Equinox and the Dragon

Today and tomorrow, March 19 and 20, we are celebrating the Astrological New Year. The Spring Equinox was originally the Sumerian and Babylonian New Year and still to this day is honored by Persians around the globe as Nowruz, the new year. Nowruz, the Spring Equinox, is the last relic of the sacred celebration of the first day of Aries, and the beginning of the zodiac wheel. Since it is the “real” new year, you can reset or restart your true spiritual new year resolution. 

For the Babylonians, today marked the beginning of 12 days of the most important celebration. The holiday was called Akitu (akiti-šununum, meaning “barley-sowing”). Why is celebrating barley so important? Besides the fact that it was arguably the first  grain to be domesticated (and the first to be used to make beer), it is the first crop to grow after the winter.

Barley is the first to spring out of the slumber of winter and announce Mother Nature’s resurrection. The barely celebrations in Mesopotamia are the origin of many worldwide myths and festivities celebrated by billions today including Passover and Easter. Moses, originally was a barely, just as for the mesoamericans Quetzalcoatl was maize. When barley sprouted, it was a sign that life indeed will continue, and the wheel of life keeps turning. 

On the first three days of this 12 day Akitu celebration in Babylon, the priest of Marduk, the chief deity, would recite a somewhat morbid call and response prayers with the people, expressing humanity’s fear of the unknown. Hmm…sounds like they were going through something similar to what we are experiencing right now. On the third day the priest would read from the Enuma Elish, meaning “when up high,” reminding the gods of their duty to help humanity. I guess we should do the same. A bit of god-guilting maybe can wake them up.

The story of Enuma Elish is a creation myth. In the beginning there were only two gods: Apsu (sweet water) and Tiamat (salt water). The rest of the godlings were their offspring. At that time there was only wind and water in creation, no earth as yet. The young gods made too much noise and Apsu decides enogh is enough and its time to kill them all. Tiamat, while a monster was still their mom, so she warns her children and they end up killing Apsu their father. At that time Tiamat was in charge of the Tablets of Destiny that represented order and protection from Chaos. She declares war on the younger gods and gives her somewhat evil general, Kingu, control over the Tablets of Destiny. That was a mistake, since he had a touch of Chaos in him, being an irrational, erratic, a narcissistic serial liar (sounds familiar). Anyway, to cut a very long story short, the young gods gave birth to a superhero, Marduk, who defeated Tiamat and her general and created out of her body all of us and the earth. Marduk also created the constellations and seasons, another way of saying he gave us astrology and handed the Tablets of Destiny (astrological charts) to Anu – the sky god. As you can see, the celebrations asserted the importance of destiny and its association with the sky and constellations.  

On the fifth day of the celebration, something very curious happened. The priest takes the king to the holiest place in the temple, right under the statue of Marduk. The priest assumes the port of Marduk and channels him. He strips the king of all his symbols of power: jewelry, scepter and crown, and holding him by the ear, he brings him closer to the statue of Marduk. The priest then slaps the naked king really hard hopefully to the point the king sheds a tear or two (if not from pain then from anger at the priest taking this ritual too far) and while king kneels he must beg Marduk for forgiveness. Then the priest in the role of Marduk says: “Don’t be afraid of what Marduk has to say, for he will hear your prayers, extends your power, and increases the greatness of your reign”. Then the king would stand up and the priest would give him back his symbols of power but then slap him hard again. It ain’t easy being a king. I wonder if we should not add this ritual to the inaugurations of world leaders. Marduk knows some need a good slapping. Can you imagine under the statue of Lincoln, Nancy Pelosi slapping President Trump until he cries and ask forgiveness from the Founding Fathers and Mothers?  

On the 12th day, which this year will fall on March 31st,  the last day of Akitu, daily life resumes in Babylon. The people return to work and begin working the land. This means that in 12 days from now, maybe we too can start returning to some normalcy, with the help of Marduk.

While I was in Guadalajara, I picked up from my friends Alexandra and Jorge Najera their new interest in what is called “Draconic Astrology.” While it is very ancient (practiced by the Babylonians) not many astrologers work with these types of chart. The word “Draconic” comes from the Latin name for the North Nodes, the Dragon’s Head, which I mentioned in my last email. This type of charts reveal what our soul desires from us. It is not the chart of the ego but the chart of the Neshama, the soul. The chart unravels the wishes of the Higher-Self, or perhaps, the voice of our guardian angel. Some people, for example, complain that they don’t “feel” like their sun-sign, in many cases it is because they might be more connected to their Draconian Chart.

Without getting too technical, we all have a North Node in our chart. What the Draconican chart does is always place the North Node at 0 degrees Aries. Then it rearranges the chart, leaving all the planets as they were in relation to each other but shifting them so that your North Node falls on the 0 degrees of Aries. Of course, people that already have Aries as their North Node won’t have a big change in their chart. This means that they are already connected to what their soul wants from them. If you are born: Jan 27/49 – Jul 26/50; Aug 20/67 -Apr 19/69; Apr 7/86 – Dec 2/87; and Dec 27/04 – Jun 22/06, then the Dragon is already in Aires and your chart will change but not that much. 

When I was in Mexico and got familiarized with Draconic Astrology,  I was wondering why 0 degrees Aries? Why is the soul associated with that place in the zodiac. And then it dawned on me. Of course, it was the Babylonian New Year, the sprouting of the barley, the exodus of the people from the slavery of the winter of discontent. It is the equinox, the balancing of day and night, yin/yang, the place the dragon lives, in the onset of the first fire sign, the match that lights up life. 

As you can see, today and tomorrow for the ancient Sumerians, the keepers of time and space, the people that gave us math, agriculture, writing, maps, astrology, science, chariot, wheel, sailboat, cities, the calculator, calendar, arch, columns, plow, and much more, gave us also the myth and memory of the important of this day. 

Since we are also now entering Aries, ruled by Mars the god of war (March is named after Mars as most war begun and returned during this month) we have to be careful not to be too eager to declare Martial Law. As we enter this month of Mars, we should be mindful of not giving unworthy leaders too much Aries power. Not everyone is worthy riding the dragon, as the Mother of Dragon taught us over 8 seasons…

Today is a great day to sit and meditate and balance the masculine and feminine in you and allow light into your life. Welcome the barley and soon the arrival of freedom. The next big day is the New Moon in Aries, March 24, which begins the month of Nisan. According with Kabbalah, the word Nisan comes from Nes, meaning “miracle.” So, with the help of the Dragon, maybe we can expect miracles, which we so desperately need in the next month. 

Happy equinox!!!


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Gahl Sasson makes Kabbalah, astrology and psychology engaging, illuminating, and fun. The way he sees Kabbalah is accessible to anyone from any faith and background.



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