Scorpio’s gaze can pierce the facade, honing in on our deepest secrets and our greatest fears; it can expose our vulnerabilities.
Birth, death and regeneration. Intensity, power and depth. The eighth sign of the zodiac confronts us with some of the most potent, vital and frightening aspects of human existence. Scorpio is undoubtedly the most maligned and misunderstood sign of horoscopic astrology. Associated with obsession, paranoia, vindictiveness, jealousy, manipulation and ruthlessness, this feminine water sign has become a convenient scapegoat for all that is unsavoury in human experience. The ancients assigned rulership of Scorpio to Mars, and many of its negative significations are derived from a combination of Mars and misogyny. In a society that abhors female anger and aggression, the fiery, uber-masculine God of War is forced undercover in his “feminine” guise. The energy and combativeness of Mars are turned inward, sublimated but not erased. Competition and hostility manifest as manipulation, secrecy and neurosis. Like its emblematic creature, the Scorpion has many defences: claws, a hard shell and a sting as potent as it is unexpected.
But the many layers of protection are necessary to protect the delicate, sensitive creature within. Scorpio is a fixed water sign. As such, it is associated with the deepest pools of human experience: the ancient, primordial element that birthed all of creation. Water represents emotion, spirituality and creativity. It finds its way into the deepest cracks and crevasses of the psyche. Scorpio is a highly intuitive sign; it can sense the undercurrents of power, sex and danger in almost any situation. Those with Scorpio Moon placements are particularly uncanny in their ability to pick up on subtle cues and secret motivations. Scorpio is a psychologically savvy sign. With access to the darkest corners of the mind and a rare ability to uncover buried or repressed material, Scorpions make excellent researchers, investigators, therapists and artists.
The modern ruler of Scorpio is Pluto, and despite my Hellenistic leanings I do find this rulership compelling. Pluto, or Hades as he was called in ancient Greece, was known as the ruler of the Underworld, a powerful figure connected to death, darkness, and even rape. The most famous Hades myth involves his abduction of Persephone, daughter of Demeter. The Earth Goddess Demeter, was so aggrieved by the loss of her daughter, that she withdrew her fecundity, causing drought and famine throughout the lands. The situation grew so dire that Zeus himself was forced to intervene, sending Hermes to the Underworld to negotiate with Hades for Persephone’s release. Diplomacy proved successful; Mother and daughter were reunited. Demeter wept tears of joy that refreshed the land, restoring verdure and fertility once more. However, when it was discovered that Persephone had taken nourishment in the subterranean world, she became eternally bound to its rules and requirements. Henceforth, she would spend 6 months of the year with her mother and 6 months in the Underworld, 1 month for each of the 6 pomegranate seeds she had consumed in Hades’ domain.
This story explains the origin of the seasons; but it also elucidates the autumnal qualities of Scorpio. In the Northern Hemisphere, Scorpio is entrenched in the dying days of Autumn, when light has given way to the inevitability of darkness. It confronts us with the inexorable forces of death and decay. It exposes the underbelly of society and the repressed material of the psyche. Pluto is connected to all things taboo and is implicated in feelings of shame. This may explain why people with strong Scorpio placements (especially the Ascendant) can cause such violent reactions in others. Scorpio’s gaze can pierce the facade, honing in on our deepest secrets and our greatest fears; it can expose our vulnerabilities and poke holes in our carefully curated personas. The word Pluto literally means, “riches,” hinting at some of the more positive significations of Scorpio and its modern ruler. From the bowels of the earth come some of its most valuable resources: minerals, precious metals and the rich fertile soil that nourishes all new life on the planet. Without death and decay, without the subterranean work of mycelium and microbes, there would be no life on Earth. Similarly, from the depths of our psychic trauma and pain come the riches of compassion, wholeness and resiliency. The creative, healing properties of Scorpio emerge when we mine the unconscious for truth and plumb the fathomless depths of emotion.
This all sounds very serious but Scorpios have a lighter side too. They can be wickedly funny, sexy and irreverent. They can see the humour in self-deception, power games and the macabre. They're unlikely to follow the crowd - but they might lead one. The power and intensity associated with this mysterious water sign springs from its fearless and uncompromising commitment to face the naked truth. Scorpio has no time for superficiality or artifice; it cuts straight through the bullshit to uncover the gritty essence of things, no matter how difficult or painful that probing may feel. If you are fortunate enough to be loved by a Scorpio, you can count on their undying loyalty and commitment. Scorpio wants to penetrate all your defences, to see the real you. If you let them, you will find acceptance for who and what you truly are, with no judgement.
Happy Scorpio Season.
Peace my friends,
Categories: Ancient Astrology, Aquarius, Ares, Astrology, Bad Boys, BirthChart, Divination, Faith, God of War, Mars, Mysticism, Mythology, Psychology, Spirituality, Zodiac, Misogyny, anger and aggression, Pluto, Hades, The underworld, Dark side