Blessings Everyone! The Mercury Retrograde ends today! Over the next few weeks, we will be revisiting decisions, communications, negotiations we made in partnerships and relationships with others. We will have the chance to make amends in situations which can (and ought to be) repaired, and the opportunity to find new approaches to move past old obstacles. Mercury Stations Direct at 12:28 pm (GMT + 8) at 16 Lib ’48.
Here’s a Head’s Up: At 7:11 am, Oct 30, Mercury will conjunct the North Node for the final time this year at 18 Libra ’16, activating a Nodal (Karmic) T-Square with Pluto and Uranus Retrograde. This will be a key opportunity to use the information you gathered during the Retrograde Period to work on some aspect of your relationships/partnerships/contracts or other negotiations.
Today, we’re also feeling the effects of Mars at the Anaretic Degree (i.e. 29 degrees) of Sagittarius. The lessons we have learnt from the ‘Action/Assertion’ planet in this sign to do with our sense of expansion, adventure, travel, higher education, philosophical understandings, Path in life, and our relationships with our Teachers/Gurus will be heightened. At 6:27 pm, October 26, Mars will move into the sign of the Sea-Goat, i.e. Capricorn.
At 10:38 pm, later today, Ceres will enter the 29th (Anaretic) degree of Scorpio. Here the Goddess Asteroid of Nurture (showing us how we best give and receive nurturing energy) is revisiting the lessons of her stay in the Scorpionic Underworld. Ceres or Demeter is the Goddess of the Harvest, of verdant abundance, of agriculture and the bounties of the Earth.
She is the mother of Persephone, the maiden who is abducted, raped and instated as the Queen of the Underworld by Hades/Pluto. The mother manages to secure 6 months out of 12 in the year where her daughter is free to roam the earth – the remaining months cause her mother to lament. The world experiences her grief and joy through the seasons: spring/summer (joy), autumn/winter (grief) or the simpler divisions of fruitful/unfruitful agricultural seasons (associated with Ceres) . Ceres moves into Sagittarius at 9:31 am, October 28.
The energy of Nurture, represented by Ceres, is focused upon the Deepest Moment of Darkness (Scorpio). We may find healing self/others by engaging in deep emotional catharsis and exploration as nurturing at this time. Physical touch and intimacy with a loved one can also bring us this sense of deep fulfillment. Others may fulfill Ceres’ longings through an exploration of the occult and the Deeper Mysteries it represents. As with all things, there is a balance called for in this placement – to ensure that the recipient of your healing, touch, explorations, etc. is firstly willing and able to participate in the process. Boundaries and the right use of power must be managed, particularly in parent-child relationships (owing to the Ceres-Persephone-Underworld connection).
On top of that, at 6:32 pm later today – we see the start of a Grand Fire Trine between Uranus Retrograde (13 Ari), Juno (6 Leo) and Vesta (9 Sag), whose effects will begin to build from this time. More on that in the days to come.
We’ve got other powerful influences already operating in the sky right now. Strongest of all is the aftermath of the Scorpio Solar Eclipse (see http://wp.me/p4OUNS-au for full article).
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.
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