The Solstices & Equinoxes
The equinoxes mark astronomical points when the Sun passes directly over the Earth's equatorial plane right in between the Tropics of Cancer & Capricorn. This causes both hemispheres to experience roughly equal illumination from this light giver's shiny rays.
The word equinox comes from the Latin 'aequinoctium' and the Old French 'equinoxe', and translates to 'equal night'.
When the Sun shines over the Tropic of Cancer, the North Pole is tilted much closer to the Sun than the South Pole. This leads to more light and heat in the Northern Hemisphere (AKA summer) and less in the Southern Hemisphere (AKA winter). This is all reversed in December when the Sun shines over the Tropic of Capricorn.
The point of astrology, (which is my forte) is to find meaning and symbolism in the planetary journeys through the sky. The solstices & equinoxes symbolize the journey of the Sun moving up & down in the sky from the view of us earth-dwelling beings!
Autumnal Equinox 2023: Libra Season
The Sun moves into Libra marking this time on Friday, Sept. 22nd, at 11:50 pm PDT. We can do this by considering the energetic shift in ourselves and those around us as the Sun leaves Virgo and heads into Libra.
Virgo: The Virgin
Virgo is symbolized by the Virgin in astrology. Rather than thinking this means a lack of sexual escapades or simply a 'maiden', which is the definition you will find if you decide to look up this word, I prefer the definition given by Liz Greene in the well-revered astrology book: The Inner Planets.
The following quote is taken from a section in which she is discussing the Greco-Roman mythology of some well-known goddesses.
The earlier love goddesses, Inanna and Ishtar are unmarried: they are sometimes portrayed as virgin-harlots, the word Virgo in Latin simply meaning "unwed" or "self-possessed."
And all the Virgos reading this post rejoiced! For they knew this in their heart all along.
But seriously, this tracks well for the Mercurial Earth sign that would likely rather jump off a cliff than be completely reliant on someone else. And that brings us to Libra, (who may offer to jump off the cliff with Virgo, insisting they hold hands while they do it!)
Libra: The Scales
But all jokes aside, this Venus-ruled sign prioritizes partnerships with others, whether romantic, friendly, or mutually beneficial business relationships. Any online search or perusal of pop astrology writing will produce descriptions like 'Libras love balance, peace, and harmony.'
I will slightly amend this statement with the caveat that they are consistently 'searching for balance, peace, and harmony.' (And they're scales are typically teetering and tottering back and forth, in the pursuit of said balance...They don't always get the weight on each side exactly right.) But I digress, this sign is on a search to balance self with other, and to reckon with opposing truths and viewpoints. A quest to measure and weigh (as the scales intended) all of the options laid before us, and to find peace with the options they've chosen. A mission to deliberate over the presented arguments, facts, and figures and to then attain whatever justice or amicability is available. A pursuit to find equilibrium between work & home or anything else you can think of.
Well most of us, are struggling with those issues, admittedly. But Libra may grapple with these topics more than others. After all, it is the lifelong goal & predicament of the scales. And perhaps, it is the goal for all of us during Libra season!
Purification Leads to Beautification
As briefly mentioned above, the Virgin is not motivated by sexual purity, but with purity of mind, body, and spirit. Purity of intention. The highest of the Virgo energetic brings order to our chaotic world and chaotic minds. The cosmic energies during Virgo season are supportive of independence, clarity, and purposeful intention. Our inward purification.
Meanwhile, Libra is motivated by outward beautification. This is the shift from yin (Virgo) to yang (Libra). During Libra season, we turn our intention toward finding & creating beauty in the order we cultivated in the season prior. Virgo has brought order to chaos. And now Libra brings beauty to order.
The beginning of Autumn is the time of year when the leaves change into a magnificent array of colors. They cascade from the trees, through the air, and onto park benches, cars, and rooftops. Different shapes adorn the ground like patchwork flooring. Mother Nature is effectively decorating the world for us as someone with strong Libra or Venusian energy would decorate their home!
As any artist will tell you, (many of them with a highly emphasized Venus or with astrological Libra placements) it is the creation and appreciation of beauty that brings our souls into balance. Finding beauty in the often mundane affairs of reality can be a powerful way to grasp that sought-after inner harmony.
Reap What You've Sown: Abundant Blessings
The virgin is often pictured holding a strand of wheat, reminding us that this is the time of year to harvest. Many different cultures and traditions have long celebrated this time of the year. Even going as far back as civilizations in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
The energy of Virgo is often described as having an eye for detail and a mind for organization. I'm sure those of us who eat food will be happy to know that someone who has a penchant for sifting and sorting is the one harvesting our dinner when the time comes. Realizing what is useful and finding ways to get the most amount of work done with the least amount of time and energy makes for a productive and bountiful harvest. That's where Virgo shines.
And it's a good thing Libra season falls right after! Who wants to eat all that delicious harvest by themselves? Maybe a Virgo, but not someone with strong Libra tendencies!
But let's dig a little deeper than that.
Of course, a bountiful physical harvest is delicious, and rewarding, and will get us through the winter season. A diverse spread on our harvest table provides us with all the rich nutrients that Virgo is concerned about. No wonder this sign is associated with prioritizing work, health, and well-being. We won't live a meaningful, long & healthy life if we don't do the work leading up to this season.
But maybe there's a more symbolic harvest that awaits us as well. A spiritual harvesting of the lessons we have learned thus far in the year.
A rich philosophical gathering of the clarity, purity, and order that we hopefully found (Virgo) can now be dressed up and displayed outwardly (Libra).
The desire for self-improvement (Virgo) leads to the blossoming of our relationships (Libra). The goal of self-sufficiency and improved efficiency (Virgo) might foster better work partnerships (Libra) as each person in the energetic contract has become a master at what they have to offer.
What are you spiritually harvesting from the abundant wheat fields of your psyche? Use the energy of Virgo this Autumnal Equinox to sift and sort through the fruits of your spirit. Is there something overripe that you are tossing aside for good? Or maybe you spent some time cultivating the pastures of your soul and now you are ready to share this plentiful crop with others. Let me know in the comments below!