The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness,
and a deep loving concern.
Beautiful people do not just happen.
~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
When you plumb the Scorpio depths, it can sometimes feel like you've wandered into a dark cave and you've lost sight of the light.
In that Scorpio cave, things can seem backwards. The entrance now looks better as an exit that could be used if you discover monsters in the darkness. And although you started off going toward the shadows, that now looks like the very direction you don't want to go!
Strange, scary sounds emanate from the inky depths, as you glance nervously back at the fading light from the cave's entrance. Your heartbeat is so loud and fast, you're sure it can be heard by the monsters making that god awful noise. Adrenaline buzzes through your arms and legs, as the fight-or-flight response gets ready to kick in if needed.
What IS making that noise?!
Just when you think your feet will rebel against your will and sprint you back to the safety of the light, something in that sound subtly shifts. Wait—what was that you just heard? A flicker of something familiar. Something that stirs your heart.
What emerges is a terrible empathy. You can't entirely dismiss what you perceive as being a "monster" anymore, but what you're seeing may seem like something out of a nightmare.
What does your fight-or-flight instinct do? Do you stand your ground and look into the heart of darkness? Or do you hightail it back to the cave entrance and pray that you outrun it?
This New Moon in Scorpio is about facing fears. And it's about finding ways to do that using some pretty impressive supports and resources that are available to you ...although it won't likely be a straight line to get them when you reach out for them. It's a mixed bag of "good-news-bad-news" with twists and turns along the path.
Courage is about learning how to function despite the fear, to put aside your instincts to run or give in completely to the anger born from fear. Courage is about using your brain and your heart when every cell of your body is screaming at your to fight or flee - and then following through on what you believe is
the right thing to do.
~ Jim Butcher, Ghost Story
The traditional ruler of Scorpio is Mars at 29° Virgo, teetering precariously at the cusp to Libra. Mars has been a busy boy these last 2½ weeks in Virgo. He's been partying with Venus and Jupiter as they all combined their talents toward tasks and projects, helping others perfect their trajectories, and generally tidying up and decluttering their to-do lists.
Now he's poised at the doorway into Libra – not a very comfortable place for Mars, since he is expected to be genial, polite and sensitive (not exactly at the top of his repertoire). Mars typically enjoys change and movement, but faced with squeezing himself into a Libran straightjacket, who could blame him for having mixed feelings about this change of abode?
These mixed reactions are fed back into the New Moon energy, Mars being the ruler and therefore benefactor of Scorpio. This is where the fight-or-flight feelings may be felt during the upcoming weeks of this lunar cycle. Do you hold back by staying in the Virgo critical and perfectionist view, or do you step forward into a new position where you may need to introduce those Scorpio "monsters" to others?
Holding back in Virgo is likely to produce a certain amount of anxiety, nervousness or apprehension. The risk is that you might wind up nitpicking (what you believe are) your faults and shortcomings by not having evicted the "monsters" before now. On the other hand, you might benefit from one more look around the cave to see what other insight you can find there.
To make matters more "interesting" Mars doesn't have much in the way of aspects. He's conjunct the North Lunar Node. (This is the true or oscillating Lunar Node which is currently at 0° Libra, a powerful Cardinal point. The mean or average Lunar Node crossed into Virgo on Oct.09.)
Therefore, whatever you decide to do with Mars' courage, action and emotions, it is likely to have more powerful or far-reaching implications than you might realize. Choose your trajectory wisely, since what you project out into the world could penetrate deeper into the present or persist longer into the future than you intend it to or think it will.
The fact that both the Lunar Nodes and Mars are conjunct and about to change signs suggests a lot of potential for sweeping changes during this lunar cycle! In fact, they both change signs and conjoin exactly within less than 24 hours on Nov.11-12. The exact Mars-Node conjunction (Nov.12) actually takes place while Mars is still in Virgo—just barely!—29°53'.
