Scorpio: The Phoenix Rises

Scorpio’s waters are the most potent in the zodiac. Though it soothes and nurtures us, water is the most powerful of the elements.  It’s the one that can and does wear down all the others, drop by drop.

Running with deep swift power beneath the surface of things, Scorpio carries the tremendous energy of the unseen and invisible. From the surface, it looks low-key and understated. Don’t be fooled. Underneath, this energy is intensely magnetic, keenly sensitive–and absolutely irresistible.

Scorpio frightens people, and for good reason. It’s extreme. For Scorpio the world is black and white. It’s a place where forgiveness is possible yet forgetting never happens. With built-in radar, Scorpio smells secrets like others smell fire. It knows where the bodies are buried, what is vulnerable, and where it is hidden.

And it knows what it wants. Cleanly used, desire is a liberating force. Nothing is so clarifying as knowing what you absolutely and truly want. That’s very different from knowing what you think you should want. It’s not the same thing at all as knowing what you are expected to want. Knowing what you truly want is entirely different from knowing what your parent, spouse, sibling, best friend, or colleague wants. Scorpio taps the power of your own, authentic, untamed desire. It’s the most empowering force in the Universe.

We don’t see much of that kind of desire in contemporary culture. The power of desire has been taken from us by a consumer economy that replaces authentic wants with manufactured ones that are easier to control.

Reclaiming our desire is the first step in aligning the little will with the great will of the cosmos. Once we do that, we’re pretty much unstoppable, because we are going in the direction of Life itself. The path to owning the power of our desire, however, is littered with obstacles, and Scorpio typically runs into every one of them along the way. 

This is the sign that can cut off its nose to spite its face. Only Taurus, Scorpio’s complementary opposite, is more stubborn. There are also obsessions and addictions aplenty when false and true desires get all tangled up with each other, as they so often do.  There’s also the fury of having one’s desires thwarted, and the cold desire for revenge that follows.

Within Scorpio’s magnetic power is the ability to burn out revenge, to untangle the true from the false desire, to let go and be transformed. That’s why Scorpio is associated with sexuality, with death, and with rebirth. Letting go and being transformed is what all three are about.

Wealth and the Underworld

Secrets of all kinds and wealth of all types are associated with Scorpio, its ruling planet Pluto, and the 8th House of the birth chart that is its natural home. Pluto was called by his earlier name, Hades, in the Deep Mind’s stories. It’s pretty interesting that there aren’t many of those stories. True to the nature of his energy, Pluto was largely invisible to life on the surface. The realm of the Dead was his domain, and he ruled it from the Underworld, invisible to mortal eyes.

The story in which he figures most prominently is one you’re probably familiar with. Pluto/Hades’ abduction of Persephone, the daughter of the Goddess of the Grain, Demeter, has been told for thousands of year.

The young goddess was frolicking in a meadow with a group of nymphs when she reached down to pick a narcissus. In an instant, the earth opened up. Out of the chasm roared Hades in his dark chariot. Struck by one of Eros’ magic arrows, he had to have this woman. Snatching her up, he headed back to the depths, leaving behind only a trail of dust and the echo of her cries of terror hanging in the sunlit air.

That’s the opening act of a story that turns out to be much more about Demeter’s grief for her missing daughter than about Persephone, or even Hades. Myths are shared dreams, remember. They carry the deep truth for a culture. And, just as in dreams, they reveal the complexity of our deepest truths. Every character in them speaks a vital truth.

We can all relate to Demeter’s loss of her beloved daughter. She searched everywhere for Persephone. Her depression and rage were so total that nothing could grow on the Earth.

Finally, Hermes(now known to us astrologically as Mercury), brokers a deal with Hades. Persephone will spend half of each year in the Underworld with Hades and the remainder on the Earth with her mother. Overjoyed by the prospect of her return, the Earth bursts into bloom each spring. Each fall, the Earth gives her a send-off of glory and splendor, before turning barren again in her absence.

There’s only one clue in this story about a very important truth that lies at its heart: Persephone changed.

Of all the creatures Demeter asked about her daughter, only one had the courage to reply. A fountain who had witnessed the abduction said Persephone seemed sad, but not alarmed. “Her look was such as became a queen.”

Every subsequent mention of Persephone in the Deep Mind’s stories repeats this truth.  She’s Queen of the Underworld. We never hear of her time on Earth again, even though she spent half of every year here.

The innocent young maiden who played in the meadow was transformed into a queen by the power of the Underworld and its ruler.  As goddess of the Soul, she is possesses the deep wisdom of the unseen realm. As the Underworld’s Queen, no one knows better that the return of spring lies just ahead, full of growth, full of hope.

That’s Scorpio power..

To access this awesome transformative power,

  • Heed advice that the centaur Chiron, the wisest of mentors in the Deep Memory, gave to the hero Heracles before going to slay the monster: “Rise by kneeling, gain by surrendering, conquer by giving up.”
  • Cultivate water lilies. Transforming the muck beneath the surface into beautiful blooms, this is Scorpio’s flower
  • Wear alexandrite, which appears green in sunlight and reddish violet in artificial light.
  • Choose Scorpios’ colors, red and black

And tap these parts of your birth chart:

  • The house with Scorpio on the cusp. This is where you will find your power, your obsession, your charisma–and your deepest desires.
  • The 8th House, which rules transformations of one energy into another. This is the realm of sex, death, surgery, transformations, and other people’s money, from insurance and taxes to inheritances and bequests.
  • The house where Pluto is located will be a source of deep power and desire.  
  • Planets in Scorpio. Whatever they are, they’ll be extreme–extremely intense, extremely intuitive, and extremely passionate.Depending on what’s motivating you, planets in Scorpio can take you to the lowest depths or the highest peaks.