In the northern hemisphere, the spring/vernal equinox occurred on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 11:49 PM Eastern Daylight Time, which was March 20 at 3:39 AM Universal Time. To find the exact time for your locale, visit time and date.com
This is the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere, but since I live in the northern half of the world, I mainly focus on the vernal equinox in this article. That said, both vernal and autumnal equinoxes universally represent a time when the earth energies as well as our own bio-energetic systems are dramatically shifting gears, so our emotional and physical health can be quite sensitive, and we need extra rest and care to protect our life force and to help us stay steady.
On the equinoxes, day and night are nearly of equal length throughout most parts of the world: “equi” means equal, and “nox” means night. The equinoxes are thus seen as balance points in the Earth’s seasonal cycle, when Mother Nature undergoes something akin to an electromagnetic reboot. Vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere is traditionally celebrated as a time of rebirth when the solar cycle begins to expand, as the days are becoming longer and warmer and the natural world is beginning to come back to life.
Aptly, in the Persian calendar (northern hemisphere), the vernal equinox marks the beginning of the New Year when the seasonal wheel turns closer toward the light and daylight will gradually begin to dominate over darkness until the summer solstice. In the Vedic calendar, the lunar New Year will occur on March 24, 2020, the beginning of the blessed Vasant (Chaitra) Navratri, the nine-nights for worshiping Mother Divine, when She walks among Her devotees and brings great blessings.
I have already written before about the New Year chart, which you can access here. Until the Vedic New Year on March 24, we remain in the “death throes” of the old year, in the darkest waning Moon cycle of the year as well. It’s a good time, per astrology, to be inside, go within, and clean, cleanse, heal, and let go.
I cast the horoscope for the equinox set for Washington, DC, reflecting the collective karma of the U.S for the coming three months until the summer solstice. Here below are the charts in wheel style and North and South Indian. Note these are based on the sidereal zodiac, Lahiri ayanamsa. Here are some of my thoughts about this chart:
1. The ascendant is at zero degrees of sidereal Scorpio, and Pluto is also at zero degrees of Capricorn. Zero degree placements represent the impetus for change, new beginnings, and innovation. Specifically, having the ascendant and Pluto at zero degrees of their respective signs is a mirror of the current coronavirus health crisis and the economic panic it has caused. Additionally, they point to the dramatic societal challenges and changes happening around the world as a result.
True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed. — Tom Robbins
2. The rising ascendant occupies Vishakha nakshatra, symbolized by a triumphant archway, a doorway into a new world. This is the asterism co-ruled by both Lord Indra and Lord Agni. Indra is the Vedic god of war and chief of the demigods, and Agni is the fire god who reigns over spiritual truth. Together through this nakshatra, they burn away fear by stoking the fires of focus, faith, courage, and conviction. Their interaction also is said to create “burning grief” when we resist the necessary transformation that they bring.
Vishakha rising also suggests that the spring season will bring good rains and the necessary light and heat to make our crops grow in the coming months. The rising navamsa is Cancer, which is indicative of the volatile period we are experiencing now. It also points out the danger of our collective emotional turmoil which is not only a root cause but also a result of this volatility.
3. The wheel chart pattern is known as a Bundle, which represents a strong concentration of energy into a narrow area of the chart. In this case it is in the northern hemisphere of the chart (lower part), which paints a clear picture of our current situation. The bottom half of the chart is the “nighttime half” which has a more subjective, closed-in, and introspective quality, as opposed to the upper half which is “in the light” and more “out in the world.” Much of the populace is sequestered at home now and perhaps for some time to come, into early April at least. I can’t help but thinking that this serves a higher purpose as well as being a public health necessity and mandate. Being home and slowing down the world grants an opportunity for all of us to tune in deeper, as in going on retreat to a monastery, spa, or ashram.
4. The chart has a Kala Sarpa Dosha in which all the planets are located on one side of the lunar nodes. This pattern reflects imbalances, obsession, intensity, and fated events that are unpredictable.
5. The fixed star Agena or Hadar (Beta Centaurus) is rising. Located in the knee of the Centaur, this star symbolizes the “pain of learning.” Agena is a southern star which also symbolizes isolation. It is said to hinder journeys, especially by sea, and is associated with flu or other viral outbreaks and also, burglaries. I wondered if we will see more of the latter now that so many people are in crisis and out of work.
