There’s a famous trail in Europe called the Camino de Santiago.

It consists of a network of ancient pilgrim routes that traverse several hundred miles of remote land in Europe. Every year thousands of people, or “pilgrims” as they’re called, embark on a journey of self exploration as they walk this trail. Some walk for days, others for months. The Camino is a relatively flat trail, and doesn’t require a high level of physical exertion per se, but one comes to know quite a bit about the capacity of their feet, and subsequently their mind, with every mile they walk.

Such is the nature of Jupiter in Scorpio.

Jupiter is that voice that beckons you, urging you to connect with something bigger than yourself. He pushes you to embark on the trail, he calls forth the joy of adventure, and the luck and opportunities you’ll need in order to plan and execute this large undertaking.

The ruler of Scorpio is Pluto, Lord of the Underworld and archetype of transformation or metamorphosis, the process of death and rebirth. Scorpio is the sign that shakes the very ground you find yourself walking on. This sign is the ache of your tired feet, the voice in your head that talks about pain and suffering and makes you wonder if you have the stamina to get to the end of this journey. But Scorpio is also the trust and the whisperings of transformation that wrap around you with your every step. It is the force that begins to stir you and blend you, alchemizing your very soul into something more substantial than you ever thought possible.

Jupiter in Scorpio will bring you many blessings on your journey, even as he takes you into some of the darkest places in your life and in your soul.

Imagine the pilgrims that have encountered nothing but bad luck. In the recounting of their experiences they plant seeds of doubt, causing you to think of everything that could possibly go wrong; until the realization strikes you that you are much more capable than they and in fact, could handle the same situations with confidence. There’s power in that revelation.

Imagine the jubilant and mysterious man at a hostel one evening, who regales you with fascinating tales of all the things he’s seen along the trail, scenes and situations that are more enthralling than any tour book you’ve yet read. Feel your heart swell as you listen to his stories of adventures that took him into seedy corners of a city or into a metaphorical–or literal–underworld.

Imagine the woman who tells with deep passion of her own transformative experiences along the trail. Her narrative serves to energize you into looking more deeply into your own reasons for coming on this walk.

With each day that passes, you become aware of opportunities for your own personal transformation. You come to terms with your own vulnerability. More light shines into your dark corners. And you walk.

The journey ends at the burial place of Saint James, which has more ancient pagan roots that run deeper, into times when this was a journey to land’s end, to the ultimate west, a place of ends and beginnings. It’s traditional to burn your clothes in this deeply mystical place, to make a sacrifice to the God of Walking and to let go of the few things that have supported you along the way.

And when you finally get off the trail, and back to your real life, the true shifts begin to materialize. You realize that like a snake, you’ve shed a layer of skin. You’re more prepared. You’re better able to face the challenges that life puts before you and best of all, you realize that you’ve developed a worldview that includes even the darkest human experiences and in turn, renders profound meaning.

Now, shifting out of the realm of imagination and into reality, picture a Camino of your own, right in the middle of your very substantial life. An invisible Camino, which appears when you put your feet on it with the right attitude. It can be anything that calls to you, excites you and challenges you, pushing you to transform in this moment, just as Jupiter in Scorpio intends.

It’s coming, and there’s a brilliance in that.

Jupiter begins traversing the deep, psychological terrain of Scorpio on October 10, 2017, and leaves Scorpio for Sagittarius on November 8, 2018.

How does this transit affect you?
If you are a Scorpio, Leo, Taurus or Aquarius born on the following dates (in any year), you’re in for a Jupiter Luck Year:
November 5 through 16
August 5 through 16
May 3 through 14
February 1 through 12

What’s the one thing you need to get right during this transit?
Vulnerability. Whenever Scorpio is involved, you cannot afford to be hard, defended or to launch preemptive strikes. Allowing yourself to get hurt is part of the experience and closing your heart to love (and the pain that inevitably comes with it) will only result in loss. So be open. Let your heart break open if necessary. Cast aside arrogance, distance and the safety they provide. This year’s adventure is a journey into intimate spaces and intimate knowledge. Take the first step with your heart exposed.

For more about this year’s transits of Jupiter and other planets, look here:
This year’s Aspects and Planetary Trends
This year’s stations of Jupiter



Categories: Jupiter, Signs: Scorpio

The Moon in your chart tells what you need in order to feel safe, secure and well taken care of. Satisfying your Lunar needs enables you to relax, rest deeply and engage in the healthy form of self-care that matters most to you.

