(Astrology Explored) The Full Moon after the Harvest Moon is what the American Indians called the Hunter’s Moon. The Moon at the full is reddish orange and the indigenous tribes gathered and prepared the meat that would sustain them through the winter. For the ancient Celtic tribes, this is the Moon of Ivy, the evergreen plant that is said to harbor fairies dancing in its abundant folds. This association with fairies, an immortal race that rides the backs of butterflies, invokes the themes of the timelessness of the soul, physical death and resurrection. It is the time of Samhain, (Sow’ when) when the veil between this world and the next thins and those sensitive enough can communicate with the souls of the departed.
For the astrological significance of this moon we turn to the book the Celtic Lunar Zodiac by Helena Paterson, a painstaking and rich work that recreates the meaning of the lost Celtic Calendar.
“Astrological rulership is partly designated to the moon, for in esoteric astrology the sun and moon are said to veil or eclipse hidden planets. The moon in the month of the ivy is therefore veiling a hidden planet yet to be discovered, and which, according the ancients, lies on the other side of Pluto. The of name of Persephone has been chosen because of the evidence for this planet . . . This choice of name is not by chance, but fits into the mythological cycle of the planets in our universe. In Greek mythology, Persephone, daughter of Ceres, the great earth mother goddess, was kidnapped by Pluto, god of the underworld, forced to remain with him for six months of the year.”
This planet was discovered, but not named Persephone. It is now called Sedna, the Inuit Goddess of the Sea, who among other things, demands a shaman to visit her from time to time in her watery depths, to tell her stories and comb her long beautiful hair so she would allow her sea children, the seals, the whales be hunted for food. Sedna was transmuted into the Goddess of the Sea by the betrayal of her father. He murdered her rather than face the wrath of Sedna’s demon husband. Persephone, of course, was forced into marriage to the powerful god of the Underworld who kidnapped, then raped her, to make her his bride.
In the story of Persephone and Sedna the common theme is that of facing the overwhelming force of the male principal as controllers of our destinies, those that will use any means, murder, kidnapping, rape, to secure what they desire. But the story of Persephone and Sedna hold hope as well. Against impossible odds, Persephone is released into the light six months out of the year and despite her betrayal Sedna provides the bounty in the frozen wastes to those that considered her the Mother of the creatures of the sea.
The message is that no matter what the hardships, the female bounty of birth and life will not be denied even as we enter into the Month of Ivy and the dimming of the light for the winter months.
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