Halloween 2018 will see the Sun in Scorpio square Black Moon Lilith – pretty much the epitome of witchiness… So, to celebrate this spooky and captivating time of year, let’s delve into the pagan roots of Halloween and see what magic we can dig up!
The Pagan History of Halloween
Over 2,000 years ago, the Celtic pagan people of Britain, Ireland and parts of Europe would divide the year based on the movements of the Sun and Moon.
The year was split into four parts primarily – the two solstices and the two equinoxes marking the movement of the Sun, the most important times of year. We know this from the placements of such monuments as Stonehenge – which is lined up with the astronomical points for the solstices.
But supposedly there were another four celebrations which further divided the year and also marked the changing of the livestock seasons, keeping people in synch with their agricultural lives and the whole of nature around them.
Halloween, or “Samhain” (pronounced “Sow-een”) as it would have been called then, came between the Autumn Equinox, or “Mabon”: harvest time, and the Winter Solstice, or “Yule”, when the Sun is at its lowest point and the nights are at their longest. This would have represented the end of the year – an annual death of the Sun.
Samhain was the time when darkness began to prevail. It also would have been the time when any livestock that wouldn’t make it through the cold season would be slaughtered and stored for food throughout winter, along with the grain that was harvested at the equinox.
People believed that the veil between the living and the dead was very thin at this time and that ancestors that had passed over could be contacted and seen at Samhain.
Though we can’t know exactly where the ghosts and ghouls tradition comes from, there are some interesting ideas from the more obvious: dark nights breeding fear and superstition and people lighting bonfires and wearing costumes to keep away the bad spirits, to the belief that the druids had some special esoteric knowledge about this time and encouraged people to embrace darkness and chaos, and pay their respects to the ancestors.
Perhaps the not knowing exactly preserves the mystery?
How we arrived at Modern Day Halloween
When Christianity was brought to Britain by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago it took a while before everyone was singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak!
So, to encourage the native Celtic people to celebrate the Christian festivals, in the 8th Century AD, Pope Gregory III nominated November 1st as the “Eve of All Saints” or “All Hallows’ Eve” and the pagan people eventually took to it, since it was so similar to their own festival in both date and theme. Eventually Samhain was lost, and Halloween took its place.
So let’s tie it all back to Astrology!
The most obvious connection to western astrology (aside from the timing between the equinox and solstice) is that Halloween falls in Scorpio season!
The zodiac sign of Scorpio is intertwined with the Greek myth of Pluto and his underworld. To cut a longer story short, every year, the goddess Persephone would descend into the underworld to be with Pluto, leaving her mother, Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, above ground to mourn for her lost daughter, letting all the crops die in her grief.
The ancient Greek people attributed this myth to the changing of the seasons and the natural death of the plants and animals, which would hibernate below ground ready to be reborn the next spring – voila the underworld myth!
So how does Lilith come into all of this?
Well, just like Persephone, Lilith is known as a dark goddess. She represents the untamed, wild and feminine half of the divine. Her history dates back 5,000 years to Sumerian times and in Hebrew myth she was said to be the “first wife of Adam”, made not from his rib like Eve, but in her own right, born expecting equality and getting her feminist self damned to the wilderness where she befriends wild animals and spirits instead.
Sounding pretty witchy so far, right?
So, this Halloween, against the backdrop of mysterious pagan traditions, we have the Sun in Scorpio playing the part of the Lord of the Underworld, squaring Lilith, history’s very first witch – reminding us all of the darker times in life, and how we can overcome them in mystical ways. Bringing light into places of shadow that would otherwise frighten us and keep us weak.
To mark the occasion, light a candle for your ancestors, dance under the moon or around a bonfire, throw on a costume and make merry to keep the spooky spirits away and let yourself delve into another realm of dark mystery and intrigue – if only for one night.
Have a Magical Halloween!!
Ellie Rose xx
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