by Nan De Grove

The wheel of the year turns with the Spring Equinox, bringing the return of light and warmth to us in the northern hemisphere. The long nights give way to the lengthening days, and life quickens as seeds sprout, birds seek nesting sites and buds swell on trees. Life is renewed. My sunflowers are a pile of dead stalks now, corpses of their former grandeur, but they have left their seeds in the ground, and soon tiny stems with folded leaves will push through the dirt. The Equinox marks the beginning of Aries, the first of three fire signs in the zodiac. Fire is life force: spirits are lifted, passions and hopes rekindled, but the Aries fire is also a primal wild force that needs tending lest it turn destructive.

Edward Burne-Jones

Edward Burne-Jones

The Equinox is a threshold, a portal where life energies are renewed and rebalanced for the coming year. Spring comes on the heels of the New Moon which is also a solar eclipse at the very last degree of Pisces. Eclipses mark times of change—endings, release, breakthrough, sometimes breakdown. For this sacred season of rebirth I envision five “mystery stations” like the stations of the cross in Christian tradition that invite us to contemplative reverence during the Equinox and eclipse period, a window of time that spans the next two weeks.

The solar eclipse in Pisces, (March 20th, 3:36 a.m. MDT) the first station, evokes the mystery of the mystery itself: the mystery of being; the awareness that we are participating in a cosmic pattern of order even when we lack compass or map.

The second station, the Vernal Equinox ( March 20th, 4:45 p.m. MDT) portrays the eternal mystery of resurrection and rebirth—the return of life,and hope; the courage to begin anew.

The third station is the conjunction of Mars with the new crescent Moon on the evening of March 21st. You can see this in the west after sunset. This is the mystery of the sacred warrior, the redemption of masculine energy and transformation of the destructive side of Mars that runs amuck on so many fronts now.

The fourth station is the conjunction of Venus with the crescent Moon on the evening of March 22nd, also visible after nightfall. This speaks of the mystery of the sacred heart: compassion, the Holy Mother, the mystic rose.

The fifth station is the Full Moon eclipse in Libra (April fourth, 4:06 a.m. MDT). This is the mystery of the sacred marriage, the balancing of feminine and masculine, body and spirit, the union of erotic and spiritual love.

These are ideas for relating to the astrological phenomena occurring over the next two weeks. They are not limited to specific dates.

Nan De Grove is a gardener, painter and astrologer. She writes the monthly full-Moon column for The Lore of the Garden, as well as other occasional contributions. She can be reached at