Solar Eclipse in Scorpio

Ring of Hatnefer ca. 1492–1473 B.C.

Solar Eclipse in Scorpio

Eclipses shroud the Sun’s radiant light with the black of night, momentarily turning the blue skies of daylight into darkness. The closer the eclipse occurs to the transiting lunar nodes, the more fully the shadow of the Moon covers the solar sphere and extinguishes its light. The Scorpio Solar Eclipse on October 25 is over ten degrees away from the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio, and so will partially obscure the Sun with a sliver of solar light remaining observable not unlike the shape of a crescent Moon. The Scorpio Solar Eclipse will initiate us into an extremely volatile eclipse season that will culminate with a Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 8 aligned with Uranus. While eclipse periods are known for demarcating major turning points in narratives, the eclipse season beginning with the Scorpio Solar Eclipse will be especially tempestuous and tumultuous.

An obvious symbolic theme involves the eclipsing of the exalted by the fallen. The Moon in its fall of Scorpio will eclipse the Sun with its shadow on October 25, followed by the Moon becoming eclipsed in its exaltation of Taurus on November 8 while uniting with the electrifying influence of Uranus. There could be an influx of people and topics holding exalted positions of cultural significance falling in status, or people and topics that have been undervalued within society or are associated with countercultural qualities gaining attention. We may also become drawn to critically examine and shed values and beliefs we have been conditioned by society to exalt, or release identities we have been conditioned to take on in order to achieve greater success within the surrounding culture.

The Solar Eclipse at 2º00’ Scorpio is applying closely to a conjunction with Venus at 2º39’ Scorpio, as the star of Aphrodite is barely beginning to separate from her regenerative conjunction with the Sun. The reanimation of Venus by the Sun on October 22 marked a point of renewal in our relationship with Venus, but we may need to traverse a period of liminal mystery regarding the way our values, aesthetics, and desires are in process of transmutation due to Venus being so closely bound to the warping impact of the eclipse. Significations of Venus such as the arts, creativity, music, relational dynamics, and sexuality will be major aspects of events occurring with the eclipse, and with Venus and the eclipse aligned with the South Node of the Moon we may have old memories and feelings deeply stirred by experiences of Venus. Experiences of nostalgia through music or other forms of Venus, for example, can bring significant memories in need of digestion, integration, or release as part of the regeneration underway. There may be a need to circumambulate memories as part of the rebirth that will be unfolding in the weeks ahead. Yet we will need to be mindful of not becoming stuck in a quagmire of past patterns that restrain us from embracing the changes needing to move us now.

The eclipse stirring the waters of Scorpio can amplify regenerative processes when we penetrate deep into dynamics, dissolving the places we have become fixated or stuck and allowing for a more essential form to coagulate out of the dissolution. The boggy environment of Scorpio can create incredibly intense trials for us to traverse, yet just as bogs have played a traditional role of supplying fuel, so can the cathartic emotional experiences propelled by the Scorpio Solar Eclipse ultimately catalyze new found strength in the months ahead. Scorpio is not only a place of burial and decomposition, but also nourishing aquatic terrain that feeds the growth of orchards and vineyards that will eventually produce fruit. Just as Scorpio natives are known for keeping to themselves, we may not be able to articulate the chthonic churning we are experiencing until the deeper meaning of eclipse experiences become clearer in the weeks ahead, allowing for the conservation of energy in the meantime.

Cleopatra the Alchemist (10th Century)

The synergy between the Scorpio Solar Eclipse with the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio, known as the tail of the dragon, fits well with the alchemical ouroboros image of a dragon devouring its own tail. Eclipses are typically times of endings and beginnings simultaneously weaving together, even more so when volatilizing the nocturnal waters of Scorpio. Myth reminds us that creation always emerges out of destruction, eros out of chaos, and that the arising of creative new forms also necessitate the dissolution of the old. The strong influence of the South Node of the Moon in Scorpio during the coming month of eclipses means that the way forward will require returning to the patterns of the past that need to be more fully laid to rest so that their putrefaction can more fully fertilize new growth. Any space that can be cleared during the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle can also help in finding a flow with the propulsive changes likely to erupt in correspondence with the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 8.

