New Moon in Scorpio
New Moons are a time of darkness. In alignment, we go within our own darkness and set intentions for the forthcoming lunar cycle as our Moon regenerates in the heart of our Sun. Scorpio is a zodiac sign also associated with the dark and the hidden, as well as transformation. We have been experiencing an intense period of Scorpio amplification and a collective catharsis in correlation that has brought attention to stories of misuse of power too often denied, including revelations around sexual abuse that further link to Scorpio significations of sex, power and control dynamics. Scorpio brings to the surface what needs to be revealed for regeneration, and so we have been experiencing a collective purging necessary to bring more widespread awareness to the suffering caused by sexual predation. Our entrance into the year long transit of Jupiter in Scorpio has quickly been bringing awareness to what’s been lurking in the shadows, and with Venus as well as the Sun and Moon now in Scorpio we are invited to dig even deeper. The darkness of Scorpio is ultimately the nurturing kind, the rich soil lying fecund underneath us that awaits fertilization and the metamorphic reemergence of colorful growth. It is vital to carefully cultivate the seeds you are germinating when the Scorpio New Moon arrives on November 18.
The influx of Scorpio energy has been magnified further by the sign of Scorpio forming a square aspect with the signs of Leo and Aquarius that the lunar nodes have been transiting through. The Sun and the Moon both faced off with the lunar nodes in the week leading up to the Scorpio New Moon, while Venus and Jupiter are heading toward a square with the lunar nodes. The Scorpio New Moon also forms a square with the degrees of both the recent Leo eclipses (Leo Lunar Eclipse on February 10; Leo Solar Eclipse on August 21) as well as the Aquarius Solar Eclipse coming later in February 2018, further signifying a time of collective crossroads. Planets squaring the nodes force their associated issues to be dealt with, and so the Scorpio activation has been exposing the misuse of power by those desiring Leo ambitions of fame and status. The lunar nodes in Aquarius and Leo bring the opportunity to discover ways of being more empowered and passionately living life more fully while also respecting the boundaries of others. The influence of Scorpio further points to the necessity of living from one’s inner authority of ethics, purifying and shedding the toxic conditioning elements of culture such as misogyny.
The Scorpio New Moon is particularly intense due to the closely applying square between Mars in Libra with Pluto in Capricorn. Any exact square between Mars and Pluto at a lunation is extremely catalytic, but in this case it is even more powerful due to Mars ruling the New Moon and Pluto also having modern associations with rulership over Scorpio. Mars in Libra is in the home of Venus and a sign that is in polarity to its own home of Aries. Mars in Libra is the warrior and protector of social justice, but to achieve this Mars must find a balanced expression that requires restraint at times, more so than direct and impulsive action. With Mars transiting Libra while forming a square with Pluto, anger and tempers will be quick to flare over issues of oppression. In their dynamic Mars is in the superior position of being in the tenth place from Pluto and so in position to overcome Pluto. However, there is an old Hellenistic astrology concept of “striking with a ray” which leads to the interpretation that the dominant power structure (Pluto in Capricorn) will strike back hard to impede social activists (Mars in Libra) from gaining ground.
One of the keys of the Scorpio New Moon is to discern how to flow with the currents of power for the greater good. It is an opportune New Moon for making intentions with regard to long term goals and where you want to place your daily focus in expending energy and initiative. In natal charts, the aspect of Mars square Pluto can be challenging in terms of having grandiose vision and ambition and then being faced with all of the barriers to overcome in the process of manifestation. These barriers involve both external and internal issues, and similarly the collective experience of this transit brings to the surface whatever has been in the way of achieving goals and developing plans. Realizations can emerge more easily than normal regarding what we need to separate from and sever with regards to our desires.
Notably Mars is exchanging signs with Venus in Scorpio, as Mars is in the home of Venus and Venus is in the home of Mars. This further means that both Venus and Mars are in signs that are opposite their domicile placements of Taurus (Venus) and Aries (Mars). The influence of Venus in Scorpio makes the drive for justice with Mars in Libra more obsessive and more willing to penetrate to the depths of current circumstances. Venus in Scorpio is forming an integrative sextile with Pluto in Capricorn, and so there is a higher lesson available in terms of how to change our own attitudes and behavior to have greater integrity as well as how to engage and listen to others coming from different perspectives and backgrounds more effectively. However, in reality this combination will more readily lead people into heated conflict and so keep this in mind when navigating difficult situations. When Mars and Pluto collide like this at a Scorpio lunation, there are explosive undercurrents to deal with.
We make our way through Everything like thread passing through fabric: giving shape to images that we ourselves do not know.
–Rainer Maria Rilke, born with Jupiter in Scorpio
Another massive influence over the Scorpio New Moon comes from dreamy Neptune, as it will station direct as the Moon begins to wax in light on November 22. Planets stationing saturate the astrological atmosphere with their influence, particularly in the case of Neptune as it will open awareness to aspects of reality normally invisible or veiled to “normal” modes of mundane perception. Neptune has been moving retrograde since June 16, and so it is worthwhile to reflect back upon the past five months of Neptune’s backward movement.
