From Samhain at the end of October until Imbolc at the end of January we are in the darkest quarter of the year, when the hours of sunlight are few and nights are long. In the UK, turning the clocks back to Greenwich Mean Times brings early sunsets and a strong sense that the seasons have really changed now, that Summer is far behind us. Colourful autumn leaves are falling rapidly and the fact that Winter is almost here cannot be ignored. Modern life tries to keep us busy, focussed on the celebratory aspects of the coming Yuletide, working hard to pay for that capitalist bonanza, and so encourages us to miss the point that during this dark time it is worthwhile to stop occasionally, turn within, let things go, find some stillness and peace – to take the time and space to reflect and heal.
The two weeks from the Samhain Full Moon until the Scorpio New Moon (coming up on the 11th November) is the most rapid and, for some of us quite intense, period when the energies of nature are pulling us inwards, calling us to prepare for some hibernation periods during the coming Winter months so that we might heal and recharge ready for the activities and adventures of next year.
The underlying elemental energy of the Autumn is Water, and during the Scorpio month the Sun is in water energy too, bringing us openings into our own deep inner emotional and spiritual realms, Scorpio is the time of year the cosmos invites us to honour and explore the mystery of our incarnation… it offers the energy of rebirth through deep renewal, through release of whatever we need to let go of in order to grow into greater awareness of the multidimensional beings of light, love and spirit that we actually are. The materialist view of the universe is dying. The understanding that consciousness, that life, gives rise to the material, and not the other way around, is growing. This is the shift that will change everything on planet earth. We each have the individual chance to hurry that shift along and move humanity into the multidimensional adventures of the new millennium.
The second week of a waning moon and the dark moon days are often a difficult time for humans, essentially because we are not remembering that we are beings of nature. We exist in a culture that separates us from the natural rhythms of life and expects us to operate at full physical and mental capacity the whole year long. But every month the moon waxes from new to full and wanes to darkness, affecting our inner, emotional worlds. Our attempts to ignore this lead us into disease and depression. I have learnt that much depression and other mental health challenges can be better handled and understood if we learn to align ourselves with the natural flows of energy affecting all life on this planet. As well as being aware of the lunar cycles, simply discovering which elemental forces are most active in our individual souls can help explain a lot of our apparent issues and pathologies…..
There are four elemental conditions of energy on this world and they manifest in us as much as in anything else. Our astrological birth charts reveal through which elements our basic archetypes are operating. It can be particularly useful for our health and well being to reflect on the type of elemental energy in which the Moon was placed at our birth. We all know our Sun signs, but they only describe the outer personality traits – our inner worlds of emotion and imagination are generally ruled by a completely different energy. I find that when people discover what kind of element is operating strongly in their inner being they quickly find greater understanding of their own nature. Peace comes from knowing we are the consciousness of the universe on an eternal journey of exploration and growth.. and not simply these fragile bodies doomed to decay and death. Our nature is a combination of mind (air), body (earth), emotion (water) and spirit (fire): each of us a unique manifestation of the universal Self, and the understanding of the interplay of these forces within us shows us how to best bring happy and healthy manifestation of our own part of that universal Self.
Everything in modern life seems to want to keep us focussed on the small ‘self’ – the ego whose existence is indeed doomed. Business, government, academia, media, even religion all seem focussed on keeping us entranced in a shallow paradigm of separation, competition and disease. This is the story we have the chance to let go of at this transformational time of year as paradigms shift. Mystics and meditators of all faiths, the world over, have always experienced a spiritual unity underlying the diverse and miraculous manifestation of life on earth. This is the unified awareness that changes everything – that will bring down greedy, eco-cidal, corporations and power hungry governments – that will reveal the mutlilayered miracle that our existence really is. This awareness is ours to find and bring home within ourselves. Nobody can do this for us. Usually it is a crisis in our lives that leads to us awakening to this truth – but it does not have to be…. we can choose to explore the mysteries of life willingly and enthusiastically – and when we do, they respond, they open to us and reveal the secrets previously kept quiet by the powerful and domineering forces in human society, which have been using the divine principles of existence for their own selfish advantage. The switch we each have to make is that from being an apparent victim of life, blown along by its whims and twists, to claiming our own creator power and creating the life we want – in harmony with the natural flows, ups and downs that nature provides as a backdrop to our life journeys.
As we get close to the Scorpio dark moon there is a natural flow calling us to prayer. This time can be a devotional peak bringing profound awareness of our place in the grand scheme of things and bringing healing, loving, compassionate vibrations into our lives. Prayer is a three fold thing: 1. prayer can be a loving acknowledgement from the heart of the Oneness that gives rise to all existence. 2. Prayer is an opportunity to give thanks for all the good things in our lives, thus enhancing the frequency of gratitude in our energy bodies, which then attracts more good things to us. 3. Prayer is a chance to tell the universe what we want: all our mental thought activity generates subtle vibrations, which then attract similar vibrational experiences into our lives. So it is really not a good idea to spend the dark time of the year complaining and suffering – unless we want more of those. This is the time to keep the mind open to the bigger picture, and optimistic that life will get brighter again. Our bodies and souls will feel much better if we do this. As the gravitational pull inward is so strong right now, the heartfelt energy of prayer and devotion is what has the greatest power to lift us into happier states of well being, by bringing light and love into our inner worlds.
Life WILL get brighter again – change is the one constant in life – and we do not have to wait until Spring for that to happen. From the Scorpio dark moon the internal lunar energies will start to grow again and after a week or so the Sun will enter the fire sign Sagittarius. The centauric energy of that sign brings a buzz into our lives, which largely gets channelled into pre-yuletide excitement, but which is actually offering us spiritual energy with which to find our own ways to explore our part in the bigger picture. Scorpio month helps us to let go of limiting beliefs and worldviews, Sagittarius then brings the fire spirit we need to learn, explore and expand within ourselves, leading us to the Winter Solstice when we celebrate the fact that the darkest point has been reached, and although three months of winter lie ahead, from this point on the light returns.
So the darkest time of the year is not about pain and gloom. It is about healing and release, it is about finding our way, it is about celebrating the mysteries that darkness gives us access to. Human life has become obsessed with external achievements and accumulations – but at this time of the year we get the chance to balance that with some healthy, healing, inner time, which will prepare us for more growth and expansion waiting in the wings for us as we accept more fully who and what we are as divine humans exploring the sacred mysteries of the miraculous creation.