the sign with the stinger, is adored and feared, desired and reviled.
Why does this sign evoke such intense responses in many people, even those
who know little about astrology? It is the season, I think. You know,
Halloween, the Day of the Dead, falling leaves, shrinking days. Scorpio
is a reminder that things must die so that others may be born. It is a
remembrance of our mortality and the impossibility of cheating death.
Sex and death, clinging lovers in the dance of life. The passion of connection
that leads to conception. The urge to merge that brings babies. The natural
rhythms blotted out by electric lights and medical technology.
seen darkly because it touches so much that we reject. We want sex, but
have been told that it is impure. Death beckons us all, but is denied
in cellophane-wrapped America, a culture of the young in permanent denial
of the wisdom, degeneration and transformation of old age. Scorpio's also
about power, oh yes, that too. It is about the exchange of emotions, feelings
and dollars, of time for money that we call work. Yet we turn our eyes
away from the exchange, wanting but not watching, desiring without understanding.
denial, too independent, wanting open relationships, modern relationships,
negotiable partnerships with reasonable limits. But, what are the limits
of love, of passion, of the Soul. Why must we draw such clear lines of
separation when that very separation is an illusion itself, the Cardinal
Illusion that we are separate individuals, when we are truly bound together
by our common humanness. Scorpio threatens us because we have forgotten
that we are not apart, but connected to one another and everything else.
Call it God, Goddess, Spirit, Nature, the All, whatever. It's Scorpio
whose waters descend into our cracks and crevices separating us from the
separations and reminding us that we are One.
the ways in which Scorpio works in one's chart and life is not easy. The
reason is that there seem to be two distinct ways in which Scorpio expresses
itself. There is the introverted Scorpio energy, closed, repressed feelings
and fear of self-expression and power. The extraverted Scorpio energy,
however, is a powerful force for change, showing itself as passion and
intensity. There are some astrological clues, of course, as to which is
more likely in a given natal chart. (Although, we certainly can change
patterns during the course of a life.) First, the overall tone of the
chart is a useful guide. If there is a strong emphasis on outgoing signs
(primarily fire and air) or planets (Mars, Sun, Jupiter), the extraverted
side will probably dominate. If, though, the chart is characterized by
water and earth or heavy Saturn and Pluto placements, Scorpio is probably
going to withhold its secrets and feelings.
are the conditions of Scorpio's ruling planets, Mars and Pluto. Ruling
planets, those most closely associated with a particular sign, provide
rich detail about the most likely forms of its expression. For example,
a Scorpio with Mars in Leo may take more chances than one with Mars in
Cancer. If you have Scorpio on the cusp of the Second House of money and
resources, Mars in exacting Virgo may indicate a more careful and self-critical
approach to these matters. But, if Mars is in adventurous Sagittarius,
an individual may take more risks with money and resources.
of Pluto is also quite important here, but its slow movement through the
zodiac (over 243 years) means that it can stay in a single sign for over
20 years! Pluto's sign, then, is a less personal (and reliable) guide
to Scorpio's expression. Instead, note the aspects that Pluto forms, as
well as its natal house placement. If someone has Pluto in a harmonious
sextile to the natal Moon he or she may be confident in their ability
to deal with crises and change. Pluto square the Moon, however, may require
years of deep personal work (or just the grace of God) to overcome its
fundamental distrust in the nurturance of life.
rulership scheme helps us weave together seemingly disparate pieces of
the chart. A person might have Scorpio on the cusp of the Fourth House.
Intense, perhaps hidden, issues may have dominated family life. If the
ruler Mars is in Capricorn in the Eighth House, then dominance, control,
even sexuality may be key issues. If that Mars is harmoniously connected
with Venus or the Moon, positive social skills, female influences or emotional
awareness are tools that facilitate a more comfortable relationship with
one's family. If Mars (or Pluto) is in primarily stressful relationships
(hard aspects such as a square or opposition) with key planets, the early
life challenges may be more difficult (but not impossible) to overcome.
When we "jump"
around a chart with rulers we are going to come across contradictions.
Ease and stress are not separate experiences, but two ends of the same
spectrum. Most of us are strong sometimes and weak others, confident in
some situations, shy in others. The astrologer's job is not to determine
the absolute truth, but is, rather, to describe the ingredients of the
personality in such a way as to show meaning, inspire hope and help in
the release of the client's full potentials.
potential is an essential quality of Scorpio. However, most of us do not
express the full force of our powers. The likely source is a distrust
of power itself. This is another basic Scorpio theme. Many of us have
been taught that power corrupts. We often have models of this kind of
abuse of power. But, it is powerlessness that corrupts. It is the fearful
and the weak who are cruel to others. When we truly feel powerful inside,
there's no reason to belittle others. Scorpio, measuring the exchange
of energy between people, has a great deal to do with power. If we do
not trust ourselves with power, the Scorpio expression in our charts is
likely to be indirect, covert and more damaging than helpful. But, if
you have confidence in your judgment and are, therefore, allowed to influence
others, power flows freely and safely.
