Each year around November 6 or 7 the Sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio and is with the fixed Star Zubenelgenubi (a.k.a Zuben Algenubi) and Arabic word that has to do with the souther pan of the Scales.
Collectively this is a time when the Sun is marking the swing between the worlds.
Many cultures north of the Equator have considered the Taurus Full Moon or Scorpio New Moon closest to the November Cross-Quarter as beginning a New Solar Year, when summer was ending and winter began. The Celts and Druids referred to this time as Samhain, pronounced sah win thought to originally mean summer’s end or season’s end.
To this day the Hindus consider the Scorpio New Moon as their New Year’s point or what they call Diwali, the festival of lights. (see more about Diwali below).
Oct 28 is the Taurus Full Moon partial Lunar Eclipse at 5° Taurus
Nov 13 is the Scorpion New Moon at 21° Scorpio
Nov 01 is the Scorpion New Moon at 10° Scorpio
Nov 15 is the Taurus Full Moon 24° Taurus
Nov 05 is the Taurus Full Moon 13° Taurus
Nov 19 is the Scorpion New Moon at 28° Scorpio
In the Northern Hemisphere, the November Cross-Quarter is considered the beginning of winter by many cultures, when the nights are growing longer than the days, and when the ancestors along with those who have died in the current year are honored.
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 – 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 in times past, consciously working with this Timing helped to set the pattern for the coming year.
This is also a time inviting us to remember, honor, and celebrate the lives of those who have died, our loved ones who have left physical life. As Starhawk rand others remind us, those who are remembered live. They live on in our memories and in our DNA and the impact they had on this Earth.
- Oct 31 Now known as Halloween. This HolyDay is also known as All Hallows Eve. This was also referred to as Samhain (pronounced sow’wen) by the Celtis marking their seasonal New Year as already mentioned and a time when the veil between the living and the dead was thinnest when the dead could visit the living and the living could connect with those who had died. It was a time to honor the dead and the final harvest of the season.
An older tradition to support this time was to dress up in costume (or some form of disguise) and go door to door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for food. That tradition has evolved into what we have today with kids dressing up in costumes and “trick or treating” for candy. This time of year is when pumpkins are ripe and a tradition of pumpkin carving has evolved along with haunted houses, watching scary movies, hayrides and finding our way through mazes.
The Cross Quarter time reminds us of the importance of slowing down, becoming more still and going within to glean guidance about the coming year.
- Nov 1 is All Saints’ Day, All Hallows Day or Hallowmas. This is a Christian holiday that evolved as a way to insert itself over and replace the “pagan” holiday of honoring the dead. It was designed to call attention to and honor all known and unknown saints and martyrs. On this day the faithful would go to church, offer prays to the known saints, light candles, and bring flowers to graves of the deceased.
- Nov 2 All Souls’ Day is the third holiday in Chrisitan Hallowtide or Allhallowtide triduum (three day religious observance) to honor the dead. In order to more successfully replace the Day of the Dead holidays that existed in various cultures the Christian Church realized they needed a day that honored the dead that may still be in transition to heaven. The subtle difference is All Saints’ Day prayers are aimed at those who are sure to already be in heaven. All Souls’ Day prayers are for those who are still finding their way to the heavenly realms.
- Oct 31 – Nov 2 Dia de los Muertos is a three-day Mexican holiday to celebrate and honor the souls of the dead. On the evening of October 31 preparation begins. November 1 is dedicated to Dia de los Inocentes, the infants and children who have died. November 2 is known as Dia de los Muertos meaning it is the dedicated day of the dead.Originally held in August over 2000 years ago the date was moved to November as colonization and Christianization began taking over so these holidays would coincide with Hallowtide.
Traditional observance includes offerings of food and drink at gravesites, lighting candles, creating ofrendas to welcome and honor the deceased, making sugar skulls, sweet breads, and other treats to share with family and visiting spirits. Bright Orange Marigolds with a strong fragance believed to attact the spirits of the dead, are placed on ofrendas (offerings placed on altars) in parks, on doorsteps and graves.
A procession or parade in Mexico City and Tucson, Arizona (known as All Souls Procession) and other places is a relatively new tradition. Revelers dress in colorful clothes with sugar skull face paint carry pictures of deceased relatives energizing the rememberance of the lives of those who have died. Based in the knowning that those who are remembered – live.
The Nov Cross Quarter & Ways to Engage It - 15 minutes
It may help to remember that any between time is where the greatest magic and alchemy can happen – hence why this time of the year was so important to so many cultures.
Here is a reminder of the Solar Feminine energies present at each Cross-Quarter:
- The February Cross-Quarter celebrated the Mother’s (Solar Feminine) power to give life including the life giving light of the lengthening days.
- The May Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine in her passion for intimate pleasure and the beauty of life in great abundance.
- The August Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine for her abundant life giving gifts of Food and sustenance for the coming winter season.
- The November Cross-Quarter celebrated the Solar Feminine power to live through death and be reborn to a new life.
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.
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.