As we make the transition from Libra season into Scorpio, there’s a shift in dynamic which we feel unmistakably. The urge for the scales’ collaboration and refined social intercourse gives way to a more instinctual and raw gut-level reality which encapsulates survival. How well we adjust to this season depends on how willing we are to face the shadows. After all, we’re dealing with less light to operate with at this time of year. Not only physically, but also on a psychological level.
Astrologer Howard Sasportas once remarked that Astrological archetypes are like an elevator; we tend to live them out at varying levels throughout our lives. Some of us aspire to the top floor of a sign, while others may stay on the ground level. Out of all of the signs on the wheel of life, Scorpio is probably the most appropriate to fit this analogy. The mythology associated with the 8th sign of the zodiac provides us with material which suggests the path of development for Scorpio via the evolutionary levels of the Scorpion, Eagle and the Phoenix.
While these stages suggest a progression in Scorpio’s growth, the sign’s overall unfoldment constitutes a necessary synthesis of the three.
If there’s any sign which has become the constant victim of Astrological tabloid fodder because of a fundamental misunderstanding and mischaracterization, it’s Scorpio. Many times, when the water signs are discussed, we would be hard pressed to wrap our minds around it being a part of that group.
We read about the warmth, sensitivity and intuitive gifts of Cancer and the immense empathy of Pisces. Then, all of the sudden, there’s also this sex-crazed, ultra intense, potentially cruel and vindictive Scorpion standing on the fringes. Dead last in the “feeling” hierarchy.
To understand this sign, we must delve into the aforementioned levels of existence. All which are necessary to Scorpio.
Each zodiac sign requires a particular type of fuel to operate at optimal capacity. For Scorpio, plumbing the depths of life is essential to its existence as oxygen. Its vitality is maintained through the act of delving and probing deeply into areas of life which some of us may fear to tread. Scorpions are nocturnal creatures, so they’re comfortable in the dark.
It’s not that they feel they’ll never emerge from that place, but they’re in search of a truth which must encompass both the sacred and the profane. For Scorpio, this investigation wouldn’t be honest if it didn’t include all parts of our being, even the ones which make us cringe; the one’s which we question whether or not they’re even fit for “human consumption.”
Living at the level of the Scorpion, one navigates in a state of relative isolation and close to the ground, operating on instinct. There’s an acute sense of any type of danger, perceived or real. While there is a longing for passionate emotional engagement, there’s also an overwhelming pull toward privacy and self-protection. This is not so much out of fear of rejection like their water sign counterpart Cancer, but more about the inner turmoil which constantly stirs because they feel like there may be too much vulnerability exposed by relinquishing control to others. Even if its death hangs in the balance, a Scorpion would rather sting itself than have anyone else decide any portion of its fate.
Transitioning to the Eagle level, the focus now widens to include more of the intellect. While the primal feelings remain intact, there’s a fusion of the heart and mind which suggests a keen awareness in determining the motives of others. A penetrative perception which leads one to the heart of the matter minus all of the processed “spin” of Libra, or the erudite and lofty musings of Sagittarius. This is the knot in the stomach and the tightened chest. The type of interactions where someone is squirming, but the bottom of the true essence of things is in clear sight.
While this analytical discernment is needed on this level of existence, power becomes a key player in the equation. He or she who has the information has the advantage. The lesson here is that power can be used to hurt or to heal, and living exclusively in this space can expose Scorpio to a misuse of its piercing mental faculties.
Staying in this place, one could undergo struggles filled with intense emotional upheaval all in the name of gaining a psychological advantage. Trying to get “one up” on others because the residue of wariness and fear still lingers from the first stage of Scorpionic development.
As the case with all water signs, it’s a necessary step in their evolution to “release” something to grow. For Cancer, it’s the past. Outdated emotional slights. Memories that no longer serve in forward progress. For Pisces, it’s the overfunctioning of the ego’s contents in service of merging with the divine source within.
For Scorpio, letting go of the insatiable need to control the emotional responses of others is a
“golden key” if they wish to rise to the level of the phoenix.
Successful navigation of these steps is a lifetime task. We may crash and burn several times, undergoing various metaphorical deaths and rebirths. Ultimately, whatever we’ve decided to do, the third and highest level of progression of Scorpio is always waiting on us.
To arrive at the Phoenix level is to have immense courage. To become as revealing of our own inner psyche as we are probing of everyone else’s. To not only participate in nudity at the physical level via sex, but to also take the risk of the emotional nakedness and exposure of authentic relating to other human beings. To gradually, but surely show your hand. To stop staring through the hotel peephole and open the damn door and let someone inside.
A Phoenix has made the intentional and conscious decision to rise. Facing the shadow within themselves, bringing the contents to the light so they can be more effectively worked with.
Using their own story of transformation as a vehicle to heal others and encourage them to break through any self-imposed chains of imprisonment. This is how Scorpio uses the dark, as a resource, to cast greater light on the human condition.
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