The Spring or Vernal Equinox will unfold today at 9.58pm GMT here in the UK, when the Sun crosses the equator. The equinox marks the moment when the burning star appears to move into the Northern Hemisphere from the south. In the north, this results in longer days and shorter nights as well as warmer Spring weather. But what about the more esoteric and mystical meanings of the Spring Equinox?
Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the start of Spring and the equinox is associated with the concept of death and rebirth.
This is evident in the Christian celebrations of Easter around this time of year, which recognise the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Prior to the spread of Christianity, Easter is believed to have originated in pagan celebrations of the goddess Ostara or Eostre.
The ancient deity, linked to Germanic and pagan traditions, is often associated with nature, hares and eggs.
Today, the equinox and Ostara is celebrated by followers of neopagan and Wicca religions.
According to WiccaLiving.com, Ostara was the goddess of fertility and her holiday is an intense time of purification, balance, renewal and new possibilities.
The website reads: “Ostara is the second of three spring festivals on the Wheel of the Year.
“Coming in between Imbolc and Beltane, this is a time for celebrating the balance between extremes that is found amid the seasons.
“Although it may still be chilly in many regions, this is the official beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere – it is the Vernal Equinox, the moment of exact balance between the light and the dark.”
In Wicca tradition, the growing length of daylight following the Spring Equinox is an intensely spiritual moment.
As the Earth becomes warmer and more nurturing towards new life, the “innocence and childlike wonder” of life become a reality.
The Spring Equinox is also supposedly the one day of the year when you can perfectly balance an egg on its end.
The folklore tale is said to have originated in ancient times and was widely popularised in the 1940s in the United States.
John Millis, assistant professor of physics at Anderson University, explained: “The origins of this myth are attributed to stories that the ancient Chinese would create displays of eggs standing on end during the first day of Spring.”
The myth is, of course, untrue and with a bit of patience, you can balance an egg on its end at any point during the year.
Astrologers also look out for the Spring Equinox in a bid to better understand how it will affect the cosmic balance of energies.
Astrologer Jessica Adams said: “Experienced on Thursday, March 21, in Australia and on Wednesday, March 20, in the United States and Great Britain, the Autumn Equinox and Spring Equinox is crucial in astrology.
“The sign of Aries the Ram is based on the start of the season we link to the Spring Equinox, around March 22.
“It’s really unusual to also see a Supermoon at the start of Spring or Autumn Equinox, so this year, 2019, you will really feel change staring you in the face.”
The astrologer said the reproductive cycle of the ram is tied to the Spring Equinox in the UK, which ties into the overall theme of life and rebirth.