Welcome to spring! Yes we made it and although that might sound dramatic it can feel like we have been running in an endless marathon without even taking a step! Humans are perfectly designed to live in accordance with the fluctuating seasons as recorded through our evolutionary history, yet this has been somewhat forgotten as man now tries to enforce his own ideals on modern day living. Winter is a time of retreat and is associated with fear in the Traditional Chinese Medicine system. Natives lived in fear of scarcity over the winter months and so life was a challenge. This is why we find winter hard-going, not only because fear is ingrained within us but we don't take time out to retreat and continue to expend energy. Winter is also associated with wisdom therefore the introspection of darker days may have found us reflecting deepy on who we are and what we have. The state of our health in spring can be linked to what we did in winter and this can also be noted for each of the seasons; what did we do before? This is what TCM teaches us and to honour and live in accordance with the season we are in. Although spring begins in apparent winter at the start of the Lunar New Year in Chinese Medicine and February 1st in the Wheel of the Year, it is here that we see those very first stirrings of life. The earth is still quiet and hardened but new life is in the early stages of making an appearance.
The spring equinox, also known as Ostara, welcomes the Sun into the first sign of the zodiac; Aries. Aries is a cardinal fire sign meaning that it is an initiating energy. This is when we start to feel the 'get up and go' after the slumber of winter and dormancy that has been drawing us in from the autumn equinox. Each equinox is a time of 'balance' for us to re-evaluate where we have been out of sync. This year the equinox fell when the Moon was in the sign of Libra which was apt since it is the balancer of the zodiac.
As Aries is the first sign in the astrological calendar, we can think of it like the child in its infancy. The baby (of the zodiac) is eager to learn and make progress and will often get angry with those who intervene as it strives for greater independence day by day. This is why we should take baby steps into spring. Especially this spring considering we are two years into a pandemic and as the Moon reached her peak before the Aries ingress, the sky will gradually become darker again. In two weeks time, at the Aries New Moon, a fresh perspective may ensue with desire and determination to shed the winter heaviness. I mention the child getting angry at its parents/carers in jest however this is the emotion associated with spring. Anger is a normal human emotion despite what we have been taught as children. Are we expressing anger in a healthy way? If not, it can lead to rage and unexpressed rage can lead to self-loathing. As Aries is ruled by Mars (the angry planet), war can be the result. I say this as sensitively as possible because of the current plight of Ukraine but remember wars don't just happen outwardly. The greatest wars can be those that happen in our minds. Throughout this season, notice where you are ramming (Aries is the ram!) ahead perhaps because you have so much desire and passion to get going again but at what expense? The low vibration of Aries is the 'I am' with tunnel vision and not taking the needs of others into account. When this energy tips the scales, check in with yourself and look across the zodiac to Libra. Libra as the opposite sign is all about mediating and keeping things peaceful amongst 'the other'.
The Aries energy when used effectively can get us moving with passions and projects again (but remember that doesn't mean you burn yourself out too quickly like the child who gets over excited and wants to do everything now and can't wait- recognise this feeling?!). However, don't suppress or curtail your optimism as we need to keep our spirits light and hopeful. Hope is so essential and with a strong fighting spirit we must hope for ourselves, our family, our friends, our neighbours, our country, those in developing countries and victims of war. Create waves in your wake and see where it takes you. Don't give up on yourself because you have a warrior inside of you... if you see red and become engulfed by the flames then breathe into your heart space and visualise green, the colour of the anahata (heart) chakra and Libra.
I wish you a fruitful Aries season; may your spring cleans be plenty, your seeds sprout bountifully and your dreams take embodied action.
'Ideas without action are useless' Helen Keller