The Dance of Earth and Venus

The Cosmic Story: The Wheel of the Year: Samhain 2019

The Cosmic Story: The Wheel of the Year
Samhain: Day of the Dead: All Hallows

The Crone and Her Cauldron

The Celtic New Year: Samhain, the Last Harvest

While our culture, and the whole world, has embraced Halloween, most people don't know why we celebrate the way we do. Why do we become someone else, grab all the sweets we can, and wander through the night, sometimes (at least in the old days) wrecking a tiny bit of havoc?

On Samhain, it was believed that the deceased came to Earth in search of food and comfort, while evil spirits, faeries and gods came in search of mischief.

We celebrate the Celtic New Year on October 31st-November 1st: it is Samhain, the pagan New Year, it is The Day of the Dead, it is Halloween and All Hallows. This is the time of year when the veils are thin and the beloved Dead come close and wander around for a bit. It is a day to honor the Dead and our ancestors. That's where the costumes come from-- we want to 'try on' another life. And since we want to honor our Dead, we offer them some of the food they loved in life. That's where the sweets come from. And the havoc comes when we don't honor those spirits properly.

Unfortunately, most of us have forgotten this ancient rite. Halloween is just another excuse for a party. But if we don't honor Death, we will be afraid of it. We get a chance, each year (and for women, each month with our bleeding), to release what is dead from our energy bodies, so something new can be born in the New Year. And when we add to this release the honoring of where we've come from, we can go forward into the next year with hope. And perhaps even an ancestor spirit to guide us in the coming darkness.

This is the time to put a layer of protection around yourself – may I only attract energies of the highest vibrations within myself – if you're going to open yourself to the ancestors. Because we know that there are both positive and negative energies, spirits and souls that do get attracted to us, especially when we're open to it. Open yourself to the highest spirits and bless your ancestors.

We are about to descend into the darkest part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (while in the South, the sunlight will be growing and you'll be celebrating Beltane! Dance the Maypole for me!). What is darker than Death for us? What if we accepted a small death now, so that something new can take its place? One of my friends said, “I sometimes feel like I'm out to pasture.” I know the feeling as an elder, but not really! This is not a time to stand back and let the world flow past you. It is a time to stay centered in a larger vision and hope, while you engage in the world in the best possible way.

Whoever you are – come dance your dance. Whatever you do – it will be perfect since it's you.

What is it like to dance with death? Words can't take the place of experience. Imagination can get you there. Having a power animal along with you to give you strength, cunning and instinct and an ancestor who can give you clarity is one way to do it. Out in the desert, we dance all night at this time around an alchemical fire, We dance a bone dance.

The Celtic witches honor this time as the passing of the king, the death of the green man of summer. Men especially can look to the Green Man archetype to learn how to live, to love and to die at the proper time. Seasonal renewal, ecological awareness, the Green Man, his face masked behind leaves and branches, is a archetypal energy of growth and fertility, who also knows when to let go and die.

There are legends of him (Khidr) in which, like Osiris, he is dismembered and reborn; and prophecies connecting him, like the Green Man, with the end of time. His name means the Green One or Verdant One, he is the voice of inspiration to the aspirant and committed artist. He can come as a white light or the gleam on a blade of grass, but more often as an inner mood. The sign of his presence is the ability to work or experience with tireless enthusiasm beyond one's normal capacities. In this there may be a link across cultures, …one reason for the enthusiasm of the medieval sculptors for the Green Man may be that he was the source of every inspiration.
[William Anderson, Green Man: The Archetype of Our Oneness with the Earth. San Francisco: Harper Collins,(1990).]

Women can turn to Persephone's myth, the Maiden who is ravished away from her Mother to the Underworld where she claims her name – Persephone – and becomes a queen in her own right, away from her Mother's power. Persephone is the strong one who each year descends into the Underworld and welcomes the Dead, leading the way through the dark to new life. Her work is to abide in the Underworld for a season, with patience and calm, to invoke the next generation, the next phase of life. She is 'brewing beauty in the Underworld'. (Caroline Casey) She is also strong enough to ascend and come back in the springtime to bring that new life with her. 
Both the Green Man and Persephone lead us to renewal.