One of the
rules of nature is that energy is alive. The repression of it, as in hiding
one's power, is costly. The first cost is loss of access. We can not use
our influence for the good if our fear of its improper use is too strong.
For example, with Scorpio on the cusp of the Third House of communications
and perceptions, a fearful parent may have distorted your communication.
She or he may have taught you how to use sarcasm to avoid direct expression
of your feelings. You may have experienced fear that you would be punished
for saying the wrong things. Scorpio's accountability may have been excessively
harsh coming from a wounded parent or older sibling. So, you may not trust
your own words. You do not communicate at your highest level of potential.
You see so much that you are afraid to talk about.
Scorpio on the Third consciously uses its power of speech to emotionally
connect with others. Perceptions are profound, but not negative. It's
the investigator who is interested in understanding, rather than the one
who is looking in the dark corners for evidence of your crimes. If Scorpio
is there to punish, power will be abused through dominance or turned inward.
It's expensive to repress power. Not only do you and the world miss its
positive potential to touch, help and heal, but forced inwardly and muzzled
in the unconscious, power turns toxic. Pockets of desire, encapsulated
in fear and swallowed in the darkness of the unconscious, can be breeding
grounds of disease.
something to chew on. It's quite paradoxical because it is a
fixed sign of transformation. Scorpio's about death and rebirth, not one constant
state. Maybe we're frozen like deer in the headlights when faced with
desires beyond the level of reason. Beyond Reason, that's a good name
for Scorpio. Libra, the previous sign, is about reason. It is the balanced
mind, the cardinal air sharpened by the perfect equilibrium of detachment
and connection. Libra's the first sign of partnership, the first to see
others as equal. The journey of individualization that began in the spring
with Aries is turning back towards its origins, the universal. We seek
ourselves through others.
the way. It is reasonable, clear in the mind. But, Scorpio takes us beyond
the mind. We descend into the body, into our emotions and primal feelings,
the lower chakras. If Libra is the sign of relationship, Scorpio is its
consummation. The idea of union in one's mind is much different than the
consequences of the act itself. Libra opens a door to connection by way
of the mind. Scorpio takes that connection deeper and, somehow, below
the level of reason. Libra is about being fair. Scorpio is about survival.
It is the force that allows the lion to eat the zebra. Survival operates
below the level of fairness in an intellectual sense. It is not an idea.
Scorpio is not an idea. Its a state of being, the space between Libra's
open door to sharing and Sagittarius' search for intimacy beyond the personal
is the Sign Opposite Taurus
Taurus child of mid-spring. Fat and round, contented in your garden of
senses. This is your Earth. I, Scorpio, have to share it with others.
You just eat. I count how much food is left to take us through the winter.
Scorpio, traditionally, was the time when the flock was culled. After
the last harvest the animals would be measured against the food stocks.
If there wasn't enough food for the animals, some would be chosen for
slaughter. Scorpio's the time for measuring collective resources and eliminating
what is unessential.
is Square Leo
has only to think of itself. The rest of us are audience. Fire creates
of itself. Water, however, remembers. It has the feeling of history. Apres-Libra,
relationship sensitive Scorpio can not put on its show without carefully
measuring the audience. Consequences are big for Scorpio. It can not ignore
its effects on others. It doesn't have the luxury to be naïve like Taurus
and Leo. It is in the second half of the zodiac that others exist. We
are accountable to one another. Scorpio is the wet spot where Libra ideas
descend into physical contact, ground zero of relationships.
is Square Aquarius
shifted from survival to possibility. We have survived Scorpio's cauldron,
flown high with Sagittarian ideas, agreed on rules in Capricorn and now
create together in Aquarius. Firey Leo's individuality is defracted through
the lens of millions. The network of minds meets at common frequencies
and paints images of the future. Aquarius' brilliant city in the sky,
though, is fueled with Scorpio's desires. The electronic web in which
we live seems so far from the primal savanna. But, survival is always
there for all of us. If the lights go out we'll be looking for food and
shelter, not the mouse and keyboard.
In the fixed
quartet of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius it's Scorp who has to keep
score. The others are not accountable in the same way. They are not about
the meeting at the crossroads of life and death, sex and money, healing
and hurting which is Scorpio. Emotions are where ideas and matter meet,
cooking in the stew of personality. The power of this place is compelling…and
frightening. Emotions aren't necessarily reasonable or comfortable. Desire
makes us vulnerable.
one's innocence is helpful. We are all simple somewhere. We are all naïve
some place. This means that we are not manipulating there. We do not,
can not, harm others or ourselves with rampant desires and power trips.
to remember its innocence. If you have Scorpio on the Eleventh House cusp
it is possible for you to be in a group without trying to manipulate it.
