Welcome, Scorpio, to the Art of Becoming, your 2018 annual reading.
Here are the contents:
- Your 2018 annual reading | A4 PDF | US Letter PDF
- Charts for your reading
- In the Shadow of the Moon — our 2017 midyear video for your sign
- Your latest birthday reading
- Book of Your Life for Scorpio
- Links to previous annual editions
The Art of Becoming for Scorpio
Imagine that we didn’t know the chimpanzee, that all we knew were those bonobos who have sex all the time and are peaceful and female-dominated and that people would say that this is our only close relative. I think we would have totally different theories about ourselves and our background. But, of course, it didn’t happen that way.
— Jane Goodall
This year, there will be retrogrades of Venus and Mars, which puts some interesting spin on what promises to be an exciting time for you: a time when you’ll want to bust free of various norms and expectations that have guided your life. Venus will be retrograde in Scorpio, and Mars (your ruling planet) will be retrograde in Aquarius. Both are signs on the fixed cross, so they are both angular for you — making an aspect to your Sun and likely many other planets in your chart.
Retrogrades of Venus and Mars are fairly rare (happening less than 10 percent of the time — as opposed to Mercury, which is retrograde about 23 percent of the time), so we’re less accustomed to them. Given the hypersensitivity of our society to anything even vaguely related to gender, they present certain internal challenges, and stir up the social environment — sometimes in strange ways.
For example, during the most recent Mars retrograde, in the summer of 2016, the Trump campaign built most of its momentum, which led into the revelation of the infamous Access Hollywood tape — which did not force him out of the race. That was followed, equally infamously, by 53% of white women who voted casting their ballot for the self-acclaimed pussy-grabber. For many people, this was the most confounding development of the whole election cycle, and rightly so.
In the post-#MeToo environment, it will be interesting to see what emerges during these retrogrades. For you, they make contact with your chart in distinctly personal places: your idea and experience of yourself (1st house), your relationships (ruler of your 7th house), and your personal space and family of origin (4th house).
Mars retrograde in the 4th, which takes place June 26 through Aug. 27, will help you rearrange your relationship to your family and your household. This is about making your own decisions and finding your own way. More than anything, it seems to describe you being confident in your choices without needing to have a consensus around you. You may find yourself going back through past decisions wondering what you would have done had you not needed that. And you may identify those times where you broke the rules of your tribe and did what you needed to do anyway, despite popular opinion.
Many other transits will provoke you into both action and reflection. Remember that Scorpio is a fixed sign, which provides you with stability, and suggests some inherent resistance to change. The kind of change you’ll be experiencing is the result of tapping into vast reservoirs of energy, some of it very old — cultural, ancestral and genetic. But much of it is energy bound up in your childhood: the actual power that you possessed as a child, which was conditioned out of your awareness. You might say that you will be reclaiming your birthright or your natural inheritance.
Gender is Spiritual and Emotional, Not Political
We live in a time when gender issues keep coming to the front of the public conversation. The only problem is, this typically happens in a political or legal context. Apart from not being terribly helpful or informative, this context ensures that those who don’t make gender into a political issue know better than to say anything, lest they get crushed. For everyone else, it creates a ruse that matters of gender can be decided by a court, a legislative body, or a public protest.
I am using the term ‘gender issues’ in the widest possible sense, to include anything related to LGBT, workplace issues including pay parity, the #MeToo eruption of revelations about workplace sexual harassment, controversies over reproductive rights, and so on. These conversations occur with greater frequency, and they seem to be increasingly shrill with each round. After a while, an observer might get the idea that concepts of gender are strictly functions of media, law and politics, rather than, say, biology.
The fact that there might be biology involved is controversial, because some would take this to mean that a lady must be a nurse and a man must be a construction worker. With this presumption, we’re looking directly at the problem. There is little admission in public dialog that sex and gender have some relationship to something deeper than what we can see on the surface.
Under the law, or in politics, most things are decided in binary: right or wrong, innocent or guilty, responsible or not. (There are exceptions in negligence law.) The main properties of the political realm are that it’s polarized, people are expected to take sides, and it’s a zero-sum game — the kind with a winner and a loser. You, at least, have evolved past this idea. Yet society and many individuals have a special vulnerability where gender issues are concerned, and those with political (or other violent) agendas often sniff out that weakness, and infiltrate or attack.
