Monday, October 31, 2016

The Signs of the Holidays



Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s one of those years where I’m not doing anything special for Halloween; at least as far as going out. I might just watch some good horror movies, though, which I haven’t done in forever. You could blame the fact that I was supposed to pick out my costume over the weekend but then came down with a cold and said “screw it”. By the way, Halloween is the day of the year where the transiting Sun in Scorpio is exactly conjunct my Moon and Midheaven. So, it’s always a special day. But, maybe, in the spirit of Scorpio season, the best way for me to celebrate it is to not put myself out there that much and be a lot more reflective.

After all, the time of year when the Sun is conjunct your Midheaven is when you are going to feel the most “seen.” And then the Sun hitting your Moon makes it virtually impossible to not express all of the feelings. So, maybe I should take the opportunity to maintain some of that Scorpio Moon/MC mystery this week and go inward for a bit. Plus, my Lunar Return for October happened the day before Halloween, which is also the Scorpio New Moon. So, it’s a really crazy time for me! I’ve come to terms with a couple of things about my Scorpio side in significant ways in the past few days.

Anyways, enough about me! This holiday has got me thinking about how all of the major holidays (primarily celebrated in the States but also, in some cases, around the world) represent the Sun sign that they occur under. It’s just another reason why astrology is so ingrained in our culture, to a degree that people who aren’t even into astrology don’t understand but still get wrapped up in. Each holiday happens at the time it happens for a reason. Sure, you could possibly blame the religious, political, or historical context of the holidays for their dates. But, surely, the stars aligned in order to have them occur on these dates.

Halloween (October 31) – Sun in Scorpio
This one is probably the most obvious one. Few people would question why Halloween occurs when the Sun is in Scorpio. There is the spooky, creepy, scary theme to Halloween that resonates so well with the dark side of Scorpio. The time of year where we have scary movie marathons, dress up like monsters, and go creeping around in the night in costume. The whole theme of disguising yourself fits with the Scorpio energy because of the mystery and the allure. You get to either hide elements of your usual self or, conversely, highlight elements of yourself that are not usually seen in public. It’s not just in a scary way, either. How many sexy variations of different costumes do we see during Halloween, with both women and men feeling freer to show more skin in order to be a sexy or naughty or slutty whatever-they’re-dressed-as? With Scorpio being so heavily associated with sex and sex appeal, it’s no wonder that this is such a trend during Halloween.

Historically, Halloween is actually All Hallows’ Eve, which is the day before All Saints Day, a pagan holiday during which it was believed that the spirits roamed the earth. This was the time for people to contact the spirits and ward off any evil presences, which they often did by wearing costumes. Thus, it evolved into the tradition of us wearing costumes. But, even the history of Halloween is so Scorpio-like. There is this shroud of mystery, depth, and darkness that surrounds the holiday. It is also fitting that the Western world has turned Halloween into something seemingly superficial. But, in true Scorpio fashion, if you scratch the harmless surface, it’s much deeper and more powerful. Also, don’t forget the tradition of trick-or-treating. It was actually done, back in the olden ways, as a way of protecting people from the dead or, if they didn’t cooperate, bringing a curse upon the house they visited! Now, it’s just about kids stuffing their faces with candy, with an extreme Scorpio relish. But, even now, if you don’t give out the good stuff, these kids may have their revenge! 



Thanksgiving (last Thursday of November) – Sun in Sagittarius
Thanksgiving happens when the Sun is transiting Sagittarius every year. This is very fitting because it is definitely the “biggest” holiday of them all. Even though people may seem to put more energy into Christmas, Thanksgiving often has a way of outdoing that holiday. There’s usually way more food at your Thanksgiving dinner than your Christmas dinner or any other dinner you’ll have that year. And why do you feel so compelled to eat as much as that food as possible and then eat some more, until you go into a food coma? Because Sagittarius does not do half-measures and is very prone to excess. So, clean that plate and have some dessert or get away from the table. Also, the idea of being thankful at Thanksgiving and the often-tiresome tradition your family may have of going around the table and asking what you’re thankful for. Sagittarius is the sign of gratitude, of showing appreciation in order to keep the blessings coming. Acknowledging your blessings during this Sagittarius-ruled holiday can ensure that more of them can come flowing your way.

