New Moon in Scorpio
“Every development leads through the undeveloped, but capable of development. In its undeveloped condition it is almost worthless, while development represents a highest value that is unquestionable. One must give up this value or at least apparently give it up to be able to attend to the undeveloped. But this stands in the sharpest contrast to the developed, which perhaps represents our best and highest achievement. The acceptance of the undeveloped is therefore like a sin, like a false step, a degeneration, a descent to a deeper level; in actual fact, however, it is a greater deed than remaining in an ordered condition at the expense of the other side of our being, which is thus at the mercy of decay.”
— C.G. Jung, from Appendix B of Liber Novus (aka The Red Book)
The regenerative blackness of the Scorpio New Moon on October 27 (PST) comes in the days leading up to Samhain, the Day of the Dead, All Saints Day, and Halloween. In the northern hemisphere it is the season of embracing the increase of night and falling leaves by honoring ancestors and the living otherworld. There is a profound stillness to be found within the darkness of this lunation, an emptying as well as a reception of inner insight. The New Moon in Scorpio is exactly opposite Uranus in Taurus while its ruler Mars in Libra is in an exact square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn, marking it as a key gateway between all the diverse developments of 2019 and what is to come in the ending and beginning of a new year. The wet, boggy landscape of Scorpio is filled not only with decomposition and burial mounds, but also the fecund, fructifying growth that emerges from putrefaction. Issues from the past may emerge in need of laying to rest with the sanctity of funeral rites, yet simultaneously our inner senses will reveal burgeoning desires to be curious about and follow in unexpected directions.
The Moon has its fall in Scorpio, and so it’s further significant that the New Moon is only one degree beyond the exact degree of the Moon’s fall at 3º Scorpio. As a result, there is an extremely fallen quality to the Scorpio New Moon that can bring us low to the ground, like venturing into a depression under the earth with an intensity of underworld initiation. Scorpio is a place of obsession and fixating on plans of development, insisting on certain outcomes against all odds to such an extent that one can become flooded with emotional overwhelm when things do not manifest as desired. Since Venus will also be conjoining Mercury in Scorpio within the darkness of the New Moon, as Mercury is simultaneously stationing retrograde, it will be important to release attachment to controlling outcomes and instead flow with the trajectory of events with a willingness to modify plans as necessary.
The New Moon arrives at the heart of the Uranus retrograde, when Uranus is as close to our Earth in orbit as it gets within its cycle. Uranus stationed retrograde on August 11 at 6º36′ Taurus and will eventually station direct on January 10, 2020 at 2º38′ Taurus. This means Uranus will eventually station direct at the same time as the exact conjunction between Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn on January 12, 2020. As the Scorpio Moon melds into the Sun while opposing Uranus, unforeseen revelations regarding the path to follow into the unknown future may strike suddenly. Uranus electrifies the fallen quality of the Scorpio New Moon, like an otherworldly vision of healing received while laying on the ground, incubating.
Unlike the frenetic quality of oppositional aspects when Uranus was in Aries, the opposition between Uranus in Taurus with the New Moon in Scorpio cultivates a brooding intensification of inwardly directed senses. Rather than attempting to control natural surroundings, Uranus in Taurus promotes finding ways to merge the magic of nature and all of its constant changes into one’s creative process of invention. The scholar and philosopher Peter Kingsley has spoken and written extensively about the sacred ground of our inner senses and how we can become “a farmer in the unseen worlds” engaging in a “whole process of inner agriculture.” If you feel like giving up due to obstacles or nothing seeming to work out as planned, make space for quiet immersion within inner senses to discover guidance for the next steps to take from Uranus.
Mars in Libra rules the Scorpio New Moon and is beginning to separate from an exact square aspect with Saturn in Capricorn while applying toward a square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. The influence of Mars will amplify frustration and anger regarding barriers restricting achievement of goals, as well as over anything feeling unjust or out of balance within personal as well as societal relationships. While resiliency and persistence will be necessary allies on whatever quest you have undertaken, it will do no good to try to fight your way through unmoveable obstacles as it will only achieve exhaustion. Mars in Libra needs to instead find ways to utilize the tools of Venus in order to manipulate power dynamics through intellectual invention and social charm.