Perhaps the biggest lie is that female and male are binary values, meaning, strictly one or the other (here in our binary world of zeros and ones). I recently encountered the “Cosmic Law of Gender” which says something obvious: in essence, everything that exists possesses some blend of masculine and feminine properties.
We see this when looking at biology, or energy, or actual behavior. All of these things tend to blend masculine and feminine gently, and usually in creative ways. We each personally demonstrate a blend of sex and gender traits and preferences, whatever their presumed source may be.
And those are dependent on mixtures of feminine and masculine properties, or what in Japanese are referred to as awa and sanuki. Awa, the feminine reservoir of energy, can exist in many different states, as can sanuki, the masculine ability to direct and pattern the energy. Everyone has both qualities, each of which exists along a spectrum of possible manifestations. As in Tantra, what we call feminine is the power source, and what we call masculine shapes the power. They are complementary but not equivalent.
One problem with perceiving these subjects through a political filter is that it’s easy to think masculine and feminine relate directly to male and female and, worse, that they are conceptual — for example, that they are merely legal ideas or ideological preferences, chosen behaviors, or products of conditioning. Or, looked at from another angle, one might fear that biology is destiny. (Actually, it’s probable that a blend of biology, intelligence and luck are destiny.)
The notion that there might be some underlying reality rooted in something deeper than the mental and social levels is considered controversial; most controversies are based on a misunderstanding.
I’m not proposing that feminine or masculine must as a consequence of their existence manifest in specific actions and social behaviors, but rather that they have existence on a primal level of reality, as natural forces, which we can learn how to observe and relate with. Right now, both awa and sanuki are out of balance in a way that’s associated with all of society being out of balance. Presenting macho athletes as the model of maleness and the Kardashian sisters as the paragon of femaleness is evidence of that imbalance.
In a healthy state, awa and sanuki would coexist as a healthy ecosystem. Using an imperfect metaphor, imagine a lake and the surrounding woods. The lake has streams flowing into it and out of it, with the flow of water providing the primary source of energy that creates the system in that place. The trees draw water from the lake, hold its shape, and protect it. Together, lake and trees provide a refuge for the critters that live there, supporting an ecosystem. Today, the prevailing condition is more like an overgrown stagnant swamp. And as such, it’s no surprise that any conversation related to gender gets bogged down and goes nowhere.
Scorpio: A Feminine Sign, Ruled by Mars
Astrology takes a subtle and nuanced view of these matters, describing countless possible relationships between the different kinds of energy. The astrology we use dates to about 400 BCE, and was way ahead of its time as a gender theory. There are many shades of masculine and feminine, working primarily through the signs, though they make interesting comments on planets. All of astrology is a study in duality, but not as we think of it. The basic chart consists of six shades of masculine and six shades of feminine.
Then the planets add interesting distinctions. Scorpio is a feminine sign (all the water signs are) and is ruled by Mars, a planet most people consider masculine. Taurus is a feminine sign (all the earthy signs are) and is ruled by Venus, a planet most people consider feminine. Aries is a masculine sign (all the fire signs are) and ruled by Mars. Libra is a masculine sign (all the air signs are) and is ruled by Venus.
The message of the medium of astrology is: gender is diverse. And as a feminine sign ruled by Mars, Scorpio possesses some unusual power to tap into and direct energy. Scorpio may be the perfect blend of awa and sanuki, in that it’s a reservoir of energy with the tools available to shape and direct that energy.
Scorpio is a fixed water sign. That would seem to be a paradox. Usually, water is not a fixed kind of entity; it flows, and rains down from the sky. Examples of fixed water tend to describe containment: for example, fossilized seawater; Arctic or Antarctic ice; an inland rift lake (a body of water that keeps increasing in pH); or water contained in a succulent plant. Fixity is a temporary state. All those forms of water move; they just move more slowly, and are more stable.
With Scorpio, Mars does the moving, drawing from the reservoir of energy that is your sign. In this sense, as a power source, Scorpio is full-on awa energy, and Mars is its sanuki agent. When you are in balance with yourself, you lead your life by your own volition. You prefer not to be the product of your environment. But in many respects, your environment is changing, and it’s carrying you with it. So you will need to adapt — mostly to energy that seems to be coming at you from the outside, though it is really energy awakening within you.
