Did you not get your fill of the Halloween spirit by the 31st? Were you not able to celebrate, visit a graveyard or do any ritual or meditating at all? Well you’re in luck because, astrologically speaking, the real Samhain (SOW-in or sah-VEEN) is never actually on the man-made calendar day of October 31st, but is in fact on November 7th this year. When the Sun reaches the 15th degree of Scorpio is when the true cross quarter holiday technically occurs.
This will be an especially watery and potent Samhain, as Venus will join the Sun in Scorpio and the waning Moon will be entering Cancer that morning. This could not be more appropriate or promising for the festival of Samhain; autumn, death, transformation, magic, feminine mysteries, the underworld and water are all intrinsically linked to one another. Together, they are also the essences of the energy of Scorpio.
I have been distinctly feeling the veil thin ever since Mabon in August, and I have felt more energy and even more thinning in just the past few days since Halloween and leading up to today’s full moon. The last two or three nights were heavy and strange and filled with restless, broken sleep. It will be on the 7th, with the Sun at the center of Scorpio and two other powerful, personal bodies moving into water, that the veil will be its thinnest this season.
Samhain’s Waning Moon in Cancer
The Moon will be at home in the sign in rules this Samhain, which makes its influence especially strong. The waning phase is ideal for culling, resting, healing and planning.
The Sabian symbol for the first degree of Cancer (which the Moon will have just entered by 6 a.m. EST on the 7th) is…
“On A Ship The Sailors Lower An Old Flag And Raise A New One”
I can hardly think of a more fitting image for the watery day of death and remembrance, of allowing the old to fall and decay back into the dust from whence it came so that the new and fresh may grow from the nourishing ashes. Everything cycles and must renew itself and Samhain, the third and final harvest festival on the wheel of the year, is a time to learn and celebrate how life perpetuates itself, and what sacrifices are involved.
A prominent symbol of an animal also connected with Scorpio and its energy is the Ouroboros.
“The circular snake was sometimes shown with a half-light and half-dark body, alluding to the opposing principles of creation depicted in the yin-yang symbol of the Chinese Tao, which is yet another classic symbol of the One Thing”. – Dennis William Hauck, “The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation”
As Cancer primarily governs the home and family life, and since our homes are the very hub and center of our lives, this might be a particularly beneficial area to focus on balancing, clearing out, blessing, beautifying and preparing for the colder months ahead.
While we don’t really have to worry about the more extreme threats and demands of winter as many of our ancestors did, it’s still important to prepare for the seasonal shift mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Creating sacred space in the home, whether for a ritual to honor and channel ancestors or just to create more loving and healing vibes, can be a powerful buffer against the other demands of winter we as modern humans do still face – financial burdens, the unfortunate busy-ness and commercialism of the holidays, manic shoppers, icy roads, broken heaters and thwarted plans to visit loved ones.
A great way to do this is to create a water-themed Samhain altar where you can place images and tokens of ancestors and other relevant spirits, give offerings to any underworld deities you may work with or wish to connect with, meditate on water, death and transformation or, again, simply welcome in the energies and vibrations of the cool, quieting and decaying season.
For example, here is the altar I created on the day of the full moon. There are several seashells (most of them black, an obvious color of Scorpio and the season, and which means they are especially old and spent unknown ages in sulfur deposits), the Death card from the Celtic Tarot, a young buck skull I found in the woods where my husband and I would later be hand-fasted, a contrasting onyx egg to represent rebirth, images of deceased relatives and others ancestors, gourds, guinea feathers and a couple favorites from my porcelain pumpkin collection.
Here is an incantation you can recite at your altar or anywhere and anytime you want to connect with your ancestors this season, taken from Charlie Rainbow Wolf’s “Samhain Ritual to Appease the Spirits”, featured in Llewellyn’s 2018 Sabbats Almanac
I summon those beyond the veil
To hear my prayer, I shall not fail
To speak to helpers far and wide
To thank the spirits at my side
To know with you my life is blessed
When I’m awake and when I rest
My sacred smoke, I now send high
My words to carry through the sky
And summon those beyond the veil
To hear my prayer, I shall not fail.
Coming Up in 15° Scorpio: The Real Samhain, Part II…
– Venus in Scorpio
– Persephone and journeys to the Underworld
– Watery chthonic deities
and saving the best for last (and possibly as its own post), a Samhain Oracle reading featuring the new Healing Light Tarot by Christopher Butler
© 2017 M. Everwhite