Those who decry Hallowe’en as a pagan holiday are, of course, correct! In medieval Europe the pagan (country) people celebrated the the midpoint of the fixed signs as periods of power. These times correspond to the fixed signs of Aquarius (Brigid in February), Taurus (Beltane in May), Leo (Lugh in August) and Samhain (pronounced Sow’en) in November for Scorpio. These times exactly between the solstices and equinoxes, at the 15% point of the fixed signs, and are called the “cross-quarter” days.
At Samhain it is said that the veils between the worlds grow thin, and it becomes easier to communicate with the souls of loved ones who have passed on. They are also more easily able to offer advice, and divination is a key part of Samhain festivals even today. Samhain marks the beginning of the dark half of the year, after the balance of light and dark at the equinox.
The actual festival of Samhain this year is November 7th because this is when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio. The festival of Hallowe’en (All Hallows Eve) corresponds to All Saints Day in the Catholic church which celebrates the dead, but only those who have been beatified. The rest of the dead are celebrated on All Souls Day on November 2.
In Latin America there is a similar festival called the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos which corresponds to the Catholic festivals. Similar festivals are held in Spain and in Brazil, and presumably derived from the adaptation by the Catholic Church of the Samhain festival.
Astrologically, the entry of the Sun into Scorpio in the northern hemispheres marks the return of the dark time, where we are drawn into the darkness of our own psyche to discover the treasures that lie there, ready to be harvested. In the southern hemisphere of course the nature of the experience is different because the days are getting longer rather than shorter. (Amazingly, chart readings for my clients in the southern latitudes are still quite accurate, despite the difference in weather correspondences!).
So delve deep and mine the treasures that lie within your own soul. This fearless trip into the Underworld is the lesson of Scorpio!