The Scorpio Solar Eclipse is in the home of Mars, while Mars in Gemini is dramatically slowing down in speed to station retrograde less than a week after the eclipse on October 30 at 25º37’ Gemini. With Mars slowing down to a standstill there can be frustration over not making forward progress, yet simultaneously there can be a burning inner fire calling for change and movement. As Mars stations retrograde it slowly turns the separating and dividing function of Mars inward, stoking our inner flames and initiating a process of realignment with our most deeply felt desire and purpose. While the retrograde movement of Mars can ultimately help bring release from past restrictions and set powerful change in motion in the months ahead, it’s intensified presence due to stationing in the week following the eclipse will require centering and taking a step back when becoming overheated to attune with the deeper shifts beginning to take shape. With Mars turning retrograde in the mutable, double-bodied sign of the Twins, we may be pulled in several directions at once and so will require discernment in where to focus and how to best utilize available time.

The closest aspect forming with Mars during the eclipse is a flowing trine from Mercury in Libra that will become exact on October 26, a day after the eclipse. With Mars in the airy home of Mercury their harmonious aspect will magnify mental activity that can be utilized in creative brainstorming and intellectual pursuits. Those dealing with difficulties will also need to be mindful of taking steps to calm nerves so as not to become excessively anxious. Mercury is moving fast in its invisible phase under the beams of the Sun, and so there will be a hidden quality to information exchanges that will require time to fully illuminate in meaning. Mercury will move quickly through a square aspect with Pluto on October 27, enter Scorpio on October 29 and then trigger the degree of the Scorpio Solar Eclipse on October 30, the same day that Mars stations retrograde. As a result there will be significant developments occurring at the end of October related to whatever storylines are developing with the eclipse.

Another indicator of monumental turning points in narratives occurring at the end of October is Jupiter changing signs and returning to its watery, nocturnal home of Pisces. Three days after the eclipse, Jupiter will return to Pisces on October 28 and rekindle the boundless imaginative potential of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces coming together again within seven degrees of one another within the same sign. While the resilient hope of Jupiter becoming strengthened will be an asset in persevering through difficulties and inspiring others to do the same, there will also be increased friction, confusion and conflict to manage due to Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces coming into range of a square aspect with Mars. In particular, the contentious square aspect between Mars in Gemini with Neptune in Pisces will be slowly building with intensity over the next month until culminating in an exact aspect on November 19. In contrast, Jupiter in Pisces will not come closer than four degrees away from an exact square aspect with Mars.

Mars and Neptune are commonly viewed in astrology as difficult archetypal forces to bring together in combination, as the boundless and unifying imaginal force of Neptune brings obscuring fog to the focusing of Mars, making it trickier for Mars to cut through options into focalized action in some cases, over inflating the hubris of Mars in other cases. Liz Greene in her book on Neptune wrote that “Mars-Neptune inherently avoids any overt expression of the will because of Neptune’s longing for fusion,” yet also described how they can come together effectively in the arts and the therapeutic field, as well as in fields requiring collective inspiration such as politics and the military. To Greene, the shared aspirations that can come from Mars and Neptune are necessary to bring hope within our world of suffering, writing that “we would have a sadly impoverished world” without Mars and Neptune, “for there would be no artists to bring us our Dionysian ecstasy, nor imaginative leaders, teachers, scientists, or healers to help us achieve our collective dreams.”

Yet after Jupiter returns to Pisces on October 28, it will join forces with Neptune to create a more potentially productive dynamic with Mars in Gemini. During the Scorpio Solar Eclipse, Jupiter will be on the cardinal axis at zero degrees of Aries within the fiery home of Mars, infusing its fiery resilience into whatever trials we may be facing. Jupiter’s retreat back into its watery home of Pisces will considerably slow down its pace and allow us to sink into circumstances so we may deepen understanding of the meaning and growth taking shape for us. Jupiter and Mars can be an incredibly productive and visionary combination, and so the presence of Jupiter with Neptune in Pisces can be helpful for bringing imaginative visions and inspiring ideas into form when expressing our creativity.

While there is great creative potential possible with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces clashing with Mars stationing in between volatile eclipses, we will also need to descend into a dissolution of longstanding beliefs, passing through a disorienting phase of fluidity before we are able to differentiate and clarify the deeper meaning we are receiving.  We can utilize the friction between Mars with Jupiter and Neptune to cut through the places we have deluded ourselves, allowing our experiences to reveal deeper truths and insight that bring about a reorientation to our reality. Embracing the states of emptying and not knowing that can be facilitated by the eclipse will invite and allow for the profound to enter our lives.

