Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away
Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
’Tis the season of scary in our culture, when we put on glaring display (using lots of plastic and blinking lights) the things that we are afraid of, mostly having to do with death and unknown or unseen powers — ghosts, monsters, skeletons, witches and oversized spiders. Undoubtedly, the underlying urge to flaunt and so face down these fearful things is rooted in our agrarian past, when the fact that this is the season of death here in the northern hemisphere was unmistakable, and the cold winter ahead threatened illness and hunger. Acknowledging and externalizing fears allows us to share them, and helps stave off the creeping dread.
Except for the increasing number of homeless, few of us here in the USA fear for our lives and health as winter approaches, but fear still looms large in our lives, a natural human reaction that is used by the media to get ratings, and by those in power to control us (“Elect me or socialist Muslims/Christian dominionists/aliens and their pet lizards will take over America!”) Certainly, fear is an effective motivator, but as a constant companion it is quite disempowering. Unfortunately, between the media and the politicians, we are constantly reminded of the things we should fear — things much more immediate and pressing to us than ghosts and monsters.
Astrologically, the Sun moves into Scorpio a week or so before Samhain, and Scorpio loves to explore those issues of fear, death, and control. So, let’s take a look at the upcoming Mercury retrograde cycle in Scorpio, which will be followed by a New Moon eclipse in the same sign. There’s a lot going on in Scorpio right now — Saturn is there, along with the Moon’s North Node, and Mercury. Mercury, because of its retrograde cycle, will be in the sign until early December, the Sun will join the party for a month on October 23rd, and the New Moon arrives there on November 3rd.
Scorpio, like all three water signs, is, in essence, about relationship. Cancer speaks to relationship with family, ancestors, the land. Pisces is about relationship with All That Is. Scorpio’s realm covers both intimate relationships, and relationships with both individuals and groups of people with whom we share resources. Scorpio always takes it down deep, because you can’t really know an individual or a group of people if you always keep it on the surface. The knowing is important to Scorpio, because knowing deepens relationship — not only with other people, but with life itself. Since Scorpio sees so deeply into the human heart, those who are strongly under the sign’s influence can be quite manipulative — sometimes from compassion, sometimes because they like to play the game, and sometimes because…well, you know the story about the frog and the scorpion, right? To Scorpio, pain, and even death, can be just another way of gaining the deep knowledge.