Sunday inspiration: Penetrating the Dark Night of the Soul at Samhain

art by Christian Schloe

The ancient Celtic holiday Samhain is a cross-quarter holiday, meaning it occurs when the Sun is at the midpoint of the Winter Solstice and the Autumn Equinox rather than October 31.  That point is actually the 15th degree of Scorpio which is actually on November 7th this year. The All Hallows Eve Christian festivals were designed to replace the ancient Samhain festival, and now we have gone backwards and celebrate Samhain at Halloween.  But the dark portal of energy signified by Samhain is actually on November 7th. 

from Eckhart Tolle:


The “dark night of the soul” is a term that goes back a long time.  Yes, I have also experienced it. It is a term used to describe what one could call a collapse of a perceived meaning in life…an eruption into your life of a deep sense of meaninglessness.  The inner state in some cases is very close to what is conventionally called depression. Nothing makes sense anymore, there’s no purpose to anything. Sometimes it’s triggered by some external event, some disaster perhaps, on an external level.  The death of someone close to you could trigger it, especially premature death, for example if your child dies. Or you had built up your life, and given it meaning – and the meaning that you had given your life, your activities, your achievements, where you are going, what is considered important, and the meaning that you had given your life for some reason collapses.

It can happen if something happens that you can’t explain away anymore, some disaster which seems to invalidate the meaning that your life had before.  Really what has collapsed then is the whole conceptual framework for your […]

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By |2021-10-31T07:41:37-04:00January 17th, 2021|Holidays, Inspiration|3 Comments

The magic of Samhain and the journey to Hallowe’en

Art by Wendy Andrews

I just returned from a trip to Ireland, where the holiday of Hallowe’en is said to have originated with the ancient Celts who called this holiday Samhain, or “summer’s end”.  Traditionally the holiday was celebrated on November 1st, but some sources say that the festival lasted seven days, or even nine days.  In Ireland there was a huge assembly at Tara where the kings met to craft their laws and the common people held celebration.

In medieval Europe the pagan (country) people celebrated the the midpoint of the fixed signs as periods of power.  These times correspond to the fixed signs of Aquarius (Brigid in February), Taurus (Beltane in May), Leo (Lugh in July) and Samhain (pronounced Sow’en) in October for Scorpio.  These times exactly between the solstices and equinoxes, and are called the “cross-quarter” days.  Early Catholic leaders adopted the festival of Samhain as All Saints Day and christianized the holiday to encourage praying for the souls of the departed.

While Samhain has been adopted by Wiccans and other followers of witchcraft, I think we have finally come past the equating of ancient holy holidays with witches and demons.  These are nature festivals of spirituality which we can use to honor the holy cycles of nature and the ebb and flow of life.

At Samhain it is said that the veils between the worlds grow thin, and it becomes easier to communicate with the souls of loved ones who have passed on.  They are also more easily able to offer advice, and divination is a key part of Samhain festivals even today.  Samhain marks the beginning of the dark half of the year, after the balance of light and dark at […]

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By |2019-10-31T08:15:45-04:00October 30th, 2019|Holidays|0 Comments

Scorpio New Moon at astrological Samhain: A trip between the worlds

Scorpio New Moon

The New Moon in Scorpio on the 7th which coincides this year with astrological Samhain, the ancient cross-quarter holiday of power at 15 degrees Scorpio.Samhain is one of the “cross-quarter” holidays that fall between the Solstices and Equinoxes.  Astrologically, the Solstices and Equinoxes mark the entry of the Sun into the cardinal signs of initiation: Aries at Spring, Cancer at Summer, Libra at Autumn and Capricorn at Winter.  The cross-quarter periods occur at 15 degrees of the fixed signs, with Samhain in the sign of Scorpio, the sign that corresponds to death and rebirth.  The veils between the worlds are at their thinnest at this time, and our intuition is heightened so when we combine this with the power of the New Moon to create and begin anew we can see how magical this particular New Moon will be.

