Happy New Year! Oh wait, wasn't that in January? Well, sort of. According to the Gregorian calendar, the beginning of an actual new year does fall on January 1. Astrologically, however, the New Year is a rather different concept, and it does not begin until the Spring Equinox on March 20.
But wait. Before you resign yourself to confusion about when to pop the champagne, consider the rich symbolism behind Astrological New Year and what it means. Think about the word "equinox." It literally translates as "equal night." There are two periods each year when the length of daylight hours is equal to the length of time with no sunlight. This will happen at the Autumnal Equinox (or first day of autumn) and again at the Vernal or Spring Equinox (first day of spring).
At the Spring Equinox the day and night are equal in length, but the daylight hours are beginning to soar. From the moment of the Spring Equinox until the Autumnal Equinox there will be more and more time for us to spend basking in the rays of the Sun. That can only mean one thing: new life ... and endless possibilities!
Everything on our planet and in our hearts is once again encouraged to sprout. Something almost sacred is resurrected in our collective spirits and we tend to feel a dynamic urge to begin again with a fresh, perspective.
New beginnings with the Sun in Aries
How appropriate that we feel this way, because the first day of spring also happens to coincide with the ingress of the Sun into Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. Aries is all about beginnings. This is the sign of the pioneer, the entrepreneur, the self-starter. In many ways this is the baby of the zodiac because Aries is classic tabula rasa (Latin for clean slate).
The traditional New Year celebrated on January 1 might be the start of our new calendar year, and it does tend to have that same feel of new beginnings. Still, have you ever noticed how fleeting it is? Within a week or so we're all back to our daily grind. January is, after all, the month of hardworking Capricorn.
However, if you pay attention to the energy around the Astrological New Year each spring, you may notice something different. There's a pungent smell of possibility in the air and it lingers. Everything old has been washed away and we're busy planting seeds of new beginnings everywhere (along with our flower and vegetable gardens).
This is what "spring fever" is all about! The restless energy we feel that haunts students everywhere is because now that the Sun is out the LAST place they want to be is cooped up inside a classroom. These psychological and physical urges have been documented at this time of year and often bring an increase in vitality -- and even your sex drive! Not surprising when you consider that Aries is the sign ruled by passionate, assertive Mars. It's time to get out there...