Equinoxes are events that occur in space that cause the changing seasons we experience on Earth- from summer to autumn or from winter to spring. We can thank the autumnal equinox for the shift from long, lazy summers to the cozy fall season.
As we draw closer to the autumnal equinox, which is to take place on the 23rd of September, it is important to understand this event and the impact it has upon us. Each year the Earth has two equinoxes, one in March and the other in September. An equinox is the moment in which the sun sits directly above the Earth’s equator, causing an equal balance of night and day. The term equinox comes from the Latin words aequus meaning equal and nox meaning night.
Annually there are two equinoxes; the vernal equinox in March marking the beginning of spring, and the autumnal equinox, also known as the fall equinox and September equinox, occurs in September, denoting the start of the fall season.
At any other day of the year, the Earth remains tilted on its axis at a slight angle of 23.5 degrees. This means that the Northern and Southern hemispheres continue to switch places during the year in receiving the suns warmth and light directly. Only during the two equinoxes does the Earth orbit upright, and its axis creates a perpendicular angle with the rays of the sun, and an almost equal balance of night and day throughout the two hemispheres. In this brief moment, the axis of the Earth is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun. Instead it is positioned harmoniously, creating a moment of balance. This scientific phenomenon, something so distant from us, affects us directly and directs our lives to adjust to the changes in our solar system. As the equinoxes mark the beginning of seasons, allowing natural forces to take place and re-adjust, we too begin to prepare for the changing season.
Usually we identify the start of the fall season with a change in the air- the leaves get crispier, the atmosphere feels different and the days begin to feel shorter. All these indicators can be matched with the timing of the September equinox. It is the moment where the sun crosses the celestial equator, after which the days get shorter and the nights longer until December when we go back to the long, stretched out days of summer time.
For those inclined towards astrology and its powers, it is believed that the autumnal equinox is when the sun enters Virgo and astrologists claim that this is a good time for organization and practicality.