Uranus in the 7th House: Relationship Revolution
Of the many long-term transits that begin this year, the ingress of Uranus into your opposite sign Taurus is the most exciting, and it may be the most challenging. Every time Uranus enters a new sign, I have to explain the potential influence on relationships, and also do my best to preempt astrologers who don’t see the potential, and the benefits. Uranus is usually considered disruptive rather than inventive. Where a fixed sign is concerned, that can be a close call, though it’s up to you to tap the available energy and harness it in a way that’s constructive.
So, we could say that over the next seven years, you will develop a new approach to relationships: one that’s more adventurous, more flexible, and can handle more diversity. An influence called 1992 QB1 (recently named Albion) has been leading the way for the past few years, as the main influence in your 7th house. QB1’s approach to relationships is as the witness. It’s not about relationship for its own sake, but rather, relationship for healing, for truth, and for transformation.
To evaluate a relationship, it’s necessary to study the purpose of the relationship. If that purpose is to grant stability, whether financial or emotional, then all other motives will bend to that purpose. If the purpose is to grant awareness, to facilitate creativity, and to open up the possibilities of life, then other factors will support that. It is unlikely that Uranus through Taurus in the 7th house will support a relationship that is strictly for stability — and many do attempt this.
Uranus through Taurus is more likely to support relationships that are about creativity and experimentation, and that open up unfamiliar territory. Uranus is also about bending gender and concepts of gender, which happens as a natural result of energy moving in unpredictable ways. Additionally, Uranus is often a dance with what is considered unusual, weird, inappropriate or somehow different.
The sign involved is Taurus, which is the zodiac’s master of propriety. This will be an exciting meeting between Uranus, which up-ends social dictates of what is correct, and Taurus, which tends to ground them into place. For you, because this transit is angular — to your 7th house, which describes your ideas about relationships — you will be evolving some of your personal traditions and expectations.
One thing I would suggest is that you consider all of the ideas about relationships you’ve had, but which you feared were off-beat, theoretically socially unacceptable or inappropriate, emotionally risky, or threatening to stability. Consider all such proposals that you’ve had from others, about ways to do relationships besides the usual. If you’ve had conversations with yourself, or aspects of your spiritual path, that include the “is it love or is it attachment?” line of inquiry, consider their validity in your life now.
Remember that Uranus through your Taurus solar 7th house is a seven-year journey. There will be many stages of experience, and they will initially seem to be precipitated by your environment; that is, by what seems external to you. Yet these stages will have inner correspondences. One thing to bear in mind about Uranus is that it lacks any concept of morality. It’s not moral or immoral or amoral but rather, as unrefined energy, exists on the level of a natural force, shorn of concept.
The meta-theme, which repeats through your astrology this year, is about freeing up your reservoir of energy, getting it moving and learning how to direct it. This will mainly come through the retrogrades of Venus and Mars; so let’s cover those, and then look at the outer planet transits as they influence the signs Aries (your 6th solar house of work and wellbeing, where Chiron will be) and Capricorn (your 3rd solar house of mental state, communication and community, where Saturn and newly arrived outer planets will be).
Mars Retrograde in Aquarius, and Capricorn
Mars retrogrades are rare, and they can be challenging, because of how distorted all that Mars represents is today. Our society lacks a healthy concept of desire. We tend to go from poverty to greed, with no recognized gradients in between. For example, we are at a nadir in the sexual development of society, where desire in any form is typically considered aggressive, inappropriate, offensive or potentially illegal. We know that there should be a concept of workable, mutually agreeable desire — though who can explain or describe it?
We’re also working without a concept of enough. Desire, whether sexual, emotional or material, is pushed and exploited and driven and transacted like a commodity, ultimately used against people. It only becomes a relevant topic of discussion once someone says they’ve been hurt or transgressed.
Mars retrograde begins June 26, though there’s a long warm-up through mid-to-late spring. Mars will mostly be retrograde in Aquarius, which is your solar 4th house. Aquarius represents groups; the 4th represents the family of origin; the family of origin is the first group we encounter. The 4th also represents one’s security base, which for you will have a natural tendency to run in the direction of groups and especially that of your family.
Without knowing your personal background, I can only make some generalizations, though there may be several scenarios under which they apply. One thing Aquarius is good at is forming energy patterns. It’s like a crystallization process, which produces highly organized systems. As a 4th-house influence, this may describe an overbearing condition of others influencing not just your feelings but the very fabric of how you respond emotionally to your environment.
This tends to be in a patterned way, rather than a flowing or flexible one. What crystals do is they trap and shape energy. The pattern by which you do this was established long ago; so long ago that it’s difficult to recognize or see, because it’s so enmeshed in your consciousness.
Mars retrograde will provide you with some experiences that shake up your patterning. Mars might be shaped by Aquarius when it’s in direct motion, but when it’s retrograde, Mars is the protagonist. Remember that Mars, as the traditional ruler of Scorpio, represents you in this equation. One thing you will get is a real-time test of what it’s like to resist the usual flow of events.
It’s only when you challenge someone that you figure out how they really feel about you — particularly a group. This is a necessary test. You also find out what you actually feel and believe in the process of doing the challenging. There’s an element of confrontation here, which may seem violent. To do this does not fit the “don’t upset the apple cart” model. Yet the thing to remember is that the supposed apple cart is in your mind.
At this stage of your life, this is not about how people feel about you. It’s about how you feel about how they felt about you, and how that shaped your consciousness, your memory structure, and the ‘automatic’, programmed or scripted ways in which you respond to your environment.
Be aware that to engage with this level of your feelings may feel violent or confrontational. This is a distortion. Yes, there is a challenge involved, though the extent to which it’s violent is as much a measure of friction as it is of anything else. That is to say, violence is friction, which requires pressure and resistance. Without this kind of confrontation, it’s difficult if not impossible to discover who you are. It’s also difficult to understand the programming that was instilled into you as a child until you in some way push against it, which may seem like betraying your early caregivers and current family. Yet remember that to betray means to reveal, and also to prove false. It means to “unintentionally show a true character” or to “indicate what is not obvious.”
Now for the gender piece: Mars is the traditional planet that rules your sign. This is challenging for women in that most social environments don’t tolerate the sticking out, the assertiveness, or the conscious direction of energy that Mars necessitates. Therefore, it often happens that Mars is suppressed. It’s not a coincidence that an early childhood environment (the 4th house) described by Aquarius is also suppressed, in the form of trapped, crystallized energy.
To liberate that energy may, in some mental frames, be considered an act of treason. Yet your energy is yours, not someone else’s. People may have done to you what they could, in the past, before you had the power of volition or agency — the power that you have now. In terms of awa and sanuki, the reservoir or battery of stored energy in Aquarius is unusually powerful awa. To add Mars to this equation, and to provoke and liberate the energy, is to master sanuki.
If you find that your energy is rigidly patterned, inflexible or inaccessible, that’s an overabundance of sanuki. One result of that is feeling like you’re constantly working with limited energy, or that you cannot access the vast reserves that you have. If any of your organs are under stress, this may be about your need to set your energy free from its encrypted patterns.
Mars will retrograde across your solar chart’s IC, or the genetic line of fathers, and then enter Capricorn. Due to how long it takes Mars to station direct, the retrograde will end with nearly a month of Mars in Capricorn moving approximately one degree, from Aug. 14 through Sept. 11. This will be an especially critical time to assess your use of will, your distribution of energy, and the ways that you direct your energy. You will also have an unusual window of time, during those weeks, to resolve or draw to a close certain family matters that you identify during the retrograde.
One possibly relevant fact is that Mars is exalted in Capricorn, a kind of rulership — they have a close association. Capricorn, like Scorpio, is a feminine sign, and you can think of Mars as soaking in this earthy energy, barely moving through the zodiac. This will provide you with a rare opportunity to balance out your Mars, to cool it off, and direct its energy from a more intuitive and innate place.
You may travel back through family conditioning until you arrive at what feels like an inherent or native state — something about you that existed naturally before all the conditioning took over. It’s a much calmer state than you’re accustomed to. You don’t need to suppress your power, and you don’t need to use all of it all the time, to the point of burnout.
Venus Retrograde in Scorpio, and Libra
Later in the year, Venus does a retrograde as well. Venus is retrograde the least of all the planets, approximately 8 percent of the time. This will span from Oct. 6 through Nov. 26. What Venus retrograde has in common with the Mars retrograde is that Venus ends up in a different sign at the end of the retrograde — also a sign that it’s associated with; in this case Libra, a sign Venus rules. Libra is your solar 12th house — the most mysterious house. Let’s come back to that in a moment, and start with something a little easier to grasp.
