Discover more from Astrum Opus
A Pagan Celebration
Descending toward the darkest part of the year, we find ourselves at the cross-quarter mark at the centre of the autumn season. By the time we get to this point, the pumpkins for Halloween celebrations will already be wilting on doorsteps, and the treats collected are most likely already consumed.
At 15° Scorpio, we are now at the exact midpoint between the autumn equinox and the coming winter solstice. The air cools rapidly as the darkness increases here in the Northern Hemisphere. Fungi and mosses thrive on the damp soil and grass.
Samhain in the Pagan tradition is the New Year, the beginning of the descent of the Goddess into the depths of the Earth, a time to rejuvenate, repair, and nurture in her womb, the seed of the divine masculine, the Sun God, ready to be birthed again at the Winter Solstice, Yule.
The idea of spooks and ghouls fits the season as death is indeed traditionally part of this festival. In times when it was vital that only the mouths that would produce in the following spring were fed, the surplus livestock would be the blood harvest. Meat would then be salted and preserved to see out the long winter months ahead. Scorpio’s ruler in their feminine, nocturnal sign is Mars, part of the planet’s significations are knives and butchers, fitting symbolism.
Here in the British Isles, traditionally ancestors are honoured by leaving a welcome light and a treat by the door or window, while carved-out vegetables such as turnips and swede displayed ghoulish faces to frighten off evil spirits. The veil is thin, which allows us to commune with our ancestors. Yet, we also need to keep our boundaries between both worlds safe and protected.
15° Scorpio is also the end of the volatile place in the zodiac, the Via Combusta, the Fiery Road, which began back at 15° Libra. The Sun has now finished fighting against his inevitable fall through blood-red sunsets, rapidly descending below the horizon each evening. Now that the darkness of night is accepted as inevitable, the nocturnal planets take their turn to dominate. The recent eclipse cycle began at the Solar eclipse at 21° Libra and ended at the Lunar eclipse at 5° Scorpio, right in the middle of this part of the sky. There should be no surprise that great and terrible events are taking hold.
Since the Sun ingressed into the sign of Scorpio, the Yin energy dominates. All planets, apart from the short times the Moon moves through a Fire or Air sign, are in an Earth or Water sign. Deep, dark, primordial energy rises up from the depths in the extreme weather that has been battering our shores even before winter takes hold in the Northern Hemisphere. A cry from Mother Nature Herself, who has been warning us for years. Now, the full brunt of her rage is clear.
Symbolically a call to us all to accept the deep emotions that we may be experiencing as we witness, even from afar, the pain and suffering that is rife in the world. Yin energy, though dark and primal is also deep and nurturing. Can we begin to recognise the very long and arduous work that humanity could do to begin the job of healing itself and the home we call Earth?
Our chart shows the Earth sign of Taurus the Bull, rising over the eastern horizon with Uranus only a degree off. Venus rules the sign but at this point, she is in an anaretic degree, in her fall. Yes, she will quickly pick up her skirts and dash into her airy palace of Libra, but it feels like a sacrifice of some kind will have to be made before she can get to safety. She is, after all, detangling herself from the trine to Pluto in Capricorn.
Ceres cannot be ignored here, opposite the ASC exactly. She is an agricultural goddess, but this is her time of mourning. Begrudgingly she had to stick to the agreed descent of her beloved daughter into the underworld. In return, we are beginning to feel the sorrow of the mother as she herself withdraws until spring.
We have had our fair share of Scorpio ascendants over this year’s festival charts, and yet, Scorpio, though not rising, is strongly placed in the 7th, with Mars in its feminine domicile about to be reborn through the cazimi in eleven days’ time. I cannot help but feel that Yin energy rising up through the collective.
As Mercury, the Sun, Mars, and Ceres enter Sagittarius later in the month, they all have to run the gauntlet of the square to Saturn in Pisces. The usual joie de vivre that traditionally accompanies the lead-up to Yule could feel a little deflated as there is a lot of work to do before the freedom to let one’s hair down and relax is available. This will dampen the Sagittarian spirits and a centaur that cannot party, will look to cause a bit of havoc instead. As the Yang energy begins to reassert itself during late November, early December, chaos could bubble up as restrictions on one side lead to rebelliousness on the other, especially once a newborn Mars enters two days after the Sun on the 24th of November.
Getting stuck in the miasma of the collective experience could easily drag us down, especially at a time when those of us who crave the Sun are having to adjust to long nights. There is an amount of getting into oneself and feeling the Yin energy, that we all need at certain times to rest and recoup. Keeping ourselves in that place, however, can become like being sucked into quicksand, the drive and action that we need to pull ourselves out is then required. I feel this Sagittarius season will need the Yang energy to draw us up and out of ourselves, to take a stand for the right to have a world where happy, peaceful revelry is available to us all.
Remember that all the cross-quarter charts hold the opposition in their 12th parts. Once the Sun reaches 15° Scorpio, he has found the secret gateway that belongs to Taurus. This spark of remembrance of the warmth of spring and the building of the light is the seed within the womb that the Goddess gently nurtures as she makes her descent into the underworld.