Entering The Three Dark Months The Magic and Mystery of Scorpio

Nearly new crescent moon at dawn. Effort, PA

Here in Pennsylvania, the New Scorpio Moon comes in with a flood. How appropriate for such a deep watery sign. Water is the emotional ocean, and the three water signs — Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio — are all spirals of increasing breadth. Pisces is the personal, Cancer is the family/familiar and Scorpio finally, the collective emotional, psychic field we share with others.


While the New Scorpio Moon occurred on the 27th, the Sun arrived in Scorpio the week before, and we stay here for the remaining lunation and weeks to come. Mercury will retrograde in Scorpio this weekend but more on this in a later newsletter.

Scorpio arrives with the harvest and the beautiful cascade of colored falling leaves if you are fortunate enough to live someplace like the Northeastern United States. The universe is about balance. For the coming starkness, the world explodes first in color, reminding us “to cherish the beauty of life not despite its perishability but precisely because of it.” (Pico Iyer “Autumn Light: Season of Fires and Farewells.”)

Scorpio is ruled by Mars, the God of War and by Pluto who is the God of the Underworld in Roman mythology. In Greece he was called Hades. Here we find dark secrets and the rite of initiation, where the veil between the worlds is thin and sometimes even lifts. Dia De Los Muertos, All Soul’s Day, Samhain and Halloween all fall in this realm of darkness, magic, and transformation. In Greek mythology, Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, eats the crimson pomegranate seeds and is taken by Hades to spend the Three Dark Months below ground. The Medicine Wheel direction is West, the sunset in autumn, adulthood and maturity, and the bear who travels to the otherworld through hibernation and deep sleep. This is the metaphoric journey of our own necessary descent into our psyche so that we, too, can die to what no longer serves us and be reborn in the spring. For it is in the dark womb that all life begins.

Scorpios lessons are rich, like the pomegranate seeds Persephone eats. They are a cave in a deep wood where the repressed and unconscious are buried. Collective fear and dysfunction affect all of us whether we think they do or not. Scorpio is the place where our deepest emotional wounds are hidden until we go into the dark to retrieve them, claim them, and bring them into the light.

This is the Shamans world of soul retrieval and is not light material. Most do not go into these depths willingly, the wise do not go carelessly, and nobody goes alone.

There are stages of Scorpio transformation; each alone could be its own newsletter. The first is the Scorpion itself, which is an-eye-for-an-eye justice, or the simultaneous stinging of oneself while lashing out at others. There is a story about a scorpion, driven by its ego, who stings the frog carrying it across the water to safety, thus killing them both. In our own pain, we hurt others, not realizing that what we do to one we do to the whole.

The second stage is the Eagle, where conscience, reflection, and exploration (self-knowledge) come in, and we can rise above and see the impact of our wound-driven actions and behavior.

Finally, in the flame of renewal, the Phoenix burns its own ego and rises from the ashes into the light.

The purpose of this work is healing. This does not always mean the absence of pain or discomfort but a surrender to the holy truth that life includes suffering and to be alive means to feel it. The gift of Scorpio is Resurrection — the knowing that while darkness stalks the earth, that day will always follow night. The Hindu celebrate Diwali during the early weeks of Scorpio, the festival of lights which symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” (Hinduism Today 2012)

There are so many ways to brave the dark nights of our own lives, to not just endure and survive them but to find the hidden blessing and bring this grace into our daily life. God is in charge, but we often fight every step of the way, and it is the fighting, not the inherent pain and loss of life, that cripples us. As always, we have a choice. This is Fate vs. Destiny. Scorpio energy gives us the power to hijack our own plane and stop flying in circles, refusing a turbulent landing because we’re too afraid to go through the storm.

“The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” by Joseph Campbell, describes this kind of soul work. We embark because something beyond our control goes wrong; the human ego would not begin this journey unless it had to. We are always transported to an unfamiliar and often threatening world, and meet allies to accompany and guide us. We are given a task to complete and must find a physical representation of externalized power. Often, we are betrayed.

Now we call upon Scorpio energy to lift the veil and shatter the illusion. We break the spell when we realize that all we needed was inside us the entire time. This is the “true self” described by Thomas Merton. It is not our ego, it’s our soul.

I have come to know that healing always leads to the sacred. There is no way to face all of life, and that includes it’s joys, without the profound mystery that is God. This is the journey from our head to our heart, where we’re no longer held hostage by fear/wound-based thinking. We discover that confronting our fear is what finally frees us. And all the demons we kept in the darkness, are just our lost pieces coming home.

“And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

Joseph Campbell

Tails From The Farm

Or how our wonderful animal friends teach us lessons we can’t learn on our own…

I had my own Scorpio infused transformational journey riding my pony Rhythm the other day. It came with a guide and obstacles and the terror that comes from facing your fear, or hanging on for dear life while you gallop through it. I’ve been struggling with this little guy since I got him last winter. What he knows to do and what I want to do are at odds with each other. He was a hunter/jumper show pony who was probably only ever ridden in a ring. Walk/trot/canter and jump over things. An amazing discipline in many ways but not for me. And, as he developed a bone spur which was untreated and then dislodged he now has arthritis and can no longer jump. All I want to do is trail ride with him. The farm I work on where he lives is 150-acres and borders the Appalachian trail so the riding is extraordinary. He has fought me many steps of the way. He has bucked and reared and side-stepped and gone backwards. It all adds up to this: his nature as a prey animal and our mutual fear of the unknown – he, of everything, and me, of him.

Although I have spent thousands of hours in the saddle, I am not an experienced rider when it comes to dealing with horse issues. I have come to realize, through trial and error, some banged up ribs and a bruised ego, that it is my very holding him back at the hardest times that makes a scary situation dangerous. And so we finally had to face the huge hill that has derailed us before.

Five of us were riding that evening and I was given the option to walk away from the herd with another rider and meet at a different junction or brave the hill with the rest of them. I took a deep breath and agreed to go and in a flash we were off – three other galloping horses beside us adding fuel to the fire.

The power and the glory and the holy terror.

Lion’s and Tiger’s and Rhythm! Oh My!

“I’m not OK, I’m not OK, please stop!”, I screamed, and it was true.

He was barreling uphill like a freight train and my shirt kept getting hooked on the saddle horn, I barely had control of my clothes much less my pony.

And then, as with all sacred journeys the blessed guide arrived.

Valerie of House Sky View, The Mother of Horses, rode down from the heavens on her fire-breathing mare DD. (Mind you, the divine feminine does not always show up as, or on, a dainty little creature.)

And with these words she broke the spell:

“He’s not doing anything wrong. I’m right behind you!”

And that was it, I let him go.


“When you come to the edge of all that you know
You must believe in one of two things:
There will be earth to stand on,
Or you will be given wings to fly.”

O.R. Melling

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