Venus also rules your 7th solar house (or 7th by whole signs), which is Taurus — your relationship zone. So in the scenario of this retrograde, the planet that represents your relationships and partners will be spending an extended visit in your sign. The most obvious level of this metaphor is walking a mile in your brother’s moccasins. It’s about feeling and seeing the world from the viewpoint and experience of partners — in a fully embodied way. That means emotionally as well as mentally.
One problem that we have in our relationships is projection: seeing people and events the way we are, not the way they are. Projection is usually an unconscious process (so said Carl Jung, who developed the concept). It can be shocking to see how much of what we call perception is really about projecting onto people and things. Usually what gets projected are negatives, such as guilt and fear. Yet people also project sexual desire (disowning it in themselves, and ascribing it to others), qualities they admire, and those they aspire to.
Venus retrograde in your sign is an invitation to claim everything you’re projecting outward. Own your desire. Admit your feelings. Be as attractive as you imagine others are. Listen to what others are saying to you, and feel the emotional reality behind their words and their thoughts.
This is also an invitation for you to feel more deeply. Scorpio can feel so deeply that you sometimes experience the “open up and cut off” phenomenon — where the depth of your feelings leads you to want to shut down. The world is in considerable pain right now, and in truth, you can find it just about anywhere you look. It’s one thing to say that we will be more likely to solve collective problems if we stay open. However, on a personal level, it does not make your life, or your healing process, any easier if you seize up or freeze up.
Venus is a hot planet. Its surface temperature is nearly 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Let this heat move some of the energy contained deep within Scorpio.
When a planet is in a sign opposite the one it rules, there’s an energetic polarity created, a little like a battery. Venus retrograde will help you tap into some of that “fixed water” energy of Scorpio by getting it moving. This can manifest as the expression of how you feel, whom you love and what you love. While the retrograde has an inwardly-directed feeling, and a reference to the past, think of this as reaching in, and reaching back, to what you may have forgotten about, let go of, or lost track of in our busy times.
You might say that’s about feeling anything, and letting that feeling out. You can think of Venus as being a mild kind of irritant to Scorpio, provoking it in some way, and bringing out its deeper qualities. There are many situations in nature where a little of something’s opposite brings out a quality, such as how a little salt can make something taste sweeter.
One last typical manifestation of some retrogrades is lovers or partners from the past showing up, which seems to happen with greater frequency under Venus retrograde. This is unsettling for many people, particularly if their relationships are in any way ruled by jealousy, or if your stability seems to be threatened by the presence of someone else.
Rather than trying to sidestep, avoid or deny any feelings you have, you can instead make contact with them. It is a fact that all people have feelings for more than one person. There may be such a thing as monogamy, but that is not monotheism. You may be “loyal” to one person, though you can have feelings for others, and you’ll be happier and healthier if you allow those feelings to be what they are.
This may seem to be about vulnerability, and on one level that’s true. However, true vulnerability is the least “vulnerable” feeling in the world: it’s a position of strength and being in contact with your awa, or inner power. The brittle feeling that many people have today, and the sense of fragility, is specifically about not being vulnerable.
I think that one of the deeper meanings of this retrograde is resolving your feelings for prior partners. Many people walk around with an attic full of ghosts — of old lovers, of people they loved but did not connect with, and of friends who have mysteriously passed through their lives. If any of those people come up — emotionally or otherwise — around this retrograde, that’s an opportunity for closure.
This transit will work well with Uranus in Taurus, your relationship house. Uranus will push you into unfamiliar and exciting experiences. If you’re in an intimate relationship, you have the chance to share your inner reality with your current partner(s). Take the chance of being real. Only truth is erotic.
Chiron in Aries and the 6th House
As much as people are concerned about their relationships, work and wellbeing (what some call health) illnesses are a significant part of life, particularly in the United States. Most people experience or struggle with at least one chronic illness. Our health care system is abysmal; and worldwide, the emphasis is on prescribing drugs. The approach to “healing” is still usually aimed at the treatment of symptoms, using meds that cause even more symptoms.
You will soon be experiencing the beginning of another long-range transit, Chiron in Aries, your 6th solar house. Where someone has Aries in their chart is always an important point of seeking their identity, and you have it placed on your house of work and wellbeing. This is interesting, isn’t it — to imply that your very identity rests on the concept of wholeness and wellness, and on productive work?
This probably does not surprise you, though the fact that it’s illustrated so boldly provides some confirmation of what you’ve known or suspected for a long time.
This spring, Chiron arrives in Aries for the first time since it last left, around 41 years ago. Chiron’s total orbit is 51 years, and it spends nine of them in Aries, the longest in any sign. This is Chiron in full power as an outer planet, for this phase of its orbit moving more slowly than Uranus.
Chiron arrives in your 6th after a long spell of adventure, misadventure and potential chaos and unsettling events. It’s hard to hold a rhythm down these days, though it’s been an especially wild adventure for you in the seven years that Uranus has been moving through Aries. It’s often during these challenging times that you make the most progress. I tend to think of the medicinal plants that grow stronger in the environments that are not ideally suited for them.
Uranus through Aries may have affected your health, your workplace or your life routines. You may have gone through a phase of looking for your purpose or true mission in life, and you’ve probably done better than you give yourself credit for.
In time, Chiron will bring some new stability to your work life, though that may come after a test of truth. If you’ve been denying anything, or just holding things together, Chiron will push you to take action and go to the next level. You need purpose. Your work and the rest of your life must be woven into one another.
This will also work with health-related subjects. The idea is to make health part of your life — as the old saying goes, food is thy medicine and medicine is thy food. For that to work, everything has to be edible and nontoxic. If you are currently taking some form of toxic medication that you want to stop using, and shift over to holistic methods, this takes special care; it is its own field of expertise. You must be careful who you consult, and whose ideas you take on board.
A cautious approach is best. Your holistic practitioner must be honest and even skeptical of alternative medications and methods, which have a far-from-perfect track record, and which usually require lifestyle, family and even community support to be effective. It’s not all about what herbs you use, but rather, also about ceasing to do the things that disrupt your integrity in any way; understanding factors such as stress (which is clearly a factor behind any ailments you may be struggling with now), and how to nourish and tonify the body to make it more hospitable to balance.
One of the lesser-noted influences of Chiron is to point out the weak link in the chain, or of any process. This can cause a kind of breakdown or collapse, which must then be addressed; then a new, stronger system, pattern or process is developed. In health-related matters, this is like catching a cold, and then responding to that and getting some rest and nourishment, which helps prevent additional or worsening illness.
Be happy to find the weak link in the system. Be thrilled when things go wrong sooner rather than later. Most of all, tap into your own energy, and use your strength on your behalf.
Roots in Community: Saturn in the 3rd House
Capricorn and Scorpio have a special relationship, as feminine signs associated with Mars. The 3rd is one of the truly relevant houses for “everyday life” (similar to the 6th in that sense). In other chapters, I detail the influx of planets into Capricorn, which include Saturn, Pholus and Quaoar. (Those are detailed in the Libra, Cap and Pisces editions.) However, the resounding message of this set of transits is to keep your interests local.
That is to say, you don’t need to travel long distances to find what you want, or to meet the people you want to meet. Invest yourself in physical, actual community, to the extent possible, within walking distance to your home, or short driving distance. Conveniences like air travel, cars and the ability to teleport via internet have made nearly every neighborhood a “bedroom community” — that is, a place where people go only to sleep, not really to relate to others.
This transit is encouraging you to put down some roots, right where you live. If you were to take a walk around the block and really pay attention, you could probably discover five things you’ve never noticed, and meet someone new.
The internet is great, but it needs a rest — and local needs a boost. Not just the local economy — which you will be rewarded for participating in — but the local human environment, which will seem genuinely intriguing and not a bit retro. Poke your head into local government as well, and see who and what you find. Subscribe to your community newspaper and see what you discover.
In the spirit of awa, there’s a lot of energy waiting to burst out and be set free, and you won’t need to burn a cup of gasoline to find it. You may even find yourself.
Scorpio 2017 Midyear Reading
Scorpio 2017-18 Birthday Reading
Play part one:
Using an Apple mobile device? Play part 1 here.
|Play part two:|
Using an Apple mobile device? Play part 2 here.
Using an Apple mobile device? Play tarot reading here.