Despite the cliche, full moons on Halloween night are relatively rare. They occur once every 19 years or so. Blue moons (typically defined as the second full moon in a calendar month) are more common, occurring every 2 and a half years, but on a Halloween night–well, that hasn’t happened since 1944.
Yet to be honest, blue moons aren’t really an energetic thing. That’s because they’re created by the human calendar, not the cycles of nature. Plus their origins are suspicious. Same-month blue moons were accidentally invented in 1946 by a confused writer for Sky & Telescope magazine. He misread the Maine Farmers’ Almanac which had invented their “blue moons” in the 1800s, describing the 3rd full moon in a 4-full-moon season.
Even so, the error has persisted and therefore earned some archetypal credibility in the collective unconscious. Perhaps it’s the poetry in the name. A “blue moon” sounds wistful, melancholic, solitary and reflective–like that haunting Elvis Presley song of the same name. This is a moon that can carry us inward, into our depths.
Yet the real energetic potency of this moon draws from the pagan calendar. It coincides with the cross-quarter holiday Samhain (pronounced “sow-wain”), widely celebrated around the northern hemisphere as Halloween, All Souls Day, and Dia de los Muertos. This is a true “holy day,” a “Sabbat,” one of four doorways into mid-seasonal power on the wheel of the year. And its blessings are in the air from Halloween through November 7 (when the Sun reaches 15 degrees of Scorpio, astrology’s timer for this holiday).
Samhain takes us into the energetic heart of autumn. As the days shorten, the air cools, and the geese fly south; as we take ourselves indoors, wear warmer clothes, and eat heartier foods, we can resist or go willingly into nature’s plan for us–to go inward now and renew our souls, clearing the way for future joys. As the trees are shedding their leaves, if we likewise release what no longer serves–what limits us–we too can unleash new potency in our core. The veils are thin on this special night. We can also cross more easily into other worlds, just as other-worldly beings can cross into ours.
Rituals performed at this time are simply more powerful. Here are three great ways you can tune into the magic of this night.
Release: The Green Fire Ritual
Release is one of Samhain’s superpowers. Perhaps like me you have a startling memory of magic arising after you let go of something you didn’t want to release. One November long ago, I was at the tail end of a painful divorce, when I discovered how powerful a Samhain purge can be. What occurred was a co-worker accidentally broke the last gift my husband ever gave me—a little desk terrarium. I collapsed into such overwhelming grief, even I was surprised. Wasn’t I done with this yet? After so many months of anger, loneliness and tears, I was still holding on to that marriage.
With a friend as support and my shoulders shaking with grief, I performed a simple ritual of letting go. I threw my ex-husband’s last gift into the parking lot dumpster. The next day brought a startling event: I met somebody new. I fell in love! I met the man who five years later would father my son. Room for new futures is made whenever we let go. All waning moons invite us to clear space and release attachments that don’t serve, but this work is especially significant now.
My all-time favorite release ritual is “Green Fire,” which you can read about here. But first, an important tip about spiritual rituals. In truth, the magic is inside you–not in the ritual props or recited words. The Green Fire release is driven by authentic desire, from your heart. People often organize their rituals with their heads–but minds, supple as they are, have a strong capacity to cling. The most auspicious time for this ritual is when your mind is exhausted. when you’re done with trying to control things to go a certain way. Green Fire is designed to work on a surrendered mind; the ritual theater helps to keep it focused.
Connect: Commune with departed souls or difficult peers
You know how sometimes you suddenly think about someone you haven’t thought about in a while, and then a few minutes or a couple hours later you actually hear from them? This often happens to me with clients. Someone suddenly pops into my head for no reason, and then maybe a day or a week later, I receive an email from them wanting to schedule an appointment. I don’t think I’m a psychic reading the future. More likely, the connection between us is triggered when they begin thinking about scheduling; there’s usually a delay between that moment and when they’re ready to take action.
You don’t need to wait for Samhain to realize that we’re all connected–to the living and the dead. I know many otherwise sane people, including myself, who’ve had a clear sense they were receiving messages from the other side–from dreams, voices in the head, odd coincidences. If you don’t dismiss these events, they’re evidence of a spiritual truth. The great Anima Mundi, the World Soul in which we’re all immersed, transcends time. It can connect us with the past, present, and future.
Samhain is a wonderful time to play consciously inside this web of inter-connection, reaching back to your ancestors or forward to significant people in your future. That’s what is meant by the “veils are thin”–you can more easily dissolve yourself into the timelessness of the World Soul.
Simone Harrington, my beloved psychic teacher, also taught me how to use this vast soul space to communicate with difficult people in the present. Of course to do so from your ego would be violating boundaries. What Simone taught me was to simply ask your guides to talk to their guides–and if the matter was worth reaching them, it would get there. Once I used this with a potential business partner–who had kept me on pins and needles for two months while he was considering my proposal. After I asked my guides to make the connection, he called the next day.
Here are more ways to connect with others inside the Anima Mundi at this special Full Moon:
Empower yourself: Your 3rd and last chance for potent Jupiter/Pluto magic
Any ritual that invokes Pluto is perfect for this season–but it’s even better this year, when the last of 2020’s three J/P conjunctions occurs on November 12. I’ve performed this ritual twice this year–both times with such astonishing results, it goes to the top of my list of all-time favorite rituals. Since we have to wait 12 years to do it again, I plan to use this third opportunity!
I typically recommend doing this ritual on a Thursday (Jupiter’s day) under a waxing Moon, but I think it’s perfectly appropriate to do it on this rare Halloween Blue Moon too. Always, the most auspicious day for any ritual is the one on which you’re ready to whole-heartedly throw yourself into it. At the least, you might use this special Full Moon to start attuning yourself to these two archetypes. The three posts below can help to fuel your connection with these planets. Once you know what you’re getting into, gently inquire, where could you use the assistance of these marvelous gods? Let that be your aspiration. Then watch, as Jupiter and Pluto do the rest.
And always, with ritual, it’s important to have fun. The power of play is often underestimated. Yet it’s crucial to inviting the magical forces, who also like to play.
The anger of Mars retrograde is different from Venus’ fury. Hers is deep and transformative; it collects for months underneath her veneer of acquiescence. Venus is meant during her retrograde to come out fighting. But Mars’ anger has no such deep meaning. His fire is a machine that’s stuck in the “on” position. It’s easily petty and superficial. How do you master it?
Planets don’t really travel backwards. Retrogrades are actually illusions—from our vantage on earth. My policy is to use astrology & myth to design the best possible illusions. And while life events can indeed fulfill the calamities predicted—these won’t occur for everyone. Here's how to make this time a positive experience.
If you’ve been on the Venus retrograde journey with me, you know that we’ve been following the transformation paradigm from the ancient Mesopotamian myth of Ishtar. When evening star Venus disappears from the sky (which happened in late May of this year), Ishtar is on a mission. She heads to the underworld to gain new power. The time to develop and use that power is now.
After I post a ritual, I’ll sometimes receive a comment or email with this message: “I did it, but nothing happened.” When that's your experience, it just means that you didn’t sufficiently interest the gods! A ritual is a pas-de-deux—it’s a dance with a nonhuman form of energy. Your sincere attention is attractive.