Tonight is the dark of the moon in Scorpio, just before all Hallows Eve or Halloween as we know it in North America. In Mexico we come towards the Day of the Dead. In Europe the festivals are lost in the pre-Christian past and the frenzy of witch burning that swept the middle ages. This is the quarter turn between the gentle fall equinox and the hope of the return of the light at winter solstice and Christmas.
Around us there are images of decay and death and the physical and psychological awareness of a long dark winter. We begin the turn to the North, the Direction of Winter and the spirits who have passed before. Those of us who have grown older feel the sting of arthritis and the awareness of age. Not an easy time.
So what do we do? We acknowledge the time by dressing up as our dreams and demons and try to make it sweeter through passing out candy to the children so they will look forward to this passage and not be afraid. In our psyches, we know this passage is difficult and scary, but like warriors we express our fears, especially in youth, and parade our demons.
This is a time of introspection, of turning within, of seeing what we have harvested in the past season. It is a time of reflection of study. And when we gather it is time of sharing our bounty with others. In the cultures of the First Nations, the communities would gather in long houses to share stories, teachings, food and warmth. No one would go hungry or be left out in the cold.
Tonight the snow and wind came in, the power is out and we huddle by the fireplace listening to the wind roar against the house. The remaining leaves are ripped from the trees and the wet cold is bone chilling. The forces of nature seem harsh and obviously beyond our control. The night seems endless and unfriendly. Snow accumulates heavily in the high hills, in the Northern latitudes the growing season has passed and the multitude of birds have fled South. If we were not relying on transport, the only food would be what was in our larder and what we could hunt in unfriendly conditions. If the systems break down, we are afraid. This is the time of year that created towns and cities and people gathered together to help each other through the difficult times. It also created the snow birds, the people who have flocked to the Southern states to avoid the worst of the cold, which, strangely enough, created the housing bubble, which has just exploded, leaving the global economy in turmoil, and causing a contraction in all our finances.
Winter comes. There is always a time of contraction and fear. Winter ends and new growth appears. Hope returns. Our cycle of birth, life and death is eternal and repeating. It is mythic and the process is beyond our control.
So how do we cope with the contraction that is the season of night, the season of winter? All cultural traditions will give us the same answer. Find a place of sanctuary, clear out that which no longer serves you. Find a way to learn something new when the cold winds keep you inside and find a way to create community with your neighbors. Gather and share when you can. Give gratitude for the abundance you have if you are dry and warm and think how you can share with others who are not as fortunate. You warm your own heart by giving someone else comfort and you never know what you will get back in support in your time of need. Food pantries are serving more people with less resources. Elders who cannot get out need ways to get supplies. Older coats and business clothes are needed for those looking to make a fresh start.
Share your abundance and in the time of the approaching dark, like the falling seeds, you will be sowing the ground for a truly more abundant spring. You will find what wealth truly is, and as the season rolls on, you will know the real meaning of Thanksgiving and the season of giving.
The dark demons that go boo in the night will have dissipated and the light will spread out into the night.
For more from Betsy Stang, practitioner of Healing by Design Feng Shui, click here.