It’s because of that love, and my passion for sacred ceremony and living life aligned with the cycles of the seasons, that I decided it was time for some astrological real talk.
The Halloween/Samhain Mashup, and the Cognitive Dissonance of the Gregorian Calendar
But a tried and true Scorpio Rising, I am and will always be – not so much in having a fascination with “scary things” and horror, but in seeking and reveling in all things…mysterious. Numinous. Intense. The night in all its soothing darkness, while the majority of the world lies sleeping and my thoughts are free to roam as they will without the constant distraction of messy energies and the goings-on of the “Muggle World”. Ah, the wondrous “Thin Veil” half of the day - where anything and everything between the worlds (and within ourselves) is more accessible and easy to understand for beings like me.
This lens through which I experience life gives me the predisposition to dig deeply to uncover what lies below so it can be faced, transmuted, and released; and then, I rise, transformed as physical and spiritual being while I set off on the spiral dance quest to assist others in doing the same in one-on-one energetic healing work and intuitive/psychic issue clearing sessions.
A part of that cosmological orientation towards life, then, includes being completely enraptured by all things Halloween, and this liminal time that puts us in touch with its energies. This time of year that holds such intrigue for so many, and serves to bring us deep within to commune with Mystery in all its forms – the glow of pumpkins and scary stories, and costumed fun and trickery followed by treats on an autumn eve. The night seems to wrap around us like a starry blanket, carrying us across the threshold of the Dark Half of the year.
As an empath with a big love for the cycles of time and seasonal shifting/alignments, and someone who takes "getting it right" very seriously, not only do I see the cyclic mismatch “on paper,” but I feel the off-ness of the dates not being aligned. It’s…uncomfortable at best, creating quite the cognitive dissonance and making me want to shout my astrological nerdings from the rooftops.
I find myself asking who threw off our scent from the natural cyclic unfolding of things, these precise moments of alignment that so powerfully connect us to Life unfolding around us, the Earth, ourselves, and why? What would be the purpose for such a thing? How can being so disconnected and out of touch with the cycles of life around us have taken over, when our ancestors lived in deeper alignment with the Earth, her seasons, and the energies/needs/drives and desires arising therein?
Technological advances. Perhaps ulterior motives from those in positions of power who sought to control the people by throwing off their sense of time and demonizing anything more consciously Earth-connected, like Pagan rituals, as “not being of God”, when it was never really about God anyway – it was about control.
I have deeper thoughts on this, but I digress. The point is, we can reclaim the power of these cycles by doing a little research, tuning back in to the cycles of the season on this beautiful planet, and using our intuition to guide us in what feels most "on" for us.
Astrology and Time Cycles
Though astrology seems to be something abstract and “out there,” it’s actually quite terrestrial. The energetic frequencies we receive on Earth might originate from the cosmos, but astrology is the art and science of understanding how those frequencies affect the ever-changing circumstances on the planet now.
Astrology is Earth-based, perspective-based. We find ourselves in alignment with celestial frequencies emitted by the planets, and as those planetary frequencies converge (harmonics, music!...just music that we can’t hear with our physical ears unless you find a sweet NASA recording that’s converted them to within the range of human hearing, like this one), we move through the issues that come up annually, plus the changes happening daily. The continuous ticking of the planetary clocks, seemingly driven by some mind-blowingly precise spiritual source is so “to the minute” and spooky-uncanny when it comes to anything and everything that it makes even the most experienced astrologers' heads spin when the data on the page aligns just so with what’s happening around them.
As Above, So Below; As Below, So Above.
There’s no way, then, that there wouldn’t be great power in cultivating an awareness of the moments of true seasonal shift and aligning our awareness with it as opposed to taking the easy route and simply “going with the flow” of societally-decided holidays like Samhain/Halloween only.
