Shiva-Shakti © Goddess Gift
This is the night to join the Dance,
Partake in all-renewing trance;
Where worlds within and out are One,
Our sacred journey now begun.
from Samhain Round © Mark Hirschhorn
Today is astronomical Samhain. That’s because at 8:04 last night (Eastern Standard Time), we reached the exact mid-point between Equinox and Solstice, which is why Samhain is considered a Cross-Quarter Day. The Quarters, of course are the two equinoxes and solstices. By astrological reckoning this is traditionally when the Sun is at fifteen degrees Scorpio. Which is today.
The Veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, our departed beloveds visit the land of the living, and we celebrate the final harvest, savoring the fruits of our dreams and desires, which we planted long ago and have lovingly tended.
However, using the Coligny Celtic Calendar, believed to date to around the end of the 2nd century CE, it appears that, instead using the Sun’s position in the zodiac, the cross-quarter dates were linked to the Moon’s cycles and the time of the day. So Imbolc was celebrated at midnight at the new Moon nearest the beginning of February, Beltane was at dawn on the First Quarter Moon nearest the beginning of May, Lughnasaddh was at mid day on the Full Moon closest to the first of August, and Samhain would be celebrated at sunset on the Last Quarter Moon closest to the first of November. So this year, that would have been Oct. 21.
But remember, few of our ancestors who celebrated Samhain would have had access to the Coligny Calendar, and scant other written records of the named months. They would have marked time by the changing of the sunrise and sunset, the behavior of their animals, the flights of birds, and the waxing and waning of the Moon. So there is no exactly right date for these moveable feasts. Instead, they represent a window of time and opportunity to shift into a different kind of consciousness.
Certainly, we all notice the days growing short, the cold and dark gathering in; and we feel it when the unseen realms draw close to us. As you deepen in harmony with the Earth’s cycles, how and when does Samhain resonate most truly for you?
Note: If you live in the Raleigh-Durham area, I will be at Dancing Moon Books all day today. This is an ideal day to consult the Tarot and I would be delighted to meet with you. You can call (919) 833-8081 for an appointment.