“Hallowe’en developed from the Celtic feast of Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-in’), which marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. For the Celts, Samhain was the beginning of the year and the cycle of the seasons. Samhain was a time when the Celts acknowledged the beginning and ending of all things . . . For the Celts, Samhain was a time when the gates between this world and the next were open. It was a time of communion with the spirits of the dead, who, like wild autumnal winds, were free to roam the earth. At Samhain, the Celts called upon their ancestors, who might bring warnings and guidance to help in the year to come.
Samhain was a time of change and transformation where both the past and present met with the uncertain tides of the future yet to come. It was a time for magic and divination, when Druids and Soothsayers would forecast the events of the coming year . . . For the Celts, Samhain was both an end-of-summer feast and a time of communion with the realm of the spirit.”
— Ronald Hutton, The Stations of the Sun
Full Moon in Taurus
The Full Moon in Taurus on October 31 will illuminate the night of Samhain, the traditional holiday of augmented access to the otherworldly realm of spirits and ancestors. With the lunation forming an exact conjunction with Uranus in Taurus, we can expect sudden announcements and revelations that radically reshape storylines. Though potent activations of Uranus can ultimately create an emancipatory effect, the rush of its lightning strikes upon impact can feel disorienting and unsettling. We will be well served by feeding and communing with our ancestors, drawing from their deep well of experience and resources. No matter how much fear or anxiety we are harboring due to current collective crises, we can rest assured our ancestors have traversed even bleaker circumstances in the past. We may draw upon the light of the lunation to kindle faith and strength of heart that we may carry into the unknown future before us.
It’s further fitting that Samhain is a traditional time of endings and beginnings, as the propulsive force of the lunation united with Uranus will unleash events that will carry us into the new astrological era coming at the end of the year that will be a pivotal influence over our future ancestors. At the same time, the nonlinear nature of Uranus can activate memories that pull us back into contemplation of old stories that need to be felt and processed. There are so many threads of intersecting ancestral and personal issues weaving and reweaving into the tangled knot of collective crises we are experiencing, our only hope for unraveling it all will come through learning from our past. As Uranus will be animating the mysterious, nonlinear realm of memory and dreams, make time to explore the deeper meaning of the images and experiences that emerge, listening to the larger message they are bringing about where we have come from and how it spirals into the path ahead.
The influence of Uranus over the Taurus Full Moon is especially potent due to it occurring at the midpoint of the retrograde phase of Uranus, when Uranus forms an opposition with the Sun and comes as close as the distant planet can get to Earth in its orbit. The liberating impact of Uranus on the lunation can bring awareness to beliefs and patterns we have been fixated upon due to our hunger for security in an ever changing reality. We may not only gain realization for ways ways we have been complicit with problematic systems for a sense of comfort, but also the impetus to disentangle ourselves from structures that make a societal impact out of alignment with our values. With Uranus unleashing its shattering effect during the Full Moon, see if there is a more authentic presence and perspective ready to slip out of your old identity and attachments like a serpent slithering away from its shedded skin.
The volatility pulsating underneath the Taurus Full Moon is further shown by Mercury stationing direct in Libra a few days later on November 3. Mercury stationing will saturate the astrological landscape with its presence and necessitate focused mindfulness due to it forming a sequence of catalyzing square aspects with Saturn in Capricorn that will become exact on November 1 and November 6. Thus the entire week following the Full Moon will be dominated by the friction built between Mercury in Libra and Saturn in Capricorn.
Since Mercury will be slowing down to pause in stillness before slowly beginning to move forward again, its aspect with the solid stone of Saturn will necessitate taking things slow with a plodding pace and sharply thorough mental focus. We will be called to question matters as delays force us to further contemplate the revivified presence and direction emerging for us out of the recent three week period of Mercury retrograde in Scorpio and Libra. Instead of impatiently trying to force things out of frustration, keep a steady and alert focus and be ever ready to spontaneously shift directions or flexibly make alterations as needed. Saturn and Mercury will point to utilizing Necessity as the mother of invention, guiding us toward what needs to be modified or further developed whether we like it or not.
Crucially, Mercury will be re-emerging from its period of invisibility to become visible as a Morning Star before sunrise in the days following the Full Moon. As Mercury will be delivering major announcements and sharing its oracular light, we may bridge its creative potency and openness to new visions with the discipline, pondering, and traditional lineages of Saturn. It will be possible to conduct deeply penetrative research or make significant progress on projects by working through issues step by step with devotion. It will be the time of the tortoise in which slow and steady wins the race.
Venus rules the Full Moon from its airy home of Libra. The return of Venus to a sign where it can express itself directly and fully is notable due to the past few months having been dominated by the two planets that tend to stir up the most trouble, Mars and Saturn, residing in their own zodiacal homes of sovereignty. While Venus entering Libra will not magically rebalance the innumerable injustices and inequities that have been erupting across society, it does bring a surge of restorative air into the volatile astrological mix. Venus sharing the sign of Libra with Mercury will also help mediate the aforementioned tension taking place between Mercury and Saturn through grace, charming communication, and the art of critical thinking.
