The Sun strides over the celestial equator Monday morning March 20, and all at once, it’s Spring! In the words of Johnny Mercer, at such a moment “Ma Nature’s lyrical, with her yearly miracle, Spring, Spring, Spring!”
When the Sun moves over the celestial equator we say it’s Equinox, a moment that inaugurates what Irish poet William Butler Yeats called “the most beautiful and living of the year.”
So let’s look at what’s going on in the sky and see if we can grasp this moment.
Every year on a different date after Equinox, Sun and Moon trade places in the celestial hemisphere. And in the building up to this tradeoff, the warmth increases, bees begin to buzz, birds sing, and flowers blossom.
What’s more, before the tradeoff this year, the planet Venus steps into the scene. Venus is goddess of love and beauty and when she meets the Sun at conjunction on Saturday, we can imagine she is sharing her deepest heart-held secrets with the season.
Then, when the Spring Sun is scarcely a week old with these secrets, the Moon pays its visit, coming to New Phase on the 27th. During the two weeks from New Phase to Full Phase, the Moon will grow in brightness across the sky, broadcasting Venus’ gift of love and beauty with the reflection of greater and greater sunlight, until Moon comes Full and slips below the celestial equator, handing the baton of the season fully to the Sun.
All the while, Jupiter looks on throughout the night, augmenting the gift of abundance from the star Spica, while Saturn keeps watch over the dawn, as though reading our destinies from where he sits at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy.
If you go out this week to eavesdrop on this hidden dialogue of Spring, take with you these further words of Yeats, who said: “I read in my youth that there is a moment after Sun has entered the Ram which trembles with the Song of Immortal Powers, and that whosoever finds this moment and listens to the Song shall become like the Immortal Powers themselves.” He called this moment “The Heart of Spring”, and this week, it is upon us!
The Heart of Spring by WB Yeats: http://www.online-literature.com/yeats/2858/