Black Circle by Kazimir Malevich

The polarity of signs activated by eclipses and the transiting lunar nodes tell a story over the course of eclipses moving back and forth within the signs of the North and South Nodes of the Moon. Consider the meaning of the natal houses in your birth chart containing Taurus and Scorpio, and reflect upon the trajectory of storylines that have developed across the timespan in which we have had eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio: the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on 15 May 2022, the Solar Eclipse in Taurus on 30 April 2022, and the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on 19 November 2021. Occurring within the fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio, these eclipses will have long ranging impact. Fixed signs can be resistant to change, but once they set change in motion they catalyze enduring effects.

Eclipses also come in families known as the Saros cycle. The origin of their ancestry begins at either the south or north pole and then traces a serpentine path around our world every eighteen or so years, moving ahead eleven degrees of celestial longitude each time. The Scorpio Solar Eclipse is part of the saros 124 eclipse family that originated with a partial solar eclipse in the southern hemisphere on 6 March 1049 at twenty-two degrees of Pisces; all of the eclipses in this family have occurred on the south or descending node of the Moon. Interestingly, at the time of the origin eclipse in 1049 there was also a close conjunction between Venus with the eclipse in Pisces. Venus at the time was moving direct into her superior conjunction with the Sun which occurred less than a week later at 27º28’ Pisces. The difference between this origin eclipse and the present one is that in the 2022 eclipse Venus already completed her superior conjunction three days before the eclipse, rather than having her regenerating union with the Sun occur after the eclipse as happened in 1049.

Bernadette Brady in her book Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark gave the name of “6 South” to the eclipse family of the Scorpio Solar Eclipse, connecting her interpretation with the fact that there was an opposition between Pluto in Aquarius with Mars retrograde in Leo during the 1049 origin eclipse, as well as that the conjunction between Venus with the Pisces eclipse was at the midpoint between Uranus and the lunar nodes. Brady declared that this eclipse family “is about being forceful and taking power” to the extent of even having “a manic flavor about it, with great force or strength manifesting in the relationship area.” Brady also said there can be “sudden events” within relationship, “like falling in or out of love, or sudden sexual encounters.” With Venus being closely aligned with the Scorpio Solar Eclipse, and Venus ruling the subsequent Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus that will be conjoining Uranus, one possible manifestation could be sudden shifts within relationship. However, for those within relationships possessing enduring bonds, rather than a relationship suddenly ending there could be significant changes within inner desires or within other realms of Venus such as artistic expression and inspiration.

Brady’s description of this eclipse family being connected with the seizure of power has obvious associations with numerous current events unfolding around the world. The gravity of the various crises erupting within world events can be further shown by the intensified presence of Saturn in Aquarius during the time of the Sun’s light becoming eclipsed by the Moon. Saturn stationed direct three days before the eclipse on October 22, saturating the astrological landscape with its significations of authority, tests, pressure, rejection, containment, structuring, and deep contemplation. The intensification of Saturn during the eclipse makes its longstanding square aspect with Uranus in Taurus even more powerful, amplifying the potential for sudden changes in storylines that completely change the course of events. The shattering influence of Uranus upon Saturn can dislodge the places where we have been stuck, forcing Saturn to release its grip so that new vistas of expansive opportunities may enter our minds.

Moreover, in between the Scorpio Solar Eclipse and the Taurus Lunar Eclipse on November 8, Venus, Mercury and the Sun in Scorpio will form harsh square aspects with Saturn and volatilizing opposition aspects with Uranus. The fact that the Total Lunar Eclipse in Taurus will be conjoining Uranus and forming a square aspect with Saturn means that we can expect an acceleration of change picking up speed in the weeks following the solar eclipse. With Saturn in Aquarius forming a square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes at the southern bending of the lunar nodes, we can draw upon the stalwart capacity of Saturn in Aquarius for stepping back from overheated conflict to contemplate and analyze the strategy needed to address developing difficulties. Saturn in Aquarius can support us when we to stand our ground alone, yet we will ideally be able to form alliances of support with those aligned with our values who can engage in mutually beneficial relationship with us. As old systems and structures continue to fragment in the wake of the tension between Saturn and Uranus, there will be opportunities to form alliances with those who share our ideals for the kind of world we wish to create together.

