Saturn and the lunar North Node have been in Scorpio for just over a year. Mercury is about to go retrograde in Scorpio on Monday. With the Sun moving into Scorpio this week, it hits us that we’re entering the darkest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the mythological descent into hell, one of the oldest stories in history.
We did get some good news last week … sort of. The U.S. Congress voted to reopen the government and raise the debt limit. But I don’t know anyone who’s overjoyed about it. We’re feeling wrung out from the stress and fear, and angry that we’ve been played yet again. The astrology of this period is indeed intense, and so I couldn’t dismiss the possibility of a default and all the implications. But the entire time, I was thinking that this was just more political theater, with a script written like a Hollywood movie in which the hero beats death at the eleventh hour to save the girl and kill the monster. And the writers made sure they created an opening for the sequel. Like Aliens, maybe. We thought the horrific monster was slain, only to find that there’s an entire nest of them, and they multiply like – well, like insects.
The primal fear for one’s very survival is a Scorpio concern, and in true Scorpio fashion, it can be manipulated by those hoarding the money and power in order to hang onto what they have – because they, too, fear for their survival. Tyrants, bullies, and control freaks typically don’t see themselves as perpetrators, but rather as victims and targets. Paranoia is another Scorpio trait.
Scorpio simultaneously draws us in and terrifies us with its mysterious power, which ultimately is the power of life and death. It requires us to let go, without any hint of what might be on the other side if we do. There are more taboos associated with this sign than any other. Thus, the powerful myth of the descent into hell. Usually, it’s portrayed as the “hero’s journey,” but I always like to point out that one of the earliest stories ever written down was about the goddess Inanna. Not coincidentally, she was sometimes portrayed with a scorpion beneath her wedding bed. All of these stories, by the way, originated with the stars, constellations, and the changing seasons. The point of the underworld journeys is that the hero or heroine returns with magical powers, usually the power to heal. That is what we often forget. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the dark drama.
I’ve written a lot about the healing aspect of Scorpio, especially in reference to Ophiuchus, the so-called “thirteenth” constellation of the zodiac. Ophiuchus isn’t an astrological sign and never will be, despite all the silliness in the media a few years back. But we might consider it a “hidden” side of Scorpio. Depending on how you calculate it – and this is a tricky business – Ophiuchus accounts for roughly two thirds of Scorpio, from about 10 to 29 degrees. So, while the Sun and the North Node currently are in Scorpio, Saturn and Mercury are in the “Ophiuchus degrees.” Moreover, Saturn is in a sextile with Chiron, named for a mythological centaur with connections to Ophiuchus.
So, as we head into the darkest time, it’s always helpful to remember that this is where we’ll find our real power. It’s cliché by now, but it’s true that to find our power, we first need to discover and own our dark, “shadow” side. In terms of the collective, we’re going through a period in which we’re beginning to understand that humans are capable of horrific cruelty. By definition, that means we all have that potential somewhere deep inside of us.
Mercury turns retrograde on Monday at 18°24′ Scorpio. He’ll remain in “reverse” until November 10. In classical mythology, Mercury (Greek Hermes) guided souls to the underworld. He was the only god who could come and go freely. We experience this phenomenon every day in sleeping and waking – slipping into the unconscious and returning to consciousness when we wake up. The dream state is where we can encounter our deep psyche, although the images sometimes require a lot of work to translate into comprehensible messages. While Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio, we have a special opportunity to connect with parts of ourselves that may be hidden or buried.
Overall, this Mercury retrograde could be difficult, due to its timing with the eclipses and the Uranus-Pluto square, which is exact on November 1. Watch the headlines for scandals and state secrets exposed. It’s possible that some of what’s discovered could cause a serious public backlash, if not outright protests.
As I mentioned in a previous post, take precautions to ensure that your own secrets are safe. Double-check that you have the right e-mail addresses before hitting “send” and that you’re sending faxes to the right number. All the usual cautions apply: Back up your computer data, and take special care with your cell phone. At this point, you should have important business wrapped up, especially contractual agreements. Of course, we don’t always have a choice, and businesses that depend on contracts can’t just stop for three weeks three times a year. With Mercury in Scorpio, it’s possible that there are hidden terms and conditions, so be sure to read the fine print and ask lots of questions. If you don’t understand the answers, keep asking.
The Sun enters Scorpio on Wednesday at 2:10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time – late Tuesday on the West Coast of the United States and points farther west. I mentioned dreams above. Pay special attention toward the end of the week, as the Sun will be in a trine with Neptune in Pisces, another sign associated with the deep psyche and ancient memories. These can include glimpse of past-life experiences. In general, the veil between the worlds begins to lift in late October. Some of what comes into our field of conscious awareness could be shocking in its intensity.
We’ll also have a very brief revisit of the summer’s grand water trine when the Moon in Cancer forms a trine with the Sun and Neptune on Thursday. Think back to what was going on for you starting in July. It probably wasn’t a one-time event that was neatly concluded in a month’s time, but more likely an ongoing situation that will continue to unfold. Later this week, you may get hints of future developments.
I want to end by saying that although next week’s astrological aspects are the most turbulent of the year, we’re in that zone now. Events associated with eclipses, especially powerful ones, can manifest a month or more in advance, and up to three months afterward. Some astrologers extend that period to six months, depending on a host of factors. If it’s any consolation, most of you already know what issues you’re dealing with in this eclipse cycle, since we’ve been in it for a year. Put another way, even though the other shoe may be about to drop, at least we know which shoe we’re talking about and approximately where it might land.
Much love and courage to all,
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2013.