Scorpio Solar Festival
Subtle Meanings of the Full Moon in Taurus 2005
Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator examines the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Taurus for 2005. This is Scorpio's Full Moon, as the Moon is Full in the sign opposing the Sun.
Been to the 'back of beyond' lately? People tend to think that the desert is a barren, lifeless place, devoid of wildlife and inhospitable to all but the most hardy souls or those just crazy enough to live there. As I found out recently, though, there is plenty of magic in that rusty ground covered in salt-bush and flecked with the occasional lonely gnarled tree. One of my good friends recently reached one of the more dreaded milestones in many people's lives—the 50th birthday. Some folks prefer to hide away, forget the whole thing and stay perpetually some other much younger age. Not this one, though. In true Yang woman style she went all-out and invited her closest friends and family to a big bash—out in the middle of the desert, where the 'roo and the emu play.
Since we are in the month of the Pig Traversing a Mountain, it was entirely appropriate that we had to travel six hours across the ranges and desert to join in. The actual party was held at the Silverton Hotel, one of the most photographed and filmed pubs in Australia. It is the hub of a little community of about 50 people, but in its day the place was a boom town of 5000. Anyway, how many times do we turn 50? Little did we know hers was a party not soon to be forgotten, and for many reasons. She is a Scorpio, I might add, and the events that surrounded that milestone had everyone's favorite sign (yes, Scorpio) written all over them.
Baptism by Water — or Desert Experience...?
Scorpio is the sign most associated with what we might call 'Baptism by Water'—the sorely testing trials in which there is sacrifice of the lower nature, the desire-nature is finally overcome and the life is then fully consecrated to the life of Spirit. We find this whenever the Sun or the Ascendant is placed in Scorpio in a person's natal chart. This is not to say all Scorpios are undergoing baptism, but the unconscious knowledge of what Scorpio entails is perhaps why the sign gets a lot of bad press from the other signs. To the esotericist, this baptism is what is known as the second initiation, one of the most painful. There is not much water in the desert, however, and as we left the lush green grass and flowing fields of the Mt. Lofty Ranges on the way to the celebrations the scenery became much starker by contrast and decidedly dry. I was thinking as we drove along about Scorpio and about Plutonian and Martian themes as the desert unfolded along the road. We have had quite a bit of rain in Adelaide over the past months, but not much of it has made it past the ranges. I suddenly felt a shift in the energetics of the landscape and a strange vulnerability as the harsh conditions made themselves apparent. Along with the baptism by water there is also a sort of 'desert experience' with Scorpio, too, at some point in the life. We stopped along the way several times and the silence was almost palpable. The land in the Australian 'bush' has a power and a serenity all its own. One can feel the metal in the land, the strength and the enduring quality of the life there. These are things that Pluto imparts to a person, and which Scorpio ultimately conveys, provided one assimilates the lessons of the experiences undergone.
I have to tell you. Flies are very friendly in Oz. When one gets out of the car in the desert the dear little things come out in droves to greet you. They want to get very close, in your face, up your nose and they love to see what you are having for lunch. I like to share, but I had to keep reminding myself: “Flies are God's creatures. They perform a very valuable and useful service. Harmlessness is a great virtue. This is a good experience for me because it tests my patience and tolerance.” Still—God love 'em—I rather prefer to stay indoors than to break bread with that multitude. There are often things that niggle at Scorpios throughout life, especially when we consider that Mars is the esoteric and orthodox ruler of the sign. It is a sign, along with the other fixed signs, that finds it difficult to let go of things and thoughts (which are also “things”). Mars has been called “the great get-evener”, and when it is teamed with Pluto—as it is in the orthodox rulership of Scorpio—we have a very potent combination for change, which usually means a shattering catharsis first. There is a strong energy of conflict with Scorpio that Mars initially brings about and which Mercury later resolves, but it is a conflict that brings release from the pull of the lower passions. It is not an especially tolerant sign in its lesser manifestations, and the Mars/Pluto pairing gives the 'sting in the tail' for which Scorpio is renowned when things do not go their way.
