by Robert Wilkinson
This month accents the water sign Scorpio, where we transcend the forms we’ve glimpsed up to now and move deeper into the experience of people and activities. We can concentrate power by purifying ourselves of obsolete or stagnant feelings, and going deeper into our mystery to regenerate what we need to get from here to where we're going. It’s definitely the heart of Autumn, with its focus on harvesting that which is pleasing, socializing and connecting while seeing the end of old forms in our lives. This month is about releasing, letting go, and taking out the old, obsolete waste materials accumulated in the year cycle up to now, to make space for the wintering we are about to go through. The yearly light force is waning, so conserve energy and concentrate on what you really want. Check out your magnetism, follow through as needed, and push through obstacles, including forms of mental slavery.
Scorpio is a Fixed Water sign. This implies ice, yet they share a rulership by Mars with Aries, a Fire sign. Scorpio is both fire and ice, sometimes extreme but never superficial or light-minded. That's for other Sun signs, but not Scorpio. This sign, easily misunderstood, pierces through forms seeking to get to the essence of things. Scorpio desires an ever more intense union with people, ideas, and experience. This sign is the death and rebirth all things must go through on the journey between the vision of possible perfection in Libra and the freedom of explore distant regions in thought, feeling, and action in Sagittarius. Scorpio takes the perfect form of Libra and penetrates to the mystery of its transformation into higher and greater truth.
In this phase of the twelve-step evolutionary process that which began in Aries, stabilized in Taurus, expanded in Gemini, consolidated in Cancer, creatively projected in Leo, refined in Virgo and shaped into a new ideal in Libra is given magnetic power. Whatever must be let go of needs to go to provide the psychic space for our own rebirth on whatever level it takes place. It is an energy of loss and regeneration, the cocoon phase in our process of growing from caterpillar to butterfly, the universal symbol of spiritual rebirth.
Scorpio is associated with the stinging Scorpion, but that is merely the lowest of the four manifestations of this sign. The next more evolved Scorpio is the snake, symbol of wisdom continually shedding old skins and growing new ones. There are three kinds of snake. Vipers, feared by many creatures. Pythons, suffocating in their strength. And the others, eaters of vermin and symbols of fortune. The third type of Scorpio is the Eagle. This king of the raptors with speed and strength sees everything keenly at great distances while soaring through the heights, alone or with its own kind.
The highest manifestation of this sign is the Phoenix, also known as the Firebird. This is the being which is the symbol of continuous transformation, the scintillating magic fire that's alive and only dies to be reborn more gloriously from the egg of its own creation. Scorpio's keywords are "I desire." This is the sign of penetrating intention to investigate the mystery that confronts the evolving being. Scorpio explores the archetypes of Communion and Faith through intensifying and purifying whatever and whoever they touch.
As Jupiter just entered Scorpio, this sign will experience new truths, vision, and adventure in the coming year. This will bring the end of a 12 year cycle for Scorpios, and begin a new one. Open, broaden, widen, and find the humor or irony in all things. The more you let go of, the more you release, the more space you will create for greater things to manifest. Show compassion, and know when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away, and when not to fight. This year opens larger vistas of expression for Scorpio, so if it's a hassle, give it up, or at least put it on the shelf for a while until you're less aggravated!
Mars is the ruler of Scorpio, so it will exert a stronger influence than usual this month. The series of T-squares and Grand Fixed Crosses involves Scorpio in some difficult challenges brought to focus by Mars retrograde in Taurus. This has mired things for Scorpio for quite a while, and forced major changes and shifts in anyone with this sign strong in the birth, progressed, or Solar Return charts. Due to the retrograde, things have seemed backwards, roundabout, inward, and every way except forward, but this will rapidly shift as Mars begins to pick up speed, helping us find relief in the general feeling that things are progressing at a quicker pace than the past months.