5 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 1 Decan

The Solar Eclipse in Scorpio falls in the first face of Scorpio associated with the Five of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is full of desire and despair, as a figure cloaked in black stares with fixation upon three spilled chalices. Yet the remaining two upright chalices suggest the possibility of quenching the thirst of desire elsewhere, regenerating the cycle of desirous pursuit and sudden loss all over again. 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 due to the river as well as the person always changing. 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 of all. As T. Susan Chang has written, “by facing the 5 of Cups, we learn what matters most in life and resolve to fight for it.” Fittingly, Mars is the ruler of the first face of Scorpio. 

In Henrich Corenelius Agrippa’s The Celestial World, translated by Eric Purdue, the image for the first face of Scorpio reveals the destructive side of desire: “In the first face of Scorpio rises a woman with a good face and condition, along with two men beating each other.” 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 that can be constellated when pursuing desires. Coppock concluded that within the first decan of Scorpio “we are brought to confront the cycle of hungers which are the price and pleasure of incarnate being,” yet by coming into relationship with it “we are less bound to it, and less blind, than if we ignore it.”  

Demetra George’s translation of The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius (a Greek language text ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus during early Roman Imperial period, possibly around 50 CE) revealed the image of the first decan of Scorpio to be a man with a bull’s face and four wings who is girdled, carrying a small water urn in his right hand and a sceptre in his left. Containment of this powerful figure by a belt evokes the image of Aphrodite’s girdle that has been associated with her many charms of desire, and in connection with the emptying release of the Scorpio eclipse the water urn could connect with the experience of purification and regeneration that will ultimately occur in relation to our attractions and desires due to Venus in Scorpio being within a degree of the eclipse.

Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed a different representation of desire to this face: the Numphai (Nymphs), feminine nature spirits who reside in sacred streams, springs, groves, and grottoes. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces speculated that the attribution of the nymphs to this face relates to them being shown as objects of desires for mortals and immortals in mythology. Combined with the desirous nature of this face, the presence of the nymphs also brings to mind the ecstatic Dionysus who often ran freely with wild nymphs and whose all consuming desires incited dismemberment and rebirth. Yet perhaps most of all, the presence of the Nymphs in the first decan of Scorpio represents the eros of spirit incarnating in matter and the infusion of the worldly matter surrounding us with divine spirit and desire.

Returning to the image of the Five of Cups, the flowing river in the background can also be viewed as a habitat of nymphs that contains the medicine we need for coming to terms with the endless cycle of desires present in the first face of Scorpio. Like Psyche who repeatedly leapt into rivers during her quest to unite with Eros, we must follow desires through their mysterious initiations and reckonings of soul in order to have a fully lived life. In commentaries in the appendix of Liber Novus, Carl Jung described Eros as a force of “dissolution and movement” that runs counter to the “ordering and insistence” of Logos. 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 not the bed and direction of the stream but the impetuous water flowing in it.” Rather than insisting on the control of ordering and paddling against the forceful currents of collective events that will be rushing with speed in the month ahead, find ways to enter the stream of flowing life force in ways that will allow for fulfillment of your purpose.

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References

Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark. Weiser Books.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press.

George, Demetra. (2021). Egyptian Decans: Star Gods of Time. Astrology University.

Greene, Liz. (1996). The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption. Weiser.

Full Moon in Scorpio

Scorpion Scarab (about 1550–1186 BCE)

Full Moon in Scorpio

The Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26 will uproot and open emotions, sinking senses down into contact with the ceaseless stream of circulating desires within subconscious sources. Since Scorpio penetrates into the roots of desires like no other sign in the zodiac, the Scorpio Full Moon will dig underneath the surface of our motivations to the primal forces that fuel our resiliency in persevering with participation in life despite the suffering we experience. There is an eruptive quality to the lunation, as the Scorpio Moon is separating from a flowing trine with Mars in Cancer and applying to a volatilizing opposition with Uranus in Taurus and a disruptive square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius that can engender breakthroughs and dramatic shifts in storylines.  Although the feelings unleashed by the Full Moon in Scorpio may involve difficult emotional material to process, the cathartic and purgative pulse of the lunation will also draw us into deeper relationship with our inner vitality so that we may intuitively coalesce a more strongly felt sense of the direction forward and what we want to create within our relationships.

