The Depth Psychology & Women’s Mysteries of Halloween

It was All Saint’s Day and Day of the Dead yesterday, All Soul’s Day today, New Moon tonight or Lunar Samhain.  I put a quote on WWW’s FB page out of a book called “The Herbal Lore of Wise Women and Wortcunners”.  The etymology of the word wortcunner basically means root-knower.  The quote was about Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls Day being an acculturated holiday from the old Celts.  It’s true, in our ancestral DNA all of us have memories of times when we were connected to the rhythms of the earth, the stars, the waters, the moon.  Our ancestors, no matter what the country or tribe, have these indigenous practices and ways in our very cells.  In fact, part of the women’s mysteries include the neuro-scientific proof of something called behavioral epigenetics that I encourage doubters to look into. The natural growing seasons of life and death are an inseparable, intrinsic part of who we are.  It is our birthright to re-own this knowledge of which we, in actuality, rose up out of the earth as extensions of…

The quote ended with this thought:  “The spirits of the dead have become trick-or-treating kiddies and flying witches are but fairy stories…By now, however, folklorists do believe, once again, that witches fly to the moon–that sphere behind the external world of appearances.”  Meaning the wise woman or man takes this time, and takes regular time, to quietly and reverently go within.  To go deep inside, to her own sphere behind appearances~

Why do I call this a women’s mystery? Because menstrual wisdom, the cycles of life and then quiet reflection and retreat teach us this.  The time every month when we shed what is no longer needed, as all of nature does, moves us intuitively through dying to the process of rebirth again and again.

It is an aspect of depth psychology, as well, which is the study of the unconscious.  To know the unconscious we pay attention to symbols and images, in waking life and in our dreams.   The moon, as noted in the above quote, is the symbol of what is within, as the moon hangs central to the infinite blackness of the night sky.   It is a symbol, and as all symbols, holds its own messagry and wisdom that is specific to each and every one of us.  Acknowledging this interconnectedness on a night like tonight takes advantage of several layers of meaning.  First, the rhythmic oneness of nature of which we all are a part.  Second, the symbolic, unique inner experience that each individual is prompted to unlock for his or her self.  As within, so without–or to your own self being true.  That is a wisdom axiom pointing to the power of your own unconscious and what lies inside.  The moon, on this dark night, is the preeminent symbol of this.  She is at her stillpoint, her death.  Just as All Souls or Day of the Dead symbolically prompts us, we seek inside for the parts of us that have been disowned, repressed, shoved away or too far down.  We seek to be honest, gentle, and begin within.

In my own meditation today I was visited by the Goddess Kuan Yin.  I earnestly intended the question, what power or energy ought I mediate and pray on this coming season.  Kuan Yin came to me in Goddess cards, with the medicine of compassion and mercy and unconditional love for self.  She is especially known as a protector of women, which was significant in that my meditation had to do with healing very old, dark wounds to my sexuality and sense of self.


As the sun went down this eve I burnt tea lights in my window, three separate intents for three separate prayers for our world.  I continue to burn a pillar candle for my own inner self, an orange candle in reverence of my ancestors and their wisdom, and a candle for the (archetype of) Virgin Mary, whose love and compassion has been a hugely healing force in my psyche this year.  I will keep these burning each night til the retrograde has passed.  Working with this kind of consciousness, intentionally burning candles for example, sets in our psyche a reverence and awareness that permeates into our everyday.


Happy New Year, all you with Irish blood.  Happy Sukkoth, All Souls, and Festivals of Baba Yaga, Inana, and Hecate, to name a few of the many cultural celebrations uniquely honoring the same thing at this time of year.  The beginning, from the end.

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