Welcome back to Astrology for the Seasons – a monthly blog series where I explore the wisdom that each astrological season can offer us. I started this series to experiment living in alignment with the lessons of each astrological season, as a way to strengthen mental, emotional, energetic or all-around health. See last month’s post on Libra Season here!
So. Who is struggling out there? While the fall can often start with a burst of energy and enthusiasm for new schedules, commitments and goals, at some point we hit a wall. It’s cold, we’re exhausted, it feels like we’ve been working too hard for too long and we have even longer to go before we get a break. We’re in a fog of sadness, insecurity, stress, worry, deflation and we can’t shake it off. So we put on a brave face, we show up to our jobs and relationships, and we try really, really, hard to Keep Our Shit Together. We don’t want to burden anyone. We don’t want to be too much.
You all know what this means. Oh hell (literally)…
I know how you all feel about Scorpio Season. I can hear the competing choruses of cheers and groans from miles away. Scorpio Season is love me or hate me, just don’t you dare feel vague about me. We celebrate and loathe the Scorpio with equal intensity.
Scorpio is powerful and misunderstood. Scorpio is sex, death and rebirth. Scorpio is a wild hard femme dressed in revealing sexy leather, stilettos and a I can kill you with my brain look on her face. But she’s soft and squishy and vulnerable underneath her protective shell. She is the epitome of tough and tender. Scorpio is on a smoky stage underneath a single spotlight, stripping off her clothes – and when she catches your eye, somehow you’re naked too. It’s terrifying and hot and, either way, you can’t look away.
When I speak about Scorpio, I’m talking about the spirit, the energy, the archetype of her. Nobody is a ‘pure’ Scorpio. (No, not even your ex, or your boss, or your best friend, or that annoying community member…or me, for that matter!) Some people experience and live out Scorpio energy with a much greater intensity (like, if your Sun, Moon, Rising is in Scorpio, if you have personal planets in Scorpio, if you have a heavy influence of Pluto in your birth chart, or if you are currently going through Pluto transits).
But remember, the point of this blog series is that we all have every zodiac sign somewhere in our birth chart, and that means the energy manifests somewhere in our lives.
Many of us can think of a time that we shouldn’t have survived – but we did anyway. That’s Scorpio.
For some people, this is the resilience of generations of our people surviving extreme violence, colonization, and genocide. It’s surviving abuse, neglect and gas-lighting. It’s our voices shut down, our languages stolen, our bodies and generosity taken advantage of.
Scorpio is one resilient bad bitch. Scorpio knows the terrors of this world and what people are capable of. She has been destroyed and burned, and still moves through the world with superpowers made from the magic of her own ashes. Scorpio our instincts that will go to the ends of the earth to defend and preserve someone or something we care about, even if it kills us, and we know it probably will. Scorpio is the part of ourselves that we know to protect with our lives – because our very lives depend on it.
I’ve heard another queer astrologer I love, Jessica Lanyadoo, compare Scorpio/Pluto energy to being caught in a riptide. One minute you’re happily splashing around in the ocean, and the next you are captured and swept away by a force much greater than you. Like a mouse thrown into a ferocious washing machine.
The riptide represents big change. You didn’t see it coming, and you can’t avoid it but you can’t really process it either. Times when you think you’re doing just fine, content with moving forward on your path, and then life picks you up and drops you on some other road you don’t want to be on and that you don’t deserve.
You get laid off. You get dumped. Bedbugs or mice take over your apartment. A freak fire destroys items on your altar. Someone you love dies. You witness or are subjected to some kind of brutal violence. Your mind and body swells with a fury of PTSD and you’re terrified that you are losing yourself.
All of these scenarios heartbreaking, and none of them are your fault. Yet somehow we manage to blame ourselves: If I had done or been something different, I could have stopped it.
We rack our brains trying to figure out where we went wrong, what we did wrong, how we are wrong ourselves. We desperately try to take responsibility for things we couldn’t possibly cause or solve – it is our genius way of coping with the terror of feeling powerless.
The waters in a riptide are metaphors for deeply rooted mental, psychological and emotional anguish. When we’re stuck in a riptide, we can’t see or feel or be anything outside of our trauma. We lose perspective for anything beyond our immediate circumstance. Our deepest fears are real and they and coming to get us – abandonment, betrayal, rejection, violation, theft.
When we’re caught in a riptide, of course our first instinct is to fight. To swim out of our situation with sheer might and will.
