The 4 seasons are Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter
The 4 seasons are Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter
The 4 major turning points of these 4 seasons are known as “equinoxes” and “solstices” and these are further broken down into seasons. The result is that we have 1 spring “equinox” and 1 summer “solstice” and 1 fall equinox and 1 winter “solstice.” If you want to be technical and you want to understand why people in biblical times are said to live to ages of 100-150 and beyond it is because they calculated 1 year as being only 182 days. Years were counted seasonally. Spring and summer were counted as 1 year and fall and winter were counted as a 1 full year too.
The meanings of “equinoxes” and “solstices” are simple to understand;
On each “equinox” daytime and night time periods are exactly equal. The spring equinox occurs every year around the 21st of March and that is the point when there are 12 hrs of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. Once we are past the “spring equinox” the days become longer than the nights by 1-2 minutes every 24 hours.
The Fall equinox is the same, daytime and night time are each exactly 12 hours each and just past the fall “equinox” on or around the 21rst of September the exact opposite becomes true, the days become shorter and the night darkness longer by 1-2 minutes every 24 hours.
Ok so what are “solstices?”
Solstices are “peak” points of a season. The Summer Solstice occurs on or around June 21rst yearly and there is more light than dark. Summer Solstice is the longest Day of the year. In keeping with flow of time the exact opposite happens on December 21st of each year. This is the longest night of the year; there is more darkness than light in 24 hrs.
OK, what does this have to do with Halloween? Well here we must think for a moment about Easter. This spring holiday is always celebrated on the first Sunday AFTER the first full moon following the spring equinox, (March 20-21 every year) and is a signal of new life. It is a fertile and expansive period of growth with plenty of light.
Ah ha, it’s beginning to come clear, yes! You know what’s going to happen next don’t you. After the Fall equinox of September 21st when the day and night are exactly 12 hrs each the nights become longer and the days shorter and it grows cool and then cold. The earth contracts and appears to sleep, resting, dormant, so as to prepare for another cycle of activity when the days become longer than the nights. And this is the beginning of the Halloween season, Sawain, the period of contraction before the deep sleep during the dark dormant winter period. Although we celebrate Halloween on October 31rst, it actually occurs on the dark of the moon in October. To explain further;
Halloween is the dark of the moon that follows the first new moon AFTER the autumn equinox. The days are shorter, the weather is crisp and cool and the harvest is almost complete. The earth mother has provided food and encouraged growth and she is weary, tired and wants to rest. So she goes to sleep a little earlier every day and her attention lapses. The horned Hunter, the Winter god is not yet fully awake but he is stirring now but not fully aware, hmm.
Both the female and male aspects of the season are only half paying attention. What is that old saying? When the cats away the mice will play? Yep, that’s it and that is exactly what Sawain energy is about, mischievous and immature energies playing around while there is no earth mother or horned father to supervise the play. So the energy can get disruptive and spooky, but not for long. The new moon in October means that daddy is awake and on his way to check out the children.
The horned god, humanities daddy, the male deity, he who presides over the cold, darkness of winter, he who hunts the wild beasts and keeps us warm and safe and fed by the fire while our earth mother sleeps. We are loved.
And so the spring and summer give way to the fall and winter, the female energy wanes and the male energy reigns, the balance of power has shifted and a new cycle of activity is born.
And this is what Halloween is all about, the brief period between the change of the power balance between female energy and male energy, the change of the seasonal cycles and the beginning of a new year, the male half of the year.
Halloween is the beginning of the reign of the horned God who hunts the wild beast across cold barren land and provides warmth and laughter and distributes the earth mothers remaining bounty and many loving gifts of his own spirit during the Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s celebrations before he too begins to tire and longs to slumber.
But that time is still far away and for now we look to welcome the horned go who comes to us on the heels of Halloween and guides us through the cold dark winter season and shows us so much Love;
And this is what Sawain, the Spirit of Halloween is and why it is so important to us all,
With A Boo and a Spooky Yahoo *Happy Halloween
The Mystic Wendy