomb robbers have been found to be empty.”
Monuments like the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge, The Great Serpent Mound, and numerous other puzzling formations in every country on Earth, Theosophy asserts, were centers of initiation.
“In Egypt [the candidate] was placed in the Sarcophagus in the King’s Chamber of the Pyramid of Cheops, and carried during the night of the approaching third day to the entrance of a gallery where,” H. P. Blavatsky writes in The Secret Doctrine (2:558):
“…at a certain hour the beams of the rising Sun struck full on the face of the entranced candidate, who awoke to be initiated by Osiris, and Thoth the God of Wisdom.”
The initiated adept, who had successfully passed through all the trials, was attached, not nailed, but simply tied on a couch in the form of a tau . . . [and] plunged in a deep sleep . . .
“He was allowed to remain in this state for three days and three nights, during which time his Spiritual Ego was said to confabulate with the ‘gods,’
“…and descend into Hades, Amenti, or Patala (according to the country),” Blavatsky asserts, “and do works of charity to the invisible beings, whether souls of men or Elemental Spirits — his body remaining all the time in a temple crypt or subterranean cave.”
Freddy Silva is one of the world’s leading researchers of ancient systems of knowledge, and the interaction between temples and consciousness. Please visit his website Invisible Temple: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Lives ™.
“How is it that ancient civilizations were able to maintain their cultures in perfect equilibrium for thousands of years,” Silva asks, “but ours become dysfunctional in less than fifty?”
One answer he says, “is to look at the legacy of temples, oracles and sacred sites they left behind. By understanding sacred sites we can learn what they do for us, to us, and how and why.”
“That’s when you arrive at the true temple, the invisible temple.”
“This requires looking beyond their obvious physical façade, and into the layers of coding, metaphor and subtle force.”
“Lying all around us in plain view are the means which ancient cultures once maintained themselves in balance. They are called ‘Temples.’ Pyramids, stone circles, menhirs, dolmens, sanctuaries and mounds. They were all built to remain mirrors of the heavens so that ordinary men and women may be transformed into gods. Temples are first seen, and then felt.”
The key to the true meaning of the building of Solomon’s Temple is given by W. Q. Judge in the Ocean of Theosophy — described as symbolizing the invisible planning and construction of the human body in the distant past, during the infancy of humanity.
This took place, Blavatsky explains in Isis Unveiled (2:391):
“… during the Golden Age of the childhood of the human race … when the gods walked among mankind and were their divine instructors.”
“It is here that Masonic tradition should be studied together with the Biblical account,” Blavatsky says.
A New Order of Ages
It is also useful here to take note of the pyramid and all-seeing eye on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, printed on the dollar bill. The significance is explained in W. Q. Judge’s article – The Adepts in America in 1776.
“The building of a temple referred to the actual establishment of an initiation center, where the ancient wisdom was taught,” explains Freemason Sgt.Stacey on his Facebook account.
“Disciples were trained and brought to the ‘new’ or ‘second’ birth,” he writes, “and thenceforth themselves became adepts or initiates.”
“Long before the building of the great pyramids,” Pratt writes, “Blavatsky says that there are records which show that
“…initiated Egyptian priests journeyed from one land to another in order to supervise the building of colossal zodiacs and other stone monuments, and earthen mounds.”
(See: The Secret Doctrine 2:750-4)
“Carnac in Brittany and Stonehenge in England are two of the monuments whose original structures date from this period. … towns, temples, and other monuments were commonly rebuilt or restored on the same sacred sites. The name of Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, survives in hundreds of Toot or Tot hills all over England.”
“…the sarsen ring of trilithons at Stonehenge is the same size as the Egyptian ‘year circle.'”
“Tradition connects Stonehenge with initiated Egyptian priests who traveled overland to Albion when it was still a peninsula connected with the mainland. The colossal zodiacs at Avebury and Glastonbury would also have been built at the instigation of these adept astronomers.”
H. P. Blavatsky explains:
“The Winter Solstice”
by Cameron Broughton
“Today we celebrate the Winter Solstice, the longest night and shortest day of the year. To many people in the western world this tradition has been released as other traditions have taken its place.
“For some the Celtic calendar or Pagan practices are coming to life again with renewed meaning. As we are in exciting times of change and poised for evolutionary shifts in consciousness this winter solstice has more meaning for us than meets the eye.
“As with many traditions, religious or spiritual in nature, their original purpose can get lost in repeated actions that are routinely practiced from generation to generation.
“When this happens it can create an imbalance because the thread of connection has been lost. One of the beautiful gifts of the Winter Solstice is the opportunity to pause, to take a breath and go inward. The solstice is the still point where the sun setting on the horizon takes a breath from moving in one direction to move back in the other.
“They used this time to take stock of the previous year to see what worked and what didn’t, releasing what no longer served them and visualizing dreams for their coming year as they celebrated the turn toward the growing light.
“As we review our lives we are reconnected with what matters to us most by our inward journey to the knowing still point within us that is our inner wisdom and higher self. Rekindling the light within as the days grow longer brings us to spring and new beginnings.”
“We are grateful more than ever to have the opportunity to know ourselves, to create anew and to be in harmony with the natural cycle of our world. It is from this place that we can authentically create a positive course of action having released what no longer works. This is important for us not only personally but globally as well.”
May you find your thread of connection to Source!
Gayatri – the Rig-Veda
“Om Bhur Buvaha Suvaha
Thath Savithur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayat”
“THAT which giveth sustenance to the Universe and to ourselves, from which all doth proceed, and unto which all must return — THAT THOU ART. In the golden vase of thine earthly body, may the pure Light of the Spiritual Sun shine forth, that thou may’st know the Truth, and do thy whole duty, on thy journey back to the Sacred Seat!”
Eat The Sun
Today, with the help of the Internet, this revived practice of sun gazing is gathering global momentum.
In many ancient civilizations, from the Incas and Aztecs to the Greeks and Egyptians, this practice was exclusive to the high priests. It was forbidden to ‘ordinary’ people, for obvious reasons – it can be harmful if practiced without knowledge.
Modern day sungazers claim a multitude of health benefits including better eyesight, enhanced vitality, weight loss and, in some more profound cases, a complete loss of the desire and need to eat food. The main theory of how this is possible focuses on the stimulation of the pineal gland from direct sunlight entering the brain via the eye – the only external expression of the brain – and traveling along the retinal-hypothalamic tract.
Don’t Try This at Home!
“The filmmakers do not recommend or endorse the views and practices concerning sungazing and fasting portrayed in this film. Anyone contemplating such behavior should seek the advice of a competent medical professional.”