Your Moon sign is the key to experiencing deep emotional well-being and happiness. 

Do you have the Moon in Scorpio in your astrology chart?

If you do, then you need November’s free teleclass from Pandora Astrology.

Pandora Astrology Moon in Scorpio infographic

How to find out more:
The infographic above can only hint at the deeper understanding of your Moon in Scorpio that astrology has to offer.  To find out more about Moon in Scorpio (in your chart or in the chart of someone you share a home with or care about), get this teleclass recording: Moon in Scorpio Teleclass Video.

The Moon In Scorpio Teleclass is an MP4 video recording lasting approximately and hour and costing $19.97. To get the recording, use this webpage for a fast and easy MP4 download. May it feed your soul!

If you don’t have the Moon in Scorpio, you can find out about YOUR Moon sign by joining the free teleclass for it, coming up this year:

Sign Up For Free Moon Sign Teleclasses



Categories: Moon, Signs: Scorpio

Saturn in your chart points down a career path that can satisfy you and bring you success.

Knowing your Saturn sign orients you, motivates you and gets you unstuck. 

Do you have Saturn in Scorpio in your astrology chart?

If you do, then you need November’s free teleclass from Pandora Astrology.

How to find out more:
The infographic above can only hint at the deeper understanding of Saturn in Scorpio that astrology has to offer. To find out more, get this teleclass call recording: The Great Work of Scorpio.

In it, you’ll discover:

  • What’s behind Saturn in Scorpio’s greatest fear—and crowning achievement
  • More about apt career directions for you if you have Saturn in Scorpio
  • Scorpio’s Mission Orders—and how fulfilling on them can bring success and satisfaction

The Great Work of Scorpio is an MP3 recording lasting approximately 45 minutes and costing $9.97.
To get the recording, use this webform (the same one used for signing up for the teleclasses as they happen) for a fast and easy MP3 download. May it speed your success!

You have Saturn in Scorpio if you were born in these dates:

  • 12/19/1923 to 4/6/1924
  • 9/13/1924 to 12/2/1926
  • 10/22/1953 to 1/12/1956
  • 5/13/1956 to 10/10/1956
  • 11/29/1982 to 5/6/1983
  • 8/24/1983 to 11/16/1985
  • 10/5/2012 to 12/23/2014
  • 6/14/2015 to 9/17/2015

If you don’t have Saturn in Cancer, you can find out where YOU have Saturn here.

Pluto Has A Heart

“This is what I’ve been trying to tell you all along.

Don’t call me an ice dwarf.

I know I’m short, but really, do you have to make a guy feel so small?

You’ve demoted me from planet-status, isn’t that enough?

I have a heart.

I wear it on my sleeve.

I’m as transparent as I know how to be.

(I know that isn’t all that transparent, but it’s the best I can do,

because I’m as much a mystery to myself as I am to you.)


Yes, in my world things are black and white,

But my heart is pure as snow.

Now that you’ve seen it, do you believe me?

I have a heart, dammit!

I belong in this solar system.

I’m far from the sun and it gets cold out here, on the edge of things.

The edge has always been where you’ll find me.

I hold the darkness at bay.

Have a little compassion for me.

I do love you, from way over here.”


Yours truly,


Scorpio heart 3Do you love a Scorpio?
Are you a Scorpio in love?

Human relationships are complex, layered things.  Every sign responds to love differently and has needs that are particular to it.  Also no individual can be categorized by their Sun sign alone.  Every person is a mixed bag of astrological traits, but an emphasis on Scorpio in your chart (or its ruling planet, Pluto) will result in distinctly Scorpion experience.  In particular, if you have the Sun or Moon in Scorpio OR if you have Venus or Juno in Scorpio, this article is just for you.

Are you a Scorpio in love?
How does Scorpio love?  That’s easy:  passionately.  Headlong.  Fervently.  To distraction.  Or not at all.  If you’re a Scorpio in love, you have my sympathy and my celebratory back-slap.  The sympathy is because you probably feel helpless and in the grip of feelings much, MUCH larger than you are.  You are capable of a grand passion which sometimes sweeps through your being like a tidal wave.  What to do?  Get on top of the wave and enjoy the ride.  How?  By surrendering to it.  Which brings me to the congratulatory back-slap.  Because if you are newly in love, you are on the brink of doing what you came here to do—and that’s intimate relating.  Terrifying?  Yes.  But it’s also the most fun you can have with your clothes on.  No, I mean off.  No, I mean on.  You get the picture.

