what is equinox ?

Equinox is a word that means the moment that defines the beginning of Spring or Autumn. Etymologically, the term is the junction of two other Latins, namely: aequus (equal) and nox (night).

This is an astronomical moment when the sun reaches the celestial equator, that is, day and night last the same amount of time. In this phenomenon, the two hemispheres, North and South, receive the same amount of light and such an occurrence is recorded only twice a year, the first being on March 21st and the other on September 23rd.

Receiving the same amount of sunlight is due to an inclination of the Earth’s axis of rotation, which is approximately 23°27′ and perpendicular to the Equator, which allows night and day to have the duration of 12 hours.

In addition, the equinoxes are responsible for the changes of seasons, considering that on March 21st, spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere, while in the Southern Hemisphere, autumn begins, and on September 23rd, the seasons in both hemispheres.

For mystics, these moments of equinox and solstice (the moment when the sun reaches its greatest declination, whose latitude is measured by the equator) are seen as magical and of important symbolism. Initiations and rituals are performed during these periods as they are believed to symbolize death and life.

However, the dates of the equinoxes can vary from year to year because of the so-called “tropical years”, which is nothing more than the period in which there are two equinoxes in March. In the meantime, that year is smaller, and in a sequence of three common years, dates can be advanced to a shorter time of six hours each year. Likewise, it is noticed that there is a record of a delay every four-year cycle.

spring equinox

It is a period of much celebration among the peoples, as it marks the end of winter and is the time to celebrate the rebirth of nature (worship Mother Earth), do a good cleaning (cleaning) in the houses and eliminate the old things that they were saved.

In celebrations, it is common to find eggs, given that they are true symbols of fertility. According to ancient traditions, as soon as the exact moment of the equinox occurs, it is possible to balance an egg on a flat surface. In 2016 the Vernal Equinox occurred at 4:30 am on March 20th.

Generally, the vernal equinox (or Vernal Point) occurs between September 22nd and 23rd in the southern hemisphere, and between March 20th and 21st in the northern hemisphere.

autumnal equinox

Also known as Ponto Libra, it is a period in which introspection is celebrated. Esotericists take the opportunity to invoke guardian spirits to ask for advice. Celebrations focus on Mabon or Angus, the Celtic god of love. In rituals, among other things, seeds are used on the altar and dry leaves on the ground. Fans take the opportunity to make their requests to the sick, in addition to paying homage to their female ancestors.

The autumnal equinox takes place between March 20th and 21st in the Southern Hemisphere and between September 22nd and 23rd in the Northern Hemisphere.

The celebrations and festivals of the equinoxes are mainly preserved by groups and esoteric societies linked to Shamanism, Occultism, Witchcraft and others.

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