The Scorpio New Moon Eclipse, Halloween, Your Inner Crone
It is autumn here in the far north: the rich colors of summer, the vibrant reds and lush greens are slowly turning into crimson, rust and gold; birds and butterflies migrate south and stacks of wood appear on porches. The air is fragrant with the scent of apples and wet leaves; smoke rises up from the chimneys and disappears against the evening sky streaked with apricot and mauve. The air is crisper now, with just a hint of coldness, yet during the day the sun is still strong – the seasons blur into a delicious medley of colors, scents and sounds.
Inside the Astrology Café there are logs burning in the stone fireplace, a big jack-o-lantern on the mantle and our two cats curled up nearby; there are old friends and new, good conversation, smooth jazz, and fine wine. It is time again for thick hearty soups; smoky split pea, three onion, creamy potato-leek, and rich minestrone. There are casseroles and quiches, warm crusty bread from the oven (sour dough, olive & rosemary, and seven grain with seeds) served with organic butter, goat cheese, olives and eggplant dip. Help yourself to a generous piece of moist coconut cake, cranberry-apple crisp with double cream, chocolate biscotti, or pumpkin buns (made with creamy nutmeg and vanilla spiced pumpkin puree). To drink we have rich hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, warm cider with cinnamon sticks, herbal tea or wine. Welcome back dear friend; you have been missed.
When you’re ready follow me up the spiral staircase to the reading room, past the stacks of books, through a door, under an arch, down a corridor and up a small narrow staircase to the tower room. Here, sitting at her round oak table is our old friend, the crone, the wise woman. Mistress of the night, guardian of secrets and the keeper of the keys; she has been here waiting all along. The candles on the wall are glowing; the Runes, cards and crystals are spread out on the table and the room is imbued with a faint scent of lavender and rose. Sit down and make yourself comfortable; the night is young, magic is in the air and there is much to discuss. Our friend chooses a Rune; it is Thurisaz: Gateway, Place of Non-Action, The God Thor. Listen closely for there may be a message here for you.
“With a gateway for its symbol, this Rune indicates that there is work to be done both inside and outside yourself. The gateway is at once a portal and a frontier between Heaven and the mundane. Arriving here is a recognition of your readiness to contact the numinous, the Divine, to illuminate your experience so that its meaning shines through its form.
Thurisaz is the Rune of non-action. This, the gateway is not to be approached and passed through without contemplation. Here you are being confronted with a true reflection of what is hidden in yourself, what must be exposed and examined before successful action can be undertaken. This Rune strengthens your ability to wait. Now is not a time to make decisions. Deep transformational forces are at work in this next-to-the-last of the Cycle Runes.
Visualize yourself standing before a gateway on a hilltop. Your entire life lies out behind you and below. Before you step through, pause and review the past: the learning and the joy, the victories and the sorrows – everything it took to bring you here. Observe it all, bless it all, release it all. For in letting go of the past you reclaim your power. Step through the gateway now.” —The Book of Runes (Ralph Bloom)
October 31st is Halloween
“Must be the season of the witch.” —Donovan
Called Samhain “Summer’s End” it is the Celtic New Year and one of the four cross-quarter holidays.(The others are Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas.) It is said to be a time when the veil of the astral world is lifted, the psyche is unfettered, and anything is possible. The pagan idea used to be that crucial joints between the seasons opened cracks in the fabric of space-time, allowing contact between the ghost world and the mortal world.
This is the time of the Crone, the witch, and the weaver; the time of year to honor our ancestors and to connect with them for guidance on the year ahead. Decorate your altar with photographs of friends and family who have passed over as well as your heroes and heroines. The last day of October is the beginning of the year’s dark season. Traditionally, it is the time Persephone returns to the underworld to take her place with Pluto her husband and her consort. Like Persephone we now begin to turn inward, to go deep and connect with what is real. At this time we can access the unknown and the unseen. What is it you desire to bring to consciousness? Remember, what is freed at Halloween is conquered and integrated. Open to the deep rivers of your wisdom and intuition. Surrender to the space between the worlds.
In Praise of the Inner Crone
Recently Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things) posted a beautiful little essay (on Facebook) about the Inner Crone. She spoke of the “inner child” and how it is a good thing, but she went on to say, “These days, though, I spend less time thinking about my Inner Child lately, and more time focused on my INNER CRONE – the old lady who lives inside me, whom I hope to someday be. Because she is a bad-ass.”
I love this! The inner child has been embraced by the New Age as this bright and shining angel. The crone doesn’t get such good press. Yet the crone is wise, tough, juicy, and fierce; she is a fighter and a survivor. She’s been around and has some mileage on her meter. You can trust her; she may be feisty but she is also deeply compassionate. We all have an inner crone; an evolved elder who combines the years of experience with wisdom and the courage of nothing left to lose. Liz Gilbert goes on to say, “So these days, when my Inner Child gets all fluttery with the panic of living, I just ask myself: “WWMICD?” “What Would My Inner Crone Do?” Get to know her, consult her and honor her. Grow into her. Find crones to emulate and admire. Men can be crones, too, just as women are elders. Here is what Jungian analyst and author Marion Woodman (a true crone) says about them in the book, Conscious Femininity, Interviews with Marion Woodman.