How to manage your relationships as a Scorpio. . .
I gotta say it:  Boundaries.  Get some.  If you’re like most Scorpios, you’ll learn this the hard way.  When you fall for someone, your first impulse will be to engulf them like the tidal wave I mentioned above.  You’ll want to pull them all the way into your life and you’ll find the tension of unspoken desire and unacted-on passion to be almost more than your body can hold.  But don’t be impulsive or you may get into something that’s not good for you and end up in a world of pain.  Then you end up with someone you can’t trust and it may be hard to know clearly whether they were untrustworthy or you were unable to sink into the relationship.  Getting close to someone slowly is the answer, but it comes with practice.  Excruciating practice.  Sorry, but I’m telling you true.

Do you love a Scorpio?
Ah, you’ve been caught in the gravity well of your local Scorpion.  See ya.  Goodbye.  You’ll be disappearing for a while.  But I can’t possibly begrudge you the time you’ll be spending away from all your usual friends and hobbies in the bed of that amazing Scorpion, because you’re about to experience connecting like you’ve never known before.  It reminds me of the song by the Police, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (by my favorite “honorary Scorpio” Sting, who is actually a Libra without a stitch of Scorpio in him, but has Pluto rising).  In that song the singer is blissed out on sex hormones and is quite convinced that the object of his affections is the cause, instead of looking inside himself at his own capacity for blissful passion and desire.  Beware this kind of projection—being told you’re magical is delicious and addictive.

If you have Venus or Juno in Scorpio in your chart, the chances of you dating Scorpions is very high.  How to handle the Scorpio you love. . .

  • Reassure.  Reassure.  Reassure.  Expect that your Scorpion feels perpetually pulled off-center and so will pull you off-center to compensate for his own feelings of vulnerable dependency.
  • Don’t give her what she expects, but give her something better.  She’ll expect you to read her mind and to come and go at her beck and call.  Instead, give her clarity on what you’ll do and won’t do in the relationship, so her expectations are set accordingly.  Then, when you cross your own boundaries to make her happy, she can appreciate it instead of taking it for granted.
  • Batten down the hatches:  there will be drama.  Plan to enjoy it and don’t let your life be wrecked.
  • Take responsibility for the contraception.  (Did I actually say that?  Yes, I did.)
  • If you’ve got strong Water in your chart (Scorpio, Pisces or Cancer), then take off your mask, play full-out and be vulnerable.  Nothing less will do and you will get—and give—the most satisfaction this way.
  • If your Scorpio is male, let him dominate you in bed.  That will be the most fun for everyone.  If your Scorpio is female and you’re not a virile guy, just run.  Now.  She will eat you for breakfast and you won’t even mind.

How to find out more:
In this article there’s only room to hint at the deeper understanding of Scorpio that astrology has to offer.  To find out more about being a Scorpio in Love or loving a Scorpio, get this teleconference call recording:

In it, you’ll discover:

  • Why your Scorpio is so sensitive–and how to appreciate that sensitivity so s/he will really share with you
  • What your Scorpio needs in order to sink into committed relationship with you
  • Signs Scorpio is most compatible with, and why
  • And if you are a Scorpio, you’ll learn the benefits you bring to every relationship you’re in and the relationship-killers you absolutely must avoid

Scorpio In Love is an MP3 recording lasting approximately 45 minutes and costing $9.97. To get the recording, email me at for a fast and easy MP3 download. You’ll love it!

The last time Saturn changed signs, I wrote about it here in the Pandora blog.  That was in July of 2010.  Now Saturn is finishing up the tail-end of Libra (his favorite sign to occupy) and entering the dark, mysterious regions of Scorpio, to travel there from Oct 5, 2012 to Sept 17, 2015.  How might this sojourn feel to us here on Earth?

Saturn is the Father-Figure, the Adult, the Elder.  He’s the archetypal symbol of Authority.  When you feel that you must take things seriously, must be responsible, have to grow up, that voice of the Inner Judge pricking your conscience is Saturn.  The sign Saturn is in will affect how that Inner Judge behaves, and what he’s preoccupied with.  He’s now turning his attention to Scorpionic things.

