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Special Days and Aspects for October 2004

October 2004







































Welcome to October! Click on a date in the calendar to see the current aspects and events for that day.

October 1, 2004

Sukkot: The weeklong Feast of Tabernacles or “huts,” which began at sundown September 30 and continues through October 8, is a Jewish harvest festival that also recalls the 40 years the people spent in the desert living in tents after their exodus from Egypt. The first day, October 1 this year, is the most important of the celebration.

China National Day: The People’s Republic of China celebrates its founding in 1949.

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October 2, 2004

Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (Gandhi Jayanti): A national holiday in India. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more often called Mahatma, “great soul,” or Bapu, “father,” by his followers, initiated a new path of protest — through active, but nonviolent, non-cooperation — and led India to its independence from foreign rule. He was born on this day in 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India.

Guardian Angels Day: Catholic feast day in honor of angels protecting individuals.

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October 3, 2004

Venus enters Virgo
The planet of love and attraction leaves Leo today and enters the sign of her fall, Virgo. The precise and analytical nature of Virgo, so suited to intellectual pursuits, adds a critical element to Venus’ expression of love. Venus’ downfall can be her desire to idolize her partner, and Virgo’s demands for perfection add a difficult element to this mix. It’s also a difficult time for artists, as the demand for perfection adds tension to the creative process.

German Unity Day: Germany, divided after World War II and kept apart by Soviet dominance of the eastern portion, known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR), officially reunited on this day in 1990 under the Constitution of the (West German) Federal Republic of Germany. The previous October, East German leader Erich Honecker stepped down amid growing protests in cities all over the GDR. Shortly thereafter, borders between the two Germanys began to be opened, and on October 3, 1990, the lands of the GDR were officially given over to the FRG. The Day of Unity, Tag der Einheit, is a national holiday.

World Communion Sunday: On the first Sunday in October, Protestant Christian churches honor Christian unity with special programs.

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October 4, 2004

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi: The Italian town of Assisi is illuminated with oil lamps burning consecrated oil in honor of the church reformer and founder of the Franciscan Order of monks. In some countries, people bring their companion animals to church for a blessing, in remembrance of Francis’ feeling of brotherhood with all creatures. It is a day to honor service to one another, brotherhood with the natural world, and the principle of living simply, as exemplified by Francis and the brothers of his order. He lived from 1181 until this day in 1226.

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October 5, 2004

Sun at 12 degrees Libra trine retrograde Neptune in Aquarius
Idealistic and quiet, this aspect might be felt as an urge to be alone, perhaps to meditate or undertake some sort of spiritual studies. The intuitive gifts of Neptune offer a chance to experience strong insights into the people around you, as your psychic radar receives a metaphysical fine-tuning.

Mercury at 12 degrees Libra trine retrograde Neptune in Aquarius
Mercury here has all the intuition and idealism of the first of today’s three aspects, but also offers the urge for creative expression, or at least creative conversation. You’ll want to talk about deep and mystical subjects, and you are likely to have a revelation or two. Just don’t put too much stock in your newfound ideas yet — this is a very nebulous and imprecise transit. When the influence passes, it’s likely your reveries will vanish with it.

Sun at 12 degrees Libra conjunct Mercury
A short-lived transit that offers the chance for some guilt-free selfishness. Mercury here puts the emphasis on You, and it’s wise to spend some time today thinking about yourself and your plans, especially for those things that affect your day-to-day life. It’s also a good influence to launch a business or make a glib presentation.

Portugal Republic Day: The monarchy ended and the republic began on this day in 1910.

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October 6, 2004

Happy Birthday to

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Cancer, 10:12 Universal Time.

Venus at 3 degrees Virgo opposite retrograde Uranus in Pisces
“Looking for love in all the wrong places” goes Johnny Lee’s classic hit, and so goes today. Uranus tempts Venus with a walk on the wild side, no strings attached. It’s not a day when you’re likely to find permanent love, nor is that what you are really after. You crave newness today and all the excitement that brings. “People are strange,” said Jim Morrison, and that’s exactly what you’re banking on.

