Monthly Archives astrology: October 2006

Halloween and the Festival of Endings

Graphic from

Halloween truly is a pagan practice, recognizing that this so-called holiday is actually rooted in the old Celtic festival of Samhain. Although Halloween is commonly celebrated on October 31, the festival of Samhain is a cross-quarter holiday that occurs at the midpoint between the Fall Equinox and the Winter Solstice on November 7.

Astrologically, Samhain (along with the other cross-quarter days of Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasad) is celebrated at the midpoint of the fixed signs of Taurus, Scorpio, Aquarius and Leo. Fixed signs are the signs of power – like the square, their stability and fixed nature leads to a buildup of energy that opens up a doorway to an explosion of raw power. In Scorpio, that power is directed within, fearlessly exploring the invisible dimensions of life and reaching across dimensions to discover what awaits there.

Samhain was celebrated as the New Year in pre-Christian Celtic lands, and it was thought that during this time the veil between the worlds was at its thinnest. Communication with the dead was widely practiced during Samhain rituals, not surprising because of the association with Scorpio and the underworld of darkness that it rules.

When Christianity attempted to subsume the pagan Celtic festivals into Christian holidays, All Saints or All Hallows Day was established on November 2 with the night before being the Eve of All Hallows which has come down to us as Halloween. Participants still celebrate the souls of the dead during Hallows Eve, but now the creatures from the other side were reviled as evil. Wise women became the evil witches; offerings of food and drink were left out for the dead souls to placate their […]

By | 2006-10-31T00:04:00+00:00 October 31st, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Halloween and the Festival of Endings

The Moirae: the Triple Nature of Fate and Planetary Cycles

In ancient times, humans were more intimately connected to the tides of nature and consequently felt more subject to the whim of fate than we do today. The ancient Greeks viewed Fate as three sisters that made up a single triple goddess: the Moirae, most likely from the ancient word “moera” meaning a phase. The Moirae did not decide the fate of humans, but they supervised it.

Each of the three Moirae, or Fates, were represented by a phase of the moon: Clotho spun the thread of life from the cosmos and was represented by the New Moon, goddess of the spring;
Lachesis measured the thread of life and assigned each man his destiny; she was represented by the Full Moon, goddess of summer; and Atropos, the Crone-goddess of autumn represented by the waning Moon, who cut the thread of life with the “abhorred shears.”

The triple nature of fate is mirrored in the working of the planetary cycles that we call “transits.” These cycles occur when planets in their current orbits make an angle to planets in our birthcharts, creating an atmosphere where change and transition can occur. The hard angle transits (90 and 180 degrees or squares and oppositions) can be challenging events that force us to make changes in our lives. The harmonious transits (60 and 120 degrees or sextiles and trines) tend to open up doorways that encourage growth rather than force it. In any case, these events unfold in a series of three phases.

The “applying” phase occurs as the transiting planet approaches the degree of our natal planet. This is the phase of initiation, where the first […]

By | 2006-10-30T11:36:00+00:00 October 30th, 2006|Fate|Comments Off on The Moirae: the Triple Nature of Fate and Planetary Cycles

Sunday inspiration

photo by Rainer Holzm courtesy of Corbis

THOU art the sky and thou art the nest as well.
0 thou beautiful, there in the nest it is thy love that encloses the soul with colours and sounds and odours.
There comes the morning with the golden basket in her right hand bearing the wreath of beauty, silently to crown the earth.
And there comes the evening over the lonely meadows deserted by herds, through trackless paths, carrying cool
draughts of peace in her golden pitcher from the western ocean of rest.
But there, where spreads the infinite sky for the soul to take her flight in, reigns the stainless white radiance. There
is no day nor night, nor form nor colour and never, never a word.

From: ‘The Gitanjali’ Rabindranath Tagore

By | 2017-04-02T09:43:17+00:00 October 29th, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Sunday inspiration

Mercury retrograde and other planetary news

Mercury turned retrograde early this morning, turning our attention inward for increased self-awareness. Added to the heavy Scorpio influence, this is a very good time for introspection and writing, for psychotherapy and psychodrama, and for going back and re-doing anything that needs it. Mercury Rx periods have a bad reputation, but that is only because our Western minds place a priority on outward progress and accomplishment.

While it’s true that it can be difficult to complete projects that are begun while Mercury is retrograde, it is the perfect time for going back and REdoing anything that needs to be REvised or REconsidered. “RE-” is the keyword for Mercury retrograde, and often a difficult project or business deal that has been bogged down in delays may suddenly find a REsolution. And those of you with Mercury retrograde in your charts will find that communication is easier than usual because the whole world now operates the way you do normally.

Mercury will conjunct Jupiter on October 30 which provides an expansive opening for our ideas, but may also make us impatient to make our views understood. When Mercury is retrograde it is often more difficult to communicate and this can lead to frustration during the square to Jupiter. Jupiter, being the King of the Gods, has a strong need to be Right and arguments can ensue as a result. This will make for an lively campaign season here in the US!

Daylight Savings Time ends on October 29 as Neptune turns direct. Throughout October Neptune has slowed its motion down to a crawl as it prepares to change direction after having traveled retrograde since May of 2006. Neptune is the planet of […]

By | 2006-10-28T11:01:00+00:00 October 28th, 2006|Mercury retrograde|Comments Off on Mercury retrograde and other planetary news

Transit of Mercury November 8

There will be a transit of Mercury across the Sun November 8, just in time for the US elections. This is a different event than a simple conjunction of Mercury and the Sun; it is more like an eclipse where we are actually able to see Mercury silhouetted against the disk of the Sun. See the NASA site for the technical information. There are only thirteen such transits of Mercury in a century so they are a relatively rare event. The last one occurred in 2003, and we won’t see another until 2016.

Transits of Mercury occur at the midpoint of the Mercury retrograde period and because eclipses tend to mark crisis points that instigate change, we may notice a shift in focus at that time. The last Transit of Mercury occurred May 7, 2003 and during the following week there were two suicide bombings in Chechnya, a bombing in Riyadh Saudia Arabia, and a suicide bombing in Casablanca. In addition, the week of May 4 through May 10 marked a period of 393 tornadoes in 13 US states, more than during any period in US history. At the time Mercury was locked in a stressful T-square formation with Mars and Jupiter that no doubt had an influence on the week’s events.

The previous Transit occurred November 15, 1999 (these events always take place in either May or November) and was not associated with any major events such as this. At that time Mercury did not make any stressful aspects. The chart for the upcoming Transit event on November 7 is very complex, and occuring one day after the US election I would expect some sort of major […]

By | 2006-10-27T12:20:00+00:00 October 27th, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Transit of Mercury November 8
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