This month, and throughout this year, two of the darkest, yet most powerful outer planet placements slid into a fluid relationship called a sextile. Their influence on each other has the potential to pull out the most frightening qualities of each – sheer intensity – but, because of their alliance and receptivity, their most empowering features will shine through.
Jupiter in Scorpio has already demanded strength, honesty, and vulnerability from the parts of us that are most dark, most secret, that cause us to feel the most shame. These parts are the same ones that cause us to lie and cover up parts of ourselves – but we are being asked to observe why. We lie and we hide and we cover up what we really are when we have been made to feel shame, when we have been taught to question ourselves, when we have been told we cannot give straight and clear vision to what really happened, when we have been told we do not know who we are or what we’re saying or doing.
Scorpio as a sign has a reputation for being dishonest. This is an unfair condemnation of the imaginative powers required by those who, restricted by circumstance, must creatively find ways to assert their right to privacy, to live in their power without commanding attention. Scorpio as a sign has a reputation for being negative. The person who gives voice to mundane evils hiding as white noise is often identified as the one who “started it.” When the cogs of functionality require compartmentalized illusions to keep everyone saying they’re feeling fine, that they’re okay with this, telling the truth is the same thing as disrupting the peace.
Look at the quadrant of the zodiac where Scorpio falls, and the precession of the signs before it, to fully understand what it does, and why it does it better than anyone else. Viewing the triad of Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio as one fluid image, they tell a story of justice and how we must personally develop as entities sharing experiences with each other if we are to ever achieve it and take it for ourselves.
Virgo touches the global descendant and marks the moment of demarcation when we separate our individual identity, the markers of our soul, from the chaff of what is not us, what we do not want to be. It is ruthlessly critical and demeaning, and simultaneously, it is fiercely aspirational and empowering. As a mutable sign, it holds the space for pausing, reflecting, and unifying internal conflict. It is step one towards justice: identifying that something is wrong, or that we do not want it, we condemn it, we don’t want it to be part of us. We hope for something else. Where we have Virgo, we want to be right, but what that means is more that we want to feel right to ourselves, to feel comfortable in our identities. Our Virgo says we have to do the things that we think of as right – that we know to be right. That means to choose what is right for us personally, and to live up to what we see as right in general.
The mutable signs each conclude a journey. In cardinal Cancer, we are beginning to develop a voice and an image, and so we protect ourselves from outside influence by living in a shell. Living in our emotions. Feeling out our feelings so we can begin to sense how much of us they make up. In Leo, having felt everything we can about who we are, we are asked to bring it to the audience. We are asked to perform it, and we do – we give a performance. Virgo concludes this journey because it is where we finally integrate ourselves by observing the audience reaction. Applause and criticism meld with the self we created out of sheer internal feeling to become something more grounded and real, but we aren’t quite ready to bring it out into the world in Virgo – we are perfecting ourselves and we haven’t yet completed it. At the line of the descendant, where Virgo fades to Libra, we finally finish.
Libra is where, separated and made coherent after our acts of self-definition in Virgo, we come to meet everything and everyone that is other. Here, we are forced to relate and connect. The wind and air of our curiosity and interest carries us towards each other. We come to desire alliances and companionships. But there in Libra, wanting harmony with each other more than anything else we can fathom, we make a fatal error in our impulses towards connection. We are unable to grasp the inherent un-neutrality asked of us by loving, by deciding to be fair or right.
In Libra, we can’t always see that loving something requires not just commitment towards it, but resolution against whatever aims to quiet it or erase it. We can’t yet see that loving is not made up of affection, but action. Wherever we have Libra, we are both delusional and devotional. We live in a place of white lies seeded in kindness. We repeat that it’s going to be okay before we can confirm that to be true, because someone else needs us to convince them that it will. Someone else is relying on us to tell their story back to them.
As a cardinal sign, Libra is where we start off on a new journey – in this case, a journey of being together with others – as fools, unprepared, lacking experience or research or knowledge, impulsive, with no eye towards a possible resolution. We don’t know how to figure out if things will actually be okay. Libra is step two towards justice: it wants things to be fair. It wants things to be equal. It wants things to be balanced. It wants things to be whole.
Scorpio has given up on the ridiculous ideals of the signs before it. Scorpio doesn’t believe in perfection, doesn’t believe in completion, doesn’t believe we are ever fully finished evolving, doesn’t believe two people can fill each other totally, but doesn’t run from that juncture of imperfection. It still wants to feel it, as fully as it can, which is never to the point of true fullness.
Scorpio is where we submerge ourselves into the totality of our love, where we destroy the boundaries that separate us in trade for a union of emotion. This is a destructive imbalance, with the goal of giving us exactly what we need. What we need here is space to work out the distinctions between us as ourselves and what we have to ask of ourselves when we say that we love, when we bring ourselves deeply into connection with others: a liminal space where we are both inside and outside of ourselves. A space where we are not two whole entities coexisting, but a space grounded in the flow of time: where our coexistence with each other changes each other fundamentally.
Scorpio is not about loving someone in the way of asking them about themselves or holding their hand, as you walk side by side, separate beings. Scorpio is the way that you wake up on the precipice of becoming a different person every time you fall in love with something or someone. It is the way each person in our lives is like a wave that comes over us and flows away, and continues rippling through us for the rest of time once it does.
