Ultraviolence ~ New Moon in Scorpio ~ November 14, 2020

On Saturday, November 14th, the New Moon in Scorpio arrives, awakening its generative power within the long dark tunnels of the underworld, a place of living nightmares where the darkness of the subconscious becomes the cruel master of reality.

In these final days of Scorpio season, ancient secrets will be unearthed, inviting an excavation of the moral and spiritual decay of our time. 

This New Moon’s sextile to the Jupiter/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn will unleash a primal hunger for truth, a most forbidden fruit in a climate of ceaseless misinformation. 

Pluto’s wave of destruction is bringing corrupt institutions of power to their knees, revealing their inequities and insecurities. Thus the craving for truth is a survival instinct to remineralize and rebuild something stable. 

War is in the air, the smell of iron, in blood and in metal. With Mars having just stationed direct in Aries after a long retreat, the swords of conquest will be raised high. With unrestrained fury, Mars in Aries will rush to reclaim whatever has been seized.

Part of the New Way

The US Election remains the obvious battleground for Mars to wreak havoc upon. And though the battles will officially take place in the courts, the New Moon in Scorpio knows well that the war will be waged upon your psyche, as competing interests attempt to gain control your mind. 

Propagandists, the trained soldiers and assassins of this war, know how to hypnotize you into compliance with your own demise. And though these occult powers of covert manipulation will be increased by the New Moon in Scorpio, the ruthless instincts of a wild animal that doesn’t like to be caged will also increase.

The Sun and the Moon will conjoin at 23 degrees Scorpio, a number that portends the emergence of chaos and discord. In traditional astrology, the Moon in Scorpio is said to be in its fall, for it lives as a hungry ghost, eternally fixated upon the pang of loss.

Thus the Moon in Scorpio is cursed by insatiable hungers and is tormented by dark fantasies that pervert the boundaries of pleasure and pain. Here, thirst is quenched by venom and the earth is sown with seeds of suffering. 

A narcotic sap drips from this Moon, feeding the pride of evil men as they plunge deeper into hallucinations of their infernal power.

A word to the wise: in the underworld don’t drink the water—or the kool-aid. 

The suffering of this realm drives many to escape into narcosis. But for those who can keep their eyes wide open, the truth will be laid bare. Now more than ever, this forbidden fruit should be worth any price.

The stark visions of this New Moon in Scorpio will open your eyes wide to ancient nightmares. A morbid sense of dread will emerge as you are forced to face what has become monstrous and degenerate in yourself and the world around you.

With unblinking eyes, you see how the gluttony of information has resulted in a trash heap of ignorance and confusion. And how the gluttony of freedom has spawned a perverse desire for enslavement. 

“It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you watch them on a screen.”

Ancient prophets, cursed with apocalyptic visions, were burned by glimpses of what you see everyday on social media. As you scroll through the endless stream of ultraviolence, you see only the dead eyes of a sociopathic voyeur in the dark reflection of your screen. As the spirit dies, there is numbness when there should be feeling.

The ultimate outcome of Scorpio season offers a benediction, a resurrection of the spirit and a return to the light of truth.

But in order to get there, this last painful and punishing part of the journey must be endured. 

Oscar Wilde once wrote that “life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” This quote, from his essay called The Decay of Lying, describes the phenomenon that art affects the way we perceive the world around us. As an example, he described how his perception of natural fog was forever influenced by J.M.W. Turner’s paintings of fog.

In other words, art and iconography becomes its own language of perception that shapes our vision of reality.

A Bit of the Old Ultraviolence

In 2020, life has imitated many great works of dystopian art. But none seem to reflect the moment at hand better than Stanley Kubrick’s 1972 film A Clockwork Orange.

An adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ 1963 novel of the same name, A Clockwork Orange is set in a post-Cold War dystopian near-future that is an eerily prescient parallel of the modern day European Union—or even the political landscape of the United States in 2020.

A Clockwork Orange follows the exploits of Alex DeLarge, a criminal miscreant whose hobbies include murder, mayhem, and Beethoven. As the leader of a gang of droogs, his nightly escapes center around getting loaded on mind-altering drugs in pursuit of their insatiable lust for ultraviolence and the old in-out, in-out.

Alex is eventually captured by the police, sentenced to murder and sent to prison. He later became part of an experimental drug-based treatment program designed to rehabilitate violent criminals through aversion therapy, known as the Ludovico Technique.

These reformed criminals become safe and functioning members of society again, allowing their release from penitentiary, thus opening space for political offenders.

After his release, Alex is incapable of defending himself against the violent retribution of his past victims, his former gang members (who have now joined the police force), and the machinations of political interest groups.

Through a series of misfortunes, Alex winds up at the mercy of political activists who exploit his condition to their own ends. In order to avoid a public-relations fiasco, Alex is subjected to further experimentation to re-condition him back to his original violent state.

The film ends with the Minister of Interior offering Alex a cushy state job and government protection. Alex was always the state’s Jungian shadow—freely doing out in the open what they do only behind closed doors—and now he’s been fully integrated. They shake hands for a propagandistic photo-op as the press swarms his hospital room.