Renew yourself and your soul ancestry as well as your human ancestors by releasing the old story lodged in your DNA. We can make a leap in evolution with our self-awareness and our values. Understand your place in the beauty of creation. Take responsibility for your world. It is time to take our place again the the biosphere of Mother Earth. It is time to reclaim our bodies, our souls and our spirit.

Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio

The Faerie Queen & King at Samhain

As Fate would have it, Mercury is here to help. Our messenger/psychopomp is about to reverse direction on Halloween (11:42am EDT). The Sabian symbol for Mercury turning retrograde at 28* Scorpio is: The King and Queen of Faerie are solemnly welcomed to their realm. Quite perfect, don't you think? When these archetypal energies return to the inner world or other dimensions – in a solemn manner – we are called to follow. Now is the time to turn within and contemplate our inner landscape, our innersphere
Mercury has spent this year, and will spend next year, retrograding in water signs. I guess the cosmos (the Mercury retrogrades and Cancer North Node) wants us to look at our emotions and heal them. This is Mercury's 3rd and last retrograde this year, the other two occurring in the signs of Pisces and Cancer. This Scorpio retrograde can help us work on those shadow qualities related to other people in our lives – family, friends, co-workers, strangers. 

Mercury can lead us to see how we choose to hold ourselves apart from intimacy, from sharing ourselves emotionally, from diving deeply into life. What's holding us back? Fear of betrayal, fear of failure, fear of being unloved and unlovable? Terror at being dominated or worse? Fear of the unknown or the stranger? Fear of our desires and passions? Fear of the Dark? 
For these 3 weeks, from October 31stto November 20th, we can let Mercury lead us back to the source of our wounds, which will become the source of our healing. Take the time and meditate and/or journey with Mercury into the deep inner reservoir of your emotional body. Face your fears, release and thank your shadows, and embrace the joy of emotional freedom. Leave the trauma you learned with in the cauldron of regeneration and claim the gift of your initiation.

Re-member, re-lease, re-deem, re-claim, re-new, re-dedicate, re-enchant and re-turn to your original state of blessing and wholeness. Let the old king die so the divine child of Light can be re-born at the Winter Solstice.

Mercury moving in front of the Sun
[Sky Alert! On the morning of Monday November 11, Mercury will cross the face of the Sun – looking like a tiny black dot! If you still have your glasses from the Great American eclipse, pull 'em out. Also, find an observatory. In Rhode Island, Frosty Drew Observatory is opened from 7am to around 1:30pm.]

The Astrology of Now

Sun at 15* Scorpio Power Gate 

The intense Scorpio New Moon on October 27thwas opposite the planet Uranus in Taurus. Many people found it hard to sleep those nights – the energy was high. A Scorpio New Moon plants the seeds of emotional death and rebirth, embracing an awakened awareness of life because we face death. With the awakener Uranus opposing this New Moon, our psyches are energized and electrified with an awakened body as well. Uranus in Taurus is an awakened Earth – our awareness can align with Earth's awareness now. Our wholeness has to include our bodies, our hearts and minds and our spiritual awareness. This is it! This is what we've been working toward, preparing us for the big upheavals of 2020 and beyond.

If we're going to have an awakened Earth, we have to be the agents of that awakening. The Sabian symbol for the Scorpio New Moon at 5* is: A massive rocky shore unchanged by centuries of storms. We have to remember that there are fundamental principles of life that can sustain us in these stormy times. We have to find our strength, because who knows when a fire, flood, storm or earthquake will demand that strength from us. 
Uranus in Taurus is an awakened Earth spirit. Our mother, Earth, will help us survive those hard time is we're open to listening to her wisdom.The body knows!We have moved so far away from living in our own skins that we no longer know how to eat, to sleep, to stay healthy and relaxed. Uranus in Taurus wants us to get back into our bodies. That's when we'll confront the poison in our food, our soils, our atmosphere, our waters. If we don't feel it, how can we heal it?