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October 7, 2004

Happy Birthday to

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October 8, 2004

Have a great day!

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October 9, 2004

Mercury at 19 degrees Libra sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
This is a day made for in-depth studies of matters of the world. Mental acuity will be sharp and probing, as Mercury, the planet of thought and focus, makes an opportune angle with investigative Pluto in big-as-life Sagittarius, the sign of higher education.

John Lennon’s Birthday: Admirers gather at the Strawberry Fields memorial at Central Park in New York City to remember the musician, composer, humorist and peace activist who first became known to the world as Beatle John, leader of the band. Today he would have been 64.

Shemini Atzeret: Immediately following the week of Sukkot in the Jewish calendar comes the day of Shemini Atzeret, celebrated as a separate holiday dedicated to the love of God.

Han’gul Day: Commemorates the invention of the Korean alphabet, as distinct from Chinese, in 1446.

Health-Sports Day: This national holiday in Japan promotes fitness.

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October 10, 2004

Simhat Torah: Orthodox and Conservative Jews continue with a ninth straight day of holidays, with Simhat Torah, a day dedicated to the Torah, or the law.

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October 11, 2004

Happy Birthday to

Thanksgiving Day in Canada: The second Monday in October is a day for gathering with family and feasting in celebration of the bounty of the fall harvest.

Columbus Day: The October 12, 1492, landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World, in the area of the Bahamas, is commemorated on the second Monday in October.

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October 12, 2004

Have a great day!

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October 13, 2004

Sun at 20 degrees Libra sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
Today the Sun’s rays reach all the way into Pluto’s traditionally dark domain. An excellent day to proactively take care of any skeletons in your closet, before Pluto’s next hard aspect from the Sun — when Pluto just may pull out those skeletons for you!

Mercury at 26 degrees Libra square Saturn in Cancer
Precise, practical, insightful — today that’s you, as Mercury teams up with Saturn and creates an aspect that offers an excellent day for business and planning. Better to plan alone, however, as Saturn’s eye for detail comes across as critical nitpicking, and even Libra’s famous tact and diplomacy won’t be enough to totally soften his sometimes harsh critiques.

Mahalaya Amavasya: The new Moon of the Hindu month of Ashwin kicks off the nine-night Navaratri Festival in India, which ends on the 10th day with the victory of the Goddess Durga over a demon. Large-scale festivities honoring the divine mother, Durga, wife of Shiva, last until October 22. For more about Navaratri, as well as other major holidays of the month, please see Power Days of October in this issue.

Our Lady of Fátima Pilgrimage: Celebrates the final appearance, of six, made by the Virgin Mary to Catholic shepherd children in Fátima, Portugal, in 1913. The first appearance was on May 13 and the appearances occurred on the same day each month, drawing more people each time. The October appearance was made in the presence of 70,000 onlookers. The apparition referred to herself then as Our Lady of the Rosary and asked people to say the Rosary daily. Although July 13 is officially Our Lady of Fátima Day in Portugal, the largest pilgrimages to the shrine are on the anniversaries of the May and October appearances.

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October 14, 2004

Moon Phase
New Moon in Libra, 2:48 Universal Time.

Partial solar eclipse at 21 degrees Libra
Visible from northeastern Asia, the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii and Alaska, the eclipse lasts from 0:54-5:04 Universal Time. This eclipse signifies a process of renewal or reclamation, resurrecting unused skills, dreams or values to use them in new ways. Your relationships, romantic and otherwise, play a central role in this renewal.

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October 15, 2004

Mars at 12 degrees Libra trine retrograde Neptune in Aquarius
Normally fiery and brash and ruler of all kinds of direct action, today Mars enthusiasm is softened somewhat by Neptune as your physical energy temporarily ebbs out to sea. Creative energy is high though, and that’s where this transit excels.

Mercury enters Scorpio
Down into the underworld travels Mercury, the planet that rules communication and your day-to-day routine. Mercury uses Scorpio’s eagle eye to achieve penetrating insights into the inner workings of relationships and human activities. Watery intuition combines with analytical insight. Under this influence always trust your gut!

