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"Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves
. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!"
H. Wolfe

October Balance
October 2017
Although now the year's tenth month, through Roman times October was the eight month of the year and has always carried 31 days. Standing on the exact opposite side of the wheel from April, October is to Winter what April is to Summer. Bright blue skies juxtaposed with cool, clear days, the scent of burning leaves and logs filling the evening air; the chilly nights bring the leaves to their golden peak before fading into the sepia tones of winter. The Full Moon of October is called the "Hunter's Moon."

“The crickets still sing in October. And Lily, she's trying to bloom. Tho she's resting her head on the shoulder of death, she still shines by the light of the moon.”   ~Kevin Dalton

October's colors are all shades of blue, with the month's flowers the caldenula and the cosmos. October's animals are the cat and the mute swan, with the gem stones represented by the opal and tourmaline.

October Holidays & Messages

Solar and lunar forces are said to be in unison during the month of October; a time of direct, penetrating vision, the gaining of knowledge and the capability of discovering order in the unknown. October is known for its "Second Summer" throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In Sweden, it is called St. Bridget's Summer, in the US, it is Indian Summer, while in Italy is the Summer of St. Teresa; in German and Switzerland, it is the Summer of St. Gall; and in England, St. Luke's Summer.

Most of the holiday's in October reflect the general theme: Reflection and balance, beginning with the Jewish Day of Atonement (Variable dates), a holdover from Babylonian times to review the past year and bring harmony back to the soul. October 5th is the Greek Day of the Holy Spirit going back in antiquity with reverence for the Great Mother (Hagia Sophia). October 11-13 was Thesmorphia, the Greek Festival of Women's Rights, also known as the Festival of Demeter, was a 3 day observation of purification and celebration. Also on October 11th was the Roman Bacchanalian festival of Vinalia, or the harvest thanksgiving when new wine was tested.

October had tremendous possibility. The summer's oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the colored leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.” ~Sarah Gilloroy

On October 12th, the Romans observed the Holiday of the Goddess of Happy Journeys, asking Fortuna Redux for favorable times for long trips; put Chamomile flowers on the bottom of your suitcase for good luck on the road or in the air.

The Roman Festival of Fontinalia was marked on October 13th, venerating fountains, holy wells and springs; with the mystery of harmony within a disharmonious world manifested. October 14th marked the beginning of the Winter season in the old northern European caldendar when long distance sailing and other summer activities ceased in preparation for the coming months of cold. In Rome, October 15th marked the tradition of Winter's Day, a day later than in the norht; here the season of combat ended with weapons put away until the following year.

"Not all those who wander are lost." ~ J.R.R. Tokien

On October 17th, St. Audrey's Day was marked by a famous fair at St. Ives where trinkets and "tawdrey" jewelry was sold. It is also the Asatru Festival of Hengest, commemorating the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Eastern Britain in the fifth century. October 18th was the celebration of the Greek Goddess Pandrosos, the all refreshing one, the deified first priestess of Minerva. It was also St. Luke's Day, the final chance of the year for Summer in the English tradition.

October 25th is the Feast of Saints Crispin and Crispinianus, immortalized in Shakespear's Henry V, in the king's speech before the battle of Agincourt, fought on this day in 1415. The Celtic Festival of Fyribod, or Forebode on October 28th, is a marker of Winter and bad weather, beginning a time of introspection, analysis, seeking and finding order.

"Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land." ~Walt Whitman

The Universal event is October 31, Samhain or Halloween, the definitive marking of Summer's end. The October Message is: To let go, to clean, to remember, with the primary activity being to prepare for winter. This is the month to think about our own mortality; the veil is the thinnest between the worlds on October 31, when dead souls were though to visit their living relatives. According to Celtic legend, the four great grandmothers of Halloween hold four great treasures: The cauldren of rebirth represents pleasure; the stone of destiny represents power, the spear represents courage and the sword, spoken of in so many legends, stands for knowledge.

"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep,
so a life well used brings happy death."

~ Leonardo da Vinci

During the Victorian Era in England, with the death of Prince Albert in December of 1861, death took on an air of national mourning that lasted almost 50 years. Concurrently, the Civil War in the United States (1861-1965), resulted in hundreds of thousands of war dead, culminating in the death of President Lincoln. Victorian death rituals involved elaborate rules for clothing, jewelry and the length of mourning periods that included "death pictures" and hair jewlery of the deceased. For a peek into Victorian death rites go and have a look.

With the sign of Libra, the desire for justice is seen in the scales, and October is a very good month to tidy up the soul. Make a list of things that are weighing you down - resentments, anger - simply think through your life and see what is no longer needed or wanted. Let go of all the negativity you can do absolutely nothing about, sweeping these destructive thoughts and feelings from your life. The Egyptian Goddess Ma'at is the perfect representative to assist in this type of activity. Read a bit about this most important Goddess and use this energy to rid yourself of things holding you back, personally, professionally or psychically.

Look at things in your life that need changing and use the energy of October as a time of acceptance and completion. In this month of Libra, the seasons come into balance and in her light, the world finds rest.

Author Biography

L.J. Ross is a 35 year veteran of the medical profession, with over 25 years as an active participant in tarot reading and interpretation. The Tarot for Today Workbook is the end result in a 10 year process of reading, teaching and giving workshops using this text. Member of the American Tarot Association.

This web site, book, and tarot reading is not a substitute for medical, psychological, financial or legal counseling. The information supplied in a reading is not legally binding, nor can I assume legal liability for any damages, losses, or other consequences of any client decisions, subsequent to, or based on, my book or readings. No refunds on products or services