October - November 2001

Dark Scorpio

Scorpio is the region of the mind and the cycle of existence in which exchange between people is the deepest, the most primal and the most powerful. If you consider that Scorpio is where DNA mixes to create a new human life, you have an idea of the elemental potency we are talking about. In Scorpio, we take the power of God into our own hands, to create life, to take life, and to influence the destinies of the people around us.

All facets of the reproductive process are involved in Scorpio, including the power of sexual attraction, hormones, and that mysterious addictive effect by which people gain so much power over one another, known as cock- or pussy-whipped. Scorpio also involves the physical end of life, as well as the mysterious place in the history of evolution where sexual reproduction and death meet in one set of genetic instructions.

Symbolically and in practice, Scorpio is the region of transformation, of psychic death and rebirth.

When we experience Scorpio, we experience a total surrender to the emotional and biological process, and life is often different forever, even if the change is subtle. Often it's as subtle as a train going by. That such events will happen is inevitable; it's a matter of time. People who live their lives in avoidance of all things Scorpio tend toward the bland and impotent, and they get to do Scorpio in big and painful chunks, usually during a transit of Pluto.

With Scorpio, there is always an exchange factor, whether it be the exchange of genetic material, the exchange of values, or the exchange of money.

Scorpio is a cosmic or metaphysical concept; on Earth and in mundane life, that is, the regular world, the energy of the signs expresses in what are called the houses. The house corresponding to Scorpio is the 8th, where we start with the associations of sex, reproduction and death, then derive marriage, inheritance, money, business transactions, use of the other people's money, any form of control, power over others, secrets, the power of secrecy, occult traditions, corporate secrets, any experience of surrender or letting go, any experience of transformation, plus jealousy and possession in relationships.

As we have seen in the previous editions of this essay, these associations are perfectly intuitive, originating the central idea, the genetic strand of sex, reproduction and death, associations which we have seen are are biological in nature -- not merely philosophical. In other words, they arrived on Earth before people did, to be discovered by people.

In the most practical terms, with Scorpio or the 8th house, we are always saying, "I have these needs, and I have the power to get them met." The needs may arise in Scorpio (sex, for instance) or elsewhere (such as security needs in Cancer or the 4th house). The question is to what extent we are willing to go to get those needs fulfilled. If we use our power of sexual attraction to get sex, that is one thing. If, right around when a woman plans to break up with her boyfriend, she spikes his drink with LSD, and then fucks him without birth control to get pregnant so she can have a child, all so she can go on welfare (true story, and she had twins, and child support payments go for about 8 more years, plus college), that is another thing entirely.

To use our strengths is one thing; to exploit another person's weakness is another. So the central question of Scorpio will arise sooner or later: What do we do when we have the power of life and death in our hands? What do we do when another person depends upon us for survival? Here is a kind of ultimate moral issue, and because we are alive, we all have this power. We all have the power to kill and to create life. We will often encounter people who depend on us for their survival.

We live in truly Scorpionic times. Political leaders wage holocausts and ethnic cleanses on a regular basis, exterminating millions of people. We practice state-sponsored human sacrifice in the form of the death penalty. Scientists rewrite the genetic code like it was nothing, turning mutated genes free on the biosphere in an uncontrolled experiment. These same companies poison the world with genotoxic chemicals -- dioxin, PCBs, and hormonally active pesticides. The raining down war on innocent people by our empire in many corners of the globe is a routine news item, and we go along with it all in the most blasé fashion, abdicating our power of dissent, consenting to murder-for-money in our names, and sponsoring it. We live in fear of a deadly sexually transmitted disease, deceptively called "AIDS." We routinely try to control and possess others in our relationships.

Yet in strange ways, these things somehow help us, because we grow from pain; we seem to invite pain as a last resort because that's the only path many people leave open for learning. It is a kind of evolutionary last resort when intelligence, compassion, prudence and community fail, or when we fail them.