Understanding the Autumnal Equinox & the Sign of Libra by Academy Astrologer A.M. Penn

Hello 22 Teachings community! Just a quick blog to help us better understand the astronomical and astrological significance of the autumnal equinox, a time of equal day and equal night, and of changing season from summer to fall. 

There are two equinoxes a year – one in the spring and one in the fall, and two solstices annually – in the northern hemisphere the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, and the summer solstice marks the longest. 

The solstices are days in which the Earth’s axis is either pointing toward or away from the Sun, but the equinoxes are days in which the Earth’s axis is not pointing at the Sun whatsoever. (See image below, credit: ancientpenwith.org).


The equinoxes can be likened to the middle pillar of Hermetic Qabalah, as they are between the polarities of the black and while pillars of the tree of life, which mirror the solstices. 

These quarter points of the year correspond to the cardinal signs that are the forceful energy we need to start a new season. The equal points of the year correspond to the sign of Aries in the spring, the energy of birth, and the sign of Libra in the fall, the energy of mature partnership.

Libra is the cardinal air sign of the zodiac, meaning the fullest expression of new mental energy that we experience all year – obviously, an ideal time to head back to school at the start of the academic year.

In the glyph of Libra, we see a resemblance to an equal sign with the sun looming behind it – half above the horizon, and half below. Or we can think of it as representing the fulcrum point of the scales which is the zodiacal symbol of Libra. 

The scales are the only completely inanimate representation in astrology, and the primary function of scales is to weigh two distinct sides – and often the goal of their use is to create the appearance of equality. 

Libra is ruled by Venus which we know is the planet of appearance in the form of beauty, abundance, symmetry, and harmony. But the challenge with relying on appearance alone, is that a pound of dirt appears to weigh the same as a pound of gold – but those two substances have very different buying-power. Libra then, is not an especially good judge of value, worth, or quality – and that is where the other Venus-ruled sign of Taurus excels. 

But Libras are natural diplomats and very motivated to find and create beauty. Libra loves art, music, and fashion, which we see in lifestyle moguls like Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Gwen Stefani. 

As we prepare to blend the polarities of the year, let us take a moment to acknowledge all the areas in which our lives are fair and balanced, OR where appearances may be hiding a secret imbalance. Let us use this forceful mental energy to think and communicate gratitude, and to make meaningful mental changes, wherever needed.

May your scales balance – and may the contents you fill them with be of equal value! Love and blessings for a beautiful Equinox and a fulfilling second half of the year ahead!

Also, I hope to see some of you in Astrology School beginning October 19th. As a note, this class is a prerequisite for Chart Reading 2020 – so if you’d like to learn Astrology in the style of the Western Mystery Tradition, from me, please do not wait to take this 8-week course. 

I also look forward to seeing you all in the Arboretum Mysticum Lodge where we will move into the next season of our 22 Teachings magical lineage, steeped in the Libran qualities of harmony, stimulating thought, partnership, and (above all) love.


A.M. Penn