Saturn in Scorpio will demand that we face our demons, our obsessions, our addictions and wrestle them to the ground.  Saturn will demand that we gain control over the uncontrollable, and that we shape and mold it into something that helps us, rather than sabotaging us.  Saturn in Scorpio plays with power.  This is heady stuff and it reminds me of the story of the sorcerer’s apprentice.  It’s from a poem by Goethe (read it here with a good English translation alongside) and you may remember the Disney version*, featuring Mickey Mouse as the apprentice who is tired of fetching water.  While the sorcerer is out, he casts a spell he heard which causes the broom to animate and fetch water for him. The broom fetches water and fetches water until the apprentice wants it to stop—but has forgotten how to break the spell.  The apprentice then attempts to destroy the broom, but succeeds only in breaking it into pieces, each of which springs to life and proceeds to fetch water until the house is in a flood.  The terrified apprentice cries out for his master as if to God.  When the sorcerer returns, he is angry, but undoes the spell with a word and doesn’t punish the apprentice too harshly, because the apprentice is already terrified enough of the power he wielded and how easily it went entirely out of control.  The apprentice thus learns important lessons about power and maturity.  In Scorpio, Saturn’s smackdown is swift and hard.

Here are some ways this could show up in human lives, so watch for them in the news:

  • dreams of power and glory become overblown and lead to ruin
  • investments, using the power of financial leverage, fail and destroy the lives of many people beyond the one who actually made the investment
  • somebody abuses their political position sexually or otherwise
  • trust is breached, secure or confidential documents get released
  • corruption is revealed. . .  and who knows what more might happen?

Do you have things to learn about power and how to wield it maturely, in full awareness of what you are doing?  If so, Saturn may bring these things up in the next two-and-a-half years.  And if you feel you are alone in this, please know you are not—we’re all in it together, experiencing our own version of it.

Find out more about getting a reading
Or see what kinds of readings are available. 

Birthday Gift for you: 
If your birthday is approaching or recent 
and you want an empowering look at the year ahead, click to
schedule a 
Birthday Reading and receive a free gift with it.

* Because Disney will periodically purge YouTube videos of their works, this link may not lead you anywhere, but new copies are popping up all the time, so just search YouTube for “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and you will no doubt find it. Then you can enjoy this timeless classic, featuring Mickey Mouse and a whole lot of brooms!

Scorpio, thank you for keeping the darkness at bay!  Scorpio is that side of us that stores, protects and keeps our painful experiences and memories safe, and manages the instinctual side of our life.  It’s a sort of holding-place for all the dark things in the soul.  Scorpio holds all this stuff in a secret corner of our personality, and because we all have at least a little Scorpio within us, we don’t have to look in that corner every day.  Here are just a few of the things your inner Scorpio is protecting your conscious mind from having to deal with:

1.    Your addictions and compulsions.  These are the things you must have or control.  They may be things you get fetishistic about or regard as “special.” (ever seen a drug user grooming his paraphernalia?).  They are also things you use to control your experience of life (perhaps to feel better or to feel ok).  Here’s a clue:  if you can’t imagine life without it, you might be too attached.

2.    Your inner demons, the sides of you that come out when you feel overcome and are compelled to behave badly.  You know, sometimes you feel taken over and find later that you’ve done or said something you regret, and it almost seems like somebody else did it, using your body.  That one of your demons coming out to play.  Everybody’s got ‘em.

3.    Your sensitivity to other people’s demons.  Yep, like attracts like and other people’s demons will mirror your own.  Scorpio is the side of us that senses that mirroring.  It can be hard to stop pointing the finger at others and to instead look inside oneself, but that which is inside oneself is the only stuff we can hope to change.

4.    Your trauma, or stored pain.  Every time you ever got hurt, the Scorpio in you took note of it.  Scorpio still has your inner child in that holding area.  Your inner child is still completely intact because Scorpio is protecting you from the demons.  You can retrieve that tender innocence anytime you want.  It will always be there, waiting to be retrieved and brought back into the light.

5.    Your deep desires and your capacity for intimacy.  Your longing to merge with others.  The side of you that joins, connects, shares.  This is your Scorpio side, and it is rich and deep.  Say hello to your desires, greet them with a smile.  Welcome them and make a place for them at your warm hearth.