6. Mercury (respiratory diseases) and the IC are conjoined the fixed star Fomalhaut, located at 9 degrees and 59 minutes of sidereal Aquarius. The IC is the Imum Coeli, which means the “Bottom of the Sky.” It is also called the Patala Lagna in Vedic astrology, and in a mundane horoscope, it signifies the people and the homeland. Fomalhaut is known as the “loneliest star,” and its placement again reveals the social isolation and distancing in effect now. Fomalhaut, one of the very special Behenian stars, occupies the Southern Fish and is the yogatara (the main junction star) of Shatabisha nakshatra which represents serious disease but also healing. I have written many articles in the recent past about my thoughts on coronavirus and the outcome. Please refer back to all my articles in the past three months on this blog for more information. I remain optimistic based on what I have seen in “the stars.”Mercury conjunct Fomalhaut is said to bring losses and disappointments, family conflicts, problems in business, and a sickness of a Saturnian nature (a respiratory disease that mainly harms elderly and chronically sick or fragile people). At the same time, the higher expression of this star is that it is the abode of Archangel Gabriel, whom we can call on for support during this crisis. Gabriel is specifically invoked to remove fear.
6. Mars and Jupiter are in a planetary war (graha yuddha) in the third house (travel, health, media) and in late Sagittarius in Uttara Shadha nakshatra (which also rules respiratory diseases). This planetary war occurs when Mars and Jupiter are aligned through several different coordinates, meaning they are visually close to each other. It is in place from March 18-22 (or March 17-21 depending on the various calculations one can choose). The planetary war is exact on March 20. The last three times we experienced this conjunction in Sagittarius were in 1866, 1901, and 1937. There were other financial panics then such as we have now, in both 1866 and 1901, and in 1937 there was a recession within the Great Depression.
(Image credit: Space.com and SkySafari App)
The planetary war between Mars and Jupiter can point to financial losses; governmental restrictions on the people (as with states of emergency and lock downs); conflicts and disputes; and opposition to authority. A more positive expression of the Mars-Jupiter conjunction also exists and can occur, which involves the potential for miracles, as well as the spirit of enterprise, skillful negotiations, and the formation of useful laws and contracts. The fact that the war occurs in the third house also indicates existing problems with travel, as well as with communication (meaning, the incessant and exhausting frenzy and anxiety being expressed through corporate, alternative, and social media).
7. Toward the end of the month and into April, we will see a very rare and powerful conjunction of Mars, Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter in sidereal Capricorn. I have written about this configuration before in my previous articles. The last times this occurred were 800 and 1000 years ago during renaissance periods in Europe! As an optimist (generally) I don’t subscribe to all the fear-mongering about these astrological transits, or about the economy and the pandemic health crisis. I feel we all need to remain positive and avoid spreading negativity.
At the same time, I am not downplaying the difficulties that the current situation has created in terms of serious illnesses and death; financial and job losses; and major stress, disappointment, and inconvenience for everyone. Of course, we should continue to show great concern and care for the “relative few” who are most susceptible to becoming seriously ill and even dying from the virus, and also for the heroic ones in government and health care institutions who are battling it in the trenches.
Someone recently sent me an old article by C.S. Lewis written 72 years ago in response to the panic that occurred at that time around the atomic bomb. His advice back then speaks to us as well today:
It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. (Again, this is not to downplay the seriousness and the requirements we need to follow to deal with what is before us now).
Even amidst the current crisis, the days around the spring equinox gift us with enormous spiritual and creative power. This is the opening to the season of miracles when life is coming into full bloom and our own psychic power expands its capacity for meaningful and abundant growth. Aligning with the immense creative and spiritual potential generated around the vernal equinox, we can benefit by meditating on what we want to create more of in our lives. Ceremony and spiritual practice to help embody our intentions are powerful at this time. I personally prefer to do them at sunrise on the first day after the equinox (March 20 in North America). The most important intentions at this time are those focused on the theme of balance and equipoise, however and wherever that is most needed within ourselves and in the world.
I am sure that in regard to the coronavirus outbreak, this too shall pass; that there are always be many good things to be cheerful about in God’s great world; and that our most significant opportunities are to be found in times of greatest challenge. I wish you a blessed equinox and bright new season ahead! Thank you, and be well!