Samhain | The Astrological Significance Of Halloween… & The Midpoint Of Scorpio Season!
How The Wheel Of The Zodiac Connects Samhain And Scorpio Season!
Halloween is a festivity steeped in mysticism, a powerful and magical time.
It also occurs during Scorpio Season, and is, therefore, a celebration that feels extra witchy, spooky and malevolent – after all, Scorpio is the Zodiac Sign of dark corners, of deeply probing our psyche, of our fears, death, transformation, and rebirth: the Pheonix that rises from the ashes!
Pretty good themes for a scary night that puts us close to ghostly entities, shadows, and the afterlife…
So, What Is The Astrological Significance Of Halloween?
To fully understand how the Zodiac and astrology fit into it all, we must consider the annual marker and date of Halloween–All Hallows’ Eve–October 31st.
This is the evening before All Hallows’ Day, a.k.a All Saints’ or Hallowmas: November 1st; the following day is All Souls’ Day, November 2nd.
In astrology, a date is never just a date it’s a degree of the Zodiac, in this case between 8º and 10º Scorpio. When the sun is around these degrees of any of the Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), we take into account their positioning between the equinox and solstice.
You can read more about the bigger picture, here, but essentially, these are known as cross-quarter days, and the Four Lunar Fire Festivals (no, not a trendy new excursion you have to book a week off work for, rather ancient ceremonial holidays)…
The Four Lunar Fire Festivals Are:
- Beltane (May Eve) – 9º Taurus – May 1st
- Lughnasadh (Lammas) – 9º Leo – August 1st
- Samhain (Hallowe’en) – 9º Scorpio – October 31st-November 2nd
- Imbolc (Candlemas) – 13º Aquarius – February 2nd-7th.
Historically, All Hallow’s Eve or Samhain (pronounced Sow’-en) is an ancient Celtic festival and the eve of the Spiritual New Year. It is celebrated in many different cultures, in different ways (see below).
From an astrological perspective, we can make note of the Fixed quality of Scorpio and the other signs under this Modality, Taurus, Leo, and Aquarius, and we can acknowledge that Scorpio has a strong resonance with death and darkness…
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So what are some of the traditional customs associated with this time?
- Sacred Bonfires – a tool for purification – were lit during all four fire festivals, to ensure fertility, good luck, and in the case of Samhain the defiance of winter, and its inevitable darkness and cold… In some places, this fire is known as “The Halloween Bleeze“, and is lit in the center of a round trench, symbolic of the sun, to drive away bad fortune and evil as winter draws in.
Death & Darkness…
Despite bonfires burning bright, Halloween is seen as a time of darkness, which is in stark contrast to the opposite side of the wheel and the festival of light and fertility, Beltane. This celebration occurs during Taurus Season.
Nevertheless, this special night of the year, ‘Shadowfest’, was actually the most important of all eight Sabbats to pagans and witches.
At Halloween, the ancestors were honored and still are today. It’s a wonderful time to remember those who have walked before us and to think about the cycles of life and death, which is so fitting for Scorpio’s reign.
Ways to honor the ancestors:
- Feasts – In some rituals, the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities, including feasts held in their honor, with the dead invited to participate.
In later times costumes were worn to protect against malicious spirits.
- Divination – Often described as the time “when the veil is thin between this world and the afterlife”, the physical and spiritual are said to be most transparent at this time, making it easier to communicate with those who have left this world.
- Wreaths made of dried apples or heather were hung to protect the home from mischievous fairies; with an iron bell attached they’d steer clear of your dwelling.
- Fire – Taking some time out to light a fire (safety first!) or candles, remembering loved ones in your thoughts.
Celebrations Around The World…
- Chinese celebrate the Hungry Ghost Festival during the seventh month of the calendar, culminating with The Mid-Autumn Festival (the second most important on China’s lunar calendar after Chinese New Year)
- Italians celebrate All Saints Day, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed and All Souls Day, and have done for centuries on November 1st and 2nd
- Japan has Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆), a Buddhist custom honoring the spirits of one’s ancestors
- Mexico has the Day of the Dead, “El Dia de Los Muertos”, a three-day holiday that lasts from October 31st to November 2nd
- The Philippines has Todos Los Santos, a celebration for remembering the dead: October 31st to November 2nd
- In the USA the traditional turnip lantern has been replaced by pumpkins, and it’s an incredibly commercialized holiday (not that I don’t love every bit of it!)
So, can we say there’s an astrological significance to Halloween? Absolutely!
And it’s all to do with the time of year, Scorpio Season and its themes: death and darkness, with the promise of a powerful rebirth.