Scorpio is arguably the most intense, mysterious, penetrating, enigmatic and seductive energy in the Zodiac – it is also one of the most misunderstood. It is associated with the 8th house known as ‘The House of Sex, Death and Taxes’. It deals with the sharing or merger of energies between different entities, and so also deals with the preservation, erection, dissolution and/or forceful penetration of boundaries. It can easily refer to the intimate or sexual partner, but can just as well refer to someone you have merged your assets with financially. It is a deeply karmic house which literally ‘holds you to account’ for all that you are and have done. It is even a place for miraculous healing, rebirth and spiritual alchemy in which your Ego dies in flames for you to be reborn as Pure Spirit. It is the Cauldron in which the Phoenix goes to die, burnt to Ashes. And from these Ashes, it is Reborn. It is the Soul’s Journey into Darkness that provides it with the Greatest Spiritual Tests of Integrity, Surrender, Faith and Transmutation.
Pretty powerful, eh?
Energetically speaking, Scorpio deals with the part of the disowned psyche which we have consigned to a suppressed existence. Sometimes this suppression is intentional and at other times it is merely a learned habit, or even a natural defensive response to a traumatic event. We mystify and fetishize the Sign of Scorpio because it represents what is taboo to us. For some this may be the practice of occult rituals, for others it may represent that which is secretly desired – be it knowledge, power, sex – or whatever appeals to you as ‘the forbidden fruit’, whatever that is not yours that you seek to own, possess and/or control.
Some might ask – well – what does this have to do with me? You might feel as though you live a decent life, have had no run-ins with Underworld deities putting you through tests etc… But the truth is .. you have … in a different way.
In day to day life, we experience the energy of the 8th house as ‘what we attract to us’, whether we like it or not. There’s a certain set of experiences that you may find yourself magnetically drawn to, or magnetically drawn to you. It could be a certain type of partner that you find yourself helpless to resist, and it never works out (or vice versa). Or even a compulsive habit, something that makes you feel as though you have lost control and are unable to make your own conscious choices. There’s always something of the kind for everyone. We may put it down to ‘luck’, ‘fate’, or ‘karma’ – but for those who seek to know – well, there’s a way through it. Ultimately we attract what we are – both consciously and subconsciously – the challenge of Scorpio is to take that deep journey inwards and discover who we truly are, and what we are made of.
Scorpio tests us to see if we engage with the hidden/suppressed in an ethical way. It gives us all the tools to acquire that which we seek, by means both fair and unfair. How you choose to pursue that fruit is up to you, but know that it creates karmic consequences that you will be held accountable for. It is for this reason that Scorpio is also involved in the partitioning or separation of entities that were once held as One – think of how an act of infidelity can lead to the breakup of a long marriage and a partition of assets.
This is going to sound pretty scary for some people. As Scorpio deals with those ‘messy’ sides of life which we don’t want to have to admit to ourselves, let alone to others. It’s often the sign which houses one’s most private fantasies, or memories of desire and shame. It is also the sign that houses one of our deepest sources of inner power through transformation. We often experience Scorpio through the modality of crisis, or something that feels so magnetic, irresistible – almost fated, sometimes both.
Let’s take a little step backwards and ask: Where do we place all of this in ourselves, and what resources do we have to re-discover what is hidden?
The Netherworld. The Underworld. … Buried deep in the Earth, or deep within your Sub-Conscious – all within Scorpio’s domain. These are places of Darkness from which all ultimately emerges, upon which all that is known or Conscious is built, whose existence is even made possible.
Think about a beautiful flowering tree, or one with ripe fruits dangling from each of its branches. We may bask in its shade, in the fragrance of sweet blossoms or savour the taste of its fruit … Yet such beauty and pleasure cannot exist without powerful, hidden roots that reach deep into the Earth. Think about where the most beautiful, expensive, sparkling diamonds come from? Think about the role of magma hidden beneath the Earth’s crust and how, through volcanic eruptions, the exposure of that which was once hidden – literally – created a viable atmosphere for Life as we Know It?
These foundations and facilitations for life are – also – part of the Underworld, the Unacknowledged.
And here’s where a prime misconception occurs: The Underworld, or terrain of Scorpio is almost exclusively linked with the notion of pain, suffering and condemnation in mainstream understandings. Even the psychopomps to the Underworld such as the crow, the scorpion, the serpent became vilified through mythological reconstruction. And let not forget, the primacy of the chthonic Earth-Mother Goddess in the earliest forms of worship in this species, and how she was later displaced and demonized. There’s a lot that can be said here.
There is another understanding, one which has been forgotten through history and socio-political conquest: of the acceptance of Underworld as ‘just another realm’ where energy exists in a slightly different form. Without the need for fear or vilification.
To phrase it differently: Not all things hidden, dark, or suppressed are Evil. Some of then are absolutely Sacred, others are Life-sustaining. They are often cast in negative terms by those who construct their identities on the basis of such divisive binaries. One who seeks to be a hero, might search for or construct a villain to metaphorically slay or humiliate.
And that’s one of the main reasons Scorpio gets an undeservedly bad reputation, and frequent misrepresentation in astrology, and related spiritual practices. If the Underworld and the Hero/Heroine’s Journey into the Realms beneath was such a bad or undesirable thing to even acknowledge, why do we see it repeated over and over again in so many different mythologies? And why are there so many different conceptions of the Underworld even? So clearly, there’s a lot more at work here then what so many have been led to believe. It’s not something to disown, or run away from, or even cast as a fetish or taboo – it’s something that is clearly a part of the Journey of the Soul, particularly for the Spiritual Seeker.
In Part 2 we’ll look at a few myths that feature a protagonist’s descent into the Underworld and discuss how this pertains to the energies, gifts and challenges of Scorpio.
~ Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD ~ http://www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com
PS – Those of you interested in transcending spiritual stereotypes and determining your perspectives on things might like this interview of mine: Breaking Spiritual Stereotypes, The Rise of the Dark Mother and the Lives of her Daughters – http://intentionradio.com/2014/09/breaking-the-spiritual-stereotype-the-dark-goddess-and-the-lives-of-her-daughters/
Image Information: RR5111-0118R.gif – By Банк России.Permjak at ru.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons; Phoenix Detail from Aberdeen Bestiary.jpg, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Metro Cave Te Ananui Cave entrance – Pseudopanax@Wikimedia [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons