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
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.
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.