This suggests that if you're feeling the pull to linger in the Mars-in-Virgo energy, it could be because there is important learning from his journey through that sign that needs to be carried forward. For example: how to wield your courage and assertiveness in a more precise way that minimizes any collateral damage; or refocusing your aim toward the higher good of your intentions. In other words, have one last look around before moving on to wherever you're going, to see if anything is out of place or could be aligned a bit better.
Mars is also still conjunct Venus (4° orb), which brings a sizzling chemistry and edge to your actions and interactions. Encounters with loved ones (or potential loved ones) may take on a sharper edge than usual, which could be exciting or stressful depending on the context. The same can be said about energy you invest in making your life more beautiful, harmonious or balanced.
The Mars-Venus conjunction is separating (meaning it has already been exact: Nov.02) so its expression now is more about processing and playing out past events and experiences than gathering new ones. Venus is now in her own sign of Libra and so is very strong. She can help guide Mars across the threshold into Libra, but it's still up to Mars to find the courage and make the leap.
In other words, you may be challenged to connect with others around what's been happening in your life. This could include projects, feelings or activities that you're excited about, or things that feel scary, embarrassing or even shameful. Others may be more receptive and sympathetic to this than you think, but caution—it is wise to choose carefully who you are going to share this with or reveal yourself to, at least initially. Starting with something or someone that seems easier can help build up courage for more difficult challenges.
The thing to remember is: don't overanalyze it. Your gut instinct likely has a lot of wisdom that is worth listening to. That said, you still need to be discriminating about what you choose to act on.
Seek freedom and become captive of your desires.
Seek discipline and find your liberty.
~ Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune
Saturn is 16° ahead of the Sun, which means he is in the process of being swallowed up by the Sun's rays and becoming invisible until around mid-December when he becomes visible again. In ancient Hellenistic astrology, this place around the edge of visibility is called "phasis" and is said to greatly intensify the energy and influence of that planet. (Many thanks to Gary P. Caton for his discussion about this in his recent lectures for Astrology Toronto and SOTA astrology conference.)
Saturn is a significant player in the skies right now, approaching the first of 3 square aspects (90°) to Neptune (exact Nov.26). Saturn square Neptune is pretty rare and only happens about every 17 years. This transit brings together two very incompatible energies that mix together like oil and water! However, when they are able to flow together they can produce impressive results: art, music, dance, acts of service and compassion, and connecting to something greater than yourself in a very concrete or fundamental way. (Read my new article: Saturn and Neptune ~ Mapping the Vast Unknown.)
Saturn being so strongly placed in the New Moon chart means that he has a very strong influence over the New Moon energy and its expression over the coming 4-week lunar cycle. Saturn—normally a planet concerned with gruff seriousness and heavy responsibility—is in Sagittarius—a sign associated with optimism, vision and potential. Not exactly an easy mix either! (Read my article: Saturn in Sagittarius ~ Experiential Wisdom versus "My Way or the Highway")
In the context of the New Moon in Scorpio, Saturn seems to offer a promise of better days and emergence from that monster's cave, but first you will need to follow the path through the cave's dark shadows. In other words, to emerge back into the light of day one must journey through a darkened night sky. The only way out is through.
In addition to Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter is sextile (60°) to the Sun-Moon conjunction (a.k.a. New Moon). Jupiter is the planetary ruler of Sagittarius, so this lunar cycle has the support of upbeat Sagittarius from both ends – Jupiter and Saturn.
The Sagittarian compass points the way to the exit at the other end of that monster cave. The steps from here to there consist of hope, optimism, knowledge and daring to believe there is a positive outcome at the end of your Dark Night of the Soul. By exploring the deeper meaning of what those "monsters" are doing in your life, you make your way through to the other side. Learn about your inner depths, gather that learning into knowledge and distil that knowledge into wisdom.
The Saturn-Neptune square cautions against using hopefulness and knowledge as a fantasy that just avoids the reality of what you're dealing with. Using Saturn's realism and factual grounding can help you keep a productive and meaningful balance with the subtlety of faith in better days to come.
There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart.
So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying.
~ Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
Last but not least, Mercury is conjunct the New Moon (exact on Nov.17). In addition, Mercury and Mars are in mutual reception, meaning they reflect mirror images of each other by being in a sign that the other rules (Mercury rules Virgo, Mars rules Scorpio). This gives Mercury a special role as you travel through the Scorpio cave. Your perceptions are likely to be intense, sensitive, deep and profound – a little goes a long way. In other words, what you choose to dwell on mentally is likely to have a powerful effect, so awareness of your thoughts, ideas and mental focus is an important tool that can either keep you moving through the Scorpio depths or keep you stuck in obsession with morbid imaginings.
Mercury is sextile (60°) both Jupiter and Pluto, which allows creative problem-solving and self-expression to be powerful resources. If you're feeling bogged down by envisioning the worst case scenario, try doing something creative with it – write in a journal, pour it out into a poem or listen to music that conveys what you're feeling. Put your imagination to good use by playfully making up fantasies where you wrestle with and resolve whatever is plaguing you. Pay attention to your dreams, since they could provide insight into where you are on the journey and where you might be stuck.
Mercury's perception is just as much your compass as the Sagittarius elements. Are you cringing from the wailing noises from those monsters? The Mercury part of you has the capacity to hear the deeper truth behind the sounds. It will also be able to detect the subtle changes in what you perceive, which can indicate that you're making progress—or that you're stuck in morbid obsession.
If you listen carefully, you will start to realize that what sounds like a howling banshee is actually the raw anguish of the Inner Child – your own and/or someone else's. That's not to say you should let that wounded Child dictate decisions or actions. On the contrary, that dominant Saturn signifies that your Adult needs to be just as sturdy as the distressed Child is volatile. Staying balanced by embracing both sides of the equation can carry you through to illumination and understanding that can then act from compassion and empathy.
This is the true nature of Scorpio transformation. It is the tenacity to ride out the storm that washes away the toxins that keep your spirit depleted or burdened. It's time to discover a realistic faith in life and wish your soul a Happy Rebirthday!
Listen to Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.
Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me:
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.
~ Shel Silverstein
When the North Lunar Node is in Virgo, its opposite point, the South Lunar Node is in Pisces. Together they form an axis of energy which, in this case, moves toward Virgo and away from Pisces. At the North Node, you take in the energy; you take on new awareness and learning and you confront (or are confronted by) new challenges. For roughly a year and a half, you are learning about Virgo energy: work, service and health. It is about being able to put your ego in the backseat and dedicate yourself to giving your talents, skills, time and energy to a worthy cause, be that your job, volunteering for a charity or just cleaning out your closets. Virgo is about perfecting and honing your abilities so that they are effective, efficient, organized and useful.
At the South Node (Pisces, in this case), we let go of something that is no longer needed. Once you've learned the lesson of the South Node, you release it; move it from the foreground to the background. The lesson of Pisces is also about dedicating yourself to something higher than yourself, but there is a trap. You can give so much of yourself that you become lost and lose your ability to make choices that are in your best interest. Pisces also wants to believe the best about people and situations, but things may turn out to be not what they seem. So the Pisces lesson is to be willing to see what is really there and not just assume that the best intentions and potential will always lead to truth and integrity. In addition, wishing, affirming, praying and believing are not always substitutes for rolling up your sleeves and making it happen with some good old fashioned "elbow grease."
The Virgo-Pisces themes will also play out in the houses in your natal chart where these signs reside, taking on challenges of the house where the North Node is and letting go of the baggage related to the opposite house where the South Node is.
The North Node is in Virgo during these times:
Your mental focus and communication now get an injection of healing energy. Cynicism and depression may soften now, as you become more receptive to a more optimistic viewpoint. If you have been caught up in escapism or "stinkin' thinkin'" (thinking you're more in control of your impulses than you really are), you may now find some relief and healing. Mental argument and critical "self-talk" can now find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings some peace of mind. You have increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems. Compassion and empathy may be more accessible because you can identify your own experiences with what you see in others. You might also find someone who can give you good advice or support about your own problems – possibly a teacher or mentor – or you could become this to someone else.
