Happy new year, dear friends! For those of us following the Pagan Wheel of the Year, we just celebrated the New Year at Samhain, the third harvest, which coincides with Halloween. We’ve been doing some real deep diving, having examined the Taurus-Scorpio axis at the last full moon, and reconnecting with our ancestors at Samhain. This is the time of the year when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, so messages from our helping spirits are louder, and it’s a perfect time to do divinatory work.
Samhain falls in the middle of Scorpio season, which makes sense on so many levels. Scorpio is the darkest and deepest of the signs in the zodiac. It’s a water sign, and holds our raw, unfiltered emotions and personal truths. It’s gritty and honest. Scorpio is the seat of desire in all forms, that entices us to enjoy our humanity, and to do so without shame. When I speak to folks about Scorpio, what usually comes to their mind first is the negative side of Scorpio: jealousy, vindictiveness, manipulation. These are undeniable traits of the scorpion, but this is the shadow side. Scorpio is the most transformative of the signs. It is a gateway to profound healing and transformation for those who learn how to work with its energies.
In tarot, Scorpio is linked to the Death card. The Death card is the ultimate metaphor in tarot, signifying not physical death, but the shedding of the old self. This is the metaphor of the phoenix, who consumed his body in fire and is reborn from the ashes. The Death card asks us to fully trust and surrender, because only in completely letting go of ourselves can we become the next step in our personal evolutions. This is how we transition into the new year: saying good-bye to the selves we were, so we can welcome in the growth we are ready for. In the Mesquite Tarot’s version of the Death card, we see a snake spiraling up the shaft of the scythe, as the edge of the blade drips with blood. The snake is a signal of kundalini, our life force, which is rising from the pooling blood at Death’s feet. (Also pictured: Aquarian Tarot, The Wild Unknown Tarot)
As you continue to move through Scorpio season, ask yourself if you’re ready to transform, and take the time to figure out what that will look like for you. I’ve included a brief exercise here, which might help you pave the way.
A Releasing Spell
You will need: a candle (and something to light it), a small piece of paper and a pen, a small fire safe container or dish.
Before you start, take the time to set up your sacred space, in whatever manner resonates for you. You may want to burn sage to clear the energies, sing, use rattles, or do anything that helps signal to you and your helping spirits that you are disengaging from the mundane and preparing for ceremony.
Set up your work space with your tools and sit or stand in front of them. Take a deep, cleansing breath and clear your mind so you can focus only on this ceremony. Call out to your helping spirits:
I call out to my helping spirits, my power animals and my ancestral guides, to aid and support me in this work.
This is a first step in allowing change into your life, and we do so with the understanding that we are at the center of our own existence. Think of one (just one, remember change happens one step at a time) pattern or thought of behavior that you engage in that does not serve your highest and best. Write it down on your piece of paper and set it aside.
Now pick up your candle, which you will be charging with specific intent. Set up your candle in a candle holder or stick it to a safe surface by melting the bottom. Once it’s secure, use your thumb and index finger on your right hand to stroke the candle from tip to base. As you do this, hold clear in your mind’s eye the intent to draw down the capacity and motivation to bring this change into your life. Continue doing this until you feel your candle is fully charged with this intent, and then light the candle.
Using the flame of your candle, burn the piece of paper where you wrote down what you intend to release. Let the paper burn completely, and dispose of the ashes. You can let them blow away in the wind, or even flush them down the toilet. Let the candle burn down all the way.
You don’t have to watch the candle as it burns completely, but as you close out your ceremony, thank your helping spirits, power animals and ancestral guides, for witnessing your ritual and ask them to support and aid you as you move through this transformation.