Astrology Explored’s Halloween Posts

(Astrology Explored) I’ve written quite a few pieces on Halloween over the years. Just so you can find them in one place, here they are:

The Harvest Moon–Remembering the Future

The Astrology of Halloween–Last Minute Halloween Costumes

The Astrology of Halloween–The Moon, Witches and Samhaim

Celtic Astrology: What Halloween and String Theory Have In Common

The Astrology of Neptune: The Devil You Know (a Halloween Tale)

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The Astrology of Halloween: The Moon, Witches and Samhain

Weekly Astrology Forecast(Astrology Explored)

Our tradition of Halloween was passed down from one of the ancient Celtic Fire Festivals, Samhain, (pronounced sow’ in). Each of the 4 fire festivals were celebrated at the midpoint between the 4 equinoxes, representing the Celtic view of the balancing of light and dark forces.

From Wikipedia:

Samhain marked the end of the harvest, the end of the “lighter half” of the year and beginning of the “darker half”. It was traditionally celebrated over the course of several days. Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year.[3][4][5] It has some elements of a festival of the dead. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain; because some animals and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. People and their livestock would often walk between two bonfires as a cleansing ritual, and the bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.[6]

The Gaelic custom of wearing costumes and masks, was an attempt to copy the spirits or placate them. In Scotland the dead were impersonated by young men with masked, veiled or blackened faces, dressed in white.[7][8] Samhnag — turnips which were hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns — were also used to ward off harmful spirits.[8]

So now that we have an overview of ghosts and jack’o’laterns we turn to another symbol of Halloween, the witch. In Irish mythology this image is represented in the more complex form of the Morrigan, a diety of three persons (said to be sisters) which represent the dark forces of the Moon. It was not unusual in pre-Christian religions to represent a powerful female deity in three aspects since this followed the natural cycle of the Moon, with the New, Full and Balsamic moons representing the life cycle of women, maiden, mother and grandmother.

The Morrigan, was the dark goddess of war and prophecy, and also said to protect the sovereignty of kings (i.e. nations). How she is related to Halloween is in the story of the fight over Ireland between the enemy Fomorians and the people of the Sun God, Dadga, the Tuatha Dé Danann. To insure victory in battle, Dadga performs with the Goddess of War, the Morrigan, the sacred ritual hieros gamos on Samhain itself. Thus ritual magic performed under the aegis of women of power was forever wedded with the day when the veil between this world and the otherworld was thin enough for ghosts to visit the living.

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Celtic Astrology: What Halloween and String Theory Have in Common

Physicists have theorized the existence of up to eleven different dimensions, depending on what brand of string theory you buy, four of them with observable space time references that are similar but not the same as ours. While many us have a hard time wrapping our heads around these theoretical physics, the ancient Celts were well aware of the existence of the “Otherworld.” The Otherworld was the haunt of spirits of the dead, gods and fairies, were time flowed in strange ways. Unfortunate people who happened upon portals to these otherworlds and spending an hour or a few nights adventure there might find themselves returned to their own dimension years ahead or years behind of their original entry point, that is, if they returned at all.

Certain places were considered portals to the Otherworld, such as Glastonbury, England, the portal to the land of Avalon, but other souls might happen upon one that appeared suddenly, what some called “fairy paths”. So concerned about these pathways, Celtic builders of new structures would mark the proposed floor plan in the earth and set stones at the corners overnight. If the stones remained undisturbed in the morning then it was safe to build. Still at other times, such as Samhain (Sow’ uin), as the balance from the light time of the year shifted to the dark, the veil (what physicists call “branes”, short for membranes) between this world and the next thins. At this time inhabitants of the Otherworld could pass more easily into this one. This is time where fairies would act out on their mischief on poor unsuspecting mortals, and the spirits of the ancestors would come to visit their families. The Celtic peoples would appease the fairies by leaving cakes and milk by the door and welcome their ancestors by setting a place at the table. At the end of the night’s festivities, villagers would dress up as ghosts and with torches in hand, singing and laughing, would escort their beloved passed to the outskirts of town.

Though some people have referenced Samhain as the Celtic New Year, my personal belief is that the Celts, the ancient Gaelic peoples did not recognize endings and beginnings in the way that modern man, with a timepiece on every electronic device, does. These were an agricultural people, where repetitive tasks were the order of the day, and one day would seem much like another except for change of tasks according to the season. Life flowed from one activity to the next, from the phases of the brightening and dimming of the sun and the moon, from the birth and death of a human being. Death was not an ending, but a change of circumstance, from dwelling in this world, to dwelling in another.