For up to a week before and after this date, you are likely to feel energized in some way. You might feel enthusiastic, active, passionate, easily angered or downright wired. Or you could be around others who are feeling this way. On the other hand, this energy might also be somewhat explosive, aggressive or overbearing in some way. At its worst, it could indicate violence, although it's more likely to increase energy levels in general. If you and others are in a positive head space, this raised energy can easily be used constructively. If in a negative head space, it could result in conflict, argument or hostility. The important thing is to find a constructive or beneficial outlet for this energy. It's a good time to try new things or take risks BUT make sure this is balanced with some solid common sense too.
This is a time when aggression, anger and directness may have to be expressed gently, diplomatically and gracefully. Libra is not the most comfortable sign for Mars, since his typically sharp-edged and forceful nature becomes blunted and filtered through Libran softness and tact. It's a bit like dressing Star Trek's "Worf" in a tutu. However, when these energies combine and work well together, what can emerge is the passion to fight for justice and fairness. This is "the fisted hand in the velvet glove," and can create situations in which you must respond more like a charming but crafty ambassador than a brute force boxer. On the other hand, with force, aggression and directness somewhat blocked or unavailable as options, it may be difficult to respond decisively or purposefully to conflict and challenge. You need to rely more on your wits than your impulses, and strive for a win-win solution than a clear victory.
It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.
You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.
During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.
Neptune now turns direct after being retrograde for about 5 months. For up to a week before and after this date, you might feel a bit dreamy, disconnected, depressed, sluggish or scatter-brained. The Neptune energy takes you into a non-rational, intuitive place and can stir up feelings and issues from the unconscious. Vivid dreams could give you insight into situations you have been wrestling with, and your intuitive sensitivity might seem to come out of nowhere. Or you might experience the opposite—your dreams elude you and you feel cut off from your usual intuitive sense. What is happening is that your "right-brain" (intuitive, creative, non-rational, faith-oriented) is passing the torch to your "left-brain" (rational, logical, linear, practical), and you can get caught in the whirlpool of transition. Try not to control the process, but allow it to carry you and point you in a different direction. The learning you have gathered over the last five months or so—related to spirituality, longing, inspiration, creativity, imagination, fantasy, divination and intuition—can now start to be applied more directly in your life over the next few months. It may be possible to channel your experience into a creative form—possibly artistic, but definitely creating something new out of what has been, which can ultimately be healing and uplifting.
Communication, ideas, thoughts and perceptual "spark" become expanded in Sagittarius. Your mental focus tends toward a philosophical and spiritual outlook that seeks the highest truth in the broadest context. However, it's not always easy for the conscious mind to assimilate and digest such a vast territory of knowledge, or to find the higher meaning in mountains of raw information. You might feel a bit overwhelmed by trying to take in such a panoramic view of your world, but the gifts from doing so are abundant and inspiring! To get the most out of this transit, try learning something new that expands your horizon. Or pick a situation in your life and imagine that you're looking at it from a mountaintop – what do you see from way up there that you can't see when you're closer to the ground? Just remember that whatever visions and insights you get from doing this, these are SOME of the truths to be found, but not necessarily the only truth. Leave room in your new understanding to remember that every mountaintop shows a slightly different view and that this doesn't make one mountain right and the others wrong.
Relationships and interactions are likely to be deep, intense and transformative under this transit. The same goes for your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, which may require you to delve far deeper than usual to discover the truth under the surface of things. You may encounter the dark shadow of your desires – the obscure, secret or unconscious hunger that hides underneath the "politically correct" face you show to the world (and to yourself. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if someone has something (or someone) that you feel you are entitled to. Or, it might prompt you to reach very deep into your soul to find your inner beauty and value. You may be challenged to develop empathy or empowerment about something that initially seemed undesirable, unforgivable or scary. This transit can show you the problem areas that need to be transformed and healed. And seeing these more clearly can be a catharsis that sets that transformative healing in motion.