In a state of self trust you can have an open, but powerful connection
with others. Your desires and fears are not yours alone, but are one part
of the human symphony. If you are innocent the channel can open with less
distortion. Your personal story doesn't muck up the potential good that
comes out of this dynamic within groups. The emotion is there, but it's
not distorted through fear of one's desires and power. The door is open.
A key to
using Scorpio energy, then, is trust…trust of oneself, trust of the world,
trust of the process of change. It is about trusting that life grows from
death, that there is movement in the universe. Without this we get the
withholding model. Scorpio becomes a place of shameful secrets, not magical
ones. It is about emotions that are compacted, turned inward and frozen
with fear. Trusting Scorpio is passionate, engaging, healing and erotic.
matrix of the signs is laid upon the turning top of the days on Earth.
Signs occupy houses. These describe how doors open, how cosmic energy
is lived on planet Earth. But, the structure of the chart is not that
simple. Signs appear to stretch, enlarging and contracting when laid upon
the houses. In the most common house systems two signs are generally found
in a given house. Sometimes, an entire sign is contained within a house.
These intercepted signs are considered to be less powerful because they
don't occupy the cusp or border of a house. For example, someone might
have 28 degrees of Aries rising in his chart. The cusp of the Second House
is 1 Gemini. Therefore, the sign Taurus does not occupy a cusp. Now, the
intercepted sign is still present, it just doesn't occupy the apparently
important house cusp. I think that it is still a very important factor.
recommend that you consider all of the signs present in a house to fully
understand its meaning. If Leo is on the cusp of the Fourth House the
door to family is through this sign. But, if the entire body of Virgo
is present, an understanding of its meaning will considerably broaden
the description of home and family. There are many house systems, astrologers
who interpret house cusps with orbs and those who don't. Relatively small
errors in birth times will change cusps (one degree every four minutes,
on average). This gives you additional ruling planets to consider. If
you have Sagittarius on the Sixth cusp, its ruler Jupiter will be examined.
But, Capricorn is also present, so a look at its ruler Saturn will add
more meaning. It's worthwhile to explore different house systems and approaches
to reading houses to get the most information possible from a chart.
look upon the world with suspicion. Measurement means being guarded until
you are ready to plunge. You watch and gather emotional information below
the level of consciousness. Your job is not to be sweet (although you
can be), but to swim through the nether waters that connect us all. You
may have been taught to tame your emotions, but tiny bubbles gather and
turn to lava, followed by an eruption. You may be tough on yourself, acutely
aware of the shadow forces lying just below the surface. It can be helpful
to welcome your dark side, the discontentment, jealousy and doubt that
can propel you forward if you accept its purpose. Psychology is a natural
here. Exploring yourself and your motivations is more helpful than judging
and rejecting them.
talent is the ability to get to the source. You needn't hold the obvious
reigns of power. Your gift is knowing how to combine disparate forces,
to turn lead into gold. Where others see loss, you can see opportunity.
Value your complexity. It's not just a barrier against unwanted intrusion,
but the key to your magical powers. You can be objective about what others
have to offer. This enables you to help them make the best of what they
are. Measure your talents without cruel judgment. What you need is a good
obsession to find the path to self-worth. You can extract all there is
to get from your field of interest.
see the obvious you see the hidden undercurrents. Your skills of observation
may have been honed in a childhood where you were not encouraged to talk.
So you watched and learned more than other children your age. Your words
are not mere decorations, space filling or ear candy. You want to be heard
as attentively as you listen. Communication is about change, about moving
others to feel or see what has been hidden. Finding potency in the sounds,
the silence and the nuance empowers your message. The depth of the connection
is more important than facts. But, it is useful to remember that sometimes
the simple truth is truly simple.
of adult issues like sex, power and death were close to you during childhood.