Here in the realms ruled by Scorpio, our relationships require brutal integrity, ruthless intimacy, because that sharpness is all that can possibly sublimate our dishonesty. It is an excavation that can feel exhausting and raw, until it washes us with the cathartic relief of not having to lie, not having to remain guarded anymore. It is the pure vulnerability born after a release from ceaseless vigilance.
Doing this Scorpio-ruled work often tears apart everything that made up our connections to each other in the first place. The soft, miniscule acts of deception we offer up to each other in our efforts to be gentle, to save another’s feelings, to relieve another’s burden – these fall away to reveal our true intentions. We can no longer lie about whether or not we need each other. (Do we, in Scorpio? We always will and never, ever do.)
Mostly, we can no longer lie about the reasons we started lying. Scorpio is the place of ultimate and true justice. It is held firmly in the truth. It is the only vision that can see in darkness, because it accepts all ugliness without judgment – it knows we all have it, somewhere deep in us. Libra’s obsession with love as a beautiful experience forecloses on the possibility that our shreds of ugliness will be willing to show us their faces. Insisting on nice, pretty words and displays of kindness may appear to facilitate justice, for Libra. In actuality, this asks us to acquiesce and avert conflict, which forces us to ignore what really caused it.
Scorpio understands that justice is not promising that we can work things out or make them okay again or put them back right where they were. The thesis of scorpio is that true justice is transformation. It can be the identification of an imbalance of power. It can be the vocalization of our hurt and pain, and the refusal to offer up politeness and avoid saying what happened. Scorpio is righteous anger, justice the way revenge can be just.
This is where Jupiter in Scorpio must meet Pluto in Capricorn. Pluto, Scorpio’s ruler, has to take these passive ideals of its favorite sign into a place of actual happening, and the reception between these two planets makes this happen.
Pluto’s transit through Capricorn has been generation-defining, the slow unfurling of the psychological horror that things can’t Go On Like This Forever in every one of our institutions. Capricorn rules all of these institutions – money, authority, the power of men. All the things that happen in skyscrapers, factories, and echoing churches, the physical machines that run all industry or obfuscate our relationship to it, the social machines that run our relationships to everything, the automation of our acceptance of how everything is and the way it is – Capricorn rules the large, incomprehensible, and unfathomably complex machinery of our lives.
Capricorn is a cardinal sign. Its instinct isn’t to question things, though its eye can be critical. It does things because they have to be done. In this way, strong influences in Capricorn grapple with what we take for granted as obligation, as fate, as duty – things that “need to be done” because that’s how everything works and keeps going and doing.
Every tall structure that makes up the world we know that seems impossible to scale, let alone topple, because of how much it concentrates itself and protects itself. This is the energy of Capricorn when you remove its natural impulses governed by Saturn – its restriction of itself. This is what happens when you prevent it from being restricted, and let it believe its own identification with god and righteousness and history. Pluto is one of the few planets that can “unlock” Capricorn from its self-regulation in this way. It overpowers the inhibition that is already inherent in Capricorn.
Pluto has given us the sharpest view of this possible, because Pluto, ruler of Scorpio, wants to show us the horror of our lives’ setting in its most vivid and wretched manifestation so we can agree that it needs to be dismantled. Pluto in Capricorn is collected power, hoarded power, stolen power stacked on itself like towering blocks until the whole skeleton is so stretched and unstable that we do nothing but spend all of our time holding our breath and hoping that when it all finally falls, it doesn’t fall on us.
This year, after fighting against Jupiter’s expansive energy, disagreeing with each other about our best interest, these two heavyweights will form a pillar of support for us – by acknowledging their place in each other. It is the Jupiter-ruled desire for more, the Jupiter-ruled ecstasy in excess, unfettered by connection and care for each other, that creates the Plutonian imbalances, where we come to see, in a state of reluctant shock, that some of us have flat out just taken too much. Emotionally, materially, spiritually. The Pluto-governed destruction is not a senseless thrashing, but a demolition of the rotting buildings we insist on living in, that have stood up till now just because they survived history, but endanger all of us with their inherent structural instability.
We are so afraid of the toxicity in our environment that we condemn the fact that asking for things to be truly made right can create instability. We are so used to closing our eyes and pretending that the stable ground under our feet is not a level field, ignoring that there are mounds collected and formed there by history, pretending that there are no places fallen away and sunken because of ages of erosion. We are so terrified of change that when someone demands it in a way that makes it actual and real, we condemn those pleas for justice as mindless vengeance. We label it as ungrounded, when it is firmly rooted down in the dark of the earth and we are the ones who can’t stand to look down at what our feet are standing on.
Scorpio is often said to justify pain, to desire it, to cause it. In actuality, Scorpio sees it. Fully, really understands it. Respects it, and is the only one capable of truly respecting it, and understanding how it happened. Confronting dynamics of power is necessary to undo them, transform them. Scorpio gives us the strength to voice our pain so that we can disentangle it. Exit it. Change it. Leave it – leave it behind for a feeling that is more fulfilling, but leaving it with respect. Thoroughly examined, thoroughly seen, and fully given all the space and time and attention it needed.
Collages by Lohla. If your brand or image was featured in one of these collages and you’d like to be credited, please contact me and I’ll happily add more information.