In the northern hemisphere the Full Moon in Scorpio will arrive at the height of spring, whereas in the southern hemisphere it will illuminate descent into the season of fall. Taurus and Scorpio are a fixed polarity that anchor our seasons as well as our consciousness, not only rooting us into the ground we stand upon but also pulling us under the earth into the fecund source of the blooming life around us. While the Sun in Taurus centers purpose within our senses, patiently cultivating sources of security from our inner values, the Full Moon in Scorpio will probe into the shadows cast by our yearnings, unearthing the deeper source of  our desires and how they interface with our needs for security. Being fixed signs, the immense capacity of Taurus and Scorpio for stabilizing can also lead us to become stuck through fixating upon controlling dynamics so as to avoid the grief of loss when things end and change.  Due to the Full Moon activating the clash between Uranus and Saturn, however, change will be unavoidable and so we can allow the piercing night vision of Scorpio to open our bodily senses into a more visceral sense for how our inner desires are changing so that we may come into greater alignment with the essential transmutations emerging.

Indeed, while the activation of Uranus by the Full Moon may incite desire for rapidly rushing in an exciting new direction or bursting free from constraining influences, the harsh square between the lunation with Saturn in Aquarius will make us acutely aware of the limitations and restrictions present within our current circumstances. Ideally the emotive impact of the Scorpio Full Moon can help us find a balance between the tension constellating between Saturn and Uranus rather than becoming excessively frustrated by their friction. Due to the Sun applying to a conjunction with Uranus and Mercury and Venus also being present in Taurus, there will be more emphasis on the liberating side of Uranus that seeks to force open the walls of Saturn to let in more inspiring sources of creativity and far reaching vision. Yet we must also relate to the hard reality of Saturn if we wish to be effective, and so we will need to apply steady effort and discipline while keeping in mind the longview of what we will be capable of building over time rather than insisting on rushing forward too fast.

It’s important to consider the mutual reception between the Full Moon and its domicile ruler Mars, as the Full Moon is in the watery home of Mars and is separating from a trine aspect with Mars in the watery home of the Moon. Since both the Full Moon and Mars are in the signs of their fall, the lunation will call for a descent into boggy terrain that will necessitate coming to terms with the feelings we have been harboring within our inner darkness as well as within the shadows cast by the work we have been projecting into the world. Due to being in signs of their fall, the Moon in Scorpio and Mars in Cancer are in zodiacal terrain where they are not exalted by the dominant culture and therefore can be overlooked until demanding attention. Constructively, Mars and the Moon in their fall can draw us into material that is undervalued by the dominant culture and the manner in which we have been conditioned to pursue whatever is considered to be successful within our culture. As a result, the passionate potency of their watery convergence can instill greater fortitude in following an unorthodox path that is aligned more so with our inner authenticity than the external expectations of society. 

Mars in Cancer can be a fierce protector, and so we also need to be aware that the emotional material dislodged by the Full Moon may feel so overwhelming that the defense mechanisms of Mars will be standing ever ready at guard. Rather than shutting down, lashing out at others, or closing oneself off from feelings, see if the slow, steady, and stabilizing presence of the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Taurus can help modulate emotions to a level that can be more securely felt and integrated.  Due to Mars being more strongly influenced by the polarized force of the Full Moon than normal, keep in mind that feelings will be especially sensitized including triggers to our anger that can lead us into conflict. In some cases we may need to get in stronger contact with our anger and use it to make change or separate from a problematic situation, but in other cases there will be greater potential than normal to overreact before fully understanding the larger context of the issue.

The Moon in the Marsh by Earl Reed

Pulsating underneath the tension of the Full Moon will be the primal potency of Pluto. Pluto will be saturating the astrological atmosphere with its influence due to stationing retrograde less than twenty-four hours after the lunation on April 27 at 26°48′ Capricorn. The howl from Pluto in the underworld will amplify the deep potency of Mars in the sign of its fall ruling the Full Moon in the sign of its fall, as Pluto can intensify whatever needs to be released with a volcanic force. Feelings may overflow from places and inner parts that have been denied or controlled, as suppressed memories and passions arise to surface awareness. The powerful presence of Pluto can therefore accentuate our capacity for peering into the emotional sources at the root of our interpersonal dynamics with others.

After stationing retrograde on April 27 at 26°48’ Capricorn, Pluto will slowly creep backwards through Capricorn until eventually stationing direct on October 6, 2021 at 24°19′ Capricorn. Since this will be the second time that we will experience Pluto traversing twenty-seven to twenty-four degrees of our natal charts, over the course of the next five months the retrograde movement of Pluto will catalyze reorientation to the deep-seated shifts that have been taking shape within that we may have previously been resisting. However, the necessity of coming to terms with any feelings we have been denying or resisting will be more pronounced in the week following the Scorpio Full Moon as Pluto stands still, as unconscious material that has been simmering under the surface may arise into awareness for the first time. Over the course of the retrograde movement of Pluto, however, we will have an extended period of time to surrender to whatever process of breakdown and purification needs to happen.