The historical basis of Thanksgiving is that fateful meeting between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims that the United States was founded on. While some people today grumble about this fact and say that we’re basically celebrating innocent people having their land usurped and violated, our culture sees this holiday with a Sagittarius-like optimism, looking at the bigger picture of how the merging of these two cultures creates America, which we should, again, be thankful for. Also, Sagittarius is about being able to mix with different cultures and traveling to foreign territories in search of positive experiences. Thanksgiving is the essential symbol of this, resulting in the melting pot that is America, a country of immigrants (which some people seem to forget). So, the celebration of this holiday while the Sun is in boundary-hopping Sagittarius makes perfect sense.

Christmas (December 25) – Sun in Capricorn
Christmas is the time of festivities and good cheer, right? We wish you a Merry Christmas! So, why is it happening when the Sun is in Capricorn? Well, the thing that Hallmark doesn’t tell you is that Christmas is regularly a blue period for many people. For one, it can be stressful, which ties into it occurring during Capricorn season. It can be very easy to focus on the money aspect of this holiday, as it’s the only time where we’re all out buying gifts for seemingly everyone. Also, it is the only holiday that requires plenty of that Capricorn patience. We basically celebrate Christmas all December but the Sun doesn’t enter Capricorn until around December 20. By this point, we are already exhausted by decorating, putting up the tree, figuring out what everyone wants, and shopping in overcrowded malls and stores. And then the demands of just being with family! It’s enough to turn you into Scrooge himself. This iconic Christmas figure is a Capricorn stereotype, famous for being an unhappy and difficult workaholic. As a kid, he might have seemed like the bad guy. As an adult (the Capricorn symbol), you might be surprisingly able to relate to him. Once you lose your innocence, you may lose a bit of your love for Christmas.

Yet, let’s not be all negative about it because it can be just as wonderful as the other holidays! But, when you celebrate it, you feel like you are adhering to certain demands. The root of Christmas is that, in the Christian religion, it is the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. This is essentially the person who became the center of Christianity, later going on to die for his people’s sins, living out a very Capricorn-like sense of duty. Now, no matter what you believe, whether you are religious or not religious, there can be a sense of obligation and responsibility that you feel during Christmastime that reflects the Sun being in Capricorn. Your kids ask for certain toys and you feel the need to provide for them. Your family, group of friends, and/or co-workers are exchanging gifts, so now you just have to. It’s another reason why kids, who don’t have to buy anything for anyone, take to the holiday with a much lighter spirit. But, even with children, there’s that famous resistance toward being on Santa’s “naughty list.” A child can suddenly become more well-behaved, Capricorn-style, because they don’t want to be punished by their imaginary father figure who feels so real.

New Year’s Eve and Day (December 31/January 1) – Sun in Capricorn
Capricorn is the only sign to have two major holidays occur during its transit through the Sun, affirming its reputation as the hardest working planet in astrology. The fact that New Year’s Eve and Day happen during the Sun in Capricorn is simultaneously more and less existential than Christmas happening during this time. For one, this holiday is purely practical, in the sense that it is literally just to celebrate the beginning of a New Year. It speaks to the structural element of Capricorn and its reliability. If there is one thing we can count on, it’s time and there is always going to be a new year, as long as the world hasn’t ended (is it any wonder that the biggest doomsday prophecies have happened around New Year’s?) But, the New Year can also stress a person out, at the same time. It can bring on this pressure to be a newer, better, more accomplished version of yourself. You might look back at the last year through the negative lens of Capricorn, beating yourself up for what you didn’t do and pushing yourself hard to make up for it. On the flip side, you might look back at this year and be amazed at all you’ve done.

Either way, time is highly occupying our minds during New Year’s, both the Eve of New Year’s and the very Day. There is no real historical context to speak of when it comes to this holiday. It’s clear why it exists. Therefore, in many ways, it’s the most sensible holiday of them all, which is probably why people become so goal-oriented during this time. The famous New Year’s Resolutions are a powerful reflection of Capricorn’s yearning to accomplish. But, just how many people are going to stick to those goals that they set? This is the test of self-discipline of the Sun in Capricorn. Also, New Year’s Eve is famous for being the rowdiest, wildest day of the year. What’s happening is that people are feeling the need to not be repressed or restrained by any of the rules or regulations. It’s as if the ending of the year is giving everyone a window of time to completely cut loose. But, once January 1 rolls around, people go the opposite route and feel the need to really get their act together and create a strong sense of structure for themselves through their Resolutions. 



