2018 Samhain New Moon Oracle of the Waters

October 31st may be Halloween, but it is not Samhain. It is but an arbitrary date and day like any other in a modern, man-contrived and Vatican-imposed calendar. The cross-quarter days – the days halfway between the Solstices and Equinoxes – astronomically and astrologically occur at 15° of the sign of the season. Tomorrow, November 7, is when the real Samhain energy wells and flows, and when the floodgates between this world and the Other are truly open.

Water is the element that has all dominion over this powerful time. On this true Samhain day, the Sun reaches 15° of Scorpio and is joined by the Moon; the invisible, submerged New Moon. It is also Jupiter’s final moment at the critical degree of Scorpio before moving into its second home of Sagittarius.

The Moon forms a favorable, creative trine to Neptune, that supreme ocean lord whose power is currently enhanced by retrograde motion his own home, shared with Jupiter, of Pisces. This Moon also creates opportunities being sextile to the chthonic water-dweller, and younger ruler of Scorpio, Pluto.

Water is my path and my deity. My way is the flow of the Daughter River to the Mother Sea, where the sweet, fresh waters that quench us mingle with the salty womb that bore us; the way of the falling rain, the fleeting morning dew and mists. I listen to the Water and I speak for Her.

This Samhain’s message and lesson comes from both the sweet waters and the salted.

The energy and power of Water reaches its darkest, deepest fathoms in the fixed water sign, the sign of upheaval and transformation, secrecy, deception and death. The salt of the benthic womb of She who is both Mother and Destroyer – Tiamat, Thalassa, Yemaya, Ran – gathers into eerie brine pools at the bottom of the oceans, into the most intense concentration of that essential substance.

These dense pools are like submerged salt lakes, existing at the edge of comprehension where underwater shores form one of the most mind-bending between spaces on Earth.

 

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Life at brine pool, image courtesy of the EV Nautilus

It is from this realm that the first message comes, from the primeval matrix best represented by the dragon goddess and coiled serpent, Tiamat, the Sea Herself.

In the somewhat Lovecraftian, so-named Grimoire of Tiamat, Asenath Masen states that “…the salty waters of seas and oceans can hardly be considered a nourishing substance. They do not quench the thirst of living beings and they do not make the crops grow. The waters of Tiamat are dissolving, corroding, poisonous and deadly.”

While an understandable point in context, to an extent, this is not altogether true. There are some living things that do not have thirst to quench. There are some living things that are indeed nourished by the deep salt of the sea. The waters of Tiamat are not poisonous and deadly to everything.

Much life is to be found at the sweltering mouths of hydrothermal vents, as well as at the shores of the staggeringly saline brine pools, even though they can be toxic to some marine animals. These few creatures to whom they are not toxic, however, exist and are called extremophiles. It is from these submarine shores and these extreme creatures that we receive a powerful message…

You are all living in extreme times. Many of you are living in extreme conditions, be they literal, physical surroundings and circumstances, or intense, extreme emotional states. These are likely the most burdensome and noxious emotions that are running highest and burning you out – fear, anger, hatred, depression, anxiety, regret, sorrow, loneliness, and all manner of loss that is the result of unwanted change.

But not all that is corroded and dissolved by change need be mourned or missed. There is much to be learned and to be gained from extreme states. Some of you will be poisoned and defeated by them and others will grow through them.

You must learn to adapt and to navigate the harshest conditions with confidence and self-control. Be present in all that you are experiencing and feeling, and find the balance between embracing and understanding those feelings – even the most painful and uncomfortable ones – and thriving in spite of them. Or because of them.

Rise above and beyond what you think simple society or any pretender is expecting of you. Look at yourself and ask what you expect of yourself, and why, and learn to be true no matter who may end up judging or shunning you. Know that those who do so are not worth your time as long as you stand in truth.

Transformation has nothing to do pleasing others, or with lowering or weakening yourself. It is for, by, through and because of the Self. Transformation is a choice, but one that may be made for you if you don’t find that balance.

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The Depths of the Sea by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

 

But there is a light overhead. There is peace and passionate renewal to be found after enduring and rising above the turmoil. In the second part of the message, the fresh rivers, lakes and the falling autumn rains ask us to then surrender, to simply…

Rise up.
Let go.
Breathe.
Flow. 

You have been like the monkey who got his open, slender hand into the narrow trap but will not release the petty prize in his closed fist which is now too large to let him escape. It is time to release your death grip on all that is trapping you in your pain, your sorrow, your anger, your illusion, your delusion. Give up the game. Relax and let go.

Sometimes your best laid plans and intentions are simply not meant to be. It is time to drift with the currents of life and trust that the cosmic rivers will carry you to safer, sweeter shores.

Perhaps you have been obsessing over everyone else and what they are doing. You may be worrying about everyone but yourself. You cannot control them. You can only control yourself, your reactions and your choices.

Soon you will heal and you will dwell by the waters of life that glisten in the Sun, no longer toiling or sorrowing deep in the stinging, extreme crucibles of Fire and Water that are forming you into the diamond you are meant to become.