Innate awareness of the shadow side may have put an early end to feelings
of innocence. Ideally, your family was rooted in psychological inquiry
and bonding based on healthy feelings. However, sometimes this position
is about unhealthy matters of control and secrecy at home. The Fourth
is the foundation of the chart. Scorpio here reminds us that you do, indeed,
take yourself seriously. Beyond appearances lies a person with a pipeline
to the center of the earth. The passions are beyond measurement, but perhaps
rarely seen by others. A public calm belies the wariness you have. But,
this can also be your protection, the ability to deal with crises without
making a scene.
serious business for you. No distractions when you're in the game. Your
intensity may make it difficult to compete without trying to crush the
opposition. Ideally, though, you give it your all. Passion for action
can take you beyond the bounds of reason, but that's what Scorpio's all
about anyway. Affairs of the heart are not taken lightly either. Your
heart's not feeble, nor are your desires. This can be about the erotically
charged child. But, personal expression may be seen as shameful so that
hiding one's desires is not uncommon here. The power can feel so strong
that you are resistant to show it. Carefully directing your force enables
you to make a creative impact here. You're able to turn discarded materials
and ideas into new creations.
taken on with passion. The work that works best is that which you find
compelling, as if you can't live without doing it. Sometimes this position
indicates someone who feels forced to do her work. It can be about external
pressure and repression. But, in the best situation it is about work that
has to do with digging in deeply to facilitate change or deal with crisis.
Management issues may arise here, as the appropriate use of power on the
job can become an issue. Concentration can be a strength, as there is
often an ability to deal with considerable discomfort to get the job done.
Health and hobbies are also Sixth House matters. A regular routine of
cleansing and regeneration is ideal. Resentment can be a cause of illness,
if not addressed openly.
conscious or not, is to have a powerful partner, one who helps you overcome
your natural resistance to change. You may attract strong individuals
who try to remold you. The paradox is that the other can be a person of
strong desire, but who is also withholding. The issue for you is to take
back the power and recognize that you're here to help change others. Relationships
touch fundamental issues of trust and control. A willingness to share
your fears with someone able to do the same can be helpful, as long as
that's a stepping stone on the path of change. Relationship is not about
making you safe. It's about taking you further into yourself with the
help of someone whose force is equal to your own.
Scorpio's natural house, so the core issues of sex, death and transformation
may be more familiar to you. You are a guide to body, mind and spirit.
You are here to take others beyond their boundaries to reveal all of their
resources. It's possible that this house will be projected and you'll
seek others to fill you with their desire and lead you to change. But,
it is for you to penetrate the fears and go beyond the known world of
comfort and familiarity. Intimacy is about rediscovering your Soul through
intense union. Dispassionate partners need not apply. You may be at your
best when others are in crisis. This can be very useful for healers and
helpers of all kinds. Getting and giving the most without any negative
exploitation is one of the challenges here.
in the meaning of all things, a little skepticism may be natural to you.
If the teacher is charismatic enough, or passes your tests, you can become
a totally committed devotee. Your beliefs are not casual, nor disconnected
from the real choices that you make in your life. You may have encountered
religious extremism or punishing judgment when younger. This position
is often of someone who rejects religion only to rediscover faith in a
new and more powerful form later. You're not likely to be playful about
your beliefs. These are not mere ideas or acts of faith, but concepts
held in the very cells of your body. When you teach it is with the fullness
of your being.
When you travel it is not as a tourist, but as someone who enters into
the very marrow of the place visited.
really two possible positions for you professionally: either you're in
control of your career or are under the thumb of the oppressor. Scorpionic
passion works for you when channeled into socially acceptable forms here.
You have the intensity that allows you to be a force for change in your
chosen field. Without focus, however, feelings are repressed and resentment
is a possible outcome. Professions that deal with healing, crisis (physical,
emotional or financial) and reform are appropriate. It is vital that you
feel you have the right to your place in the world. Without this permission
it's unlikely that your energies will be channeled effectively. Although
cool on the outside, you are going to measure the public's responses to
your actions. You can be a great leader when the pressure is strong. Create
your kind of pressure by choosing the challenges that will move you. Without
this focus lesser issues can bog you down.
be the position of the social or political zealot. You may be the loyal
friend, the passionate comrade, the revolutionary. You don't need a large
circle of friends as trust is more important than sheer numbers. Popularity,
when it comes your way, is often due to the intensity you bring to group
settings. You're not usually out to impress people, it's the cause that
counts. You could find yourself attracted to groups that aren't in the
mainstream. It's not your job to support the status quo, but to question
it. You may have the ability to see your cause take a terrible defeat,
then rise again from the ashes. It's typically Scorpionic to be strongest
with one's back against the wall. In any case, your respect is likely
to go to those willing to invest all that they've got. Teammates who hold
back are likely to earn your criticism.
with society's outcasts is a quality of the Twelfth House. When Scorpio
is here this may be even more evident. You have the ability to find strength
in terrible circumstances and, thus, are a powerful ally of the weak.
But, you may find it less easy to show your strengths openly, saving your
force for the most desperate moments. This can sometimes make it uncomfortable
for you to see yourself as the one with power. You can feel like the underdog
even when you hold all the cards. Another element here can be a deep mysticism
and attraction to the occult, healing and metaphysics. You're not going
to hold conventional views about reality, but are rather a person who
can be a guide between the worlds.
originally appeared in
The Mountain Astrologer.