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Friday, 2 November 2012

Summer's End!

Before I start I would just like to say that for ease of convenience when I use the term "man" in this blog post I am referring to both sexes.

It is that time of year when ghosts, goblins, monsters and witches come out to play. Yes, it is Halloween again, also called Samhain, which roughly translates as “summer’s end.” It is originally supposed to be a Celtic pagan festival when the year ends and the start of winter heralds forth the beginning of the New Year. Now then, I am not going to bore you by keeping on about the associations of Halloween with its ancient pagan origins and practices, but, instead, I am hopefully going to help you to step outside the box of what has mundanely come to be the normal excepted way of thinking about death, especially in regards to this festival. I will explain in a clear and easy to understand way the esoteric meaning to this most misunderstood time of the year.  Although, While doing so, my thoughts upon this topic are either going to be very much welcomed by those who have an open mind, or most earnestly rejected by many of those in the occult world through fear of jeopardising certain modern beliefs.

Halloween is said to be one of the times of the year when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, and therefore the dead are much more easily contacted. This makes perfect sense when looking at the astrological sign the Sun enters into at this time, which is Scorpio. The scorpion is the symbol of death, and therefore matter, because it is matter that brings forth death. In Greek mythology the earth goddess Gaia (in some versions Artemis) sends the scorpion to kill the god Orion by stinging him to death.

There is a really interesting story in ancient Egyptian mythology, as is shown on the back of the Metternich stela, which has an image of Horus standing on crocodiles while holding snakes and scorpions in his hands. The young Horus (Harpokrates) is killed by the sting of a scorpion not long after he is born. This causes his mother Isis, to utter many heartbreaking laments which are heard by her sister Nephthys, (who is also weeping for Horus) who comes from the marshes with the scorpion goddess Serqet. The scorpion goddess advises Isis to pray to the gods of heaven, and after doing so her voice reaches the Boat of Millions of Years, and causes the Sun to stand still. Thoth then descends from the celestial boat, and comes down to utter his magic spell, raising Horus back to life from the dead. (E. A. Wallis Budge, 1912)

Although the previous story is ancient Egyptian, it has some particular interesting associations to Halloween. What with death by a scorpion, lamenting, and the raising of the dead, you could easily be forgiven for thinking you are reading about Goetia! In the ancient writings, such creatures like scorpions and the like, were seen as manifestations of negative forces. As is also shown in the Bible with the words of Christ:
Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10: 18.)

Besides just possibly being arbitrary associations to this time of the year, what does all of the above have to do with Halloween? To explain this we first need to briefly turn back to the autumn equinox, which is the previous pagan festival falling around September 21. This is when the hours of light and darkness are of the same length. It is at this period (which just so happens to be called the “fall”) when life in nature appears to be dying as the light of the Sun begins to wane. Esoterically, this symbolises the death of the divine soul, and the divine part of the soul is always symbolised as the Sun in the ancient writings. Also at this time the Sun enters the astrological sign of Libra, which signifies balance. This, according to esoteric knowledge is the balance between the forces of spirit and matter. Which are always symbolised in pairs of opposites, like light and darkness, or day and night. From here on the forces of matter take predominance, and the soul becomes subjected to the woes of matter's influence. This is the reason why in many myths the innate divinity is lamented, because it has to die to its spiritual state in the heavenly realm above, in order to incarnate into the kingdom below.

The kingdom below the spiritual world is none other than our very own earth, physical matter. This, unbeknown to almost everyone in the occult scene at the moment, (unless of course they have kept very quiet about it) is the underworld!! I hinted at this in one of my previous blog posts about the “Penitential Psalms” where I spoke about the esoteric meaning of the so called “dead,” here:

The etymology of the word “underworld” taken from Chambers, suggest exactly this premise: “underworld. 1608, the lower world, Hades, 1609, the earth as distinguished from heaven” (Chambers Dictionary of Etymology 1988)

This is in accordance with how Apuleius describes the celestial and infernal gods in The Golden Ass:

 “I approached near unto hell, even to the gates of Proserpine, and after that I was ravished throughout all the elements, I returned to my proper place: about midnight I saw the sun brightly shine, I saw likewise the Gods celestial and the gods infernal, before whom I presented myself and worshipped them. (Apuleius, n.d.)