Mercury joins the Sun the day before the Taurus/Scorpio Full Moon. Always an intense time of year, the Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn trines this Taurus Full Moon and sextiles the Scorpio Sun. Simply put, this energy of release before a new cycle of power and re-structuring starts will push us to go deep and find out what it is we really love and desire.

As Caroline Casey says, while Venus is in Scorpio, we are brewing beauty in the underworld. Then Venus will quickly move into Sagittarius on November 2ndand into Capricorn the day before the Sagittarius New Moon on November 25th.   Mars is challenged to work for peace and harmony rather than self-aggrandizement at the Samhain power gate.  Mars leaves Libra on November 19thfor Scorpio, settling in to transform the Libra lessons into passion and power.  
December starts with Jupiter finishing up his time in his home sign of Sagittarius (where does time go?) and moving into Capricorn, where he'll meet up with Saturn and Pluto later in 2020. 
And it's a big year for eclipses. Including the late December 2019 Capricorn solar eclipse, in 2020 we have a total of 7 (6+1) eclipses in Cancer/Capricorn and Gemini/Sagittarius coming up in the New Year, along with the much anticipated Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn on January 12, 2020 – to be joined throughout the year by Jupiter and Mars. Big energies for transformation and rebirth are due in 2020. 
So. Prepare Yourselves. Open the Way.

Samhain Blessings,
It Is Hard To Have Hope – Wendell Berry

It is hard to have hope. It is harder as you grow old,
for hope must not depend on feeling good
and there is the dream of loneliness at absolute midnight.
You also have withdrawn belief in the present reality
of the future, which surely will surprise us,
and hope is harder when it cannot come by prediction
any more than by wishing. But stop dithering.
The young ask the old to hope. What will you tell them?
Tell them at least what you say to yourself.

Because we have not made our lives to fit
our places, the forests are ruined, the fields eroded,
the streams polluted, the mountains overturned. Hope
then to belong to your place by your own knowledge
of what it is that no other place is, and by
your caring for it as you care for no other place, this
place that you belong to though it is not yours,
for it was from the beginning and will be to the end.

Belong to your place by knowledge of the others who are
your neighbors in it: the old man, sick and poor,
who comes like a heron to fish in the creek,
and the fish in the creek, and the heron who manlike
fishes for the fish in the creek, and the birds who sing
in the trees in the silence of the fisherman
and the heron, and the trees that keep the land
they stand upon as we too must keep it, or die.

This knowledge cannot be taken from you by power
or by wealth. It will stop your ears to the powerful
when they ask for your faith, and to the wealthy
when they ask for your land and your work.
Answer with knowledge of the others who are here
and how to be here with them. By this knowledge
make the sense you need to make. By it stand
in the dignity of good sense, whatever may follow.

Speak to your fellow humans as your place
has taught you to speak, as it has spoken to you.
Speak its dialect as your old compatriots spoke it
before they had heard a radio. Speak
publicly what cannot be taught or learned in public.

Listen privately, silently to the voices that rise up
from the pages of books and from your own heart.
Be still and listen to the voices that belong
to the streambanks and the trees and the open fields.
There are songs and sayings that belong to this place,
by which it speaks for itself and no other.

Find your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
underfoot. Be it lighted by the light that falls
freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
and the darkness of our ignorance and madness.
Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,
which is the light of imagination. By it you see
the likeness of people in other places to yourself
in your place. It lights invariably the need for care
toward other people, other creatures, in other places
as you would ask them for care toward your place and you.

No place at last is better than the world. The world
is no better than its places. Its places at last
are no better than their people while their people
continue in them. When the people make
dark the light within them, the world darkens.

~ Wendell Berry ~

(This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems)