No sign is an island. Each one represents the completion of the previous sign and preparation for the next one. They are twelve stages of one cycle rather than uniquely individual pieces. When we think of the signs as part of a larger process, it's easier to overcome our prejudices about any of them. This is particularly interesting now with the Sun in Scorpio, because it is one of the least understood signs. You may know about Scorpio's relationship to Halloween and the Day of the Dead that, like the falling leaves, are about loss that leads to rebirth next spring.
Scorpio follows Libra, the first sign of Autumn (or Spring below the equator). Libra begins the second half of the zodiac and is the point where we see others as equals. The scales symbolize this balance point between the inner self and the outer world. The politeness and social graces of Libra are about appealing to others and maintaining peaceful relationships. Scorpio, which follows, is about taking partnerships to the next level. It's going beyond niceness to encompass deeper emotions that, naturally, provoke deeper levels of fear. In a sense, we can describe Libra as the visible outer form of relationship and Scorpio as its hidden inner core.
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Giving a little to gain a lot
The fear factor associated with Scorpio comes with the concept of death (falling leaves, etc.). Yet the real "death" of this sign is the loss of individuality that we exchange for intimacy. Drawing closer to someone penetrates walls of separation to join heart, mind and body. We surrender the well-defined lines of self as we get closer with someone, which can, of course, be scary. There is some loss of autonomy when we fuse our lives with others. The spacious Libra model of fairness and reason is superseded by Scorpio's concentrated passions of desire and fear.
Airy Libra condensing into wet Scorpio is one step of the zodiac journey. It completes a key phase in relationships and is the stepping stone to what comes next: Sagittarius. This farseeing, adventurous sign lifts minds from the present and projects them into the future. The fusion of Scorpio (with another person or with a profound part of ourselves) is the gathering of force required to launch the intellectual and physical travels of Sagittarius. Scorpio is the compression that narrows focus, gathers force, and prepares us for a great journey.
Learning from those who came before and those who follow...
Scorpio, one of Astrology's most skeptical signs, is sandwiched between two of the zodiac's more hopeful members. This contrast expresses the continuing process of expansion, contraction, expansion, contraction that is the rhythm of life. The Libra out breath of making contact with someone is followed by a deep inhalation of intimacy in Scorpio, heading to the fiery dragon's breath of Sagittarius. Seeing the signs as steps in a 12-stage process breaks them out of their little boxes and reveals a chain of reason that tells us so much more. Thinking of Scorpio as Libra on its way to becoming Sagittarius enriches our understanding of Astrology and ourselves. It reflects the greater process of which we are all a part.