Brave Scorpios of the world!  You look at this stuff inside yourself on pretty much a daily basis.  That’s a challenging way to live, but you like being on your own edge, don’t you?  Face to face with death and living more fully as a result.  Thank you, Scorpio, for reminding us how good it is to be alive, and for keeping our darkness (and the light that’s hiding there) safe until we’re ready to look at it.

Find out more about getting a reading
Or see what kinds of readings are available. 

Birthday Gift for you: 
If your birthday is approaching or recent 
and you want an empowering look at the year ahead, click to
schedule a 
Birthday Reading and receive a free gift with it.

This is a repost of an article originally posted in the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal.  You can read the original here.



Categories: Signs: Scorpio

Solutions for Water-Gone-Wrong

In my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.

How To Know If You’re Drowning In Water
Water is arguably the hardest element to get right, because in the modern world our capacity to feel is misunderstood, derided and ignored.  Many of us grow up with a poor understanding of our emotions.  Your Water has gone wrong when:

  • People around you call you a “drama queen.”
  • Your sensitivity has you attempting to control everyone around you so you can feel better.
  • You overreact to events around you and cannot separate what actually happened from how you felt about it.
  • You absorb other people’s feelings so easily that you lose yourself.  This may make you prefer to avoid people which is a shame because your powers of empathy are enormous.
  • You are filled with bitterness, resentment and other feelings that have long gone unexpressed.  You habitually repress them because you don’t know how to let go of them.

Solution One:  Balance Water With The Other 3 Elements
If your Water is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance.  Fire’s self-assertion is a wonderful foil for Water’s tendency toward self-sacrifice.  When you’re lost in Watery feelings and can’t get out, try cutting straight through the bullshit.  Fire says, “Things are really not as complicated as they seem.”

You can count on Air to bring in logic, rationality and a factual approach.  Air helps you get out of the feelings and become more dispassionate—which can be very helpful when you realize you’ve become over-involved with somebody who is taking advantage of you.

Earth’s practical concerns form a helpful check-and-balance to Water’s subjectivity.  Earth reminds Water that overwhelming feelings must be balanced by the need to feed, clothe and shelter oneself and one’s family.  Water says, “I care about myself and others,” while Earth adds “. . . and I prove it by making myself useful.”

Solution Two:  Emphasize Healthy Water
Expressing Water in a healthy way can allow negative expressions of Water to fall away naturally, with ease and grace.  You might call this “Water-Fu.”  Here are some ways to try it. . .

  • Notice your intuitions.  Validate them.  Use them.
  • Your feelings are there to connect you with other people.  Get good at noticing what others feel and what you feel.  Develop healthy emotional boundaries and enjoy deep relationships with those you feel sympathy or empathy towards.
  • Find or create places in your life where you can afford to feel fully, to express your feelings and to be as sensitive as you really are.  Hang around people you can be your true self with.
  • Practice healthy self-care, which is not the same as being emotionally armored nor emotionally over-exposed.  When you take care of yourself, others do not seem like a drain.
  • If you are preoccupied with negative feelings, learn to let go of them.  Focus on the positive, uplifting things in your life.  Nurse joy instead of anger.

The Four Elements are an incredibly rich vein of astrological knowledge of which this article series only scratches the surface.  Using the elements alone, even a novice can gain tremendous insight into herself and other people.  I hope it inspires you to learn more about the elements, about astrology and about yourself.

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This has been part 5 of a 5-part series on the 4 elements.  The other parts can be found here:
Personality Flaws of the 4 Elements
Is Fire Burning You Up?
Has Earth Grounded You—Permanently?
Does Air Have You Lost In A Cloud?
Are You Drowning In Water?

Scorpio by azurylipfe

In November of 2008 I posted an article called Scorpio Rising, Boundaries and Intimacy.  In that article I talked about the mysterious fact that underneath the crusty, protective exterior that Scorpio frequently wears is a profound sensitivity, which is hard to see at first, but becomes apparent as you get to know the person better.  This sensitivity is both the bane and the blessing of a Scorpio’s existence.

Speaking now to Scorpios everywhere, there’s a powerful gift embedded in the sensitivity of Scorpio and that gift is instinct.  Validate and pay attention to your instincts.  Let go of any need to explain or justify them.  Watch where they lead you and you will learn to trust them.  In order to get there you will probably have to let go of an addiction or two, because addictions will interfere with your ability to trust your own instincts.

