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Vernal Equinox Trumps Groundhog: Spring Is Finally Here

[node:summary]Spring arrives and the grandmothers rejoice at the vernal equinox ending winter siege.
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Though belied by the continuing chill in the Northeast, the astronomical fact is irrefutable: Spring has arrived.

On March 20 at exactly 12:57 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the sun crosses the equator, moving south to north. On this day the sun rose at 6:59 a.m. and will set at 7:08 p.m., making day and night nearly equal in length. 

"The event happens during the Earth's orbit around the sun and simultaneously on the imaginary dome of our sky,” said Dan Kottlowski, a senior meteorologist for, to the website. “The equator is an imaginary line drawn right around Earth's middle, like a belt. It divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.”

That’s what’s happening in the sky. Down here on Earth, it heralds warmth, growth and renewal.

In the southern hemisphere, of course, this ushers in fall and winter. Up north on Turtle Island though, we see the end to a months-long siege of bitter weather. Soon light-green buds will be dusting the branches, tree blossoms will burst into white and pink magnificence, and grass will sprout. This too is irrefutable, not to mention inevitable.

Today, night and day are more or less equal in length, and if you happen to be at the Equator you will see the sun rising and setting due east and west, respectively. Despite continuing chill in the Northeast, the inexorable bloom of spring and the full flowering of summer are nearly upon us.

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Celebrations are taking place throughout the world, especially among Indigenous Peoples,

RELATED: Northland College’s 40th Spring Pow Wow to ‘Wake Up the Earth’

It’s also the first day of a three-day gathering, In the Name of the Mother, convened by Indigena and Mystic Mamma and including the Grandmothers Council. The event takes place from March 20-23 in Montezuma Well, Arizona, to celebrate both the equinox and World Water Day, which is Saturday March 22. It’s the first women’s gathering with the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, the event’s website says.

"We are standing in the vibration of a sacred prophecy,” proclaims the event’s website. “The prophecy tells us that consciousness is preparing the spirit of the feminine, the spirit of the grandmothers."

The women from the Yavapai-Apache Nation will lead opening ceremonies, and the ensuing three days will be an exchange of wisdom and seeding for the future.

“It is time for us to wake up to our planetary unity, and women will lead the way,” In the Name of the Mother said in the group’s statement. “We represent the feminine way, the beauty way, in our remembrance, we return to our source.”