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COLUMN: The astrological new year tells you to get it together



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Wednesday's equinox coincides with a full moon in Libra directly opposite the sun in Aries at zero degrees. The full moon will peak at 9:43 p.m. in Bloomington. Kathryn de la Rosa Buy Photos

Happy new year!

Astrological new year, that is. This Wednesday marks the vernal equinox, when the Sun enters Aries and brings with it the full moon in Libra.

An equinox is when the day is equally as long as the night, with each lasting roughly 12 hours. We have two a year, one in March and one in September. They each occur at the beginning of spring and fall for the northern hemisphere.

The one we’re heading into is called the vernal equinox, while the one in September is called the autumnal equinox.It's flipped for the southern hemisphere, with our vernal equinox being its autumnal equinox.

In astronomical terms, it’s when the sun crosses the Earth’s equator. The equator chops the Earth in half into the northern and southern hemispheres.

When the Sun appears directly above the equator, each hemisphere goes with or without sunlight for equal periods of time.

Western astrology defines the year according the vernal equinox, which means the beginning of the year always coincides with the Sun returning to Aries, the first sign of the zodiac.

What does this mean for us?

One way to think of the signs is by age.

Aries is the youngest sign: impulsive, idealistic and forceful enough to make demands of the world. Pisces is the oldest sign, with a kookiness more like the wizened eccentricity of Albus Dumbledore or Gandalf. Pisces has seen some stuff.

If you believe in reincarnation, karmic astrology says your rising sign tells the age of your soul. A Pisces rising like me is theoretically 12 reincarnations old, which speaks to either spiritual maturity or being fully off your rocker.

We’re in the deep end of Pisces season. It’s not cute. The Sun and Mercury are both in Pisces, so Pisces’ impractical, introspective energy affects almost everything we do.

Pisces is physically incapable of caring about deadlines. Pisces is exhausted from the spiritual weight of 11 other lifetimes. Pisces has decided the material world isn’t urgent or worth any attention.

Since I’m currently on a “Harry Potter” kick, Aries is a tiny baby phoenix ready to burn Pisces’ nonsense to the ground. We all have work to do, and Aries season and the equinox can get us there.

Transits for March 17 - 23

Mercury retrograde: Instagram and Facebook went down during spring break, and that’s exactly the technological weirdness Mercury retrograde brings. Mercury retrogrades until March 28, so hang in there. Mercury will stay in Pisces until mid-April. Even when Mercury goes direct again, this planet of communication and intellect will be stuck underwater. Don’t stop putting in extra work just because retrograde is ending.

Full moon in Libra, 9:43 p.m. March 20: Remember that every time the Sun enters a sign, the full moon is directly opposite it in the zodiac — in this case Aries and Libra. The Libra full moon urges us to seek balance. Libra’s symbol is the scales of justice. Reach out to an estranged friend. Stop avoiding a confrontation that’s been on the cards for weeks. Internally, where does your life lack equilibrium? This is a time to evaluate how you divide your attention among work, social and spiritual spheres.

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