Each year usually on November 6 or 7, (2017 its November 6 at 10:39 pm Pacific or November 7 at 12:39 am) the Sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio and is with the fixed Star Zubenelgenubi (a.k.a Zuben Algenubi) an Arabic name that translates as “southern claw” and currently marks one of the pans of the Scales.
Collectively, in the season of the year and in the Turning of the Great Wheel of Time (or the shift of a 26,000 year cycle now ending and beginning), this marks the time when we are in the swing between the worlds. Read on for more about the seasonal shifts and the importance of the Cross-Quarter Now.
Many cultures north of the Equator have considered the Taurus Full Moon or Scorpio New Moon closest to the November Cross-Quarter as a New Year Point and the beginning of the winter season. The Celts and Druids referred to this time as Samhain, pronounced sah win or sɑːwɪn, thought to mean summer’s end. The Hindus consider the Scorpio New Moon as their New Year’s point or what they call Diwali, the festival of lights.
So for many in the Northern Hemisphere, the November Cross-Quarter is the beginning of winter, when the nights are growing longer than the days, and when the ancestors are honored along with those who have died. This is also a season that was and is also recognized as a time when the veils between the worlds are thinnest and accessing other worlds is easier.
The Celts believed this timing was most powerful for looking into the future and for accessing other worlds more easily. This was (and is) a time to go within and seek guidance from the ancestors for the coming year. This was celebrated as a time of High Magic for those attuned to the mysteries, celebrating death and rebirth, endings and beginnings, and what is yet to come. It was believed that this timing when worked with consciously helped to set the pattern for the coming year.
November Samhain Cross Quarter, more about what it means and how to work with it – 15 minutes
As already mentioned the Hindu New Year known as Diwali (Du-vah-ly the festival of lights) occurs around the time of the Scorpio New Moon. Some believe this holiday celebrates the union of Laksmhi and Vishnu so is also a time for honoring and celebrating the Goddess of Love, Wealth and Beauty a.k.a. Lakshmi or Mahalakshmi. (see Story of Diwali and Diwali Traditions)
In Hindi Maha means great and Lakshmi is the Goddess of Love, Beauty, and Abundance. Lakshmi is usually shown showering the Earth with gold coins falling from her hand, symbolizing the infinite abundance of life that is our natural divine birthright. It is believed that Mahalakshmi is seated in the heart of everyone and thus seated in the heart of the whole universe. Celebrating Lakshmi celebrates the abundant gifts life gives us everyday.
Mahalakshmi also refers to the greatness within us all. When we individually and collectively focus on encouraging ourselves and celebrating our greatness, then we are building a new world based on everyone showing up and having a way to share their gifts with recognition and appreciation. Here is a Lakshmi Prayer
In India, preparations for Diwali include deep cleaning of the home as an invitation for Lakshmi to enter, because they believe Lakshmi will only enter a clean and nicely decorated home. This just so happens to also coincide with the ending of the monsoon season when insects and mold are abundant so the process of deep cleaning, airing out belongings, and freshening up the indoor environment benefits health and well-being through the winter months.
We can also imagine that this is a good time to do deep cleaning of our own inner reality, cleaning up the nooks and crannies that may have old thought forms and beliefs that clutter our thinking and understanding.
More about Zubenelgenubi
Zubenelgenubi and the constellation of the Scales it occupies – is not visible for about a month from around October 31 to November 23 when it is within the beams of the Sun.
This important star lies right on the path of the ecliptic and currently marks (until about 2064) where the Sun is rising on November 6, 7, and 8 at the zodiacal Cross Quarter of 15 degrees Scorpio marking the exact half way point between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice.
Zubenelgenubi sits midway between the red royal star Antares in the constellation of the Scorpion and the blue-white star Spica of the Divine Feminine in the constellation of the Virgin Priestess. This suggest that this star marks a between point in two ways now. One is it is between Antares and Spica and the other is the between point between the September Equinox and the December Solstice. If we consider we are also at a Great Turning of the Cosmic Wheel this is another indicator of the importance of this time as we swing between seasons, worlds and the greater cosmic cycle at this larger cosmic time of endings and beginnings.
This suggests what was is ending and what is becoming is now finding new expressions and we find ourselves inbetween these two things. This time of year really highlights this collective experience.
The ancient Sanskrit word for the constellation where this star is found is Tula, the name for the ‘Holy Land’ or Promise Land. In William Henry’s book, The Peacemaker and the New Key of Life Tula is defined as “the place of Peace.”
Tula is a place and a process of becoming. In Tula our thoughts, desires or fears will become instantly ‘real’. What is in our hearts cannot remain hidden. What is felt in the heart is what is seen in the world. Only love can flow through our hearts in Tula. ~William Henry
When the Sun is rising with Zubenelgenubi it is also near its companion star Zubenelshemali marking the other pan of the Scales forming a gateway or stargate access to the realm of Tula, the Promise Land reminding us of the ancient prophecies that speak of a Promise Land or Golden age.
This fits with the constellation of the Scales also known for weighing the heart of the dead to determine their next path or next life. The Scales are also a symbol of balance, truth, and justice, reminding us moderation and prudence are always worthy actions. If the person’s heart is heavier than the feather of Ma’at that person will return to this world. More about the Scales (a.k.a. Libra) HERE
All this points to the importance of the November Cross-Quarter no matter when you might choose to celebrate. Some will choose the New or Full Moon closest. Some will choose to use Halloween or all Hallow’s Eve and some will choose to use November 2, the day many celebrate as the Day of the Dead. What is important is to find a way that works for you to honor your ancestors and maybe even create your own traditions that fit this current time.