Valentine’s Day (February 14) – Sun in Aquarius
I have heard quite a few jokes that say that it’s very ironic that Valentine’s Day, the day of romance and love, occurs when the Sun is in Aquarius. Even I used to think that. But, now, I see it much differently. If you think about, for everyone who conforms to the idea of Valentine’s Day, there are just as many people who rebel against it. There is no other day of the year where you find a person who is single declaring their independence more defiantly and claiming to not care what people think because they don’t have a Valentine. So, it’s a holiday that can bring out that Aquarius sense of not fitting in: seeing other people with dates or in a relationship, while you’re just buying chocolate for yourself. But, the truth is getting yourself that box of chocolates is yet another wonderful way to spend this holiday. It’s about love and there are many different ways to love and spread love. This is certainly an Aquarian ideal, allowing people to love however they want and whomever they want, as long as it hurts no one, even if that person is just you. We are all individuals and we all end up spending Valentine’s Day differently. There is no one way to do it, which symbolizes the inventive energy and honoring of differences that characterizes Aquarius.

Valentine’s Day is in honor of Saint Valentine, an Aquarius-like religious figure who is remembered for sticking to his guns in spite of cultural pressure. Because of his rebellious dedication to his ideologies, it makes sense that the holiday that celebrates him happens during Sun in Aquarius. Also, another famous symbol for this time of year is Cupid, the love god who shoots his arrows at people and makes them fall for one another. This is another reason why the correlation between this holiday and Aquarius does make a lot of sense. Cupid never falls in love himself. He is a detached figure, bringing that happiness to others and making their wishes come true without ever getting involved himself. If that’s not Aquarius, I don’t know what is! The detachment of Aquarius and its desire to shine a light on other people is also why being someone’s Valentine is often not a romantic thing. From the card you receive from your mom to the candy you give to your co-workers to the little cards you probably passed out to classmates when you were a kid, you can spread love on this day just to make others feel special and to be inclusive.

Independence Day (July 4) – Sun in Cancer
In my mind, this is actually the holiday that is truly ironic. Independence Day takes place when the Sun is transiting the sign famous for its dependency, Cancer. It’s the only holiday that is also referred to by its actual date – the 4th of July – and maybe that’s just because some of us instinctively feel like it’s not right to call it the Day of Independence. This is not the day to leave the nest! Instead, there is a homey, comforting feeling to this holiday that is quite subtle and unconscious, in true Cancer fashion. If you are out and about during this day, even spending time around strangers can have a warm, intimate feel to it. There is usually plenty of emphasis on food, particularly cooked or grilled food, and there is also this sense of togetherness. Unlike the other holidays, July 4th is a totally specific holiday. Only Americans celebrate it and it is something only Americans truly understand. So, it is, in this way, like a specific family tradition. This emphasizes the sense of closeness and also of regularity that the Sun in Cancer brings.

The emphasis on being an American is highlighted during the 4th of July because, of course, this is the day that the US Constitution was signed, forming the fabric of the United States. So, it’s a time to be proud to be an American, like you might be proud to bear your family name. (And since America has its Sun in Cancer, it also celebrates its birthday during this time) But, like at any family gathering, there might be some people who really care a lot about the significance of the event and there are some people who are just there for the food or the alcohol. Cancer is the sign of craziness, as well, and things get quite crazy during the 4th of July. Along with New Year’s Eve (its opposite, being a Capricorn holiday), it is one of the most dangerous times of the year. While New Year’s Eve sees people celebrating the end of something, the 4th of July is just when the wild, primal energy comes out. Its shown by that long-standing tradition of people shooting fireworks in their backyards. For some reason, the Cancer Sun coddles people into a sense of safety, making them more instinctual and more prone to flirt with danger. Even if we don’t play with fireworks, we still want to go out and watch out, often doing nothing but reacting to them, Cancer-style.



3 comments:

  1. It is such a unique article! I had never thought that holidays would have signs. The way you look at astrology and life is so special Wayman. Thank you.

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  2. Also, in the UK we have Rembrance Sunday that falls in Scorpio. It's a day that I think is like Veterans' Day in the US, when people here remember those killed in war, so another 'Day of the Dead', if you will. It's by chance that it falls when it does, as it's just the closest Sunday to the end of the First World War on 11 November 1918, but it seems to fit here very well.

    Easter too, nearly always falls in Aries, the sign of new beginnings and Spring, as does the New Year in some parts of the world, such as Iran/Afghanistan.

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    1. Oh yeah I did forget about Veterans Day and Easter! There were only so many holidays I could do. Haha but in terms of Easter, the tradition of going Easter egg hunting is very Aries: active and competitive.

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