Here in the spiritual awakening of Apuleius, he describes where man will stand, which is on earth at midpoint between the infernal beings below him, and the higher spiritual beings above him. A relevant etymological link that could easily apply here is with the word “man”, which is linked to the root “men- to think. Because it is the thinking capability of the mind that makes us human. Therefore, the conscious mind of man is exactly midpoint between the influences of the material forces of hell below that act through the sub- consciousness, and the spiritual forces of heaven above, which act through the super-consciousness. Heaven, earth and hell are states of being reflected through the mind of man, and which can all be experienced here on the physical plane! Cue the music:  :D

This type of perspective can also be seen to be prevalent in the grimoires of the Renaissance period, as shown in Stephen Skinner and David Rankine's Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic -Volume 2. The Keys To The Gateway of Magic, being a transcription of a British Library Sloane MS 3825, called Janua Magica Reserata. Where it says:

As therefore amongst, the good spirits, there is a proper Keeper or protector, Deputed to & set over every one corroborating the mind of man to good &c – so from amongst orders of Evil Spirits, there is by Divine permission, sent forth an Enemy ruling over the flesh, & the desires thereof; & the Good spirits fight for us as a preserver against the Enemy of the flesh. Now man lies between those two, in the middle, & safe (amidst those contenders) in the Hand of his own Counsel, to which of them he will give Victory” (Anon., n.d.)

The festivals of the year are the celebrations of the turning points in the evolution of man’s spiritual development. Therefore the equinox represents the fall of the divine soul to its incarnation into matter; this was symbolically termed the death of the soul! Halloween is the festival that esoterically celebrates the death of the soul, not the death of the physical body!

It just so happens that the period between the autumn equinox and Halloween is forty days long. This is a significant number that is used in the scriptures numerous times. For example; Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness, while being tempted by the devil (Mathew 4:1-2). The Israelites were in the wilderness for forty years (Deuteronomy 8:2). So what does this significant number represent? This is lucidly put forth with these words:

Forty days was the ancient cryptogram in number for the period of the seed’s incubation in the ground or matter before germinating, therefore a glyph for the general fact of incarnation, the end of all the forty day periods would signalise the perfection of the product of the incarnational experience. Halloween ends the forty days from the vernal equinox, as Easter ends the forty days of Lent. So Candlemas ends the forty days from Christmas. The conclusion of the period of the soul’s tenancy of the body is presumed to have raised the constituent matter of the body in which it was housed to final purification” (A.B. Kuhn, 1948).

What happens when the soul incarnates into matter? It houses itself into a body of flesh which is governed by the natural animal instincts and desires. Just like Virgil said: “The lower part a beast, a man above” (The Aeneid, n.d.)
In the Chaldean Oracles, according to Thomas Taylor in one of his footnotes in Iamblichus's, On The Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians.  It says: “The wild beasts of the earth shall inhabit thy vessel” (Anon, n.d.)

The divine soul that dies when incarnating into an animal body, and hiding behind the mask of the personality, brings a much more logical meaning to the revelries of Halloween than does the current exoteric interpretation that is excepted by the masses!

The day after Halloween celebrates the Christian feast of All Saints day, what can this mean, but to imply after the incarnation into matter the soul seeks to attain its spiritualised state of mind. Halloween is about the development of the animal, which must come before the development of the spiritual. 
 As St Paul said:

 “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural: and afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven” (Corinthians 15:46-47)

I could go on and on with more references and quotes from the ancient writings that confirm all these ideas presented in this blog post. But, that will be enough to take up a book! ;-)


E.A. Wallis Budge., 1912. Gods of The Egyptians. Dover Publications June 1, 1969

Anon., 1988. Chambers Dictionary of Etymology. 10 ed. Croydon: Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd.

Apuleius, L., n.d. The Golden Ass. s.l.:s.n.

S. Skinner & D. Rankine. 2005. The Keys to the Gateway of Magic: Summoning the Solomonic Archangels and Demon Princes.1st ed. Singapore: Golden Hoard Press.

A.B. Kuhn. 1948. Who Is This King Of Glory. San Diego. The Book Tree.

Virgil, n.d. The Aeneid. Book Six.

Iamblichus, n.d. On The Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians. 1st U.S. ed. Miami. Cruzian Mystic Books

Anon, n.d. The Bible.


  1. Just to add to the interesting factor on the number 40 and the body/soul... as an embryo develops it is usually around 40 to 45 days that the first rudimentary brain activity begins.

    Side note: In Tibetan Buddhism the soul reincarnates between 40-49 days after death.

    I also wonder if the veil is received "thin" at this time of year more because we mortals are more in tune with "death" in the autumn/winter than in the spring/summer. We resonate better with the spirit world making communication easier.

  2. Those first two points you mention are interesting! I didn't know about them. The time for the average pregnancy is also 40 weeks!

    It could well be, especially considering that nature seems to go through the death process at the start of winter, and after all, we are a part of nature too.

    I also think this is why Halloween was the start of the New Year for the Celts, because it is through death that life starts. This is why the ancients used the term "the dead" for the living who were spiritually dead. But once they had awakened their spiritual nature, they were called "the living."