Once you’ve made friends with your own best asset (instinct) and eliminated some of your worst liabilities (addictions), proceed to carve out space in the world where you can be yourself without self-consciousness or apology.  Find a few friends with whom you can share your innermost thoughts and feelings, who can effortlessly have genuine compassion for your dilemmas.  Stick to those friends like a magnet.  Be very good to them and recognize that you are not always easy to get along with.

Let me also suggest this:  when you are extremely upset about something, separate the meaning from the reality.  Notice that there’s a difference between what actually happened and what it meant to you.  Notice that it might mean something entirely different to other people.  Let this liberate you from the compulsion to act on your feelings.  Recognize that most people around you have good intentions most of the time.  If you respond to the intentions rather than the actions, people will generally respond well to you.  The fastest way to get rid of a good friend is to punish them for a clumsy but well-intentioned act.  They’ll be running from you in droves if you do that.

Choose your friends, loves and companions wisely, love them unconditionally and tell them your truth.  This will give you a rock to cling to in life’s many storms.

Find out more about getting a reading
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Birthday Gift for you: 
If your birthday is approaching or recent 
and you want an empowering look at the year ahead, click to
schedule a 
Birthday Reading and receive a free gift with it.

Art by azurylipfe.



Categories: Signs: Scorpio

Of the 3 water signs, one is Cardinal, one is Fixed and one is Mutable.  When a zodiac sign is Cardinal, that means it sends its elemental energy in a directed way.  If it’s Fixed, then it consolidates and contains its elemental energy while the Mutable signs disperse and diffuse their elemental energy.  What does this mean for the 3 water signs, Cancer (Cardinal), Scorpio (Fixed) and Pisces (Mutable)?  Looking at physical symbols for the water signs is an excellent way to understand them and their relationship to each other.

Cancer, The Mountain Spring
Cancer, the Cardinal Water sign is the first to appear in the zodiacal order.  It represents directed water.  This means moving water, symbolized by a mountain spring, born out of the earth, the freshest of waters and the Water sign with the most drive.  Cancer’s Cardinality carries fresh water to ecosystems that need it, nurturing and growing life.

Cancer combines Water’s fluidity with Cardinal motivation, drive and leadership.  Cancer is the water sign with energy and direction.  Cancer has focus in a way the other two do not.  Think of a busy mother (this is, after all, the mother archetype) involved in her energetic nesting activity or think of a fierce mama bear, defending her cubs.  Think of a mother duck, lining up her chicks and leading them to water for the first time.  This sign has force, motivation and purpose to it.

Scorpio, The Lake
Scorpio is the second Water sign and it’s Fixed.  Imagine that Cancer’s mountain spring has flowed downhill and gathered momentum until it’s become a rushing river.  Now imagine all the force of that river dammed into a lake and you have Scorpio.  Another way to think of Scorpio is to look at a glass of water.  It looks placid and still but actually, the contained liquid is exerting a tremendous amount of force on all sides of the glass.  If there’s a crack in the glass anywhere, the water will find it and press through.  That’s Scorpio.

Scorpio combines the fluidity of Water with Fixed strength, solidity and continuity.  Scorpio has amazing staying power, sometimes obsessively so—in fact, Scorpio has the capacity to use obsession and compulsion to its own advantage.  And Scorpio’s tremendous sensitivity, though often experienced as a problem, is actually an advantage because it is the root of Scorpio’s ability to find weaknesses in the enemy or in the problem that can be used to overcome it.

Pisces, The Vast Ocean
All waters eventually lead to the sea. Pisces, the Mutable Water sign, combines fluid Water with flexible, ever-changing Mutability.  Mutable Water is best symbolized by the vast oceans, filled with eddies, currents and tides.  The ocean is ever-changing and always moving, but never moving in a given direction.  In the ocean, change is the constant.  And so it is with Pisces.

Pisces is the only water sign that doesn’t need a shell to protect itself.  Cancer hides in its Crab shell while Scorpio hides behind a cool exterior (occasionally coming out to sting with its Scorpion tail), but Pisces can defend itself while remaining soft.  This is because Pisces is adept at shapeshifting and mimicry.  How can you attack something when you don’t know what it is?  Pisces meets confrontation indirectly (as do all the water signs) and preserves itself by slipperiness and evasion.  Pisces is the ultimate moving target.

