Happy Halloween! Happy Taurus Full Moon! Happy Samhain! Yup, you read that right; all three are happening on the 31st. Let’s add Day of the Dead in there too, also known as All Soul’s Eve in the Christian traditions. With so much collective focus on this date, there must be something to it.
Our Halloween, filled with witches and ghosts, comes from the ancient Celtic holy cross-quarter day Samhain (pronounced Saa-wen). Cross quarter holidays mark the halfway point between equinoxes and solstices. Samhain is the cross-quarter between the September equinox and the December solstice. Shamanic Astrology says the cross-quarter day is when the sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio. This is because the September equinox occurs when the sun is at 0 degrees Libra and the December solstice when the sun is 0 degrees Capricorn. 15 degrees Scorpio is the exact midway point between those two degrees. That occurs on November 7 this year.
Some goddess-focused traditions (possibly within the Celts too) felt the equinoxes and solstices were solar holy days and the cross quarter “holi-days” were lunar celebrations. If we indulge in that tradition, then Samhain would happen on the full moon following the sun entering Scorpio, the archetypal sign of the cross-quarter. That would mean Samhain occurs on the Taurus full moon each year. That just happens to be on Halloween this year! It’s a cosmic line up of the old and the new on the astrologically-important full moon.
Samhain was considered the beginning of the new year when we move deep into the womb of the dark days of the year (in the northern hemisphere). They paradoxically saw the new day beginning in the dark after sunset. The start was always in the darkness where gestation could occur. Samhain is a time to go into Ceridwen’s cauldron of transformation and travel into the darkness of the underworld and face our shadows and release what holds us back. We see nature doing this around us, as the gold and red leaves fall to the ground and eventually turn black, decomposing into nutrients that feed the soil. It’s time to go within and honestly search our hidden places to discover what no longer serves us in becoming who we truly are.
We are supported at Samhain by the Dark Goddess who holds us in her womb, with love, to face what scares us, our dark places. She may seem scary, but she also holds our hands because she knows this transformation serves us. When we have the courage to face what frightens us, our hurt places, our insecurities, our shame we are freed to live more authentically, more in alignment with our soul’s intention. We evolve and grow. It isn’t easy, but the freedom it brings is rewarding and energizing.
In the northern hemisphere, the earth is going through this same transformation now. We are all going through the yearly shamanic death cycle, which brings new life and rebirth on the other side. By going into the dormancy, new seeds germinate in the rich soil to grow and bloom in the spring. This is what Shamanic Astrology is all about, connecting yourself consciously to the cycles of the earth and sky around us. There’s nothing scary about it. It’s about communing with our ancestral ways, still held in our DNA, that knew their place in the world by the symbols and energy they were encircled by. We, too, can be a part of that beautiful connection.
We do that through paying attention to the cycles, the seasons and celestial bodies present in the backdrop of the constellations we see in the sky. Honor those cycles in your heart. Feel your place in the greater cycles of the earth and sky. Do this with ceremony and reverence. Halloween is the perfect day to practice, with the Taurus full moon and Samhain together. Both represent times to release and let go of anything preventing you from being your best self.
If you’re new to ceremony, start small. Go outside and watch sunset and the full moon rising, in celebration of Halloween and Samhain. Tell the moon something you want to release, something you know holds you back from your purest expression. See the Taurus full moon embodying your prayer, absorbing what you’re releasing. Feel the Taurus energized moon supporting you in finding more pleasure in your life through letting go, facing your scary places and freeing up energy to help you walk the path you’ve come here to walk. Allow Halloween, Samhain and the Dark Goddess to release you to be more of you. Now, go carve a pumpkin!