May 5, 20113 Comments

“Astrology for the Astrologically Challenged” by Deborah Smith Parker

The Sign of Scorpio, in my opinion, is not only the most misunderstood sign of the zodiac, it is the most unjustly maligned. This is probably because its energies carry more prurient poundage per square inch than any other sign—all those sex, death, and transformation archetypes packed into its container. A quick review of our personal and cultural attitudes about these Scorpionic issues clearly demonstrates how currently undeveloped we are as a culture to deal with them.

Pluto is the ruling planet of Scorpio. When Pluto is in Scorpio it synergizes both of their expressions. So before we get into the social and political significance of the Pluto in Scorpio period (1984-1996) in the USA chart I’d like to shine some light on the sign of Scorpio—and there is a lot of light there. It is the light referred to by many religions, and to find it you have to first go through darkness. You don’t just grab a flashlight and go, you can only proceed through deep transformational experiences never of your liking or choosing.

Some are terrified of that darkness. They think it’s evil, the devil, a place of no goodness, no life. Others recognize it as the passageway to the light that always beckons from the other side. It doesn’t mean they like it, just that they recognize it as a necessary initiatory process that must be endured.

Creation mostly occurs in the dark. God didn’t create the light until Genesis 1:3. Seeds planted underground are somehow reached by the light of the Sun to animate the life they contain. Most animal conceptions occur within the darkness of the womb or the egg.

This leads us to Scorpio as the “sex sign,” a designation that does apply but not for reasons most people think. The explanation is based in biology, not on how members of that sign perform in the sack. So here’s how Scorpio’s archetypes of sex, death and transformation exist together in one experience. When a sperm and egg unite after the sex act they form a new cell, a zygote, which will grow into a unique life form. The sperm and egg now no longer exist. They are dead. However, they haven’t really died because the essences of what they were, genetic codes, now exist transformed in the newly formed cell. Not very titillating but very mysterious and holy.

This transformation stuff can get pretty fuzzy. Modern day psychology and astrology bandy about the process of transformation as if it were the next rung in a career ladder. First the degree, then the right job, then marriage and 1.4 children, followed by transformation into a remarkable human being. Right. That’s what we like to think. Unfortunately, true transformation is never of our choosing or timing. Furthermore, we don’t change—we are changed.

It’s Scorpio’s association with death that freaks a lot of people out. Our societal norms put the ending of mortal life at the top of our personal and cultural terror list. But death is only part of the story. It is the essence of Scorpio that all life starts with a death, and all death ends in new life. Only the death part of Scorpio isn’t just the ending of mortal life. It’s the removal of a part of us that has to die so we can become more who we are, or more accurately who we are becoming. Observing nature closely shows us this is a chief operating principle in the universe.

When Pluto comes home to Scorpio it throws these issues out into the streets in explosive, scary, and also in surprisingly creative ways. We’ll pick these up in my next post.

(Deborah Smith Parker is the author of “Humanus Astrologicus” available on this site. To follow her on Twitter and Facebook click to the right of this post)

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

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  1. Jill says:

    I love it. I am Scorpio rising….1984 – 1996 was the worst of times and the best!!! Can’t wait for the next post. I learn so much from your posts. Thank you, J

  2. Beth Newcomer says:

    Oh goody goody goody. Your favorite 5-planet Scorpio gal is taking this in deeply. Appraising and analyzing. Heaven knows 1984-1996 was extra extra read all about it transformational for me. (Not to blow the punch line, but I wonder if maybe you will speak in your next missive to the OJ trial and the way it spanned the back and forth back and forth of Pluto trying to leave Scorpio and get into Sag…Sag where we redid justice system…)

  3. Deborah Smith Parker says:

    I wasn’t going to, Beth, chiefly because such public murders and their trials aren’t particular to any sign and each decade has them. However, I like your insights very much. What else would you expect from 5 planets in Scorpio?

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