Ramzan (Ramadan) begins: The holiest month of the Islamic calendar begins when authorities sight the new crescent Moon of the ninth month. In honor of the divine revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset all month long and many make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah (Mecca) in Saudi Arabia. For more about Ramadan, as well as other major holidays of the month, please see Power Days of October in this issue.

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October 16, 2004

Have a great day!

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October 17, 2004

Mercury at 3 degrees Scorpio trine retrograde Uranus in Pisces
You’re insightful today, that’s for sure. Maybe you’re even brilliant. This combination of energy often grants lightning bolts of intuition along with a healthy feeling of plain ol’ genius. The watery energies of Scorpio and Pisces pull this highly mental energy into a vortex of mystical waters where intellect and intuition combine to create something truly unique.

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October 18, 2004

Have a great day!

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October 19, 2004

Durga Shashthi: India’s Navaratri festivities, which began October 13 this year, enter a crucial phase today. Durga Shashthi, the sixth day of the waxing-Moon phase of the Hindu month of Ashwin, is the day on which large-scale public festivities traditionally begin in the Indian state of West Bengal. The fortnight that began with the new Moon October 13 is called “the Devi fortnight” (the Goddess fortnight) in local parlance. People set up big pandals, which are booths the size of large rooms, made of bamboo poles and colourful heavy canvas, often decorated to look like ancient forts, monuments or temples. Inside the pandals, huge idols of Goddess Durga are ritually installed, along with smaller idols of her sons Ganesh and Kartikeya, and also two other goddesses, Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, and Saraswati, goddess of learning.

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October 20, 2004

Moon Phase
First-quarter Moon in Capricorn, 21:59 Universal Time.

Sun at 27 degrees Libra square Saturn in Cancer
The first of two “yuck” aspects for today’s double-header. If you’re smart, you’ll stop reading now and go and hide under your bed. Gluttons for punishment should know that when the Sun squares Saturn it feels restrictive, depressing and lonely. You’ll have clashes with people in authority over you, and by the end of the day you’ll be pulling your hair out, wondering why people can’t just get along. Fortunately, it’s a short-lived influence. And it’s good for you. Promise.

Venus at 20 degrees Virgo square Pluto in Sagittarius
For those readers still not safely ensconced under their beds or hiding in their closets, this transit is bound to send you there! This transit can be very difficult for people in committed relationships as it causes you to really evaluate the state of the relationship and your partner in it. Venus in Virgo can be a tad critical to begin with, and Pluto’s eagle eye allows no stone left unturned when it comes to ruthless examinations. Face it — if it’s a good relationship it will stand up to the scrutiny, and maybe even be strengthened by it. But if it wasn’t meant to be, then today might be the day for it to end.

Birth of the Bab: Holiday of the Baha’i religion honoring the founder, Mirza’ Ali-Muhammed, born in Persia (now Iran) in 1819. The celebration begins the evening of the 19th.

Gurgaddi of the Guru Granth Sahib: The Sikh holiday celebrates the day in 1705 when leadership of the faith passed from the last of its human gurus to its book of scriptures. The collection of scriptures, known as the Adi Granth, was first installed in the sect’s Golden Temple in India in 1604 by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh guru. The writings were finalized by Guru Gobind Singh before the collection was elevated to the position of eternal guru, as the Guru Granth Sahib.

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October 21, 2004

Durga Ashtami: The eighth and most important day of the nine-day Hindu Goddess Festival, Navaratri. The point of time when the eighth day merges into the ninth is considered a crucial time for offering worship. Called Sandhi Puja, meaning “worship at the time-junction,” the ritualistic worship of the goddess reaches its peak this day.

