Halloween

Halloween’s blue moon is rare and perfect for the moment

By Hunter Britt, Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. -- This year has brought a pandemic, major election and now a rare, blue moon on Halloween.

A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month and appears every 2.5 years, according to NASA. A full moon occurs on Halloween every 19 years. A Halloween full moon hasn’t appeared in all time zones since 1944, states the Farmer’s Almanac. 

The blue moon isn’t blue; the term refers to the moon’s timing, not color, NASA said. The blue moon is also known as the hunter’s moon because it provided enough light for hunters to gather food. 

Kali Fillhart, a tarot reader and astrologist, said in a Facebook message that the astrology of 2020 is more “wonky” than just a blue moon on Halloween. There is also a Mercury retrograde that ends on Election Day and a Mars retrograde that ends on Nov. 13. A retrograde describes how a planet can sometimes appear to be traveling backward through the sky, states the Farmer’s Almanac. A Mercury retrograde has a common cultural association with anxiety around miscommunication and blunders. 

“All that to say, astrologers have been talking about the astrology of 2020 for years,” Fillhart said. “We knew it was going to be intense.”

She also said this full blue moon could bring “unwanted reactions” for people, especially since Halloween is a time when “spiritual veils fall.” 

Halloween traces back to the Celtric tradition of Samhain, a festival to celebrate harvest and usher in the coming darker months. The Celts believed the “veil” between the living and the dead was at its thinnest around this time, and they celebrated their deceased ancestors, a tradition also seen in Dia de los Muertos.

Adding to the alignment of a blue moon, Halloween and astrological events, will be Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, when many Americans set their clocks back an hour and it’s darker out earlier. 

While October may have started and ended with a bright, full moon, many Americans have anxiety around the upcoming election and facing winter in a pandemic. The share of voters who expect it will be difficult to vote has more than tripled since 2018, according to the Pew Research Center. Eighty-three percent of voters said this election matters. Fifty percent of voters shared that sentiment in 2000. One in three Americans reported psychological distress during extended periods of social distancing, Pew reported in May. 

Kashaf Ali, a marketing communications and analytics major at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, said in an email that Halloween won’t be any different for her this year, but she acknowledged that the blue moon feels ominous.

“I’ve been social distancing since March and I doubt it’ll be any different this weekend for me,”Ali said. “It’s definitely something to think about how everything’s happening so close together.”

Deneen Tyler, a spiritual wellness practitioner in Richmond, said that the people will be dealing with the energy the blue moon brings this Halloween.

“Full moons are a time of completion,” Tyler said. “It’s a time of releasing, letting go, making peace, honoring what we’ve been through, and saying goodbye in order to close that chapter and let in something new.”

Tyler said that this full blue moon will be in the astrological sign of Taurus on Halloween, and that many people might be wrestling with saying goodbye to different habits and routines, and that could apply to Election Day.

“We’re all collectively dealing with the change, hence the election, the change in the authority of our society,” Tyler said. “We’re resisting change and these alignments are really showing us where we need to release the resistance.”

Fillhart also believes that this Halloween is a time of change and personal reflection.

What does our dark side look like?” she said. “Halloween is all about confronting monsters. What monsters are we constantly fighting everyday?”

While the moon will be in Taurus on Halloween, it will be in Gemini on the night of the election, opening up new possibilities. Tyler said that, depending on the choices individuals make in dealing with the outcome of the election, people could feel “very confused” or “very inspired.” Ultimately she said people will have to choose how to direct that emotion.

“It is our choice which way we fuel,” Tyler said. “You can fuel the confusion and create more of it, or you can fuel the inspiration.”

The last blue moon on Halloween in all time zones ushered in the victory of a blue candidate. Incumbent Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Republican Thomas E. Dewey, going on to win a historic fourth term in the 1944 election.

Tyler said that unlike astronomy that people can witness, astrology occurs within. Different factors pertaining to celestial bodies can influence people in different ways, but individuals have to choose how they react and “the seeds they plant” on their own.