A year ago, this astrologer began a quest on understanding the astrology of the Celts, and sifting through the information at hand have come to this understanding. If we attempted to construct an astrological dichotomy in parallel with our own, it would be a misunderstanding of how these ancient Neolithic, these “new stone age” peoples perceived the world. As modern humans we consider ourselves more evolved than our ancestors, yet the ancient festivals yield an understanding of how this dimension and other dimensions work that our own physicists have only begun to understand in the last one hundred years. Think on this as hobgoblins, fairies, and ghosts, as well as other strange creatures visit your house and threaten you with a trick if you don’t give them a treat on the feast of Samhain, that which we call Halloween.

Photo titled “Fairy Holding Superstring Model of the Multiverse” created from elements from Creative Commons licensed pieces from Flickr, Wikipedia and public information from NASA’s Photojournal. As such you are free to display the work without alteration with appropriate attribution to this page.

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The Astrology of Neptune: The Devil You Know

Do you know someone who fits this description? “God doesn’t want him, and the Devil thinks he’s competition.”

The Irish legend of the Jack-O-Latern describes just one such person, Jack the Smith.

As the story goes, several centuries ago amongst the myriad of towns and villages in Ireland there lived a drunkard known as “Jack the Smith”. Good time boy Jack was a deceiver and manipulator. The Devil overheard the tale of Jack’s evil deeds and silver-tongue. Unconvinced and a bit envious of the rumors, the Devil went to find out for himself whether or not Jack lived up to his vile reputation.

Typical of Jack, he was drunk and wandering through the countryside at night when he came upon a body on the road. Overturning the body, Jack found the Devil leering at him with an eerie grimace. Jack realized the Devil had come to collect his malevolent soul but Jack had no intention of facing heavenly judgement or the fires of hell. Meeting the Devil like an old friend he wheedled and flattered the Father of Lies so that the Devil was feeling like the Jack was a kindred soul. Wiley Jack made a last request, to get one more drink before he was carted to Hell. The Devil fascinated with this human incarnation of himself, escorted him to the local pub where Jack proceeded to tie one on. Jack entertained Beelezebub, with his drunken tales for many hours. But it became obvious to the Devil, that Jack had no intention a stopping at one, two or even three drinks and he called for the tab to wind up his business with the drunkard. When the tab came due, Jack, of course, found himself a bit short. Jack to the Devil’s surprise asked him to pay the tab. The Devil, of course, had no means to pay himself. Jack then convinced the Devil to pull a trick on the bartender and metamorphose into a silver coin with which to pay. Shrewdly, Jack stuck the now transmogrified devil coin into his pocket, which also contained a crucifix. The Devil, bound by the crucifix was unable to escape his form. Stuck he agreed to a demand of Jack that his soul be spared for ten years in exchange for the Devil’s freedom.

Exactly ten years to the date upon which Jack originally struck his deal, the devil once again found him and demanded his due. Again Jack had no intention of going to Hell, and using all his loquacious wiles convinced the Devil to climb an apple tree to retrieve one of the fruits. Once the Devil was in the tree, Jack stuck a bunch of crucifixes in the ground around the tree, stranding the infuriated demon in its branches. Jack demanded that the Devil never take him into Hell, and Satan reluctantly agreed.

Jack eventually died, but because of his sinful ways was not admitted to heaven. He wandered in the dark and lonely spaces between this life and the next, having no place to go, and no rest for his soul. Figuring it was better to suffer in hell, than suffer alone, in desperation he came to the gates of hell seeking admittance among his own kind. Standing before the entrance of his dominion, the Devil laughed at Jack, taunting him. “You thought you were so clever, tricking me. Now you see that you have tricked yourself out of your last refuge. By our own agreement I can’t let you inside these gates. But to remind you forever on of your folly, here is an ember of my fiery dominion, for you to carry as you wander alone through eternity.”

Jack put the ember in a hollowed out turnip, and wanders still, with the fragment of the fires of hell illuminating his face with its ghastly light.

Jack’s story is a Halloween tale illustrative of how the planet of illusion, Neptune, works in our lives. Neptune in its most enlightened form can lead us literally to heaven, but it also capable of great deception. It is the planet that rules all forms of lies, self-destructive behavior and substance abuse. Jack deceived himself into believing he could escape the consequences of his behavior. Whether we follow the path of enlightenment or the path of self-deception, Neptune teaches us about our individual illusions. It just might show you the devil you know.

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