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The Sun moved into the sign of Scorpio on October 23rd, 2015.  Just over a week later, on October 31st, we will celebrate Samhain and it is no coincidence, in my opinion, that this sign and holiday align.  

There is a synergy between the two that can help us better understand the season - and ourselves.

Scorpio is my rising and North Node sign and there are times when I've felt more resonance with its still deep energy than I have with any other aspect of my chart.  

In most instances, Scorpio is an intensely private sign. Powerful yet controlled. Difficult but rewarding.  Its energy isn't warm and cuddly but it is valuable in the extreme.

Originally represented by the Phoenix, Scorpio is strongly associated with the larger than life themes of regeneration, transformation, and death - which are all difficult transitions to make. Challenging as such transitions may be, however, they provide the opportunity for insight and change.  In some ways, Samhain, the holiday that transitions us from summer into winter, does the same.

In thinking about Samhain, we need to keep in mind that Autumn was not a season proper to the ancient Celts who celebrated this holiday.  Their year had only two seasons (summer and winter) and Samhain marked the crossing point between the two.  As such, it represented the shift from light (life) into the dark womb of winter (death).  

Death and darkness aren't easy concepts for those of us who have been taught that anything dark is bad.  But the truth is there is a point to darkness, a point to sleep, a point to introspection, and keeping your own counsel and making new connections.  And, for me, all of those things are associated with the dark part of the year.

Summer is an active, building life-driven time of year.  My family spent the summer building wooden fences, working on the yard and remodeling our house.  We set goals, worked hard, and accomplished tangible and finite things.  While we still have a few things to wrap up (and some remodeling planned for our holiday "vacation" time), most of our winter goals will play out in a very different way.

Winter is a time of evaluation and learning from the actions of the past.  It is the time when we will talk about the garden, discussing what did well and what did not, and decide what we'll do differently in the Spring.  At some point in the dark of winter, we'll plant the seeds that we've selected in indoor containers and start the cycle again, but better - having learned from our mistakes.

Here in the Northeast, even the most hardy individuals will be spending more time indoors than out. Withdrawing from the more active outside world allows us time for time for focused study, individual projects and personal introspection.  Done right, these activities will change us and we will emerge from that still time as better and wiser human beings.

Samhain represents the transition from active days of summer to the more passive pursuits of winter. Even more importantly, however, it marks the shift from looking out to looking in.  As a crossing point, this transition has its own deeply spiritual meaning.  As the holiday, that begins the new pagan year, Samhain provides a practical opportunity to turn to spirit for the guidance that give us a focus for the dark days ahead.

For me, those dark days are the most important days of the year.  Perhaps it is my connection to the sign of Scorpio or my own inherent love of transition and change, but I always find myself looking forward to winter and the lessons it will teach.

This year, I will be celebrating Samhain in three different ways. The first is with my family, making festive skull cookies and enjoying a Thanksgiving style feast, the second is in formal ritual with other witches, and the third is in my own private sacred space late at night after everyone else has gone to bed - in the company of my avatars, ancestors and guides.

For me, this crossing point, this shift, this thin place is my opportunity to connect with those who've gone before.  Operating from a point in time 2000 years downstream from my ancient Celtic ancestors, I have to say that I don't really fully understand why such thresholds create an opening to the otherside but I understand that they offer an opportunity to connect.

This Samhain I encourage everyone to spend some time with living friends and family and some in private reflection.  It is the perfect time for divination, contemplative, connecting with the energy of the other side, and preparing for the year to come.

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