After the Full Moon forms an opposition with Uranus and a square aspect with Saturn, it will form a flowing trine with Neptune in Pisces on April 27 followed by a galvanizing sextile aspect with Pluto and a catalyzing square aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius on April 28. While the square aspect between the Full Moon with Saturn may bring realization that some of the desires being stirred up by Pluto and the lunation are presently out of reach, we can utilize our felt sense for what we want versus what we do not want to begin taking steps and setting plans in motion to reach our desired end. The stern glare from Saturn demands taking accountability and claiming the inner authority we possess to do what we can to restructure and realign in our desired direction. Look for ways to bring the inspired vision and excitement stoked by Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter into relationship with the patient endurance of Saturn in Aquarius that will slowly build something solid with long lasting benefits. 

Fairy Land (1881) by Gustave Dore

The abundance of fertile desires that can be activated by the Scorpio Full Moon is resonant with the fact that it is taking place during the time of Beltane in the northern hemisphere, when the veil into the otherworld of fairies, daimons, and spirits of the land is lifted to allow for more direct relationships. Fittingly for one of the most magical times of the year, the Full Moon involves a conjunction between Mercury with Venus in Taurus. Venus is luxuriating within her earthy home of Taurus where she can directly access her gifts for harmonizing and finding delight within our body and the recesses of our sensory, sensual natures. In contrast to the unifying nature of Venus, Mercury can destabilize, contest, and move with volatility and so the star of Hermes can connect the emancipatory and breakthrough impulses of Uranus with the stabilizing inclinations of Venus in Taurus. Since Mercury is the connective mediator between the world animating spirit and our material realm, the union of Mercury with Venus in the instinctual sign of Taurus can allow for our diverse inner senses to bring guidance into how to move with the changes in storylines being incited by the overarching influence of Uranus and Saturn. With the Full Moon applying to an opposition with Mercury and Venus, there can be a propulsive impact creatively that can be channeled into any sort of art, writing, music, design or other realms that draw upon the combined skills of Mercury and Venus. 

Mercury and Venus will continue moving through Taurus in close proximity with one another during the waning half of the lunar cycle, with Mercury returning to its home of Gemini on May 3 and Venus entering Gemini on May 8. As they journey through Taurus together they will form harmonious aspects with Neptune and Pluto followed by a square aspect with Jupiter that will deepen our sense for how to adjust to surrounding changes while being creatively active with our new desires that are forming. While Mercury and Venus are both secluded from view under the beams of the Sun during the Scorpio Full Moon, Mercury will burst into visibility as an evening star with significant messages for us to receive on May 2 as it is moving from a trine with Pluto into a square aspect with Jupiter. At the same time, Venus will be continuing to gestate the meaning of her new solar cycle until finally beautifying the western horizon at sunset as an evening star following the upcoming New Moon in Taurus. For now, listen for the new sense of meaning that Mercury and Venus are shaping together within inner senses.

fairy tree

The Fairy Tree at Colinton (1846) by David Hill and Robert Adamson

Fittingly for the season of Beltane during which diverse fairies and daimons are more readily present, there are a number of asteroids playing significant roles within the astrology surrounding the Full Moon. Vesta recently stationed direct at 6º41′ Virgo on April 21 and is mediating the polarity of the lunation through forming a sextile with the Full Moon in Scorpio and a trine with the Sun in Taurus. Vesta is the goddess of the hearth and the keeper of the sacred flame who has primal significations around centeredness and dedicated devotion. Demetra George in Asteroid Goddesses described Vesta as having a role of centering the psyche within its coordination of our inner multiplicity to allow for one pointed focus and unobstructed commitment to our purpose in the world. Demetra George also noted that Vesta will retreat from the outer world in order to purify, replenish, and reintegrate following periods of being depleted of resources from excessive external involvement, and so we can imagine that while retrograde that Vesta had been bathing in a sacred spring in order to regenerate a sense of wholeness. As Vesta emerges from her time in retreat she will be in position to help us generate momentum sourced from our essential nature and authentic values. During the waning half of the lunar cycle, Mars in Cancer will be applying toward a sextile with Vesta that it will complete on May 5, an initiatory encounter in which Vesta can instill Mars with firmer resolve to persist in leading us forward while rooted in our inner purpose.