She’s right there, totally present. She’s got nothing to lose. She can be who she is and live with the straight, flat out, naked truth. Therefore the Crone acts as a tuning fork in an environment because she is so real herself. She rings a true tone. People are brought into harmony with that tuning, so it’s very releasing. People can respond to their own true tone. The Crone can afford to be honest. She’s not playing games anymore. She brings people into that soul space where all outer conflicts dissolve and they can experience their own essence.
Just as there are “power places” in the world; sacred sites such as Stonehenge, Macho Piccho or the pyramids in Egypt, there are also power times during the year. Eclipses are one of these times. They are super potent full or new moons that herald major endings and beginnings and exert a powerful influence when they connect to a prominent place in the chart. Eclipses arrive in pairs in the form of a new moon (solar) eclipse or a full moon (lunar) eclipse that fall two weeks apart. They repeat themselves every 19 years. What were you dealing with 19 years ago; what is calling you now? On October 18 we had a Full Moon eclipse (Libra Sun and Aries Moon). November 3 is a New Moon eclipse at 11 degrees of Scorpio.
The Scorpio New Moon Eclipse – November 3
“I know over 700 stories in the oral tradition;
they all come down to one; birth, death, and rebirth.”
—Clarissa Pinkola Estes
All Souls Day (November 2) is dedicated to departed souls; it is said that on this night the dead visit the homes of the living. Traditionally candles are left burning and soul cakes are put out for them. In Mexico it is called the Day of the Dead. The Scorpio New Moon eclipse arrives the following day, a reminder that all beginnings contain an ending and within every ending is the seed of a new life. That is the theme of Scorpio which always involves a journey into the underworld (our unconscious), the source of both our darkness and our light.
This intense, driven and sometimes obsessive sign knows that we can die at any moment and lives more fully as a result. Scorpio is always an invitation to look deeply and honestly at what frightens us. Saturn, Mercury and the karmic north node are all in Scorpio conjunct (fused with) the New Moon summoning us to face some deep truth (a past wound or grudge) that we’ve been holding on to. As Pema Choron writes in her book, When Things Fall Apart: “It’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what is threatening us. Things like disappointment and anxiety are messages telling us that we’re about to go into unknown territory.” Share your fears, speak your truth; go to the places that scare you.
This eclipse is a real game-changer. First of all, uncompromising Pluto (the modern ruler of Scorpio) makes its fourth square to radical Uranus just two days before on November 1. This challenging aspect intensifies the need for a major shift but also the resistance to it. In addition three planets change direction during this week creating big waves in the celestial firmament; Jupiter (in Cancer) turns retrograde on November 6; Mercury (in Scorpio) turns direct on November 10 and on November in 13 Neptune (in Pisces) also turns direct. All three planets are in emotional water signs bringing feelings to the surface. Also, Venus is at 28 Sagittarius, the degree of the Galactic Center; a formidable degree that supports releasing old patterns and beliefs that no longer serve us.
In addition, there is a Yod (between Mars, the Sun and Moon and Uranus) in the chart of the New Moon. This quirky aspect mirrors what the Rune (of non- action) and Mercury retrograde is saying. Do not try to use your will power to push forward. All the information is not available at this time; forces behind the scenes are at work. You don’t have to be passive; think of it was active waiting and allowing. The real work at this time is an inner process and not an outer action. Use this eclipse period and Mercury retrograde to prepare, heal, clean, and cleanse. Above all: loving kindness to yourself and others.
We all feel the energy of the eclipse but only those of you who have a planet around 11 degrees of fixed signs (Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius) will experience its full force. For example: This eclipse is opposite my Taurus Sun (13 degrees) and my asteroid Ceres (11 degrees). Nineteen years ago (in the fall of 1994) my mother died, my beloved cat Tasha died, and I finally decided to close my restaurant which I had owned for 20 years! (By the way: Ceres is associated with food, especially in Taurus, and the name of my corporation was Ceres!) Like the tornado in The Wizard of Oz, it threw me right out of the life I was living. Closing my restaurant set me free but I needed to be pushed – hard. Eclipses feel fated and the events that happen appear to be sudden and come out of the blue but when we look back we see (like a storm) that something was gathering in the distance. I’m curious to see what happens this time. I’ll keep you posted.
“There is this about a chill November: it makes one appreciate a fireside. And there is this about a hearth: it calls for small company, for companionship.”
—Hal Borland (Borland Country)
Beloved Friends, Outside the bay window the old owl has appeared on the branch of the Alder tree signaling that our time together has come to a close. The waning Moon has disappeared behind the clouds; the candles have all burned down and the hour is late. Your presence has been a blessing and I thank you for sharing this time with me. I will return over the holidays. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful fall weather and this season of Thanksgiving. Love yourself, feel good, be grateful. All is well, you are loved, Virginia
Check back for information about the New and Full Moon each month.
Make Yourself a Door
Be taught now, among the trees and rocks,
how the discarded is woven into shelter,
learn the way things hidden and unspoken
slowly proclaim their voice in the world.
Find that far inward symmetry
to all outward appearances, apprentice
yourself to yourself, begin to welcome back
all you sent away, be a new annunciation,
make yourself a door through which
to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.
—Excerpt from ‘Coleman’s Bed in ‘River Flow: New and Selected Poems’
By David Whyte