Mother's celestial inspirations

The real meaning of Halloween

By Cal Garrison a.k.a. Mother of the Skye

This week’s horoscopes are coming out under the light of an Aries Moon, on the eve of the Sun’s entrance into Scorpio. This transition is hard to miss if you’ve got your eyes peeled. The trees stand naked against the bare landscape, the sky turns gray, the atmosphere gets raw, and all of a sudden the earth that was once beautiful and alive feels more like a Gothic cemetery.

The stretch between the 18th  and the 24th of October marks the beginning of what was once known as “The Meat Harvest.” If it sounds bloodthirsty and cruel it very well may be, but life has a million different faces – and while many of us nowadays consider it low-class to hunt, back in the old times it wasn’t something people intellectualized about. It was a necessity.

What fascinates me about this part of the yearly cycle is that the minute we leave the sweetness and light that is all part of the Libran frequency, we get sucker-punched by something dark and ruthless. As soon as the sun enters Scorpio death and dying are the name of the game. How in God’s name do we go from love to death? What’s the explanation for this harsh transition?

The truth is that love and death are intimately entwined. Anyone who’s ever really been in love knows what I’m talking about.

The most important pagan Cross Quarter happens this month. Halloween or “Samhain” is the Wiccan New Year. The Christians knew all about what this passage meant to the pagans. They turned Halloween into a joke but they invented All Saints Day or “The Day of the Dead” and slipped it in on Nov. 1 so that the converts would feel at home with the “new religion.”

The Wiccan take on Oct. 31 is that it’s a time to bury the past in preparation for the future. Halloween is a ritual that honors the passing of all the dreams we have created and a celebration of the new life that will spring forth from them in the next cycle.

From a mythological perspective Oct. 31 is the point where Ceres parts ways with her daughter Persephone and sends her down into the “Underworld” to live with Hades, her father. What we’re supposed to do between Samhain and the Winter Solstice is travel deep into our own underworld and acquaint ourselves with all of the issues that stand between us and the full development of the dreams that we will birth in the coming year. Nature’s light is steadily decreasing now, and the darkness that shrouds us is a sign that we can only go within to find a different kind of light.

I’ve heard it said that the only way you can really begin to see is in total darkness. And that may be true because it’s the issues of our shadow self that keep us from being fully who we are. And if we don’t use this time to look them over one last time, and close the casket on whatever they represent, we won’t evolve. By the time the sun returns on the Winter Solstice we should have enough clarity about what lies beneath to move forward unencumbered by it.

The real meaning and the beauty behind all of the Halloween traditions has been lost. We dress up in ghoulish costumes, we carve up pumpkins and light them with candles, and we put the focus on all kinds of sinister stuff, but we’re oblivious to why. In the Old Times the reason everyone wore Halloween costumes was so that on “New Year’s” night they could be  the image of what they saw themselves becoming in the next cycle. It was a magical way to imprint what they wanted for themselves in the universal matrix.

Hollowed out pumpkins were symbols for the womb of the Great Mother. And the candles placed inside them were a sign to all that the light at this time of year shines only within. The skeletons and the emphasis on “creepy” things are about owning our greatest fears. All that dark stuff has its place and is just as rich and valuable as the sweetness and light. The real beauty of this cross quarter and the season it holds sway over is that it’s the point where the darker forces meet and become one with whatever it is we do want to acknowledge. And when you erase the line that separates good and bad, fear and love, and life and death you see that it’s all just God here.

The deeper reasons behind why the Pagans knew enough to honor Halloween are shrouded by whatever has caused us to forget. But somewhere inside we know what the truth is because it’s more powerful than the forces that have kept it hidden. Don’t expect to be on top of things right now. Explore the passageways that you’ve closed yourself off to and make every effort to see what’s in them. Think about what you don’t want to see and ask yourself why it is that it scares you so much. Bring it all into the light and embrace it. When you do you’ll discover that absolutely everything about you is Godlike.

All of the above is excerpted from “The Old Girl’s Book of Dreams” a book that I wrote for Weiser’s back in 2003. If you take the time to read it, I hope that it inspires you to peel back the layers that expose you to the “stuff” that lies hidden deep in the core of your being. In and amongst that “stuff” you will find shards of light and remnants of the truth. With Halloween only a week away, now is the time to start digging. If you play your cards right, by the time the new year rolls around, something new and more authentic will be birthed out of your research.

Let me leave you with that and invite you to take what you can from this week’s ‘scopes.

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