Samhain

Season of the Witch

Scorpio stellium Samhain Goddess by Arwen Grace

Now that we are through the New Moon in Scorpio Lunar Eclipse and have begun the trip into the deepest realms of the subconscious, we have no fewer than five planets and luminaries as well as an asteroid, all lined up today in a Scorpio stellium: Venus, Sun, Pallas, Moon, Saturn and Ceres.

The art and magic of astrology originated in the Northern hemisphere and the seasonal implications are less apt for the Southern hemisphere (although astrology still works there!).   For those of us in the top half of the world, The Sun’s entry into Scorpio in late October marks the passing from the abundance of the autumn harvest to the cold and dark of winter.   Nothing is superficial now – our attention is focused on that which is real and true.

Scorpio is quite literally the Season of the Witch – it is at the midpoint of Scorpio that we celebrate the dark holiday of Samhain in the Celtic calendar – the day in which the veils between the dead and living are at their thinnest.  Under the influence of Scorpio we become more aware of the vibrations around us and more sensitive to danger.  With Mars as the traditional ruler of Scorpio and Pluto the modern ruler, we seek to discover tools that will help us to focus our will (Mars) and achieve a higher degree of personal power than we ever thought possible (Pluto).

Aleister Crowley said “Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.”  This is Scorpio, in a nutshell.  Ideally this will occur in concert with the highest good of all, and in alignment […]

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By |2014-10-24T09:00:55-04:00October 24th, 2014|Astrology|4 Comments

The astrological Samhain

Samhain astrology Samhain by Phantom’s Siren

Until the rise of the neo-Pagan phenomenon of the mid to late twentieth century, I think it’s safe to say that most Americans had never heard of Samhain (pronounced Sow’-en), the ancient Celtic autumn festival.  It is likely that our modern celebration of Hallowe’en developed to take the place of the ancient festival.  The Christian All Hallows festival to honor the souls of the saints that had passed on was originally celebrated in May but was moved to November 1st in 835 by Pope Gregory IV.

In any case, the Samhain festival celebrates the dead and it is said that the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest at this time, making it easier to communicate with those on the other side.  Feasts were held in which the dead were invited to participate, and in later times costumes were worn to protect against malicious spirits.

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.

Technically, Samhain this year occurs on November 6th when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio. In the northern hemisphere there is a sense that darkness is descending and we begin retreating to the shelter of our homes where the pathwork of the inner life can take place.


 

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By |2018-11-08T07:02:53-05:00November 1st, 2012|Holidays|2 Comments

Samhain – a day of remembrance

Samhain (an ancient Gaelic word pronounced Sow’-en) is the ancient Celtic holiday that has come down to us as Hallowe’en (derivation of “All Hallows Eve”).  Although it is associated today with witchcraft and doings of the devil, in pre-Christian times Samhain was simply the time when the veils between the worlds were at their thinnest.  It was a time of reverence for the process of death and the mysteries of life. The astrological Samhain actually occurs at the midpoint of Scorpio which is the “cross quarter” between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice and falls on November 8th this year rather than October 31st.

The women that some now call “witches” were the wise women – the ones who understood the mysteries of the stars, the ones with an affinity to the healing powers of plants…the ones who helped to heal the sick and comfort the wounded.  The ones whose power came directly from nature and bypassed the power structures of the Church and were therefore dangerous.

“History is written by the winners,” and therefore most of us were never told these tales of the brave and wise women and men that were healers of souls and teachers of the spirit. Instead, we were fed stories of evil witches and devil-worshipping pagans that were meant to frighten the masses into toeing the line of the political and religious establishment.

Samhain is a time to remember the dead, and I can’t think of a better way to remember our ancestors on the path of spiritual growth and wisdom than to watch the Burning Times Documentary.  This is a beautiful film that depicts the struggle of women and men to survive the long period of the Inquisition that lasted […]

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By |2018-07-18T12:56:06-04:00October 30th, 2011|Holidays, Life|1 Comment

New Moon in Scorpio, October 26 2011

Scorpio New Moon October 2011The New Moon occurs when the Moon conjoins the Sun, beginning a new lunar cycle.  Scorpio is the sign of emotional fearlessness and demands that we find pure and complete acceptance of ourselves at the deepest core of our being, so the Scorpio New Moon denotes a time of inner renewal and self-honesty.

The Scorpio New Moon on October 26th takes us even deeper into the Underworld of the psyche and emotional realms. By this time there are four planets and luminaries in Scorpio: The Sun and Moon, and Mercury and Venus. There is no escaping the necessity of reaching into the abyss of our own interior world, but the rewards are great as we discover the treasures that lie buried underneath the veneer of our own consciousness.

This New Moon has a number of harmonious aspects that will facilitate the shedding process that is a hallmark of the Scorpio experience, including a trine of the Sun to healing Chiron that helps to remove any obstacles which prevent us from achieving that lofty goal.

A square from Venus to Mars in Leo suggests potential stress in our relationships, but also enhances sexuality and the excitement of Scorpio that Mars (traditional Scorpio ruler) brings to the table. Mars is in a harmonious sextile to Saturn at the New Moon which helps to provide stability and an environment where new plans under the New Moon may be devised.

As with any New Moon, this is a fertile time to plant seeds of a new venture that will flower when the Moon is full.  But because we’re talking about Scorpio here, the new venture is about letting go rather than taking on something new.  In what areas could you use […]

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By |2011-10-26T05:08:51-04:00October 26th, 2011|Moon|1 Comment

Into the underworld, and Venus ascending

Halloween truly is a pagan practice, and most people now recognize that this so-called holiday is actually rooted in the old Celtic festival of Samhain. Although Halloween is commonly celebrated on October 31, the festival of Samhain is a cross-quarter holiday that occurs at the midpoint between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice on November 7.

Astrologically, Samhain (along with the other cross-quarter days of Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasad) is celebrated at the midpoint of the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius and Leo. Fixed signs are the signs of power – like the square, their stability and fixed nature leads to a buildup of energy that opens up a doorway to an explosion of raw power. In Scorpio, that power is directed within, fearlessly exploring the invisible dimensions of life and reaching across dimensions to discover what awaits there.

Samhain was celebrated as the New Year in pre-Christian Celtic lands, and it was thought that during this time the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest. Communication with the dead was widely practiced during Samhain rituals, not surprising because of the association with Scorpio and the underworld of darkness that it rules.

When Christianity attempted to subsume the pagan Celtic festivals into Christian holidays, All Saints or All Hallows Day was established on November 2 with the night before being the Eve of All Hallows which has come down to us as Halloween. Participants still celebrate the souls of the dead during Hallows Eve, but now the creatures from the other side were reviled as evil. Wise women became the evil witches; offerings of food and drink were left out for the dead souls to placate their evil spirits.

Sig Lonegren from Glastonbury writes about Samhain and […]

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By |2010-10-30T12:27:53-04:00October 30th, 2010|Holidays, Planetary cycles|1 Comment