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“The Kelpie” by Herbert James Draper

May you bravely dive down deep into the sea of transformation during this Samhain time, and in so doing rise up and connect to your higher self and the higher truths that are ever reflected in and carried by the primordial, cosmic waters that flow all around us here on Earth.

 

© 2018  Meredith Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

Samhain Oracle of Persephone

Received on astrological Samhain, 11/7/17 at 6:45 a.m. (EST) using the Healing Light Tarot

The Healing Light Tarot draws inspiration from an ancient Celtic concept. It relates to the periods of Dusk and Dawn, where the veil between this world and the spiritual realm is at its thinnest. This is a time for visions, realisations and, above all, healing. The other main motif in this deck is the mandorla, the oval shaped portal created when two circles overlap and a symbol of the divine feminine. The mandorla is a healing gateway so I’ve placed one on each card. Where it opens, healing and wholeness can be found.” – Christopher Butler

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Evocation

Kore, Maiden of the Fertile Earth Above, Queen Persephone of the Dead, and Sacred Center of the Five Rivers of Hades…hear me this Samhain dawn and accept this offering of pomegranate juice. Hear the question of those who would seek your wisdom during this season of death and endings, and tell us how we may balance and integrate the above and the below; how we can learn from your story and your brave walking between the worlds of the living and the dead, achieving ultimate balance.

The Three Card Spread

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“You mortals see the light of a star for eons after it has collapsed and dissolved back into the void of its origin. The light has unspeakably far to travel and yet, even after its own origin has died, still it travels…still you see it even from light years away and for many years to come.

Death, a sacrifice, is present even in one of your most comforting symbols of hope, magic and dreams coming true. But it is the truest testament of what can and does endure after death, and what can only come about because of death.

How long have you watched and mapped the stars and yearned to travel beyond the borders of your planet? How long have you gazed up in hope and placed wishes upon them? How long have you seen your ancestors’ visage in the stars, and those of gods and monsters and sought to join them all in the celestial plane?

Yet still many of you fear and even demonize the gate through which this will be achieved: death. Death who is as sacred as life, for death feeds life and all life becomes death. Do not fear or force the cycles of nature or they will force you into them in a manner not of your choosing. You cannot and will not flourish if you are ruled by fear or discord.

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Fear will make you weak if you surrender too much to it. Instead you must be strong. One can feel fear and not be ruled by it, for strength and courage do not require the absence of fear. They require only that you overcome the fear and know that you are beyond it.

Know that many of the things and people you fear probably fear you more, like scurrying, distracting roaches. Or if you simply despise them, perhaps they despise you more. Too many of you are far too concerned with what the wrong people think of you and your personal truth, and this robs you of your strength.

And too many of you judge yourselves far too harshly and yet also everyone around you. This prevents you from building the foundation with yourself that you need to progress. To be rooted in strength is the only way to successfully grow.

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Let this hope and this strength spur you into action. A wand is a tool of power, a conduit, a source of inspiration and illumination, a means to penetrate the mysteries of life and death. There is nothing to be learned of life or death without a spirit of adventure, a willingness to not only speak but to do, and neither falsely.

For nothing can hide in the light of cosmic truth, or even in the shadows. They may conceal temporarily, but shadows only exist because of light and both are truth.

If you lead or teach no one else, you must lead yourself and you must know that in the end you only dwell in and only have yourself. You are a lone champion in a desert of ancient mysteries, and you may only save or control or enlighten yourself.

But, like the Star – even long after it has died – you, your actions, your truth, and the path you forged, even if only you were blessed enough to tread it, will echo and ripple through time and space, melding into the energy of the One, ever cycling within the unknowable cosmic dance of all creation.”

 

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Proserpina with a Pomegranate by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

 

© 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

15° Scorpio: The Real Samhain, Part II

Still waters run deep as the life raising powers of the Sun decline, the magnetic force of the Underworld exerts a compulsive pull on the waters of life and sap falls back down to its lowest level. Life has no choice but to follow it – into the mysteries of the dark. Old forms decompose in chilly autumnal rains, whose waters of death enable the decay that releases essential elements into the cauldron of rebirth, creating the compost that will nourish next year’s growth. Life is fed by death.

from the Astrocal 2017 Moon Diary

 

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© M. Everwhite 2017

 

Exactly five hours after the Sun reaches 15° Scorpio, and almost an hour after the waning Moon enters Cancer, Venus completes this year’s watery Samhain trio when she enters Scorpio. This feminine, mysterious transit echoes Persephone’s annual descent into the Underworld, where she resides with her husband Hades for a third of the year.

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Persephone (Latin: Proserpina) was also titled Kore or Cora, meaning “the Maiden”, and was the daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter and Zeus. She is a death aspect of the Triple Moon-goddess along with Hera, Circe and Hecate, and thus has long been an important goddess to witches. She is also one of the original chthonic deities.

