22 Oct Sex and Death ~ Scorpio Season – October 22nd-November 21st, 2021
On October 22nd, 2021 the Sun slips into the dark waters of Scorpio, initiating the season of death. This begins the Sun’s mythic journey through the underworld, the realm of memory and forgetfulness.
“I am all in a sea of wonders. I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul.”
In the dim light, death is felt everywhere. The Sun’s death chills the air and all the curling vines and branches of harvest begin to wither. The autumnal color begins to drain, bleeding out into the night, every morning slightly paler than the last.
Amidst the lengthening shadows, the dark corners of your mind come alive with memories, fantasies, and strange dreams. For as the Sun moves through the underworld, the light of your awareness finds itself traversing through many darkened tunnels.
Scorpio is the realm of mysteries, where the Sun’s light pierces the veil and penetrates into the occult sources of magnetism and magic.
Scorpio rules all the invisible rays of power and holds the key to the mysteries of sex and death. This can be observed in the fact that the season of Scorpio is not the final chapter of the zodiac, nor the end of the Sun’s journey. The season of death is an alchemical initiation, where darkness is transmuted into the resurrection of the light within.
The ouroboric cycle of life spins upon the hunger for sex and death. The snake eats its own tail in the eternal cycle of loss and renewal.
Sex is the exclamation and death is the punctuation. This is the dynamic flux of all creation.
The father of psychotherapy, Sigmund Freud famously identified the sex and death drives as Eros (god of love) and Thanatos (god of death).
Freud observed the strong libidinal impulses to unify and create were shadowed by a momentum towards death and destruction. He described:
“Eros is the intrepid pushing of new growth through the soil; Thanatos is the snapping of the stem, the crushing of life under the heel, the brutish ripping out of the plant.”
Eros and Thanatos emerge together within you. It is Eros that feels orgasmic bliss but it is Thanatos that smokes a post-coital cigarette.
Thanatos does not aid survival or creation. He takes pleasure in the path towards decomposition. And this means that death is not something that happens to you, but is something that is an inherent part of your being. A deep place within you craves death. Everyone wishes to rest in peace.
To die. To sleep, perchance to dream?
Eros and Thanatos are both impoverished, depersonalized and fear driven in the 21st century technocratic culture. Everything is hyper-sexed but super repressed about death. And this repression of death prevents a truly erotic life. And since there is nothing more certain than death, the denial of mortality is insane.
Miasma of Fear
Dogmatic materialism has created such a toxic relationship between Eros and Thanatos that insanity has become commonplace. The climate of fear we are still enduring is the toxic dust that arises from a long decay of spirit and soul.
“Oh, the terrible struggle that I have had against sleep so often of late; the pain of the sleeplessness, or the pain of the fear of sleep, and with such unknown horror as it has for me!”
The reality of death torments the modern psyche, so conditioned by science and hubris that life’s eventual end has become unreasonably and hysterically unbearable. Mass culture has become neurotic, hiding from death, covering the smell in alcohol, masking its sunken face with makeup and desperately smothering everyone in public.
“Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all;
and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain.”
The pandemic has revealed how thin the line of sanity was for many people when the fact of death became more visible. But before antibiotics, CPR, and other medical technologies existed, people had very little choice about the manner of death. They couldn’t pretend to control death.
Now in the 21st Century, the medicalization of death promises to prolong life by any means necessary. To the culture of medical science, dying is no longer a natural human experience but is instead a crisis from which a patient must be rescued. Quality of life is ignored, even as Eros goes totally numb.
Imagine dying in a hospital. This may make you feel sad. But now imagine being kept on life support in a vegetative state, month after month. Now there’s something to fear.
Imagine a life without the catharsis of sex or death. Imagine life without exclamation or punctuation. True horror lives beneath the stagnant waters of this liminality.
“ I have tried to keep an open mind, and it is not the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad or sane.”
Decades before Freud explored the relationship between sex and death, these same notions were instinctually expressed through the raw uncut genre of gothic horror. Next to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the most iconic classic in this vein is Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Bram Stoker was born at a New Moon in Scorpio in 1847. He attended Trinity College at the same time as Oscar Wilde and history seems to indicate that they were mostly rivals.
Not only were they both writers, but they were both in love with the same woman who eventually became Bram Stoker’s wife.
Oscar Wilde was a Libra, a bisexual aesthete who was intellectually extraordinary. While Bram Stoker was a Scorpio, a champion athlete at school with mediocre grades.