In contrast to Vesta recently stationing direct, the asteroid Juno stationed retrograde following the recent New Moon in Aries and is now mutually applying to a disintegrating square aspect with Neptune in Pisces. The square between Juno with Neptune may stir up the influence of our ideals and fantasies concerning relationships upon the actual circumstances of our present relational dynamics. We may become aware of ways in which we may be projecting our ideals on a partner or relationship, giving us the opportunity to pull back the projection and find ways to relate better with the actual presence of our primary relationships. On the other hand, if we have been resistant to opening ourselves to forming more intimate relationships we may experience a dissolution of inner blocks that will allow us to deepen into new relational dynamics with others. 

Further revealing desires presently underlying relational dynamics are the asteroids Psyche and Eros. Eros is at 9º43′ Capricorn and forming a sextile with the Full Moon and a trine aspect with the Sun and Uranus in Taurus, adding another layer to the intensifying desires unleashed by the lunation. In contrast, the Psyche asteroid has been traveling close to Mars by zodiacal degree recently, forming a conjunction with Mars on April 20 at 28°15′ Gemini. Psyche is occupying the first degree of Cancer during the Full Moon, less than two degrees away from Mars. The continued presence of Psyche with Mars points to the importance of following internal desires and devoting oneself to one’s eros and undergoing whatever processes ensue. Fittingly for the placement of Mars within its fall of Cancer, Psyche’s journey toward uniting with Eros necessitated repeated falls that took her not only to the depths of her being but all the way to the underworld and back. Due to the Eros asteroid beginning to slow down to station retrograde (it will station retrograde at ten degrees of Capricorn on May 3), Psyche is heading toward an opposition with Eros that will be building with tension until becoming exact on May 18. It appears that the Psyche and Eros asteroids are illuminating the point of Psyche’s journey in which Eros is out of reach yet begins to be called back to her through her resilient devotion and capacity for completing each impossible task given to her by Aphrodite. 

5 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 1 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the first decan of Scorpio associated with the Five of Cups illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is full of desire and despair, as a figure cloaked in black stares with fixation upon three spilled chalices. Yet the remaining two upright chalices suggest the possibility of quenching the thirst of desire elsewhere, regenerating the cycle of desirous pursuit and sudden loss all over again. 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 due to the river as well as the person always changing. 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 of all. As T. Susan Chang has written, “by facing the 5 of Cups, we learn what matters most in life and resolve to fight for it.” Fittingly, Mars is the ruler of the first face of Scorpio. 

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 that can be constellated when pursuing desires. Coppock concluded that within the first decan of Scorpio “we are brought to confront the cycle of hungers which are the price and pleasure of incarnate being,” yet by coming into relationship with it “we are less bound to it, and less blind, than if we ignore it.”  

Fascinatingly, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac ascribed a different representation of desire to this face: the Numphai (Nymphs), feminine nature spirits who reside in sacred streams, springs, groves, and grottoes. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces speculated that the attribution of the nymphs to this face relates to them being shown as objects of desires for mortals and immortals in mythology. Combined with the desirous nature of this face, the presence of the nymphs also brings to mind the ecstatic Dionysus who often ran freely with wild nymphs and whose all consuming desires incited dismemberment and rebirth. 

Returning to the image of the Five of Cups, the flowing river in the background can also be viewed as a habitat of nymphs that contains the medicine we need for coming to terms with the endless cycle of desires present in the first face of Scorpio. Like Psyche who repeatedly leapt into rivers during her quest to unite with Eros, we must follow desires through their mysterious initiations and reckonings of soul in order to have a fully lived life. In commentaries in the appendix of Liber Novus, Carl Jung described Eros as a force of “dissolution and movement” that runs counter to the “ordering and insistence” of Logos. 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 not the bed and direction of the stream but the impetuous water flowing in it.” May the light of the Scorpio Full Moon plunge you into contact with the gushing stream of desires within and the the enlivening currents of its magical potency and strength. 

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press. 

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

George, Demetra with Bloch, Douglas. (1986). Asteroid Goddesses. ACS

Jung, C.G. (2009) The Red Book (Liber Novus). Translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani. Philemon Series. WW Norton & Company.