As Neptune stations we can feel a dissolution of interior complexes and exterior structures, and an opening of awareness to a sense that we can be perceiving through a focus of consciousness that is different from our past. It can feel like we are opening to a message outside our known reality, as Neptune is a far-out planet bridging our solar system to what revolves beyond, or it can feel like a current rising from deep within our depths. We can experience moments of realization within a flood of former boundaries dissolving, yet the tendency is to fall back again into the security of the old reality instead of following the seemingly mystical call we fear is merely an illusion. Confusion and disorientation can engulf us when we look to our former self image to provide stability, as under these waves we feel the superficial structure of its facade.
Making all of Neptunes significations even more impactful is the additional transit of Jupiter in Scorpio applying to a trine with Neptune in Pisces as it stations. Since Jupiter’s rulership connects it directly into the Mars and Pluto square, we will be more likely to feel enough passion and motivation to set sails in the direction the Neptunian wind and current is leading us. Jupiter will form its first exact trine with Neptune on December 2 as the Moon waxes toward the upcoming Gemini Full Moon. As I wrote recently on the trine between Jupiter in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces that will be a dominant influence in the year ahead:
“Like a Bodhisattva willing to return and return again in order to help enlighten and liberate others, Jupiter in Scorpio will support persevering through uncomfortable truths in order to engage the world wholeheartedly and to compassionately serve the greater good. Jupiter in Scorpio will support testing and probing our beliefs, discovering where we are truly being mindful in the moment and where we have been led into deception.”
Venus is important to reflect upon at the New Moon not only because it is co-present with the lunation in Scorpio and applying to a square with the lunar nodes, but also because it has entered it’s liminal phase of invisibility, disappearing from morning skies under the beams of the Sun. At this point in her cycle, Venus is on the far side of the Sun from us slowly approaching her Superior Conjunction with the Sun that will eventually occur at nineteen degrees of Capricorn on January 8, 2018. Since Venus is heading toward a union with our Sun that will occur in close proximity to Pluto in Capricorn, there is a degree of foreshadowing happening in terms of Pluto being tightly bound to the meaning of the Scorpio New Moon. As Venus descends into the underworld of her invisible phase, we may notice elements of past Venusian attachments stripping away while other elements of Venusian desire begin to take on greater prominence.
Finally, it is important to realize that we have the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle to bask in the glory of Mercury shining bright as an Evening Star on its way toward a union with Saturn near the degrees of our Galactic Center. Mercury will ultimately station retrograde close in timing with the upcoming Full Moon in Gemini, but within the darkening twilight of the Scorpio New Moon the Star of Hermes continues to bring illumination. While this is a strong phase of Mercury for reflection and integration of recent experiences, we have also already entered the “Mercury retrograde shadow zone” of the zodiacal terrain that Mercury will later return to retrograde a second time, ultimately moving back through again a third time. Therefore, its a good idea to check out the range of the upcoming Mercury retrograde from thirteen to twenty-nine degrees of Sagittarius and how it impacts your natal chart, and beginning to sense if you can feel what changes are coming with the upcoming retrograde movement and what elements of your life with become an important focus of attention as we head into 2018.
Scorpio 3 Decan
The New Moon falls in the third face of Scorpio associated with the Seven of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image each of the seven chalices holds an embodiment of a desire, such as fame, fortune, lust and other earthly powers. The veiled figure in the center brings to mind the burning desire of Sophia in gnostic texts to gain ultimate understanding, a desire it is said that cast a veil whose shadow became the material world we traverse often overwhelmed by desire like the shadowy figure in the image. Some interpret the image as signifying that through discernment we may choose to follow the one desire that will bring clarity needed to make choices aligned with our inner values and desires.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked the Seven of Cups to the third face of Scorpio through their shared meaning of becoming dominated by obsessive desires. Coppock ascribed the image of “A Crow” to the third decan of Scorpio, noting that the essence of this face involves the putrefaction of desire that leads to direct contact with the nature of desire. Coppock posited that through the loss of unfulfilled desire, the process of separating our desire from the external objects of desires brings the ability to reseed and regenerate core desires. Coppock wrote that the third face of Scorpio contains a “formula of liberation, for if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”
While Coppock pointed out that many older images associated with the decan hold the symbolism of drunken, uncontrolled desires of a ferocious and violent quality, I am most intrigued by an image in the Liber Hermetis that contains “a human body and the form of a he-goat, holding eggs hanging from a thread in both hands.” The eggs strung by thread suggests to me a meaning we can find in the final face of Scorpio that involves the fertility of destiny and the ripening of the moment. Along these lines, it is further fascinating to consider that the ancient Hellenistic fragmentary text 36 Airs ascribed Kairos to the third face of Scorpio. You are likely familiar with the term kairos referring to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time. Yet Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities. Kairos was seen as always moving with winged feet, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect.
The Moon rules the third face of Scorpio in the triplicity rulership scheme, lending added potency to the New Moon and unlocking the gates of this decan’s meaning. The square from Mars to Pluto brings the fires of urgency to the moment so that we will be ready to take action when the opportune moment arises. The time has come to let go of what has come to pass, opening fully to the soulful desires felt within the presence of our quiet contemplation.
Joy is inexpressibly more than happiness. Happiness befalls people, happiness is fate, while people cause joy to bloom inside themselves. Joy is plainly a good season for the heart; joy is the ultimate achievement of which humans are capable.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Rilke, Rainer Maria (2006). Letters on Life. Edited and translated by Ulrich Baer. The Modern Library Classics.