Every year at the autumnal equinox, we find ourselves at the point in Earth’s orbit that brings equal parts day and night. The next time it is available to you, sit outside at sunset. Observe the quality of the sun’s descent. Day giving way to night is a beautiful thing to be with and contemplate.
This is occurring on a larger scale during the fall season after the autumn equinox, when the sun travels what is known as the “Via Combusta.” In Latin, the term means, “fiery way.” When I first heard the term, I meditated on it for several days while watching the sunset to gain direct experience from nature. Each night, when the sun finally fell below the horizon, it left a red and orange hue in the sky. This is what I refer to as the “burning road” that indicates the sun’s entrance into the “duat,” also known as the underworld.
See also: Dancing With Your Demons
What is “the thinning of the veils”?
Understanding the descent into darkness can help you navigate the transition into it with some measure of harmony and reverence. The Via Combusta begins in Libra season, although it isn’t until we enter into Scorpio in late October that darkness truly descends and settles into our awareness. It is at this time you might hear people talk in hushed tones of “the thinning of the veils.” The “veil” is the invisible boundary between the world that is alive versus the realm of beings that are no longer incarnate.
Scorpio represents the underworld in astrology. The darkness we experience during this time directly corresponds with “the other side.” Scorpio season takes us from the equality of day and night into a rooting down of night, where no veil exists because the darkness’s presence is pervasive.
This is the time of year when many cultures have created celebrations to show reverence for those who have passed on to the other side. All Hallow’s Eve. Días de los Muertos. The Celtic tradition of Samhain. These communal honorings also create a sense of connectedness among those of us who remain and a time of reflection on how life is going.
How Scorpio season helps us
How we approach these considerations and accompanying emotions is influenced by our placement in Scorpio, which is a fixed water sign. Think of a stagnant swamp. The energy is still and fixed in one space. In Scorpio season, our emotions run deep. Where Scorpio is in our astrological charts is where we can more readily access grief, pain, loss, abandonment, and deep vulnerabilities.
Scorpio is typically represented in astrology by the scorpion. However, the story of the Phoenix is also associated with the sign, and it would be of great service to many of us in the Western culture to identify this process. In any society in which grief, death, and loss are not seen as rites and instead are regarded as transitory experiences, an abundance of stagnation grows and grief is not—can not—be processed and transmuted into something more. Consider how care and deep intimacy have a tendency to be passed up for a striving for material gain, status, and a focus on appearances rather than depth.
The thinning of the veils and the accompanying celebrations are not a suggestion for anyone to bypass or see grief reduced to something to be spiritually addressed. Grief is a complex experience, and it is so because everyone experiences it differently based upon unique individuality as well as cultural conditioning.
Instead, this time of year is an invitation to bring understanding back into the culture. To deepen our relationship with Scorpio season and all that it represents so as to change our relationship with our emotions in order to deepen our lives.
About our contributor
Cameron Allen began his path to understanding mind-body awareness with a degree in health and sports science and psychology. Beyond the colonized education system, he began seeking understanding through direct experience with nature, Astrology, herbalism, rootwork, yoga, and other indigenous technologies. Cameron is a herbalist, astrologer, and writer. Cameron is a student of life and continues to deepen his studies of ancient wisdom and apply it to modern life.