The term “chthonic” (THON-ik) means “of or relating to the underworld”, literally “underground” in Greek, and particularly applies to the death gods and goddesses of Greek religion. Persephone is one of many Life-Death-Life deities who embody the cycles of death and rebirth and bear multiple complicated aspects.

cemetery-among-the-cypress-1897 Vasily Polenov

“Cemetery Among the Cypress” Vasily Polenov 1897

There is a duality to Persephone’s nature, however, as an agricultural and spring-time goddess through her mother, Demeter, and as a chthonic goddess due to her marriage to Hades, who abducted her into his realm. Demeter, distraught and enraged over this, seized the land in a wintry grip and refused to let any crops grow until she was reunited with her daughter.

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Though Hades eventually gave in to Zeus’ demands that he return Persephone, he had already tricked her into eating several pomegranate seeds; once one has consumed any food or drink in the underworld, they are obliged to remain forever.

However, even the Lord of Death never was completely unreasonable, nor “evil” (though understandably feared and considerably taboo), and therefore a compromise was reached in the form of Persephone dwelling for a third of the year in the underworld with Hades, and the rest of the year above with her mother, when the earth would be warm and abundant again.

Hades 16th century artist unknown

“Hades” 16th century, artist unknown

The Sabian symbol for the 15th degree of Scorpio (where the Sun will be shortly after midnight, officially marking Samhain) is…

“Children playing around five mounds of sand”

This immediately made me think of children playing up above in the realm of the living on Halloween night, the five mounds of sand mirroring the five churning rivers below, in the realm of the dead. Perhaps the five mounds of sand are even at the beach, where Venus (or Aphrodite) was born out of the waves on a scallop shell, as Venus now joins the illuminating Sun in dark Scorpio.

Venus and Persephone are feminine beauty, youth, agelessness, divinity, sensuality and fertility. The juxtaposition of these qualities to death and decay may seem counter-intuitive, but it only more fully serves to demonstrate and even personify the inherent duality and cyclical nature of life and death, and that death feeds life. There is beauty in life and in death, beauty in rest and decomposition of that which has been, and the beauty of the hope and potential of the fertile seed that has yet to blossom.

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“Venus Verticordia” by Dante Gabriel Rosetti 1868

The Norse goddess Freya is often compared to Venus/Aphrodite, being a goddess of love, beauty, sexuality and having great magical and psychic abilities, but she also has a considerable dark side, journeying between realms, including the underworld, and claiming half of those slain in battle.

Death, the underworld and the autumn season in general are already commonly associated with the Classical element and energy of Water; the Greek Underworld itself contains five converging rivers, including the famous Styx (who is also a goddess) which is the border between the land of the living and the land of the dead.

dream-of-a-memory Sabin Balasa

“Dream of a Memory” by Sabin Balasa

There are many death deities that are also specifically associated with Water, even dwelling in physical water. Sedna is one of the most prominent of such deities, being the Inuit goddess of the sea and Queen of the Underworld, Adlivun.

(Read more about Sedna here)

Sedna also offers an appropriate lesson to reflect on for this time of year, as illustrated in “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. She parallels her tale describing the archetypal “Skeleton Woman” aspect of all women, to Sedna…

“In the opening motif – that of a woman lying under the ocean – Skeleton Woman is similar to Sedna, a Life/Death/Life figure from Inuit mythology. Sedna is the great deformed creation goddess who lives in the Inuit underworld.

Like the father in the fairy tale “The Handless Maiden,” Sedna’s father chopped off her hands. Her fingers and limbs sank to the bottom of the sea, where they became fish* and seals and other life forms that sustained the Inuit ever after.

What was left of Sedna sank to the bottom of the sea. There she became all bones and long, long hair. In the Inuit rite, earthbound shamans swim down to her, bringing peace-food…
The shamans comb her long, long hair while singing to her, begging her to heal the soul or body of a person above…

A part of every woman and every man resists knowing that in all love relationships Death must have her share. We pretend we can love without our illusions about love dying, pretend we can go on without our superficial expectations dying, pretend we can progress and that our favorite flushes and rushes will never die.
But in love, psychically, everything becomes picked apart, everything. The ego does not want it to be so. Yet it is how it is meant to be, and the person of a deep and wildish nature is undeniably drawn to the task.”

* – while Estés suggests that fishes are among the creatures which were born from Sedna’s severed limbs, traditionally (and logically) it is only marine mammals (warm-blooded, like Sedna) that were considered to have come from her.

Coming tomorrow, Nov. 7 – special Samhain Oracle Reading channeling Persephone and using Christopher Butler’s new Healing Light Tarot


© 2017 M. Everwhite – All Rights Reserved

featured image: “Proserpine” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1874

References:
http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Persephone.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persephone#Abduction_myth
Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
http://www.alwaysastrology.com/sabian-symbols.html

15º Scorpio: The Real Samhain, Part I

Halloween-Spider-Image-GraphicsFairy

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.

F14.v._Constellation_of_Serpentius_on_Scorpio_-_NLW_MS_735C from National Library of Wales c. 1000 CE

Constellation Serpentius on Scorpio, from the oldest astronomical text in the National Library of Wales, written c. 1000 CE

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

 

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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 Onepirate+ship+vintage+image+graphicsfairy005d

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”

 

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pga.07287

© 2017 M. Everwhite

 

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.

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save or print this homey frame to record a recipe, kitchen spell or blessing

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.

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 Photo by M. Everwhite © 2017

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.

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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.

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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