In the craze of his new found political power and celebrity, Alex’s eyes drift upward in bliss as he hears the 9th Symphony played on loudspeakers, and we see a scene of his inner world as his thoughts return to fantasies of ultraviolence.

He narrates the film’s final line with an eerie foreboding of things to come:

“I was cured, alright.”

Real Horrorshow

A Clockwork Orange could serve as a postmodern pastiche for the imagery associated with the third decan of Scorpio, where this New Moon takes place.

The third decan of Scorpio is associated with the Seven of Cups in the Tarot, which the Smith-Waite deck notoriously shows a man viddying real horrorshow pictures emerging from a mystical fog. In Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, it is referred to as “debauchery.”

The Picatrix declares this decan “a face of evil works and taste, and joining oneself with women by force and with them being unwilling.”

In Three Books on Occult Philosophy, Agrippa maintains that the face of this decan depicts “A man bowed downward upon his knees, and a woman striking him with a staff.” Agrippa describes the woman as representing the man’s desires and the staff is his unyielding addiction to them, and further writes that this decan is one signified by “drunkenness, fornication, wrath, violence and strife.”

The violent imagery of this decan—the discipline-and-punish motifs, the unrestrained violence and torture—run rampant through A Clockwork Orange.

It’s no surprise that the film’s director, Stanley Kubrick, had his natal moon in the third decan of Scorpio. Kubrick offers a cunning insight into the lessons it brings. When accused of making a film that glorified fascism, Kubrick responded by saying that he made a film that

“…warns against the new psychedelic fascism—the eye-popping, multimedia, quadrasonic, drug-orientated conditioning of human beings by other beings, which many believe will usher the forfeiture of human citizenship and the beginning of zombiedom.”

We find a striking parallel to the third decan of Scorpio in Kubrick’s defense that—far from glorifying fascism—the film is a warning of the hypnotic and seductive ways fascism continues to systemically rule over the unconscious mind through technology, mass media, corporatism and the unquestioned authority of the medical-industrial complex.

The third decan of Scorpio—far from being a place to glorify the most degenerate, degraded, and despondent desires lurking within the human psyche—is a place to release yourself from the bondage to desire by way of Tantric union with it.

You can imagine the third decan of Scorpio as your super secret spot in the backyard where dad catches you smoking a cigarette and, for punishment, forces you to smoke an entire carton. What seems like timeless parental wisdom is actually a highly sophisticated psychological conditioning technique that manipulates the pain-and-pleasure principle through aversion therapy.

New Psychedelic Fascism

Like the dad who forces you to smoke an entire carton of cigarettes as punishment for having just one, Kubrick’s film does not glorify its violence so much as it revels in the punishment of its audience.

The centerpiece of A Clockwork Orange is the scene of Alex’s treatment with the Ludovico Technique.

He is injected with experimental drugs, strapped to a chair in a straight jacket, his eyes clamped open as he is forced to watch films depicting murder, rape and the Third Reich—all while men and women in white lab coats sit at the back of the room, impartial beholders of the medical gaze.

At one point, while between sessions, one of the lead researchers tells Alex:

“Violence is a very horrible thing. That’s what you’re learning now. Your body is learning it. You felt ill this afternoon because you’re getting better. You see, when we are healthy, we respond to the presence of the hateful with fear and nausea. You’re becoming healthy, that’s all. By this time tomorrow, you’ll be healthier still.”

In an earlier scene, the Ludovico Technique is justified by the newly-appointed Minister of the Interior as the future of crime prevention in the new government:

“The Government can’t be concerned any longer with outmoded penological theories. Soon we may be needing all our prison space for political offenders. Common criminals like these are best dealt with on a purely curative basis. Kill the criminal reflex, that’s all. Full implementation in a year’s time. Punishment means nothing to them, you can see that. They enjoy their so-called punishment.”

The inhumanity of this behaviorist perspective of human psychology is on full view in the scene depicting Alex’s treatment with the Ludovico Technique.

What makes the scene most chilling is the banality of it—the lab technicians sitting in the back of the theater passively taking notes as a violent criminal is subjected to cruel and sadistic aversion therapy while the lead researcher calmly reassures the subject that this is for your own good.

I Was Cured, Alright

In a year when you have been locked down, unable to move freely, terrorized by the tyranny of the medical establishment and force-fed viral imagery of state-sanctioned violence and police murder leading to rampant terror and street violence (glorified as a social movement by the mass media), you might find some parallels between yourself and Alex undergoing the Ludovico Technique.

At a time when the United States celebrates the media-declared victory of a kinder, less divisive, more compassionate fascism (Blue Wave Edition), A Clockwork Orange is possibly the most relevant film streaming on Netflix.

But if 2020 has left you more perceptive than paranoid, then I recommend reflecting on the themes presented in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange for the Scorpio New Moon.

N.B. Much gratitude to the work of Rob Ager for his inspiring film analysis of A Clockwork Orange and Austin Coppock for his indispensable treatise on the astrological decans, 36 Faces.

Stills from American Cinematographer.