But his athletic strength as an adult was a miraculous story of resurrection. Stoker had been such a sickly child that he wasn’t able to walk or stand on his own until he was seven years old. His early life was spent very close to death, turning him into a deeply thoughtful and imaginative child with a powerful meditative mind.
“Despair has its own calms.”
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a tremendous Scorpionic arcanum, overflowing with atmosphere, violence and some very dark humor.
“Euthanasia” is an excellent and comforting word! I am grateful to whoever invented it.”
Dracula is an important novel in a very mysterious way. It is a deeply intuitive black mirror, one that reaches across the centuries to reveal the shadow of modern civilization.
As a novel, Dracula is like the Count himself: shape-shifting, seductive, and liminal. He casts no shadow, has no mirror reflection and can transform into a grey mist. Whatever your intellect thinks Dracula is or isn’t about, the horror still penetrates.
“Souls and memories can do strange things during trance.”
As a Scorpio, Bram Stoker fed from the most primal unconscious images and thus his narrative can be used to reflect upon an infinity of modern fears about Eros and Thanatos.Over the last two centuries, the novel has remained an object of continuous fascination, even obsession. As the crown jewel of English Gothic horror, it was an inkblot of Victorian life, revealing all the anxieties within.
It has been condemned as misogynistic. And it has also been praised as a confession of female empowerment. It has been interpreted as an attack on Darwinism. And it can certainly be seen as a medical metaphor for disease.
The plot of Dracula can be summed up quickly. An ancient vampire, Count Dracula, wishes to invade England and proliferate a race of vampires in Victorian London. After a hellish struggle, Dracula’s plans are thwarted and he is exterminated.
The evil in Dracula reveals the long shadow cast by the scientific Light of Reason. When the young woman, Lucy, is transformed into a vampire, she becomes a purely Darwinian creature, made inhuman by “survival of the fittest”. Her fangs and bloodlust are a mutation, an adaptation to the brutal animalistic promiscuity that was the stuff of 19th century natural history.
“There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth.”
The undertones of sexuality and disease occur so frequently that it makes Dracula an interesting reflection upon the time we are currently living through.
As Stoker was writing Dracula in the lat 1890’s, debates over the origin of disease were a huge source of conflict in public discourse. Though Stoker was an artist, he came from a family of doctors so the concerns of the medical field were of interest to him. By 1897, germ theory had rapidly replaced the obsolete medical theory of miasmatism. Germ theory identified that bacteria caused infectious diseases, and like vampires, they survived by preying on humans.
“I suppose it is that sickness and weakness are selfish things and turn our inner eyes and sympathy on ourselves, whilst health and strength give love rein.”
Dracula is deeply influenced by the Victorian experience of infectious diseases. Vampirism is clearly a contagion that can spread through a population like smallpox, tuberculosis, or syphilis. And it spreads like a virus, via blood transfer between the sick and the healthy.
Syphilis mysteriously emerged in Europe in the 15th Century. It must have felt like an ancient evil had been awakened as it spread like a scourge through every level of society. Like Stoker’s description of the transformation into a vampire, syphilis emerged as illness only after a latency period. The disease had different stages, so death was never immediate. Slowly, it would drive you to madness and physical degeneration.
Nothing much has changed in 120 years about how fear shapes the collective response to contagions. The dark heart of the Victorian era was the threat of syphilis which had rendered any form of sexual promiscuity a truly dangerous thing. But the hunger for sex and death persists, no matter what the threat may be.
“Then the skin of my throat began to tingle as one’s flesh does when the hand that is to tickle it approaches nearer—nearer. I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the supersensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there. I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited—waited with beating heart…”
Without the undulating wave of sex and death to keep the process of creation in motion, you would stagnate – living in death like the undead vampires. Their immortality is a curse. Their hunger is a torment. Their humanity is lost.
With his Sun and Moon in Scorpio, Bram Stoker instinctually tapped into the hidden place where sex and death vibrate together. And because it emerged from such a deep well of primal feeling, Dracula evolved into an iconic force of modern mythology. The glare of cinema and popular imagination has mostly obfuscated the author.
But as a Scorpio, Bram Stoker’s underlying intention with this novel was to invite the alchemical transformation of fear. This wild gothic adventure stirs the darkness and chaos in order to find its way to the rest and peace that death ultimately promises.
The Scorpionic wisdom in the novel can be found in the words of an old man who passes through Chapter 6 very briefly. Like the voice of a timeless ancestor, he stops to share his humble and fearless perspective on death.
“Some day soon the Angel of Death will sound his trumpet for me…if he should come this very night I’d not refuse to answer his call. For life be only a waitin’ for somethin’ else than what we’re doin. And death be all that we can rightly depend on.”
