Welcome to my first blog post here on the official Sugar Black Rose Website!
This is such an exciting upgrade! My very own space to decorate and make my own; reminds me of when I got to choose what color to paint my bedroom walls at 13 after our Katrina rebuild. I picked this gorgeous crimson that went against all of my mother’s feng shui instincts, but teenagers are outliers and even the ancient Chinese knew that. I’m still an outlier, albeit more internally nowadays.
And how auspicious that I launch this new chapter during my favorite season of the year: Halloween! And yes, on the exact day, but as a witch, the Gregorian calendar’s October 31 is totally arbitrary alongside the astrological and astronomical alignments of Samhain, the ancient Celtic celebration of the Last Harvest and the New Year. Most witches (of the Celtic an/or Western practices) just starting out or those who don’t honor the planets as a backbone of their practice as I do simply celebrate or honor the Sabbat (basically a witch’s holiday) with the western holiday that appropriated much of its symbolism. Apt, simple, and absolutely valid. And, if I’m honest, a part of why I like to calculate Astrological, Astronomical, and Lunar Samhain every year is so that I have many options for ritual days so I can fit them into my schedule! Your practice is your own and you don’t have anything to prove (I repeat to myself).
Lunar Samhain (usually pronounced Sow-when like the pig and the time question, but as a solo practitioner from a young age I said Sam-hain til I was 24 so you do you) usually falls on the new moon in Scorpio, or the closest new moon to Halloween if that’s different. This year that was October 27th. I thoroughly enjoy the delicious darkness that can come from honoring Shadowy Scorpio on the Dark Moon, but as I have a regular lunar ritual practice already, I like to honor the thinning of the veil on its own day as well.
Astrological and Astronomical Samhain are both the direct middle point between Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox, and Yule, the Winter Solstice. Since Astrologically Mabon is 0 degrees Libra and Yule is 0 degrees Capricorn, this dictates exact Samhain to be the midpoint, i.e. 15 degrees Scorpio. Astronomically, the idea is the same, though here based on the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Samhain being the halfway point between Mabon’s balance and Yule’s peak tilt. And often they are nearly concurrent, like this year! Around noon on November 7th, to be exact.
Now all of that science aside, pseudo and otherwise, this is simply to say that the veil does not thin for one night only, and one should not feel tied to only honor it then, or Hecate-forbid beat oneself up about missing it (just me? ok). For me anyways, I feel the aforementioned veil begin to slip at the first leaf I see fall from a tree, and do not feel it solidify again until the Yule fires burn bright; and that border between worlds can feel acutely permeable all Scorpio season.
So if you decided to spend your Halloween trick-or-treating, dancing til dawn, or staying in with some horror this year instead of some elaborate death ritual, and perhaps feel you’re feeling left out or less than magical about it, fear not: not only is the date arbitrary, the season is long. And we honor it in our own ways whether we are conscious of it or not.
So take a deep breath of every-cooling air, crunch on some dead leaves (in the Northern Hemisphere anyways, otherwise greet the sweet new blossoms of Bealtane!), and spare a thought to loved ones lost. Ask them if they have any thing to say. You just might hear an answer this time of year.
Did you celebrate this year?