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October 22, 2004

Durga Navami: The ninth day of the waxing-Moon phase and, in practice, the last day of the Goddess Festivities. This is also the day when, traditionally, Hindus make sacrifices to the Goddess Durga. Called Ayudha Puja day in many parts of South India, this was also the day when traditionally people would worship their arms and weapons. (These days, they worship their computers.) The practice stems from the belief that this was the day when the goddess was ritually dressed by all the other gods with blessed and especially empowered arms and weapons that enabled her to slay the demon the next day. In many parts of North India and also in East India, this is also the day when little girls are worshipped as embodiments of the goddess.

Abu Simbel Festival: “Sun Day” comes but twice a year in the innermost rooms of the Egyptian temple known as Abu Simbel. The temple, built about 1300 B.C. for Ramses II and Queen Nefertari, was configured so that the light of the rising sun can illuminate its 180-foot deep chambers only two days a year. The temple was moved to make way for the Aswan Dam in 1964, so its special days now are February 22 and October 22, a day earlier than they once were. Meditation is the usual ritual for the contemporary crowds that gather at sunrise on the festival days while the Sun briefly illuminates images of four Egyptian gods within the walls: Ptah, Amen-Re, Ramses and Re-Horakhty.

Elders Day: The ninth day of the ninth lunar month is a day for honoring elders in Taiwan, and for drinking chrysanthemum wine, painting and writing poetry.

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October 23, 2004

Sun enters Scorpio
Today the Sun moves from airy and congenial Libra into the darkly mysterious realm of the Scorpion. The long nights of late fall provide the perfect backdrop to occupy our thoughts with Scorpio’s concerns: issues of sex and death and rebirth. Scorpio affects us on many levels, from the very physical Scorpion to the highly mystical Eagle — at this time of year we are offered the chance to regenerate every aspect of our lives.

Neptune at 12 degrees Aquarius goes direct
The planet of spiritual visions resumes its forward motion after a five-month retrograde. You may experience this as the lifting of a subtle mental fog. Your vision is clearer, plans and dreams that may have become sidetracked and confused are back on track.

Mercury at 12 degrees Scorpio square Neptune in Aquarius
Scorpio’s incisive mind may meet its match in Neptune’s misty confusion. Heightened perceptions give our overactive minds plenty to think about, but forget about coming to clear conclusions about anything. Imagination works overtime, and it may prove impossible to separate genuine insights from errors and delusions.

Vijaya Dashami: The goddess slew the demon on this day, and the holiday is named for her vijaya, her victory. The Navaratri festivities come to an end this day when the decorated idols of Goddess Durga are taken out in large processions for immersion in a body of water, be it a river, a tank or the sea. People believe that the goddess, who comes down to Earth for these nine days, will, on the immersion of her idol, go back to Mt. Kailash, where she stays forever with her consort, God Shiva (the third in the Hindu Trinity). For more about Navaratri, as well as other major holidays of the month, please see Power Days of October in this issue.

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October 24, 2004

United Nations Day: In the aftermath of World War II, representatives of the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and Nationalist (pre-Communist) China engaged in talks that resulted in the establishment on October 24, 1945, of the United Nations, intended to be an international peace-keeping organization. Each member nation officially observes the anniversary.

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October 25, 2004

Happy Birthday to

Nirvana Celebration: Jainism celebrates the attainment of nirvana of the spiritual teacher known as Mahavira, a title meaning “great hero.”

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October 26, 2004

Sun at 2 degrees Scorpio trine retrograde Uranus in Pisces
Passion and intensity for a pet project or an ongoing cause is at its peak as Scorpio’s penetrating will aligns with Uranus’ determination to change the world for the better. Actions taken now to bring about social or personal change have the blessings of the planets behind them, so go for it!

Venus at 27 degrees Virgo sextile Saturn in Cancer
This is the time to handle sticky business or financial situations where tact and diplomacy are called for, because both will be at your disposal. While you may feel somewhat inhibited, this is not a bad thing; it is more in the way of conservative restraint that prevents excesses and allows you to express good judgment.

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October 27, 2004

Mars at 20 degrees Libra sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
This is a high-energy aspect that could prompt you to make sweeping changes in habits or routines. You may feel the urge to cleanse and purify yourself and your environment, mentally and physically. If you need to convince others to share or support your efforts, you can count on your enthusiasm and powers of persuasion to carry the day.