The traditional astrological concept of essential dignities is worth considering in relation to the catalyzing square between Mars and Saturn, as Mars and Saturn are in mutual reception due to Mars occupying the exaltation of Saturn and Saturn residing in the exaltation of Mars. It’s further notable that this is reception based upon the idealized grandeur of exaltation rather than the grounded security of domicile. While exaltation correlates with peak experiences, whatever goes up to great heights can also fall from grace. William Lilly famously described angular, unimpeded planets in exaltation as signifying arrogance, haughtiness, and “assuming more to him than his due.” Thus it is worth contemplating whether or not you are trying to fight for more than your fair share of resources, or if you are becoming frustrated over not manifesting desired results due to setting your expectations too high.
While Saturn is strongly secure in its home of Capricorn, it is also undergoing an intense process of shedding and honing due to being in between the South Node of the Moon and Pluto in Capricorn. In contrast, Mars is journeying far away from its home with few resources in Libra, yet since it is in a superior position of being in the tenth place from Saturn it can incite a volatilized charge against the constraints of Saturn. It will be wise to avoid unnecessary conflict, as fights can quickly become amplified with viciousness. The friction between Mars and Saturn can be best utilized through hard work and determination applied to productive effort, releasing attachment to the inessential, using the tension to discern what you truly value the most.
Although Mars is lacking in essential dignity, the New Moon in Scorpio is in the most powerful degree range of the zodiac for Mars since it is in the domicile, face, and bounds of the red planet. Hellenistic astrologer Vettius Valens (2nd Century CE) described the first seven degrees of Scorpio where Mars has its bounds as “frenetic, tending towards anger, and a bold, free speaking style- the kind to say what is necessary at any given time.” Positively, the Scorpio New Moon can be supportive for doing what needs to be done to separate and protect yourself from negative, toxic influences. Since Mars is in Libra, however, a more measured approach of strategic intervention will be favored over impulsive, direct action.
After Mars persists through challenging square aspects with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn during the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, it will eventually form a stabilizing sextile aspect with Jupiter in Sagittarius during the Full Moon in Taurus on November 12 that can help with recovering from conflicts and taking inspired action. As the waxing Moon will also unite with Uranus on November 11 just before reaching fullness, there is potential to liberate yourself from stuck places and ultimately achieve greater self actualization through maintaining courageous resiliency in the face of difficulties in the lunar cycle ahead.
The Scorpio New Moon has a quality of strange stillness and suspense due to Venus applying to a conjunction with Mercury, as Mercury is simultaneously stationing retrograde. Mercury will station retrograde on October 31 at 27º38′ Scorpio, moving backwards through Scorpio until stationing direct at 11º35′ Scorpio on November 20. It is always important to increase practices of mindfulness and pay close attention whenever Mercury is stationing, as we may receive early signs and messages regarding elements of life that will require focus, release, repair, as well as in depth research during the retrograde journey of Mercury. As Venus unites with Mercury on October 30 at the threshold of Mercury shifting retrograde, we may become drawn toward applying intense creative focus toward a project to develop in the month ahead as well as realize ways we need to make radical changes within certain relational dynamics with others.
As Mercury turns back to retrace its steps through the watery landscape of Scorpio, it will be entering its invisible phase in which it will play the role of a psychopomp guiding us into the insight we may discover in shadowy places and inner senses. Whereas Mercury will demand an unflinching examination of any cracks in foundational elements of our life in need of mending, Venus will be calling for us to embrace and integrate whatever core purpose brings inspiration. Venus will be increasing in brightness as an Evening Star, glowing radiant in twilight as she also becomes a stronger presence in our lives during the month ahead. Venus in Scorpio will be mutually exchanging signs with Mars in Libra through November 1, deepening engagement with new desires and interest in magnetizing support within relationships. Venus holds particularly potent desires within the final ten degrees of Scorpio she is traversing, as she has the resources of being in her own face and triplicity. Let Venus fertilize a fascinating mission for Mercury to undertake during its retrograde phase in November.
After Venus leaves the deep waters of Scorpio on November 1, she will enter the expansive territory of Sagittarius in which she will steadily make her way toward a conjunction with Jupiter that will complete on November 24. The co-presence of Venus and Jupiter in Sagittarius during November will be beneficial in synthesizing ideas and beliefs into a larger vision to build towards through our daily effort in spite of any difficulties we must contend with.