We’re still going through major changes in the areas of our life and birth chart ruled by Aries, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, so stay flexible as you recombine what has fractured into the mosaic of a new life. This will show in the areas where these planets fall and other planets they influence, such as by dispositorship. Our chart has all these influences working at the same time, so examine the changes and adjust accordingly. When in doubt or having a hard time, go with Jupiter, not with Mars, since Mars is in its opposite sign, not a great place for it to be! Scorpio energies are at odds with its "ruler" this month, forcing us to back off from what aggravates us, be merciful and not so severe, and employ a grand style rather than get bogged down in hassles that only throw us off our equilibrium.
Mythologically, Scorpio is in the axis of the Warrior, or Guardian. This sign (along with its polar opposite, Taurus) confirms the dance of relationship between self and others begun in Aries and formalized in Libra. Scorpio is devotion made manifest, showing us our desire and what we're willing to do to get it. Like Taurus, it shows us the lessons of “mine and thine” as we interact with others. It is the part of us willing to hold the line on what we want and how we wish to possess others. This sign deeply merges into shared values with others, yet also knows how to draw clear and definite boundaries between the values and desires of each.
Scorpio, when freed of the traps of perpetual dissatisfaction, stubbornness, excessive desire, and not knowing when to stop demonstrate a consistency and reliability in sustaining the collective effort. They are devoted warriors that will hold the line unto death if need be, hanging in there when everybody else has bailed. Scorpio, like Libra, is highly socialized and need people, but are less likely to compromise as they strive to get closer and closer to the object they are attracted to. Sometimes too impulsive, they persist in rhythmic activity that flows from icy calm to fiery intensity, movement to rest to movement in an unending spiral of evolution. When Scorpio learns to let go of possessiveness, jealousy, suspicion, and any tendencies to be domineering, dishonest, or violent they become a living miracle of trustworthy, heroic courage. They are master healers, creative and inspiring, one-pointed and tenacious in their mission of service.
In Scorpio we see the detective searching for the clues to the mystery and a reformer relentlessly pursuing truth beyond boundaries. Scorpios are scientific investigators who have the power to reshape their world. Think Martin Luther, who defied the absolute power of the Pope to found another of the world's major religions. Another Scorpio, St. Augustine, reformed the early church doctrine (and changed it forever) by merging it with Greco-Roman philosophy. One of the greatest Scorpio servants of humanity of all time was the legendary medical researcher Jonas Salk, M.D. This true humanitarian saved the world's children from polio while giving the monetary rights to the world, and was exploring meta-biology up to the point of his death.
Scorpios have cut a very wide wake across in the political world, which makes sense given the ambition this sign can harbor. However, it also seems that many suffer difficult fates. Two famous political figures of great power include Leon Trotsky, whose original intention was to reform Czarist Russia and the world, but was exiled (cocooned) at the height of his power and influenced, and later assassinated, and Chiang Kai-Shek, who reformed the Chinese government, only to lose his country and found another.
Other political Scorpios include Charles deGaulle, uncompromising and independent leader of France, the legendary Bobby Kennedy, also assassinated before his prime, and Prince Charles, seemingly cocooned as a Prince forever while his Taurus mother, QEII, endures on the throne of England. Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi, both Scorpios, were leaders of India. Nehru presided over the "death through partition" of greater India, while Indira was assassinated as a result of her authoritarian ruthlessness.
Scorpio figures large in the US Presidency. We find James A. Garfield and Warren G. Harding, presidents who used a middle initial and died while in office. Garfield was known for being able simultaneously to write in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other, and found a new proof for the Pythagorean Theorem, not small tasks. Harding, on the other hand, was known for his corruption, sexual escapades, and ineptitude, and ushered in the Roaring '20s and 12 years of incompetent presidents whose policies led directly to the Great Depression.
We have had three other Scorpio Presidents. There was John Adams, second president and bitter political opponent of Jefferson. Another was James K. Polk, who swore he only wanted one term and was true to his word. Through treaties with Canada and war with Mexico, this manifest destiny expansionist got us land stretching to the Pacific, aggravating the festering divisions that would explode into the Civil War. Teddy Roosevelt, considered among the top 5 presidents of all time, was a relentless reformer, trust-buster and conservationist who gave us our National Park system. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, making him the first American to win the Nobel in any category.
