Astro-Notes on November 1, 2014 continued

In Celtic Ireland about 2,000 years ago, Samhain was the division of the year between the lighter half (summer) and the darker half (winter). The family’s ancestors were honored and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. People wore costumes and masks to disguise themselves as harmful spirits and thus avoid harm. Bonfires and food played a large part in the festivities. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into a communal fire; household fires were extinguished and started again from the bonfire. Food was prepared for the living and the dead, food for the ancestors who were in no position to eat it, was ritually shared with the less well off.

Christianity incorporated the honoring of the dead into the Christian calendar with All Saints (All Hallows) on November 1st, followed by All Souls on November 2nd. The wearing of costumes and masks to ward off harmful spirits survived as Halloween customs. The Festival of Samhain marked the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of the new one and as such can be seen to the equivalent of New Year’s Eve. Because the Celts believed that night preceded day, the festivities took place on the Eve of Samhain. There is no doubt that this festival was the most important of the four Celtic Festivals, celebrated at a crucial time of the year that was loaded with symbolic significance for the pre-Christian Irish. The perceptible, and apparent, decline in the strength of the sun at this time of year was a source of anxiety for early man and the lighting of the Winter Fires symbolized mans attempt to assist the sun on its journey across the skies. Fire is the earthly counterpart of the sun and is a powerful and appropriate symbol to express mans helplessness in the face of the overwhelming sense of the decay of nature as the winter sets in. Now that the sun has descended into the realm of the underworld, the forces of the underworld were in the ascendency. The lord of the underworld, unfettered from the control of the sun, now walked the earth and with him travelled all those other creatures from the abode of the dead. Ghosts, fairies and a host of other non-descript creatures went with him.

So, yes, there were openings in our schedule today, which provided us with a few chances to get in control of our affairs and to catch up with some of our projects or to be able to wrap them up. This, however, required certain sacrifices on our part or could have come with substantial losses. However, what really matters is that we felt a sense of camaraderie, gained space or ‘freedom of movement’, made great bargains or got rid of excessive things and basically took the next step in a process or cause we have ourselves committed toward.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MOM!!!!

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