The third, and final harvest celebration approaches, my beloveds! Last month we engaged the mystery by exploring the balance of shadow and light. This month, we are descending into the shadow, seeking integration. The Wheel of the Year is turning and we welcome the Third Harvest, the sacred sabbat of Samhain, on October 31st. Samhain is the ancient Celtic festival of death and rebirth. Traditionally a festival of darkness, Samhain is a hallowed time for celebrating those who have departed from our Earth – family members, elders, teachers, friends, pets, and all loved ones who have died. We pay respect to our ancestors, honoring them for our existence. At Samhain, the veil is thin, and our psychic abilities may be heightened, making contact with the otherside more accessible. Samhain is a powerful portal to other dimensions, which the dead can cross much easier than the living.
The word itself – Samhain – means nothing more than summer’s end. The end of growth. The beginning of the drying and withering and returning to soil. On the night of October 31, we say goodbye to many things – to the spirits who have crossed the veil to commune with us, to the crops and harvests we lost this year, and to the year itself, with all its blessings and challenges. Instead of creating resolutions on January 1 each year, most magical practitioners set intentions on November 1, which for us is the real ‘start’ of the year ahead.
October then has this energy of clearing, cleaning, and preparation. Nature is about to take back within herself what has stopped breathing, what has stopped living. If you didn’t bury it, she’s about to send her spirit soldiers to come retrieve it. On October 31, we say goodbye one last and final time to what the year has brought and taken from us. It is a grand reconciliation of what you have and what you lost. Now is the time to say, “I accept the cycles of life and death and somewhere within those cycles, I myself am reborn.”
The main astrological event this autumn is Jupiter entering Scorpio, on October 10th. Jupiter will transit the sign of Scorpio until November 9th, 2018. The planet of expansion, truth, confidence, optimism, and intuition always shines a giant flashlight on anything it contacts. It magnifies and inflates patterns, situations, information, characteristics, relationship dynamics…anything that needs to be seen for what it is. Yes, Jupiter is the planet of increase, but it is nondiscriminating – be prepared to deal with more of what is, for better or worse.
In the sign of Scorpio, Jupiter wants to uncover and confront true motivation and intention. The potential for personal and collective transformation during this transit is tremendous. This is your Higher Self demanding transformation – to face and submit to death in some form or fashion, in order to be reborn stronger, wiser, and filled with more joy and compassion. It’s the bottom line; last call, and nothing else will do. Jupiter is optimistic and wants us to be our absolute best. Even in the darkness, this energy instills us with hope and the promise of a better future, if we allow our masks to drop, and our true selves to be seen.
Scorpio represents the part of us that is no longer satisfied with the pretty face if it has no guts. Scorpio’s most evolved archetype is the Phoenix, who rises from the ashes, transformed through the flames. Ruled by Pluto, Scorpio is associated with our shadow and shadow work. Scorpio is also linked with the occult and all things hidden, or in darkness. Scorpio is a water sign, but unlike the Piscean ocean or Cancerian river, Scorpio water can be likened to a deep, murky swamp. Legends tell of swamp creatures emerging from the black abyss. We conjure up stories and images about everything we cannot see. The only way to find out what is truly lurking in our shadow is to dive in. Swamps are a fertile environment, abundant with plant and animal life. The sacred lotus grows in the swamp and is said “to neither deny the swamp, nor wallow in it”.
October brings a full moon in Aries on the 5th and a new moon in Libra on the 19th. When you set your new moon intentions on the 19th, remember that the energies of Scorpio and Samhain will follow, encouraging you to go deeper into your psyche and soul. The sun will enter Scorpio on October 23rd, inviting the solar god to remember his journey includes the darkness. The planet of light on Earth (representing your willpower, consciousness and sense of purpose) is seduced by the power of night. This seduction is for goodness – to attract you to parts of yourself begging for acknowledgment and integration. The phrase “master and servant” comes to mind – Scorpio wants to eliminate anything that stands in the way of you living in your full, true power.
Through this transformational time and your own personal work, remember to honor the dead. This includes honoring the ghosts and ghouls of your own shadow. As you let go of old baggage, including worn out thought forms and patterns, pay your deepest sincere respects. You originally created all aspects of yourself out of self-protection and self-love. Thank them for serving and teaching you, effectively completing those cycles and permanently putting them to rest. When we do not honor and bury the dead, we guarantee encountering them in new versions, again and again, until we learn the importance of active closure and reverent endings.
October theme – Integrate: Shadow Work
With light comes the dark, and through that process of self-discovery, we inevitably encounter the shadow. Shadow can harm us when it goes unacknowledged and remains hidden. Once acknowledged, it comes into the light, uniting us into greater wholeness. A great deal of magical work is about integrating our shadow with our light.
October’s Sabbatical Kit is filled with tools intentionally chosen as allies to accompany you in confronting the depths of your shadow, integrating the dark and light.
- What in yourself, or your life, is dead and ready to be let go and buried?
- How will you honor the dead this month?
- What new intentions and resolutions are you excited to set forth on November 1st?
- Choose one thing about yourself that scares or unsettles you and give it room to express itself – make a shadow board (collage) of images to bring this part of you into the light.
- What is this shadow part teaching you?
- Does it look different on the paper/board than it did in your imagination?
- Can you find new strength or power in this part of you?
Invoking your Higher Self and Spirit Guides for integration
During October’s Full Moon, we honor and invoke the harmony between your Higher Self, and Spirit Guides. The Higher Self is you – raw and absolute. It is your Higher Wisdom that is only accessed when your personality has evolved into the perfect vessel from which your soul can emerge, and express itself. It’s your soul’s consciousness, delivering insights and messages of love. The Higher Self lies beyond the physical world – it is ever-present during our soul’s transition from one life to another, always looking out for your best interest. And nothing can break that connection. Our Higher Self will show itself involuntarily, but it is first important to allow our egos to take back seat, so that the Higher Self can shine through.
Your Higher Self loves to come out unexpectedly – usually when you’re running errands, feeding your dog (or cat), sitting in traffic, or participating in other daily, mundane tasks. It takes nothing – literally nothing – to invoke your Higher Self. You are your Higher Self, and your Higher Self is you – it is your being; your consciousness and unconsciousness. Your Higher Self is your eternal Self, while your body is the projection.
Spirit Guides are chosen by your Higher Self during your soul’s incarnation. They guide, protect, and support you as you navigate your way through your soul journey. Spirit Guides are born from energy or light, or are advanced, reincarnated humans who have paid off their karmic debt. Unlike the Higher Self, Spirit Guides must be invoked, usually through meditation. Each guide is unique, as they all have different personalities. Some guides stay with you throughout your lifetime, and others come and go as needed – helping out in specific areas of life. Sometimes, our Spirit Guides will be our ancestors – generations of family members who have died, but still protect and guide their living descendants from the Spirit Realm. It is important to honor this bond, as it is eternal. Our intuition, gut feelings, and signs are our Spirit Guides trying to communicate with us – trying to direct us to the right path. Sometimes our guides will allow specific people to enter our lives for a particular reason, just at the right time. It truly makes you wonder: are there really such things as coincidences? Or is what you take as a coincidence, actually someone watching out for you? Listen. Really listen to what they try to tell you, for they have come a long way to guide you, and they will never steer you wrong.