Scorpio, though exceptionally strong, sometimes does not have an easy life. Marie Antoinette met an unfortunate end, as did Vice President Spiro Agnew, who was forced to resign in disgrace due to crimes committed when he was governor of Maryland. And we all know the disgrace Senator Joe McCarthy brought down on himself at the peak of power.
In the literary world we have Dostoevsky, Voltaire, John Keats, George Eliot, Ezra Pound, Dylan Thomas, Steven Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson, Zane Grey, Kurt Vonnegut, Raja Rao, and Andre Malraux. All of their works are penetrating, intense, and definitely not superficial! In art we find Scorpios Monet, Rodin, Roy Lichtenstein, and Georgia O'Keeffe.
There are many legends of film in the Scorpio tribe. We start with directors Mike Nichols, Louis Malle, Martin Scorsese, and Danny DeVito, and proceed to Burt Lancaster, Katherine Hepburn, Vivian Leigh, Ruth Gordon, Ed Wynn, Richard Burton, Grace Kelly, Claude Rains, Dick Powell, Burgess Meredith, Leo G. Carroll, Jackie Coogan, Rock Hudson, Charles Bronson, and Joel McCrea among the brightest stars of old Hollywood. Contemporary bright shining lights include Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Julia Roberts, Richard Dreyfuss, John Candy, Kate Capshaw, Tatum O'Neal, Jody Foster, Meg Ryan, Sam Shepard, Elke Sommer, Ethan Hawke, Sally Field, Parker Posey, McKenzie Phillips, Roy Scheider, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Oskar Werner, and Elizabeth Perkins.
Scorpio has given television some icons, many of them very funny people: Johnny Carson, Jonathan Winters, Art Carney, Imogene Coca, Dick Cavett, Henry Winkler, Ray Walston, Esther Rolle, McLean Stevenson, Ed Asner, Dennis Miller, Roseanne Barr, Loretta Swit, and Dick Smothers. Other tv hall of famers are Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Barbara Bel Geddes, Michael Landon, Linda Evans, Markie Post, Sam Waterston, Lisa Bonet, and Victoria Hamel.
In the related area of television news, we have several greats: Walter Cronkite and his successor Dan Rather are both known for their sincerity and directness, as are Morley Safer and Jane Pauley. Scorpio Lorne Michaels also is a tv icon, as are Ted Turner and Larry King.
Music gives us some major talents. Scorpio legends across time include Richard Strauss, Aaron Copland, John Phillip Sousa, Tommy Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, Sonny Terry, Ethel Waters, and Al Hirt. Newer luminaries include Duane Allman, Art Garfunkle, Glenn Frey, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, Grace Slick, Tom Fogerty, Mary Travers, Lyle Lovett, and P. Diddy.
Some other Scorpios who made their mark in their own unique way were Will Rogers, universally loved social-political satirist with humor like an icepick, Pablo Picasso, whose dark intensity in both his artistic and personal life was legendary, and Marie Curie, who unlocked the secrets of radiation. In this eclectic group we also find First Ladies Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Maria Shriver, and three sports legends, James Naismith, inventor of basketball and baseball hall of famers Walter Johnson, "the Big Train" strikeout king, and Stan Musial. Finishing this list of unique and intense beings are George Patton, perhaps the greatest General America ever had, pioneer Daniel Boone, evangelist Billy Graham, theater icon Lee Strasberg, designer Calvin Klein, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Finally, a big happy birthday to the the countries of Algeria, Korea (trad.), Morocco, Norway, Paraguay, and Syria. Happy birthday to the states of Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Washington, and the cities of Baltimore, Boise, Charlotte, Denver, Fairbanks, Fez, Morocco, Fresno, Ghent, Belgium, Halifax, Little Rock, Liverpool, Milwaukee, Newark, New Haven, Nova Scotia, Philadelphia, Providence, Queensland, St. Louis, St. Paul, Trenton, and West Palm Beach.