Kojagari Purnima / Sharad Purnima (Autumn Full Moon): A holiday in East India, in the state of West Bengal. Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, is worshipped. The night of this full Moon is often fragrant and beautiful.

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October 28, 2004

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Taurus, 3:07 Universal Time.

Total lunar eclipse at 5 degrees Taurus
Visible the evening of the 27th from the Americas, and early morning of the 28th from Europe, Africa and extreme Western Asia, the eclipse lasts from 0:05-6:02 Universal Time. The lunar eclipse combines the power of the Taurus full Moon with a perfect alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth. It is about joining with others to break through restraints that may have held you back in the past, to create a transformative experience that moves you toward true spiritual freedom. There is a powerful, fateful quality about this eclipse, because it coincides with the rare occurrence of a grand quintile (five planets equally spaced around the zodiac at 72 degree angles) involving Moon, Jupiter Saturn, Uranus and Pluto!

Milvian Bridge Day: Christian day of solemn reflection on the relationship of spiritual community and the powers of civil government. On this date in the year 312, Constantine, who was born in Serbia and was not Christian, won a battle that paved the way for him to become emperor of the Roman Empire. Around the time of the battle, he had a vision of the Christian cross on the Sun. As emperor he legalized Christianity and ended persecution of the faith. When he later became a Christian himself, Christianity, for the first time, became entangled with powers of the state, as many religions in history have been before and since. This anniversary is not meant to be a day of celebration but of contemplation.

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October 29, 2004

Venus enters Libra
Venus in Libra draws our attention to relationships, the fine arts and justice. Mars getting you down? Then invoke the special magic of Venus in Libra and sneak away with that special someone for a candlelit evening of soft music and good food. Mercury causing some misunderstandings? Then skip the conversation and just envelope yourselves in wordless love.

Valmiki Jayanti: Hindu holiday celebrating the birth of Valmiki, the thief-turned-sage who later went on to compose the Ramayana, the epic story of Prince Rama, who was the seventh incarnation of Vishnu.

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October 30, 2004

Have a great day!

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October 31, 2004

Halloween, originally All Hallows Eve: Time to get spooky! In the United States, nearly everyone, regardless of culture or religion, can have some fun on Halloween. Kids, and frequently adults, dress in costumes and have parties and costume contests. Children go door-to-door in their neighborhoods in their disguises, demanding and getting candy from every neighbor. With roots in the pre-Christian Celtic Samhain festival, Halloween picked up the barest of Christian trappings — really only its name — when it was made the eve of All Saints Day (November 1), the Christian day for honoring saints, known and unknown, which is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church. For more about Halloween, as well as other major holidays of the month, please see Power Days of October in this issue.

Samhain Eve: Between the equinoxes and the solstices are the cross-quarter days. Those equinoxes and solstices, which mark the official beginnings of seasons now, used to be thought of as marking the middles of the seasons. In the old way of thinking in Europe, the seasons started between the equinoxes and solstices on the cross-quarter days, and Samhain marked the beginning of winter, the cold and dangerous part of the year and the end of the growth cycle until the renewal of spring. Beginnings and endings are still celebrated by nature religions, including Wicca, that observe Samhain after the manner of the ancient Celtic harvest festival in honor of Saman, lord of the dead. According to folklore, the souls of those who had died the previous year would gather this night, and in ancient times caves used for tombs were left open this night to allow the spirits an outing.

Karva Chauth: Married women of North Indian origin fast and pray for long lives for their husbands.

Reformation Sunday: Anniversary celebration of the Protestant Christian tradition and its emphasis on individual interpretation of the Bible. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his belief statement on the Wittenberg Church door, signaling the beginning of the formation of new denominations in Christianity.

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Astrology by Terri Smallwood and Gregory Ellison
Holidays compiled by Maria Barron, Anindita Basu and Sucheta Shetty
Birthday graphics by Maria Barron for Metamorphosis

For an astrological look at the month as a whole,
please see October Star Watch in this issue.