Venus directly expresses its essence of beauty, style, and harmony in Libra, yet will be traversing difficult astrological terrain between the Taurus Full Moon on October 31 and the Scorpio New Moon on November 14. In the week following the Full Moon, Venus in Libra will be heading straight into an opposition with Mars retrograde in Aries that will become exact on November 9 with Venus at 15°21′ Libra and Mars at 15°21′ Aries. With Venus sovereign and securely at home in Libra facing off with an agitated Mars slowing down to station direct in its fiery home of Aries, the tension jarred loose by the propulsive Taurus Full Moon will be unleashed within amplified conflicts. The way forward lies with Venus, as the star of Aphrodite will be able to draw upon the strength of its own resources to help mediate and mend whatever becomes torn apart.
Rather than further imploding already polarized conflicts, Venus sharing the sign of the Scales with a stationing and heliacal rising Mercury can facilitate discourse that balances differing points of view, recalibrating our response so that we may better navigate the minefield of trigger points that will exacerbate conflict if set off. Through deep listening and mindful consideration we can remain sensitized to the power dynamics and triggers of tension within relationships, leading to insights for how to mediate conflicts and facilitate cooperation or support from allies when needed. Venus in the cardinal sign of Libra will be able to make quick adjustments and initiate new movements when required.
After Venus moves through its opposition with Mars, it will flow into an intensifying square aspect with Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn as Jupiter and Pluto complete their third and final conjunction of the year on November 12. Although Venus will not complete its square aspect with Jupiter and Pluto until after the Scorpio New Moon on November 14, the friction between Venus with Jupiter and Pluto will be building throughout the waning half of the current lunar cycle. It’s notable that Venus will be in the superior position of being in the tenth place from Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn in Capricorn, a hopeful sign for addressing issues of injustice and inequity that have been exacerbated and exposed by Jupiter and Saturn ending and beginning new cycles with Pluto during 2020.
The final conjunction between Jupiter and Pluto on November 12 will correspond with momentous events that reshape narratives due to Mars finally stationing direct at the same time on November 13. Previously in 2020 there were conjunctions between Jupiter and Pluto on April 4 and June 30, and so there will be resolution and deepening development of storylines connected with those previous dates. The archetypal meaning of Jupiter and Pluto uniting is multivalent, including corrupt power grabs manipulated by power structures as well as the exposure of corruption that empowers direct action by social justice movements. There is immense potential for volcanic eruptions of conflict due to Mars stationing direct at the same time, a fact that has been a concerning forecast for a long time by astrologers in relation to the presidential election in the USA since both sides of the political spectrum believes that the other side will be fraudulently manipulating the outcome.
While many collective events will be out of our control as Jupiter and Pluto unite and Mars stations direct, we will be able to take responsibility for our own response and remain steadfast and accountable to our essential values and concern for the well being of our community. With Venus in Libra simultaneously moving from an opposition with Mars into a square with Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as Mercury in Scorpio applying to its third opposition with Uranus, it will be imperative for each and every one of us to help out those in need and to take action rooted in our moral compass.
Taurus 1 Decan
The first face of Taurus where the Full Moon in Taurus culminates is connected with the Five of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The Five of Pentacles is often associated with worry and fear over not having enough money or resources. Yet the poverty stricken figures in front of the stained glass window of a cathedral suggest that resources can be found in both the realm of spirit as well as in charitable communities. Mercury rules the first face of Taurus, linking the commerce of Mercury with the fertile, earthy nature of the sign of the Bull. Mercury makes the connections we need for our livelihood, and in the first decan of Taurus we discover our capacity not only to gain enough resources for our own survival but to also contribute assistance to those in greater need so they are not left out in the cold.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Plow” to the first face of Taurus, noting the “face is traditionally connected to all of the sciences necessary to draw forth fruit from the land.” Coppock stated “the power this decan grants is that of understanding how to create growth,” adding that we must also realize that “the mind, heart and body are all ripe fields, which offer abundance when cultivated.” Coppock further noted that the emphasis the first decan of Taurus puts on using available resources to increase gain also brings up the shadow of fear that bleak times may arise if we disengage from constant planning and hard work. Yet ultimately Coppock concluded that “the true work of this decan is in the equilibriation of work and pleasure,” as there are also many sensual delights to be encountered in the first face of Taurus.
The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed Charis to the first decan of Taurus, linking the Charites of mythology to the charity we can find in the image of the Five of Pentacles card and the meaning of the first face of Taurus. The Charites are the same as the three Graces you are most likely familiar with, commonly known as Splendor, Mirth, and Good Cheer, though various traditions have additional names as well as numbers for these charming, fertile beings. Fittingly for the Shining Samhain Moon, the Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.
As Mercury stations direct in the days following the Taurus Full Moon, amidst the volatility within current events it will be important to cultivate your inner agriculture of soul that will align you with the good graces. Just like the chthonic Charites loved to bring their blessings of fertility to ancient banquets, so will your ancestors enjoy feasting with you this Samhain while attending to your concerns with their guidance. Make sacred space for centering and receiving the grace of heartfelt faith in finding your way through the tumultuous ending of 2020.
If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. My intention with Patreon is to receive enough support to not only help me continue to offer the articles I have been doing for free, but to also expand the scope of what I am offering. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Hutton, Ronald. (1996). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford Press.