Equinox and Solstice: The Spiritual and Mystical beliefs of the Phenomenon
As every year, the sun will cross the plane of the earth’s equator, making day and night of approximately the same duration , a phenomenon we know as Equinox and which gives indication of the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the south.
The word equinox comes from the Latin for equal and night.
The equinox corresponds to the moment of the year when the sun is at the zenith at the Earth’s equator, the earth is then at right angles (taking the poles) with the rays of the sun.
The solstice is the time of year when the sun’s rays touch the Earth with the steepest angle. The summer solstice represents the longest day, and the shortest winter solstice.
This phenomenon throughout the history of mankind has been a factor in defining both the passing of the seasons and the dates for crops and sowing, as well as fishing and hunting activities.
But it has also been the reason for the realization of various mystical activities, results of what Carl Sagan defined as “magical thinking” of man, with various activities to ensure abundant harvests for those severe winters to come.
This phenomenon affects the northern and southern hemispheres differently, due to the earth’s 23-degree inclination , which is more evident in the solstices since, while for the north it can be summer, for the south is winter.
With the passing of time, science and the evolution of human thought made it possible to identify that these phenomena were the result of a natural process of the movement of the planets of the solar system around the Sun and in which the Earth participates.
Thus, both in Egypt and Chichen Itza and in Greece, and then with the thinkers of the Renaissance, it was identified that this phenomenon is repeated twice throughout the year.
From then on and with the evolution of technology, we now can know with precision the time when the earth reaches the key point of each equinox or solstice, which does not always happen on the dates traditionally indicated.
But despite the advance of science and the spread of knowledge, the “magical thinking” of man prevails and the need or romanticism to give a magical explanation to what is known to be a natural phenomenon persists in customs and traditions or even new beliefs.
That is why today when the equinoxes arrive many people go to the prehistoric ceremonial centers such as the pre-Hispanic pyramids, or the ruins of Stonehenge to “recharge energy”.
However, the reality is that there is no more energy than the solar radiation produced through the rest of the year, as revealed by the Urania Astronomical Society of the State of Morelos, which attributes this belief to the lack of a true scientific culture in the population.
The emergence of movements such as the “New Age” has even led to the mixing of knowledge of science to give a scientific explanation to a magical phenomenon in a soup of beliefs where the same claims that the exact position of the stars is sought on the celestial map.
The truth is that beyond beliefs, customs and knowledge , the Equinox is the beginning of spring and autumn, from which will occur the corresponding meteorological phenomena with which the man will have to live with the respective changes generated by global warming.
Equinox 2018 – Vernal: Mar 20, 16:15 GMT | Autumnal: Sep 23, 01:54 GMT Solstice 2018 – Summer: Jun 21, 10:07 GMT | Winter: Dec 21, 22:22 GMT