But if you ever find yourself swept up by an actual riptide, the trick is to stop fighting. If you try and swim against the current, you will lose. If you stop fighting, if you stop trying to control the situation, you will feel like you are dying. But only then, by its own will, the riptide will release you.
The lesson Scorpio wants you to learn is to let go. There are forces much bigger, deeper and older than you at work here. You can’t fight them. You are just a measly human.
At the same time we love so damn hard. And we are resilient bad bitches. We refuse to lose. We refuse to give up what is our birth right. Bigger, deeper and older forces are coming for us? Scorpio says, bring it on, I’ll fight you to the death.
Like being in a riptide, Scorpio is about facing our humanity in the context of life and death. Finding out who we are when the stakes are really high. We mostly don’t want to come to terms with endings in our lives, or the reality of things that are beyond our control, because we are terrified we will lose something we need to breathe.
We don’t leave situations or relationships, even if we know they’re toxic or fucked up or hurting us in some way, because we are busy protecting something incredibly precious and important, that we have come to associate with that situation/relationship. Family. Security. Community. Peace. Connection. Sisterhood. Revolution. Justice. Freedom. Trust. Accountability. Joy.
But that riptide is here to tell you – the place you used to live has changed and you can’t live there anymore. The person you love has changed. Something or someone’s time is up.
For all the times we wanted so hard for things to go back “to normal”…I wish we could have received that solace. But what Scorpio wants you to realize is that something within you is ready to change.
Something just isn’t working for you anymore. A greater life purpose is calling you from the distance, and you can’t stay where you are if you are going to meet it. A deeper wound is ready, and aching, to heal.
Let me be clear: Scorpio Healing isn’t the kind of take a bath and eat some soup and feel better kind of self-care. (Not that those things aren’t good, too…) Scorpio Healing is like taking an epic journey into the centre of your own personal hell. As you travel through each layer, you must leave behind something you thought you needed, but that is ultimately too heavy to keep carrying into the heat. Then you reach the centre, completely naked, you must face the reality of what lives there:
I am not deserving or worthy of love.
Nobody notices or values the work I do.
I will never find the connection or support I need.
I made too many mistakes and I need to be punished.
What makes life worth living is beyond my reach.
I have lost too much and I can’t survive.
Scorpio Healing is as simple and as difficult as bearing witness to our deepest fears, our deepest wounds, our deepest hell.
Scorpio Healing is surrendering to the enormity of our feelings that will inevitably rise like a monster wave. By no means, though, is surrendering a passive act. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and resilience to receive and to accept who we are when we are in pain. It takes courage and resilience to allow inevitable change to run its course, and to let ourselves be changed in the process. In being witnesses to ourselves, we have the opportunity to recognize the role we play in patterns of violence, exploitation or manipulation.
Ultimately, Scorpio Healing is about breaking the cycle.
We can end patterns of violence, and patterns that do not allow us to be our best selves – individually and collectively – by identifying where we have agency and by making a different choice than we did yesterday. We can harness our creativity, resilience, and brilliance so that we are in control of our superpowers and not the other way around. No matter how anybody else is treating us, we can choose not to abandon ourselves, not to betray ourselves, not to reject ourselves.
Scorpio is the part of ourselves that has been hurt the most, that we want to avoid the most, but that we have to love the most, in order to be free.
It’s as simple and as difficult as that.
We can’t control situations bigger than us, we can’t control other people’s choices (and we shouldn’t try). But even in the most dire circumstances, we can control how we respond. Even in situations that victimize us, we are still agents of our own empowerment. Even when we feel completely powerless, we still have options somewhere, we still have ourselves.
Scorpio challenges us to recognize the difference between what we can control and what we can’t. The difference between natural deaths that need to occur, and parts of ourselves we could never lose, not even if we tried. Because I promise you, the thing you really care about, that you are fighting and protecting so fiercely in the face of unwanted change, is yours to keep for good.
It’s okay to let yourself feel the pain of cutting cords and cords being cut because, I promise you, your feelings won’t kill you. It might seem like they will, but they won’t.
By being our best witness, we can break impossible cycles. When we love ourselves in hell, we are unstoppable. We rebirth more powerful than imaginable.
And we open ourselves to opportunities, adventures, heights, hopes and dreams that we never believed could be ours in this lifetime. Now we believe. That’s Sagittarius Season. See you next month