The Lord of the Flies
We have looked at length about the connection of Scorpio with humanity in previous letters on this theme. It is the sign that is most peculiarly human in some ways, for it governs the group of Lives called The Human Hierarchy (our highest spiritual essence). From the lowest to the highest, Scorpio holds sway in human terms. In the early days of life on this planet—and really all along—there have been moments where human life has been reduced to a kind of existence akin to what we read of in works like Lord of the Flies. The basic tenet in that work is that, without society, we are often reduced to savagery and anarchy. We saw a little bit of that with the recent Katrina disaster. Society (which the occultist would call the beginnings of 'group life') is the glue that holds us together and gives us the training ground for higher living. Without socialization there is no real hope of release into the higher realms. Although Mars brings conflict and Pluto brings destruction and endings, these are things that bring us together in pursuit of the common good. When driven by the lower passions, the Scorpio type is the archetypal anarchist, who lusts after sex and power and who can lay waste to those closest to them through the machinations of their minds. This is the lower Mars/Pluto Scorpio type.
However, when the more subjective and spiritual side of Mars and Pluto take hold of the Scorpio native, life becomes quite a different kettle of fish. In the early stages of the Scorpio life everything is irritating and the urge to dominate is strong so as to bring some sense of control into the person's life. The lower Scorpio seeks only to dominate the outer world and others in a battle for control. As we know, though, there is no such thing as personal control when it comes to spirituality. Life takes over and the burning desire of Soul-life begins to pull attention away from the lower passions. This is the point at which the desert experience comes in for the Scorpio type because the lower passions are then seen to be unfulfilling and devoid of life—true Life. There is naught else to do then but to kill out the pull of the lower passions, to give up one's pride and to submit fully and completely to the call of the higher Self. Nothing of the lower world is suitable to the aspiring one at that point and they wander in the desert—the lone voice crying out in the wilderness for relief and sustenance in the dark chasm that is only the representation of their own tortured mind. There is where we find the likes of Dante's Inferno. Scorpio is the sign that indicates the world disciple, with all its trials and triumphs.
In the pursuit of the total dominance of the lower nature no stone is left unturned. Wherever the lower passions are felt, there they are ruthlessly rooted out. It is at this stage where Pluto's role in the life of Scorpio becomes integral to the process. In short, the subconscious must be cleaned up. The dark caverns wherein the forgotten, yet still-living, habits of thought and desire are found must be lighted, seen for what they are and resolved.
As we know, Pluto rules the Underworld, and Mars adds its share of fire and brimstone into the pit. Many readers will know that Scorpio is the sign under which St. Paul—the architect of Christian theology—was born. The problem was that when he sculpted many of the axioms that became part and parcel to the Christian faith, he was heavily under the influence of the higher Mars/Pluto emphasis of Scorpio. Sex, for instance, was relegated to the dust-heap of human activities, the complete dominance and subjugation of the lower desires was the order of the day and the militancy of the Christian faith as it is practiced in the more fundamentalist sects of the religion was born. It was not a healthy mix. The love of Christ was replaced with the hatred of the lower nature and all those outside the faith. Everyone became sinners instead of sparks of the divine. Tolerance and understanding was replaced by zero-tolerance for anything other than the letter of 'God's Law' as he understood that, and life for the average Christian was made a battle between good and evil rather than a celebration of Life, as it should have been. This is all classic Pluto projection and out-picturing.
In part two of this article, Malvin Artley continues his exploration of the esoteric meanings of the Full Moon in Taurus for 2005. He examines the astrological aspects and considers the Scorpio challenge of the desert in the development of the human spirit, especially in the light of Christian teachings as expounded by St Paul and the Sermon on the Mount.
Read part two of The Scorpio Solar Festival