2016 Equinoxes and Solstices

2016 Equinoxes - Solstices

An equinox or solstice tells us about our relationship here on Earth to the Sun at any given season or time.

An equinox or solstice marks the beginning of a new season. There are two equinox points each year (spring and autumn) and two solstice points (summer and winter). They each correspond to one of the four cardinal signs of the zodiac.

The Solstice

• A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice a year, once at the beginning of winter and again at the start of summer. During a solstice, the Sun will reach its highest or lowest point relative to the equator of the earth. The word solstice means "Sun stands still," and that's exactly what appears to happen during a solstice point from our perspective here on Earth.

Summer Solstice

-June 20th, 2016 23:22 GMT

• During the Summer Solstice, the Sun will appear to stop and then begin declining in the slightest way each day in a southward direction. The date of the Summer Solstice marks the longest day of the year because at that point the Sun stops right over the Tropic of Cancer. After a few days it will backtrack south towards the equator. The Solstice occurs on June 21 and astrologically, it coincides with the start of the Cardinal sign of Cancer.

Autumn Equinox

-September 22nd, 2016 15:09 GMT

• During Autumn Equinox, the length of day and night are equal, but day light starts decreasing. The autumn equinox falls in Libra - the sign of balance.

• Astrologically this represents the balancing of ones' ego and temper as one matures of age.

Winter Solstice

-December 21st, 2016 10:33 GMT

• The Winter Solstice, on the other hand, occurs when the Sun appears to stand still at the southernmost point of the equator (the Tropic of Capricorn) and then slowly begins to trek north again. The Winter Solstice occurs on December 21 and marks the shortest day of the year. The Winter Solstice is about celebrating the rebirth of life in all forms. From here on out, the days will get longer and the Sun will shine brighter.

The Equinoxes

• An equinox occurs when the tilt of the Earth's axis is neither away or towards the Sun. At this time, the center of the Sun is in the plane of the Earth's equator. Hence the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere. The word equinox means "equal night" because during an equinox the day and night will be at equal length.

Spring Equinox

-March 19th, 2016 05:18 GMT

• The Spring Equinox begins on March 21 and marks the start of the new astrological year in the tropical countries. The Sun will enter Aries, the first sign in the zodiac. This is typically a time of new beginnings and a fresh start.

The Fall Equinox occurs when the Sun reaches the opposite balancing point in its path through the tropical zodiac. Once again, the day and night are of about equal length during this time. This occurs on September 21 and correlates to the sign of Libra. This time of year has become connected to "harvest" and reaping the fruits of our labor. At the same time, it brings up a certain respect for the fact that now, nights will become longer and it's time to conserve energy and resources.

2015 Equinoxes and Solstices