It's that time of year again—when spring arrives, we want to open our windows and doors, air out any stuffy corners, and generally re-organize our homes, our business, and our lives. I thought you might appreciate some insight into just what spring cleaning can mean for you from an astrological perspective. Sabian Symbols & Astrological Analysis by Blain Bovee indicates what it can mean for all of us.
The beginning of spring is the time when the Sun moves into the zodiacal sign of Aries. Spring represents the movement from the end of Pisces into Aries, and this transition, while just like any other small movement forward in the sky, represents a tangible shift from one perspective to another.
The very last degree of Pisces is represented by "The Great Stone Face." The idea here is a stern facial expression, revealing little emotion of any kind. Blain says, "Stone is hard and enduring, suggesting qualities of character that withstand hardship throughout life." He reminds us of the stoic faces of people who are honest and never compromise their principles; who are always willing to help others; who become lost in concentration when they work.
In contrast, the first degree of Aries is represented by this image: "A woman rises out of water, a seal rises and embraces her." This image brings stories of selkies to mind. Selkies are mythical human/seal beings who populate the North Atlantic. They shed their sealskins and come ashore in human form. This shedding of skin, according to Blain, can be likened to birthing, where the child is wrapped tightly in the mother's womb, and emerges to take a first breath and be embraced by the mother.
In the Piscean image, I get a strong feeling of stillness. The stern stone face is unmoving and indeed immovable. The eyes are penetrating, the brow perhaps a bit wrinkled by concern. The Aries image provides a powerful opposite. The woman rises out of the sea! I envision a seal or dolphin or whale leaping out of the water into the air and sky. At the same time I envision being hugged close by a kindred spirit in a way that we all want and need.
The Pisces image is calm and patient, the Aries image is ecstatic and explosive. The juxtaposition of these images tells us what spring is all about. We anticipate the riot of life that emerges from the earth, the trees and the animals around us. When that life bursts into existence, we are continually amazed by the wealth of living possibilities that open before us.
No wonder we want to clean house—to clear space in our lives for the new, the different. How much can we benefit from a bit of mental and emotional housecleaning? We can clear space for new, exciting adventures in our lives by spending time before the Spring Equinox in quiet anticipation. Then when new opportunities come along, we have a place to cradle them, nurture them, and pursue them.
The Equinox Moon
Need a hint about how to do this mental/emotional housecleaning? Let's look at the Sabian symbol for the Moon to get some ideas. The Moon in the chart is in the sixth degree of Sagittarius, and the symbol for this degree is "A Game of Cricket."
I hardly know anything about playing cricket. I know it is played outdoors, and it involves a ball, some wickets and eleven players on each team. Beyond that, the rules elude me, in much the same way that I don't really understand hockey.
I do know that "to be cricket" is to be fair and sporting. I know that cricket players take the game just as seriously as I take writing. If I write according to the rules, you will understand what I say. If we play by the rules, other people find us relatively easy to work with. If we cheat, other people find us difficult and uncomfortable.
So the Moon in the Equinox chart gives us an indication that we must play by the rules to be successful. All plant and animal life plays by a set of rules for birth, youth, maturity, old age, and death. With some minor exceptions we cannot break these rules without paying serious penalties.
A Third Consideration
In the Equinox chart, the Sun and Moon form a Grand Trine with Saturn. The Grand Trine is a harmonic triangle of energies that vibrate strongly at the time of the Equinox, so Saturn in the fifth degree of Leo indicates a third energy to consider. The image for this degree is "Rock formations at the edge of a precipice."
I imagine standing at the top of a steep, rocky slope, or even the edge of a cliff. I can see the bottom, but the way down is perilous. I don't want to leap over the edge, or even begin a careful descent, without some serious thought. That description reminds me of the "climb" down into the unconscious layers of mind. We don't know the way, we can barely perceive anything firm to hold onto and we sense the perilous nature of the descent.
I believe we all need to look deep into our hearts and minds to find inspiration for the coming season. We need to find a way to delve into our own less-conscious recesses of mind, face the emotional nature of such an act and emerge like the woman/selkie, into the air and light with new-found strength and wisdom.
Another image is the journey into a maze. Recall the myth of Jason and the Minotaur, in which the hero enters the maze, armed with a sword and a ball of twine. This string will not protect him or her from the Minotaur at the center of the maze, yet it is exactly what is needed to find the way safely back into the light. When you decide to journey into your own mind and heart, you have lifelines that will help you get back to conscious awareness.
I think of mountain climbers descending the face of a cliff, suspended from a rope. They may descend very fast, or they may creep down the mountain, taking care at each stopping point to pause, check their equipment and make sure the rope is still doing its job. We can use dreams, meditation, or psychotherapy to aid us in the investigation of the depths of mind. In other words, we are all equipped to make journeys to discover our own calling. Then we re-emerge, invigorated and ready to grow into the light of springtime again.