The Sun’s journey through the underworld is your opportunity to face your fear of death so you can start living more potently. The wisdom of Scorpio reminds you that all light is born from darkness. The earth is made rich by death and decay. And you only know the value of pleasure because you’ve experienced pain.
Let the darkness enfold you, let go of your struggle and rest in peace.
Scorpio Season Forecast 2021
October 22nd: Sun Enters Scorpio
“How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.”
Scorpio season is the twilight of the year, arriving with the Sun’s burial as day fully yields to night.
The season of the scorpion is one of death—and the image of the scorpion is perhaps one of the most primal in all of mythology. In traditional depictions of the god Mithras killing the sacred bull, the god is accompanied by three companions: a dog, a snake, and a scorpion. Of these three, however, the scorpion is the most noteworthy for it pinches at the bull’s testicles. This fertility rite primal scene establishes the natural law of creation: life yields to death and death lusts for life.
As the sun descends into the depths of the grave this Scorpio season, and light yields to darkness, it is an invitation to let something within you die so that you may fertilize your future growth.
The light of reason yields to the darkness of irrationality at this time of year. The daylight of Apollonian achievement succumbs to dark Dionsyian phantasm in Scorpio season.
In this seedy underbelly of the psyche, intuition and instinct rule over intellect and reason. It is a time to recognize the part of you that is predator and the part of you that is prey.
October 30th: Mars Enters Scorpio
Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio.
As the ruler of Aries, he is the warrior, a hero of the battlefield. But in Scorpio Mars becomes the hunter as the battlefield dissolves into the wilderness and the killer instinct becomes enamored not with glory but bare survival. Unlike Taurus, the Scorpionic realms do not refine the senses but sharpen them like the claws and fangs of a wild predator. And where Taurus yields to endless indulgence, Scorpio’s hunger is never satisfied.
When Mars enters Scorpio on October 30th, not only will a deep hunger awaken but a fierce drive to satiate it. Mars in Scorpio is the power of the hunter closing in on its prey—it is a time when your desires can manifest through the will of sheer instinct.
Mars in Scorpio has the preternatural ability to get what it wants—and thus it appears in the natal charts of some of history’s most powerful men, from Joseph Stalin to Mao Zedong, George Washington to Joe Biden, and Jack Dorsey to Mark Zuckerberg.
Mars in Scorpio can lead to both great and terrible acts in the name of humanity. Where Mahatma Gandhi successfully worked with his natal Mars in Scorpio to champion for the people of India against British rule, Joseph Goebbels exploited his natal Mars in Scorpio to enslave the hearts and minds of the German people through his mastery of propaganda.
What will you do to cultivate the power that Mars in Scorpio promises to unleash in you?
October 31st – November 1st: Samhain
On October 31st, Mercury in Libra will trine Jupiter in Aquarius lending a quality of mischief indulgence to the celebration of the dead. Both Mercury and Jupiter are picking up momentum after recently stationing direct and will catch up like old friends when they trine one another on Halloween Night. There will be a harmony of momentum in the things that have recently started moving forward in your life.
Many cultures hold festivals of ancestral veneration at this time of year, the midway point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. It is a time when the light must yield to the darkness, when the day succumbs to night. There is a reverent deference paid to the rhythm of the sky this time of year.
On the pagan calendar, Samhain is observed from October 31st to November 1st. Like its sister holiday Beltane, Samhain is a time when the veil thins between the worlds of spirit and matter. But where Beltane is a fertility festival for the living, Samhain is a celebration of the dead, who it is said walk amongst us when the veil parts.
Altars are made and meals are offered in reverence to those who have walked before us and fertilized the earth with their remains so that we might live today—whose wounds we carry on our hearts and blood runs through our veins in the eternal stream between eros & thanatos. Submit all curses, grudges and karma to the compost heap of ancestral wisdom at this time of year so that your ancestors may be reborn within you.
Whatever your plans to venerate the ancestors, it will be blessed by the harmonious trine of Mercury and Jupiter.
November 4: New Moon in Scorpio
The new moon on November 4th will be at 12 degrees Scorpio opposed Uranus in Taurus. The second decan of Scorpio, where this new moon takes place, is one of sexual alchemy and tantric ecstasy. Its corresponding Tarot Key, the 6 of Cups, is called “Pleasure” by the Thoth Tarot. It denotes a pleasure beyond the pleasure principle and alludes to the secret eucharist of sex magic.
