by Andrea Goodman
A scorpion is deadly. The ancients saw a scorpion in the stars for the Sun’s passage at this darkening time of year, and named it Scorpio. In our modern culture we celebrate Halloween, scaring ourselves as best we can, trying on the costumes of death. Where I live in New England, November strips Nature bare of lush leafy dresses; skeletons of the trees and bony rocks are revealed in the landscape. We see the naked structure, only what is essential.
Scorpio is an opportunity to make a space for death. In Mexico, the beginning of November celebrates the Day of the Dead, with each family creating an altar to honor their loved ones who are no longer physically present. People welcome the spirits of their dead relatives and put out food, drink, flowers, candles, and mementos to draw them close. People dress as skeletons in party clothes and parade through the streets. They play music in the cemetery and picnic on the graves. We can create our own versions of welcome to the spirits of those who appear to have left us. We can open to their essence, remember them as we knew them, and feel them close in our hearts.
Spirits are everywhere, no longer confined to animate form. We can listen for messages of wisdom and guidance from the broader perspective of non-local and ego-less freedom. The desire in Scorpio for transformative experience comes from an instinct to penetrate the meaning of life and death. The all-or-nothing intensity wants to feel primal need. What is the power that sends spirit into flesh? And what is the power that calls it away again?
Death, our eventual mortality, sharpens our living, asks us to release and allow outgrown versions of ourselves to die, so that we can fulfill our most vital desires for our time here. Death and darkness are the shadows of bright light. Every night the Sun goes to another dimension, what the ancient Egyptians call the Duat, where it continues to shine but we are in shadow. They say that we also go to this place when we die, before we are reborn as is the Sun every morning. The womb is fertile darkness that brings us into life. The seed is the concentrated life force that will sprout and grow and flower. These are the mysteries of Scorpio.
All the planets are in continual motion, within us and visibly in the sky. As the nights lengthen, darkness offers us more time with the stars, more space for our spirits to expand, more fertile silence for the impregnating seeds of wisdom to find us.
(Image Citation: www.Astrolibrary.org)