Celebrating the Equinoxes

by Carol Brent

The equinoxes are the seasonal time of balance and harmony when the days and nights are equal in length. During the equinoxes, the Earth’s auric or magnetic field is affected by the Sun’s alignment with the Earth’s equator. Twice each year, at the equinoxes, the Sun rises and sets exactly over the equator remaining closely aligned there for approximately 48 hours.

The equinox solar affect produces a reduction in the magnetic field of the Earth, allowing us to connect more easily with other dimensions. The equinox effect begins around 24 hours before, and ends around 24 hours after, the exact Equinox point. Thus, the Sun’s annual rhythmic cycle is intimately wired to our experience of the seasons.

Certain seasonal cycles are optimum timings for connecting with Earth’s sacred sites all over the planet. Doorways into the mysteries are more easily accessed during this time and when we consciously engage this energy we have an even greater opportunity to activate our own experience of these sacred timings and what they have to offer us.

The ancient architects and builders of Chaco Canyon (in New Mexico) were inspired to build what is essentially now explained as some sort of equinox corridor in their main building complex. This corridor marks the equinox Sunrise, tracks the Sun’s journey through the sky, and then marks the equinox Sunset.

This corridor was designed to capture the So Below experience of this As Above bi-annual event, giving us another potent clue about the importance of this seasonal timing. This understanding may inspire each of us to tune in and discover what significance the equinox timings represent for us individually and collectively.

September Equinox Details

It is fascinating to note that the Zero Libra point, marking the September Equinox, is currently aligned with the North Galactic Pole. The North Galactic Pole lies 90 degrees north of the Galactic Plane in the constellation of Coma Berenices. This particular near exact alignment only happens for 144 years, during a 26,000 year cycle as the equinox and solstice points move one degree every 72 years. The exact alignment is happening now. One interpretation of the constellation Coma Berenices is that it represents long beautiful hair.

Anne Wright's website on Fixed Stars gives this mythic description:

This is “a classical story concerning the hair of Berenice, the wife of Ptolemy III of Egypt.

It happened that Ptolemy had to fight against the Assyrians. Berenice feared for his life and went to the temple to pray that her husband would emerge victorious from the fray.

In her anxiety she promised to sacrifice her hair to Venus, the Goddess of Love, if Ptolemy were to return safely. Berenice was very famous for her beauty. She had beautiful long amber-colored hair, which she was really proud of. She asked the royal oracle, Conon, what to do. Conon advised the queen to offer her beautiful hair to Aphrodite (Venus the goddess of love and beauty) for the safe return of her husband. Berenice did not hesitate; she was willing to sacrifice anything for her dear husband.

After weeks of tension and waiting Ptolemy returned safe and sound. The nation rejoiced but when Berenice told Ptolemy about her promise to sacrifice her hair, Ptolemy was very upset because it was the crowning glory of his queen; it was looked after with loving care by Berenice's ladies-in-waiting, it had the admiration of the nation, and it gave inspiration to the poets.

Nothing, however, would change Berenice's mind. She went to the temple where her beautiful locks were cut off and laid on the altar by the priests. The next day when the king went to the temple to have a look at his wife's hair, he was furious to find the hair had been stolen. He summoned the priests and would have put them to death, then and there, had not the court astrologer intervened in the nick of time.

" No, no, your majesty, do not blame the priests, it is not their fault, wait until it is dark and I will show you where your wife's hair is".

So when day turned into night the astronomer took the king to look at the night sky "Look! Dost thou not see the clustered curls of thy queen, too beautiful for a single temple to possess, placed there by the gods for all the world to see? Look! They glitter like a woven net, as golden as they were on Berenice's head".

And there, between Canes Venatici, Bootes, Leo and Virgo, twinkled a mass of very faint stars. The astronomer declared that Jupiter had descended from Heaven the night before to take the golden locks up to the heavens where they could be admired by the whole world, not only by one nation. The king was satisfied with this explanation and Berenice was delighted that Venus had so honored her.

