Few signs provoke as strong a reaction as Scorpio. The fixed Water sign is concerned with the critical issues of sex, power, desire, intimacy, shared resources, death and rebirth. In cultures where these subjects are met with suspicion and fear it’s understandable that the the sign most related to them isn’t easy to accept.
Here in the United States we haven’t been through the long historical cycles that have taken older cultures through rises, falls and renaissance that correspond with Scorpionic cycles of transformation. Our ascent to world leadership was relatively recent, so we have little experience of what it means to fall from a dominant position and no experience in adjusting to these changes. We’re left with the unrealistically extreme beliefs of trying to recreate the past when we were Number One or apocalyptic visions of a future in which can’t imagine ourselves as anything less.
Scorpio is also scary because of its emotional depth and power. The feelings that lie at its core are almost unspeakable. We have made some progress in discussing sex and even death thanks to Oprah, Helen Gurley Brown and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, among others, yet these are still delicate subjects. Scorpio is about shared resources because the Sun’s presence there in the middle of autumn was the time of the final harvest before the long winter to come. The size of the food supply determined if culling the flock of people or animals was necessary to assure the group’s survival. Scorpio, then, is about scarcity and the need to evaluate who is fed and who is to be eliminated. This is the “zero sum game” in which there is a finite amount of resources and those who get some reduce the amount available to others.
The current economic situation feels like a zero sum game. This may not be the absolute truth because one person’s success and prosperity can be, in principle, of benefit to others. This is a key part of trickle down economics and Ayn Rand’s philosophy of self-interest. It comfortably fits into conservative Darwinian capitalism, where reducing restrictions based on collective needs (taxes and regulations) liberates individual exceptionalism that eventually benefits us all. These beliefs, though, sound more like Aries and Capricorn, signs that celebrate individual ascent, than Scorpio, which is about living in a world of inter-dependency.
I'm writing about Scorpio because aggressive Mars moved into this sign on August 23 and, more importantly, structural Saturn follows suit on October 5. The ringed planet’s two-year transit shows where we encounter limits and we how we can work to overcome them. Saturn's current stay in Libra has not gone well in the sense that political polarization has grown at the expense of compromise and cooperation. Libra establishes the ground of relationships and Scorpio represents the results that follow. We have plenty of work to do.
The first lesson of Scorpio is that everything is shared. The air, the water, the earth, even our bodies and minds. No one sprung into life independently. We're all made out of human DNA. Our thoughts are shaped by languages we didn’t invent as part of cultures that are our collective history. I'm writing this on a keyboard that I didn't make that runs on electricity about which I know virtually nothing. The Scorpionic notion of shared reality, though, is not meant to disempower individuals. It is meant to remind us that we live in a world of relationships. The creative gifts of personal freedom co-exist with a community of family, friends, colleagues, customers and suppliers. Saturn in Scorpio suggests that our future well-being depends to a large degree on how we manage the relationship between individual interests and collective concerns.
Saturn is patient and Scorpio is persistent. Both are unafraid of knotty problems and emotional complexity and are willing to do the long, hard work of facing fears and taking responsibility for what we do with those sometimes shameful feelings. Maturity and emotional honesty are required to recognize the patterns that have brought us to this point. It takes courage for individuals to address their failures without losing faith in the future and it takes sacrifice and strategy for nations to untangle their financial knots. Do not expect major problems to disappear overnight, and be leery of leaders who promise quick fixes with simplistic solutions. Long-term thinking and the subtlety required to recognize the vast range of grays between our ideological extremes are essential tools for ensuring our survival and future prosperity.