The other major aspects of the Scorpio New Moon involve harmonizing aspects with Saturn in Capricorn. While Saturn is mutually applying toward a sextile aspect with Neptune retrograde in Pisces, the Scorpio New Moon is also applying toward a sextile aspect with the South Node of the Moon, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn. Meanwhile, since Mercury will be moving backwards through Scorpio, it will eventually form sextile aspects with Pluto, Saturn, and the South Node of the Moon in Capricorn in November. Saturn will complete its exact sextile with Neptune retrograde on November 8 at 16º01′ degrees of Capricorn and Pisces, making it an especially powerful season of Samhain to honor and commune with ancestors.
The karmic caravan of Ketu, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn has dredged up personal, ancestral, and societal issues in need of reparation during 2019. During the recent Libra season, this deep rooted material was stirred up and catalyzed through the Sun, Moon, Venus, and Mercury moving through the same square aspects with Ketu, Saturn, and Pluto that Mars is engaging during the Scorpio New Moon. While Mars is heating up and volatilizing all of the myriad strands of historical and contemporary injustice and oppression contained within the karmic configuration, on a personal level the harmonious aspects formed by the Scorpio New Moon and Neptune open an opportunity for dissolving old, restrictive patterns in order to reconfigure our relationship with the associated material and discern a new way forward. The gravity and weight of Saturn and Pluto coming together in a new cycle will be intensifying in the next three months, and so the Scorpio New Moon is ideal for making space to reflect upon ways to realign and flow in greater harmony with the currents of change taking shape.
Scorpio 1 Decan
The Scorpio New Moon arises in the first decan of Scorpio associated with the Five of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image appears desolate at first, as a despairing figure stares with fixation upon three spilled chalices. However, upon closer look there remain two upright chalices behind the figure, suggesting hope. There is also a river flowing underneath a bridge behind the figure, evoking the flux philosophy of Heraclitus that no one ever steps in the same river twice since the river is always changing as well as the person. It is a fitting image to associate with the first decan of Scorpio as it captures the fundamental nature of having desires within our constantly shifting world in which we must deal with the loss of what we desire most in the world.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Jawbone” to the first decan of Scorpio, declaring hunger as its chief concern. Coppock synthesized the ancient textual images of this face around the constantly circulating cycle of desire, including consuming hunger, satiation, the loss of what one desires, and the competitive violence of pursuing desires. Curiously, the ancient Hermetic text Liber Hermetis described “a crab having wings” residing in the first decan of Scorpio, indicating that liberation may be possible once we face the compulsive nature of the cycle. The Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed the Numphai (Nymphs) to this face, feminine nature spirits who reside in sacred streams, groves, and grottoes. The obsessive nature of this face brings to mind the figure of Dionysus who often ran with wild nymphs and whose all consuming desires incite dismemberment and rebirth. Fittingly, Mars is considered to be the ruler of this face.
The importance of following desires into a fully lived life, as well as the mysterious initiations and soul reckoning we experience as a result, was stressed in the depth psychological work of Carl Jung. In commentaries on Liber Novus (found in Appendix B of the tome), Carl Jung described Eros and Logos as “fundamental psychic powers that form a pair of opposites, each one requiring the other.” While Jung connected Logos with “ordering and insistence,” he described Eros as “dissolution and movement” as well as “desire, longing, force, exuberance, pleasure, suffering…” Jung declared Eros to be “a principle that contains a commingling of all the fundamental activities of the soul,” stating that it “is not form-giving but form-fulfilling; it is the wine that will be poured into the vessel; it is not the bed and direction of the stream but the impetuous water flowing in it.”
In the coming months as all things related to Saturn and Pluto intensify in correspondence with their approaching conjunction, we will all need to adjust to the reordering of numerous societal factors as cultural structures deepen into the process of breakdown and regeneration already underway. Within the darkness of the Scorpio New Moon, make a trip to the ever flowing stream of Eros in order to fill a flask of vivifying fluid to bring on the journey ahead. Allow the refreshment from the waters of the Scorpio New Moon to cleanse what needs to be purified and to arouse the passion needed to make life meaningful. There will be lessons of longing and suffering we will need to survive if we wish to help create the world we truly desire to inhabit.
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Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.
Jung, C.G. (2009) The Red Book (Liber Novus). Translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani. Philemon Series. WW Norton & Company.
Kingsley, Peter. (2006). Return to Eternity: a transformational workshop with Peter Kingsley.
Lilly, William. (2004 edition). Christian Astrology. Astrology Classics.
Vettius Valens of Antioch, Book One. Rendered from ancient Greek into modern English by Andrea Gehrz. (2016). Moira Press.