An interesting point to make is that, though the Western astrological system places the “new year” at the Spring Equinox, other systems do not. The Celts viewed Samhain as the new year – born out of the death of the old and subsequent darkness while the year is still waning – while others see the Winter Solstice/Yule as the true point of annual new beginnings. Yet another way to divide time for those who go by the Celtic Lunar Calendar – celebrating only the four Celtic Fire Festivals of Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasadh, and Imbolc – is to observe the new year at Imbolc, the festival out of the four that’s most aligned with the new moon's energies.
The Wheel of the Year
The Wheel of the Year can be perceived as revolving solely around the apparent motion of the Sun. There are those who view both the quarter and cross-quarter holidays this way, and those who do not.
Before diving into that, I’ll say that I’ve spent time exploring the energetic resonance of various possibilities within different seasonal calendar systems. From both an intellectual and spiritual point view, I feel each has their own qualities and merits depending on each person’s paradigms. This exploration of marking time continues to be an ever-evolving exploration for me, just recently having gained even more knowledge of ways to observe the cross-quarter points in this excellent presentation by Serena Roney Dougal, an expert on the Celtic Lunar Calendar.
Cutting the Cross-Quarter Pie – Solar, Solar-Lunar, and Everything In Between
However, we do not exist in a space where the Sun alone holds the power keys to influence our lives. In addition to the movement of all planets and other heavenly bodies, energies emitted from stars, etc., the Sun and Moon are perpetually linked with one another. And though it’s true that the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, it is her light and influence - her perpetual waxing, waning, birth and death and rebirth - that holds most powerful sway over our emotions, daily points of focus, and the ticking of the linear time clock in all its manifestations down to the minute on her travels through the Zodiac each month.
Though other influences certainly play a role, the Moon continuously unconsciously influences our choices and the outcomes of everything.
She who swells and pulls the tides back from their love affair with the shore; She who is the outward heavenly embodiment of the sacred feminine mysteries as we experience them in these raw and precious bodies. She whose light brings lunacy, illumination, culmination, yet luminous soothing healing when we moonbathe, basking in her glow at the full moon phase to heal, balance, and ward off our crazies.
It is for this reason that I align my celebrations of Samhain and each of the cross-quarter points with the cycles of the moon.
Solar-Lunar Samhain and the Celtic Lunar Calendar
Through this lens, we would align our Samhain celebrations in at least one of two ways (dates vary year to year):
- The annual Scorpio New Moon (lunar Samhain, akin to Lunar Beltaine, which sits opposite it on the Wheel of the Year), happening November 15, 2020, at 12:07 AM EST (23 degrees)
- The annual 4th Quarter Moon in Leo each November, at nightfall, happening November 8, 2020 at 8:45 AM EST (16 degrees)
The first, to the best of my current understanding, is in alignment with Goddess traditions of celebrating ritual in alignment with the new and full moons, depending on the holy day. The second is a method of aligning even more fully with the waning energies of the year – the last quarter moon, as the sun sets, during Scorpio season.
It matters not if we choose to use astrological systems such as Vedic or Chinese astrology, Tropical or Sidereal astrology, or ways to mark time within the changing of the seasons – there are infinite ways to explore time, like a kaleidoscope of perspectives that each shine their own constellations of Light and insights for those who seek them. Different systems will resonate with each person differently, and that's as it should be - hence the existence of so many!
We each need to follow what feels right for us, for we are each as infinite as the myriad of astrological influences that express themselves through us. Like snowflakes, no two birth charts are alike. By honoring our uniqueness and individual energetic blueprints, we honor the whole, stewarding what we came here to steward for fulfilling our purpose on Earth.
That Said, There’s One More Still…!
That is my humble offering, and perhaps for some of you, will bring a new beginning in your perceptions of the unfolding story of Earth and your own life story – a miraculous cocreative tapestry in which you play an inextricable part.
Play on, Dear Hearts, and let me know what you find along the way!
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Jennifer Elen Bríd
On the Druid's Path
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