Equinoxes - Vernal & Autumnal
The Rites of the Equinox connects the opposing forces of the microcosmic universe and re-establishes the inward control of these powerful forces of nature where the fresh new current may be invoked by each and every member for the purpose of creating an invisible temple of perfected balance within one’s sphere of sensation. Twice a year, at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the officers of the Fellowship of the Golden Dawn Universum Outer Order step down from their positions and new officers are installed. The formula of the ceremony creates a magical link between the sun and the Order, initiating a new direction in the current of Light for the Order, as well as re-consecrating the Order itself. But what is the equinox and why is it so important in our Order?
The Equinox (Aequus=equal , Nox=night), is celebrated twice a year, the Vernal Equinox and Autumnal Equinox. In both these periods, the day and night is in complete balance. In the first equinox, the Sun enters into Aries, allowing for a period of outer growth and new beginning. Often at this time, you will see the Order as a whole and it’s members in particular, experience a period of growth and expansion- turning outward into the world. In the Autumnal Equinox, the Sun enters into Libra, beginning a period of inner reflection. Even so, they are both heralds of opposite seasons. In both celebrations, equality is present. Neither of the equinoxes are held at a period of light more than darkness nor darkness more than light. This balance of power is very important throughout all of the Golden Dawn teachings, and we are reminded of it’s importance from the very beginning in the Neophyte ceremony, all throughout the ceremonies of the Outer Order.
But what about the Solstices?
The Solstices (Sol=sun , Stitium= to make stand still), are not a traditional part of the Golden Dawn tradition, for both periods are a point of unbalance. The first period of Summer Solstice begins with Cancer, a period where the day is longer then the night. The Winter Solstice is where the Sun is at its weakest point, in Capricorn. “Unbalanced mercy is weakness and lack of will; unbalanced severity is cruelty and the barrenness of mind. Thou hast known me now, so pass thou on to the Cubical Altar of the Universe”.
That having been said, the Solstices (Winter Solstice- December 21, Summer Solstice June 21) both coincide with major religious holidays worldwide and within our Order, we often celebrate these spiritual events with vigils. However, this is a tradition particular to our own Order and not a part of the greater Golden Dawn Tradition.