The direct opposition of Uranus in Taurus will only serve to excite the alchemical energies of this new moon. Certain Tibetan Buddhist purification rites involve meditation on Vajrasattva and his consort above you, the nectar of their sexual union pouring down through the crown of your head and into the earth. As the refuse purges from your energetic body, so too does the negativity that overwhelms your emotional body.
This meditative image perfectly captures the energies of the new moon in Scorpio, when the sun and moon join together in divine distillation.
The new moon in Scorpio is a time to purge, let go and radically transform.
November 5: Mercury Enters Scorpio and Venus Enters Capricorn
The tone of the conversation shifts abruptly on November 5th when Mercury enters Scorpio and Venus enters Capricorn for an extended stay. They will make an exact sextile the next day.
Mercury has now fully left the shadow of his most recent retrograde behind, and descends into the murky waters of Scorpio, while Venus enters the sign where she will station retrograde next month and spend the rest of the year transiting.
Mercury in Scorpio lends the mind an instinctive and penetrative quality while Venus in Capricorn teaches the heart how to materialize desire through hard earned effort. When the two sextile on November 6th, expect deep insight on how to work for what you love…
…and expect a joyous struggle with and for what you love when Venus turns retrograde in Capricorn next month.
November 10: Mercury conjunct Mars square Saturn
On November 10, Mercury will conjunct Mars in Scorpio and both will enter into a tight square with Saturn in Aquarius. The malefic qualities of Mars and Saturn will be all the stronger this day due to their both being in their signs of rulership, making their formidability quite evenly matched.
Mercury is the trump card here, the archetypal trickster wanderer on an old Western movie set, playing both sides of a small town’s corrupt political elite against each other. The trickster doesn’t take sides, he merely delights in the humiliation of fools.
Whether you suspect it or not, this is a day of espionage and intrigue on both a personal and collective level. Whether it is dealing with nosy neighbors or a tyrannical surveillance state, when Mercury transits Mars squaring off with Saturn issues of privacy arise.
It is best to follow the path of the trickster, and not take sides. Stay shrewd, listen more than you talk and ask questions more than you give answers. Following this path, you will likely get out of the square mostly unscathed.
Following this tense episode, Mercury will oppose Uranus in Taurus on November 13th, awakening a deep transformation buried in the mind. A few days later, when Mars opposes Uranus on November 17th, that transformation will manifest with ferocious might. Stay grounded during this time, even if it feels like you’re being swallowed by quicksand.
November 19: Lunar Eclipse in Taurus
The struggle between Eros & Thanatos yields dark and sinister fruit at the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus, the first eclipse of the Taurus/Scorpio cycle that will preside over the next couple of years.
The lunar eclipse is in the third decan of Taurus. This decan is a difficult place, ruled by Saturn and represented by the 7 of Coins in the Minor Arcana.
In the Rider-Waite deck, a farmer watches over his freshly planted crop, yielding to his own cultivated patience and the mercy of the environment. Saturn’s rule of this decan can emphasize the toil of it, but a deeper wisdom is found in the path of karma yoga, or treating work as a divinely appointed duty without expectation of the reward.
Astrological lore depicts the North and South Node as the head and tail of a great dragon, like an ouroboros encircling the skies. The dragon is perceived to devour and purge the sun and moon in equal measure, in an eternal dance of karmic alchemy. Eclipses are times that challenge you to shed skins of past selves in your search for the Divine Self.
This Lunar Eclipse in Taurus initiates a new eclipse cycle along the Taurus/Scorpio axis, inviting the kinky play between Eros & Thanatos into the bridal chamber of alchemical union.
Lending a particularly monstrous quality to this Lunar Eclipse is that it is conjunct Caput Algol, one of the most dreaded fixed stars in the heavens. According to star lore, Caput Algol is the winking eye of Medusa’s severed head in the hands of the hero Perseus, to whose constellation the star belongs.
Legend has given Caput Algol a malefic reputation for death, madness and ill-fortune. However, it also has the power to protect and defend from these malefic influences—the power to ward off evil spirits and turn your enemies into stone.
As an initiation into the Taurus/Scorpio eclipse cycle, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19th is a time for working with your shadow, making friends with your demons and loving the most monstrous part of yourself.
November 21: Sun Enters Sagittarius
The Sun leaves the tantric charnel grounds of Scorpio for the philosophical aspirations of Sagittarius on November 21st.
Emerging from the muck of putrefaction, the Sun in its renewed faith takes up the archer’s bow and aims it straight into the heart of the galaxy. It is the time of year when the Sun’s light most swiftly succumbs to the darkness, yet faith in its own regeneration remains unyielding.
The dark times of this Scorpio season will make the light of Sagittarius all the better.