The Scorpio New Moon is all about diving deep into our passions, desires, and the power of our emotions.  Under Scorpio’s tutelage we surrender any veneer of who and what we think we should be, and embrace our true selves with acceptance and honesty.  This New Moon includes a blessing of Neptune  to open the doors of perception and enhance our divine connection as well as our creativity, and the New Moon ruler (Mars) harmonizes with Venus to create balance between yin and yang.  Venus and Ceres combine to enhance our desire to take care of ourselves and find a peaceful easy balance within.  However, the Black Moon Lilith aligns with Mars which will activate the dark side of the Scorpio New Moon, aiding in the integration of the shadow Self.

The effect of the New Moon generally begins a few days before the lunation and lingers for a few days […]

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By |2018-11-08T07:18:49-05:00November 7th, 2018|Moon|4 Comments

Happy Samhain/Hallowe’en/Day of the Dead!

Those who decry Hallowe’en as a pagan holiday are, of course, correct!  In medieval Europe the pagan (country) people celebrated the the midpoint of the fixed signs as periods of power.  These times correspond to the fixed signs of Aquarius (Brigid in February), Taurus (Beltane in May), Leo (Lugh in August) and Samhain (pronounced Sow’en) in November for Scorpio.  These times exactly between the solstices and equinoxes, at the 15% point of the fixed signs, and are called the “cross-quarter” days.
At Samhain it is said that the veils between the worlds grow thin, and it becomes easier to communicate with the souls of loved ones who have passed on.  They are also more easily able to offer advice, and divination is a key part of Samhain festivals even today.  Samhain marks the beginning of the dark half of the year, after the balance of light and dark at the equinox.
The actual festival of Samhain this year is November 7th because this is when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio.  The festival of Hallowe’en (All Hallows Eve) corresponds to All Saints Day in the Catholic church which celebrates the dead, but only those who have been beatified.  The rest of the dead are celebrated on All Souls Day on November 2.
In Latin America there is a similar festival called the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos which corresponds to the Catholic festivals.  Similar festivals are held in Spain and in Brazil, and presumably derived from the adaptation by the Catholic Church of the Samhain festival.
Astrologically, the entry of the Sun into Scorpio in the northern hemispheres marks the return of the dark time, where we are drawn into the darkness of our own psyche to […]
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By |2019-11-10T19:06:54-05:00October 31st, 2015|Holidays|0 Comments

Samhain Full Moon in Taurus, November 6th 2014

Samhain full moon “To Be a Witch” by Dandelion Lion

Although the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain is celebrated for convenience on October 31st to coincide with Hallowe’en or All Hallows Eve, it actually occurs at the midpoint between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice.  This is also the midpoint of Scorpio, the dark season where the veils between the world begin to thin and it becomes easier to cross between them.

This year the Taurus Full Moon falls within one degree of the Samhain point – the Sun at 15 degrees Scorpio.  The power of this lunar opening at this degree encourages us to open more fully and walk courageously into the underworld of our own existence, finding the quiet power that lies within.  While the power of the earlier Scorpio stellium is lessening, there are still three planets in Scorpio which continue the focus on the power of emotions and feelings to transform and regenerate new life from the ashes of the past.

Every Full Moon consists of the Sun and Moon in opposite signs, so there is a need for integration and balance. The Taurus/Scorpio polarity is one of holding on and letting go. Taurus dislikes change and prefers stability, which can create stagnation. The Scorpio end of the polarity forces transformation in the form of destruction which is uncomfortable, but ultimately helps to move us forwards in our personal evolution as the regeneration cycle occurs.

With the Taurus Full Moon we are leaning towards the Taurus end of the spectrum as the Sun invites us to consider the dark arts of Scorpio to help let go of the past and welcome the Taurean peace and serenity that comes from being […]

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By |2019-08-27T10:28:28-04:00November 5th, 2014|Holidays, Moon|4 Comments
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