Happy Halloween and Samhain

The Wheel of the Year is represented by a circle, the universal symbol of wholeness. Each year we move through the cycles of the four seasons of birth (Spring), growth (Summer), decline (Autumn), and death (Winter), to be greeted again the next year with a new cycle and another birth. The Wheel of the Year is a promise that all life moves inexorably from birth to death to rebirth. In addition to the year’s division into these four main quarters we also have four cross-quarter days which take place at the mid-way point of each season. We are now midway between the Autumn Equinox and the fast approaching Winter Solstice of 2012, the date the Mayan Calendar points to as our opportunity for planetary transformation. The message of the season of Samhain is very similar to the message of this Full Moon in Taurus – transformation and renewal.

The Full Moon in Taurus and Samhain both call for the end of the old and birth of the new.  Samhain means “summer’s end.”  It begins at sunset on Oct 31st and ends at sunset on Nov 1st. It is the Celtic root of Halloween (All Hallows Eve) and is associated with All Soul’s Day. Samhain divides the year between the light and dark halves. We feel the darkness gain on us from this point on. To prepare for the upcoming winter it is a time of “taking stock,” examining what you have and what you need to survive the cold that will soon arrive. It was decided which animals would get slaughtered, both to save feed and to provide meat.

For You: Not only does the day of Samhain divide the light and dark parts of the year, it also divides the dead from the living, the old from the new.  Bonfires were set this night, and people would jump over them or walk by them as a cleansing ritual. The veils between the worlds are thin during Samhain, and it is a time when it is easy to contact your ‘ghosts of the past’ and get in touch with the things that scare you and keep you stuck. Even if you don’t have a bonfire, you can still use this important day to ritually transform the old patterns in your life that keep you stuck, and release the people in your life who seem to haunt you. Write down on a piece of paper everything you want to release in your life – the patterns, people, behaviors, attitudes, opinions, and habits. Then with a prayer of cleansing and release, set them on fire. As they turn to ash, realize it is from the ashes of your past that the new growth will arise. Give a thanks for your transformation and renewal with deep breaths of gratitude for a new day, a new season, a new year, and a new life.