October, October, Octobre, the wicket month of the year when the veil between us and them has thinned to allow us to go deep into our Earth consciousness. And as the October veil thins, we're reminded that October is the tenth month of the year on today's calendar, but was the eighth month of the old pagan calendar, and sacred to the goddess Astraea. She was the daughter Zeus and Themis and lived among humans during the Golden Age. But when civilization began to degenerate, she withdrew to the upperworld. The myth of the loss of the Golden Age is appropriate for this time of year when the chills of autumn tell us that the golden days of summer have past and winter's death is here.
In the Celtic tree calendar, October begins in the ivy month, Gort, which runs until October 27th. The reed month, Noetal follows. The goddess calendar month of Mala expires on October 2nd, it is followed by the month dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Hathor, ending on the 30th. The final day of October, Halloween or November Eve, is the first day of the month ruled by the goddess Samhain, this is the Irish name of the month of November, to which I will have a lot to speak about next month, but for now, know that the festival of Samhain begins at sunset on October 31st, the New Year of the Celtic tradition.
The birthstone of October is the opal, which is seen as a protector against painful times, and as the old adage goes:
October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitudes must know:
But lay an Opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.
(Yeah, that's some good stuff.)
The flowers for October are the Cosmos and Marigold. The cosmos stands for harmony, beauty, and self-reliance. The marigold symbolizes purity, auspiciousness, and the divine. The strong fragrance of a marigold is believed to ward off evil spirits -- a much welcomed fragrance this time of year, wouldn't you say?
October is shared by the astrological signs of Libra the Scales (or Balance) and Scorpio the Scorpion, and is scared to the following Pagan deities: Cernunnos, Hecate, the Morrigan, Osiris, and the Wiccan Goddess in Her dark aspect as the Crone.
The I Ching hexagram for October is Hex 22, Contemplation. As expected, this is a time for reflecting, being quiet, and doing inner work.
In Tess Whitehurst's wonderful blog on withcraft and magic, she writes, "...the veil of autumn is the place where the everyday illusion of separation brushes up against the divine truth of eternity and universal interconnection. The place where form meets spirit, seen meets unseen, known meets unknown."
In the Irish Farmers Journal, eleven modern day Druids were asked to define the veil of October, and twelve different answers were given, the one I liked best is the one about the Crone, who comes to strip the leaves from the trees, to quicken the decay of the flesh of the year, so that it may feed the new life to come.
Yes, as the world around us dies, so too, can the internal aspects of our life which we no longer need, for example: the decaying friends telling us to go for it, as we guzzle another beer, maybe its time we leave that one behind. Let it decay with the leafs to nourish a new day of sobriety. Or this can be applied to any another aspects of our lives needing healing. In my case, maybe I'll stop dreaming of Manly P Hall, yes, that would be a twist in m sobriety, now wouldn't it?
Sadly, I must leave you with a preposition because, well, that rule has died, now hasn't it?
~~ Eso Terry