Equinoxes are genuinely magical times of the year.
Night and day, light and darkness are in balance. It was a day when rituals, ceremonies, and even magic were common in ancient times. This article explores a few places connected to the power of the equinox and shares a couple of ways to work with the magic of this special time.
The Spring equinox falls on March 20th, 2023.
The word equinox comes from the Latin aequinoctium, from aequus (equal) and nox (noctis) (night). In ancient times this period was called the time of grace and beauty. Our ancestors loved the sun and tracked its travels in the sky. Many temples were aligned to the sun and its annual rhythms. The directions of solstice and equinox sunrises and sunsets were called the seven sacred directions, which include the axis mundi, the vertical axis connecting the earth to the heavens.
In Paleolithic times, sacred painted caves like Lascaux in France were oriented in one or more of these seven directions. At Lascaux, the equinox sunset would illuminate some of the paintings inside for a few brief moments.
Neolithic people aligned their massive stone structures to the first or last of the sun’s rays during the equinox and solstices. Called dolmens, covered passageways, or burial mounds, their complex functions involved rituals and spirituality. Sacred places oriented to the sun captured the essence and energy of the sun’s first or last light. An example of an equinox sunrise alignment is at the Mnjadra temple complex in Malta. On the morning of the equinox, the sun’s rays shine through the central passageway of the Lower Temple, illuminating a small shrine inside.
Many cultures captured the sun’s energy in a bowl of water.
Charging this water in this manner on the equinox imbued it with magical qualities. For example, at places in Ireland, like Newgrange Monument and the Loughcrew Cairn complex, carved stone bowls could be illuminated by the sun during the solstices and equinoxes.
We can experience the powerful energy of the equinox sun too.
One way is to make a pilgrimage to a sacred place aligned with this time. Traveling to Mexico is relatively easy. At Chichen Itza, dedicated to the serpent rain god, Kukulkán, is a pyramid called El Castillo. During the equinox, the sun hits the pyramid at a precise angle, creating a snake’s shadow slithering down the pyramid steps. A representation for the Mayans of their god, Kukulkán fertilizing the earth with water from the cosmos.
In the US, Chaco Canyon in New Mexico also aligns with the equinox sunrise at Casa Rinconada. It shines through the east and west windows of the kiva and is a popular place to experience the magic of the equinox sunrise. But not many people live near a sacred place. If you want to stay home, there are a couple of things you can do to connect with the power and beauty of the equinox sun.
One interesting exercise is to go outside before sunrise and find a place to sit and observe the sun.
What direction does it rise? How does it feel when the sun’s rays first hit the land? By doing this for several days or even weeks, a sensitivity to the sun’s energy takes place. Then on the morning of the equinox, watch the sunrise. Notice the change in the quality of the sun’s power.
Another way to work with the equinox is to charge water with the sun’s energy.
As ancient people did, prepare a bowl of water for the equinox on March 20th. It is easy to do. Use a clean bowl and good water. Position the bowl, making sure that the first sunrise rays touch it. Use a special altar cloth and crystals to make the space more sacred. After the water is charged, drink it, noting the change in taste and quality.
The following way is to make a flower essence with the equinox sun.
First, do a meditation with the plant and ask permission to take a few flowers. When communicating with the plant, be aware that sometimes the answer is no. If this is the case, move on to another flower and do the same thing. After finding an agreeable plant, place a clean bowl filled with distilled water next to your plant. Cut a few of the most vibrant flowers and let them drop into the water. Take care not to touch the flowers. Do another meditation and ask the deva of the flower for assistance in making the flower essence strong. Leave the flowers in the water for 20 min. Then strain and drink sips throughout the week. If you want to preserve it, fill a glass bottle with 30% preservatives, usually vodka, brandy, or vinegar, and the rest with your water.
Lastly, be an alchemist.
At dawn on the equinox, use a sheet of linen to capture the dew on the grass or plants. When the cloth is soaked, squeeze the water into a bowl and filter it. This water contains exceptional energy and was used by alchemists to create their magical potions.
These are a few ways to connect deeply with the energy, balance, and grace of the Spring equinox. By working with this special time of the year, one can find an understanding and appreciation of our ancestor’s rituals and spirituality and deepen their own.
By Karen Crowley-Susani and Dominique Susani, sacred geometry and geobiology experts and authors of Secrets of Sacred Geometry, Solar Geometry for Health and Life, Sacred Santa Fe, Geomancy, Geometry, and Energetics of its Churches, Ad Quadratum, Geometry of the Square of Nebbiu Cathedral, and Earth Alchemy, Aligning your Home with Nature’s Energies.