“This moon this weekend and all of these high energy, highly spiritual days, all they’re doing is opening the road for us to make a choice of which way to go,” she said. “It doesn’t dictate to us what will happen; it doesn’t dictate to us what we need to do.”

Statewide Pumpkin Contest Aims to Keep Youth and Teens Safe on Halloween Night

SALEM, VA—Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) is joining with the Virginia State Police (VSP), Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office, and State Farm to encourage youth and teens to make good choices and celebrate responsibly as part of the statewide Halloween Safety Campaign and Pumpkin Carving Contest. The campaign’s focus is to prevent a tragedy on what is supposed to be a fun night for youth.

The peer-to-peer campaign traditionally involves activities planned through school and youth group programs across the Commonwealth, however, this year students will participate from their homes. YOVASO is taking the campaign virtual with the #ProtectYourPumpkin Pumpkin Carving Contest. The only requirement for participation is to include a safety message (i.e. Buckle Up, Slow Down, etc.) and “YOVASO” on the pumpkin, and tag @_yovaso_ on social media with #ProtectYourPumpkin. Those who do not have social media can submit their entry to YOVASO by completing a simple entry form.

All are welcome to participate, but only youth ages 11-20 are eligible for prizes. Pumpkin entries are due to YOVASO by October 31, 2020 at midnight. YOVASO will pick 10 pumpkins for public voting November 2-4, 2020. Voting will close at noon on the 4th. The five entries with the most votes will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Schools and youth groups that plan to participate in trunk-or-treats or other Halloween safety events may request activity books, safety banners, and posters with the message: Staying Safe is the Trick, Having Fun is the Treat. Buckle Up, Be Seen, and Make Good Choices.

Nationwide, between 2014 and 2018, there were 145 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 – 5:59 a.m. November 1).* According to NHTSA, 41% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2014 to 2018 were in crashes involving a drunk driver.

“Halloween falls on a weekend this year and that typically means more celebrations and an increase in risk for drivers and young trick-or-treaters,” said Mary King, YOVASO program manager.  “Poor decisions behind the wheel, such as texting and driving, underage drinking and drug use, speeding, and forgetting to buckle up can ruin what is supposed to be a fun occasion. Help keep this Halloween safe for all by celebrating responsibly and using extra caution when driving in neighborhoods.”  

Here Are Some Suggested Safety Tips for Teens to Follow for a safe Halloween:

  • Avoid driving during “Halloween Rush Hour” from 5:30-9 p.m. when children are trick–or-treating.

  • Drive below the speed limit in residential neighborhoods and use alternate routes when possible.

  • Scan ahead for trick-or-treaters and yield to pedestrians.

  • Use caution around stopped vehicles in neighborhoods and proceed slowly.

  • Drive distraction-free.

  • Celebrate responsibly and resist any peer pressure to celebrate Halloween with alcohol and/or drugs or to drive while impaired—it’s illegal.

  • Do not ride with any drivers who may have used alcohol and/or drugs.

  • Be on the alert for drivers who could be under the influence of something other than sweets.

  • Remember to always buckle up.

Safety Tips for Youth to Follow for a Fun and Safe Halloween:

  • Avoid distractions and leave electronic devices at home while walking or biking

  • Wear reflective clothing

  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick

  • Walk on sidewalks when possible

  • Only trick-or-treat in well-lit neighborhoods

  • Older students should always travel in pairs or large groups and let parents know where you      are going

  • Younger students should always trick or treat with a parent or adult supervision

  • Never approach a stranger’s car

  • Make good decisions and avoid any mischief that could ruin a fun night

  • Stay alert and Be Seen on Halloween in case motorists are not be watching out for you

 For more information on the Pumpkin Carving Contest and safety tips, visit the YOVASO website.

 

YOVASO is Virginia’s peer‐to‐peer education and prevention program for teen driver and passenger safety. Through YOVASO, teens work to advocate for safer driving among their peers and to develop positive prevention strategies for their schools and communities. The program, which currently has 115 active member schools and youth groups across Virginia, is administered by the Virginia State Police and funded through a grant from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. YOVASO also receives support from State Farm.

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