Imagine long ago, when people lit the night with fire. Back then, through clearer skies, stars shone brighter. They looked close enough to pick, like fruit. While the last harvest was gathered, the star cluster Scorpio glittered. For thousands of years, humans found special meaning in the midpoint between autumn equinox – when light and dark were equal – and winter solstice, the year’s longest night. Scorpio Season.
From October 31 to November 1, many believe the barrier between the physical and spiritual domains thins. Communication with ‘other’ worlds opens. Aztec, Toltec and Nahua peoples saw physical death as the natural part of a longer life. The dead remained members of the community. Mourning the departed was disrespectful. Their returns on the Day of the Dead are still celebrated.
At this time, families place their loved ones’ favorite meals on altars. The living wear fancy clothes, paint their faces to look like skulls and party hearty to rouse those of the spirit world and keep them close. Read more.
The Celtic new year also begins at the midpoint between summer and winter. At Samhain [sow-wain], bonfires burn the old year’s fears and worries. Here, too, celebrants believe the spirit world can come closest and connect with the earthbound, like the costume ghosts and goblins traveling a night lit by the constellation Scorpio. It’s heart is the red, supergiant Antares, 400 times larger and 10,000 times brighter than our sun. A huge heart is vital for this season. While trees release leaves along with seeds, the life ending also plants opportunities for rebirth.
Ancient stargazers sitting around campfires taught that Scorpio has three modes. The scorpion protects and cares for self during transitions. The snake reminds that identities can be outgrown and shed. The eagle flies high enough to see then reach a future bigger than the present.
Midway between equinox and solstice, many cultures feast and celebrate the growing season’s bounty. While preparing to battle winter, the next six weeks of increasing darkness can allow the deepening and gestation, like seeds gone to ground, that is Scorpio Season.
|Today’s celestial midpoint occurs under a full moon. Have you ever wondered how it affects us? Click the picture to watch Two Minute Universe’s answers.
And, have you ever wondered what the first movie about the supernatural might have been? Click here to see “The Haunted Castle,” a 3-minute film from 1896, a fun journey back to the days of silent entertainment.
On October 31, 1958, moonbeams lit the stardust that sprinkled Crescent Avenue’s sycamore and hawthorn trees.
On that clear, bright evening, candles dimmed inside jack-o-lanterns as Estelle Ringgold Pearson said, “We shouldn’t see anymore spooky movies.”
Parnell held her hand as they strolled from the Roland Theater.
“Did The Queen of Outer Space really scare you?”