Happy Solar Return to all Sagittarians! While the Sun is in Sagittarius, we all get to explore our horizons, seek our highest truth, discover our spirituality and gain fresh wisdom. Sagittarius energy encourages us to reach beyond our grasp, to exceed our limitations, and to rise above our primal impulses. Whether we are encountering other cultures, countries and languages, or expanding our horizons through new knowledge or spiritual awareness, this is a time to be uplifted and inspired. We are challenged to explore meaning in our lives and to connect with whatever we regard as sacred and sublime. In Sagittarius we also gather new knowledge and understanding, making sense of the patterns and themes within the raw information around us. It is not enough to simply have facts and data. Sagittarius presents us with the opportunity to reach for the highest truth we know, and then to exercise that truth in moral and ethical ways. The trap we must be careful to avoid is that it's easy to assume that our truth is truth for everyone else too, which is not necessarily the case. Our well-meaning wish for others to experience the inspiration and passion that we feel can seem to turn us into self-righteousness know-it-alls. It's tempting to believe that we are privy to knowledge that others are denied. There can be a fine line between sharing passionate knowledge versus shoving opinions down someone's throat. Everyone has their unique perspective on life, and therefore their own sense of meaning and truth that works for them. And yet, debating and challenging each other's knowledge, beliefs and values are also an important part of the Sagittarius passion for exploration. As the Sun journeys through Sagittarius, expand your awareness of how these issues play out in your life.
Relationships, social interaction, material resources and emotional balance may be a bit unpredictable or unstable around this time, as Uranus the Awakener sounds a wake-up gong in these areas. You may be more inclined to act out of character, to experiment or be reckless in relationship, social or financial matters, which could be liberating or disturbing, exciting or upsetting. Circumstances or other people might create a situation in which you are forced to respond in an unusual or unfamiliar way. The idea behind this energy is to become more flexible and more open to a broader vision of what is possible in those areas. There may be weak spots in the affected areas which this transit illuminates by creating problems, so that they can be repaired and strengthened, or else broken and released so that new opportunities can come in. Trust the process and keep your eyes open to seeing new truth and insight.
There is an opportunity to harness the energy of willpower using practical discipline. Your physical and mental energy are likely to be stable and enduring, or else they can become this way more easily than usual by applying a sustained focus of effort. This is a great transit if you need to be productive or to make progress in a goal that you are working toward. The thing to watch out for is a tendency to be over-cautious to the point where you get stuck in the planning stage and don't get much done. Or, you might try to rush into the production phase before your plans are fully formed. This transit works best when these areas are brought into balance.
It's time to take a serious look at the circumstances and situations in your life. This transit may not exactly be "party time" but it's a great transit to have when you need to take a dispassionate, objective, clear view of life. You may be called upon to make a decision about something. For example, you might need to commit yourself to a particular plan of action, or start developing plans toward a particular goal. In either case, it may be necessary to limit or let go of other options. You might come to the conclusion that something has run its course and it's time to leave it behind – like an opinion or project or mindset. It's a time when your perception, thoughts and words may not be exciting, imaginative or entertaining, but you're probably more able to be clear, grounded decisive and hard working.
Your mental focus may be a bit clouded, confused or lethargic right now, as your conscious mind struggles to grasp the formless, limitless expanse of the Universe and the unconscious. You may experience some disillusionment or disappointment, in your observations or communication with others. However, what is flowing under the surface of events right now is the need to dissolve away the crust of old expectations that blocks your view from seeing a greater Truth. If you're feeling off-balance, try to listen more than you talk, so that you can be receptive to your inner sensitivity. Left-brain analysis might be difficult to work with right now unless you balance it with a lot of right-brain intuition. You may have to let go of a rigid mindset, or give up what you think you understand about a situation in your life, in order to open yourself to a new perspective that is difficult to define but is ultimately in the best interest of your spiritual growth.
There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.
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© 2015 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Artwork: Scorpio - Magic Time! © Carol McCloud, Galactic Alchemy; used with permission. Photo of woman behind curtain by puravida via Morguefile.com.