Coma Berenice seems to have been first alluded to by Eratosthenes as Arladne's Hair in his description of Ariadne's Crown. It was not known till about 243 BCE, in the reign of the 3rd (Euergetes), the brother and husband of Berenice, whose amber hair we now see in the sky figure. It was the happy invention of this constellation by Conon of Samos (the royal astrologer) that consoled the royal pair after the theft of the tresses from the temple of Arsinoe.

The word Berenice, is from the Macedonian form of the purer Greek – Victory – bearing... Christians also called this constellation "The Veil of Veronica," probably because the Herodian Beronica has a Latin name that is equivalent to Berenice ("v" and "b" are closely related). Some Christians saw it as Flagellum, "The Whip," the Latin word from which the English word flagellate is derived, which describes the instrument used to whip Christ.

Bayer also mentioned Rosa, a Rose, or a Rose Wreath; but he figured it on his plate of Bootes as a Sheaf of wheat, in reference to the Virgo Ceres close by; indeed, Karsten Niebuhr, at Cairo in 1762, heard it called Al Rusat, the Arabic term for that object, or for a Pile of Fruit, Grain, or Wood.

The Dresden globe has it as an Ivy Wreath, or, just as probably, a Distaff held in the Virgin's hand, which has been designated Fusus vel Colus, Fila et Sta,nina, the Distaff, Thread, and Wool.

The Arabian astronomers knew Coma as Al Ralbah, or Al Dafirah, the Coarse Hair, or Tuft, in the tail of the Lion of the zodiac, thus extending that figure beyond its present termination at the star Denebola.

Coma probably was known in early Egypt as the Many Stars. The naked eye can really see a wealth of glitter in the area of Coma Berenices, but a small telescope reveals an even more glorious display of astral abundance. (Robson).”

The rising Sun at the September Equinox obscures our view of this constellation and the North Galactic Pole. Astronomers consider this region of the sky one of the best for studying other galaxies, because the conditions here are favorable, in essence creating a clear window to see other galaxies. This gives us further clues about what we can tune into during this timing as the brightness of the Sun, also seen as a “doorway (or window?) into the knowing” according to the Upanishads, activates the North Galactic Pole and the constellation of Coma Berenices. This timing then may be an excellent opportunity to more clearly experience our intergalactic connections, and to receive a greater understanding of our relationship to time and space.

The constellation of Coma Berenices also gives us some important clues about this area of the sky. The symbol of hair conjures up many images and mythical stories. In some traditions hair symbolizes our connection to personal power, life force, and strength, i.e. Samson. In the story of Rapunzel her hair symbolized a link to the outside world, and the sacred masculine (Prince) who intended to free her from her prison tower. Other traditions see hair as a symbolic link to the power of thought, spiritual knowing and inspiration, and higher powers. The black hair of Kali symbolizes Time, the matted hair of Siva symbolizes the ascetic, the curled hair of the Buddha symbolizes mastery of life force in a tranquil and serene state. (Sourced from An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols by J.C. Cooper)

These images provide additional dimensions to the significance of the Autumnal Equinox (as it is experienced in the Northern Hemisphere, or the seasonal point of the year marking the crossing of the return threshold from the journey that began at Winter Solstice, and the seasonal time of final harvest and preparation before a new cycle begins.

In essence, this begins an in-between the worlds experience (represented by crossing through the return gateway), not of the world of the previous quest and not fully of the world where the quest began because so much has grown and changed.

The alignment of this seasonal point with the North Galactic Pole lets us know that we are truly becoming more multi-dimensional, as we learn how to consciously exist in many realms simultaneously.

Accessing the mysteries from this multi-dimensional perspective enhances our ability to consciously dream the dream onward. There are no rules about how to engage this timing. Indeed, it may be time to create new ways that are alive and significant for us now when we ceremonially participate with the mysteries of the turning of the seasons.

Tuning into your own guidance is the best way to align with what is true for you at this time and how best you can connect with these mysteries. Blessed Be!