Which of these do you resonate with most?  Are you an energetic, bubbling spring, flowing downhill, gathering force as you go?  Or are you a still-waters-run-deep lake, sensitive to all that touches your surface?  Or are you the huge, ever-shifting ocean—permeable and connected to everything, remaining soft and open to experience?

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To have Scorpio rising (i.e. on the Ascendant) in one’s birth chart is an essential dilemma.  Why is that?

The Rising Sign, or Ascendant, represents how you present yourself to the world. If you were a house, your Ascendant would be the front door.  It’s like skin, because it is at once superficial (describing only a surface layer of your personality) yet crucial, (holding you together).  Because the Ascendant is your interface with the world, it shows not only how you let others in, but also how you shut them out, i.e. how you hold your boundaries and defend your perimeter.  It shows how you maintain a sense of self in a world that is constantly presenting you with foreign influences.

Scorpio is a water sign, and as a water sign, it poses certain challenges when it appears as the Ascendant in an individual’s chart.  Water signs do not by nature have very good boundaries.  Water flows into and around things, water connects but does not defend strongly.  Water is sensitive and feels powerfully, thus is prone to being taken advantage of—and taking advantage too.

If you have Scorpio rising, there’s something you should know which you won’t find in astrology books (at least, I’ve never seen it in one), but which I’ve discovered in my twenty-eight years of involvement with astrology, and it is this:  Scorpio is not really the tough-as-nails, James-Bond-like, crusty and pushy sign it’s said to be.  No.  Scorpio is sensitive, tender and feeling.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Scorpio is the most tender and vulnerable sign in the entire zodiac (yes, moreso than Cancer).  But if this is so, why don’t the astrology books say that?  Because they write about Scorpio as experienced from the outside, by people encountering Scorpio in others.  I’m talking about Scorpio as experienced from the inside; I’m talking about what it feels like to be Scorpio.

How do you think Scorpios became so tough and crusty and cynical to begin with?  Because once they were little baby Scorpios and they quickly discovered that the world was too much for them.  They felt everything so intensely and were so passionately drawn into life and love and pleasure and pain that they had to build walls in order to become a person at all instead of a bundle of passions, tossed like a tiny boat at sea.

Every adult Scorpio should take a moment to congratulate himself for building those walls, for creating those boundaries, for becoming a person.  Then, he needs to begin the work of dismantling them.  Why?  Because creating boundaries is only the beginning of the life-work of Scorpio, and because the Scorpionic crusty exterior repels the very thing Scorpio longs for the most.  Scorpio’s fondest dream is to be intimately related to the world, to themselves, and to at least one special other.  Intimacy is the most powerful need Scorpio has.  But intimacy requires vulnerability.  To really connect with another human being, you have to be willing to get hurt.

As a human being matures, she gains emotional skills and learns how to be vulnerable and open to life’s experiences, feeling them without being hurt by them and thus experiencing them more fully.  A truly mature Scorpio rising person has learned to be soft and emotionally available without feeling raw and unprotected, and to connect without behaving like either a victim or a victimizer.  With the development of emotionally intelligent, permeable boundaries, the crusty walls can come down without a loss of selfhood, making intimacy possible.

Intimacy is not the same as symbiosis, a state where one being has taken over and contains the other.  Intimacy is a state of closeness between two independent individuals, a state entered into by choice.  For Scorpio, life is empty without intimacy, but with intimacy, life is interesting, absorbing and compelling.  Intimacy provides a fit stage upon which a Scorpio rising person’s rich inner life, with all its color and feeling, may unfold.  To gain access to true intimacy, not symbiosis, you must learn to possess yourself and not others.

A self-possessed Scorpio rising individual is the most attractive person imaginable.  Any Scorpio riser who does the work of forming healthy (not reactive) boundaries, will become positively irresistible.  I guarantee it.

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Let me tell you a little story about the phoenix.  The phoenix was a mythical bird who built itself a fire, then allowed itself to be consumed by the flames until it died.  It then rose from its own ashes, shining and new.  Fans of Harry Potter will recognize the phoenix because Dumbledore had one named Fawkes.

To be Scorpio is to be a phoenix.  The Scorpio part of us is drawn to experiences which undo us, which destroy us.  This is out of a need to burn away everything that is not truly essential, everything that’s dross, everything that’s not us.  The key is to train this “death urge” (Freud named it “thanatos”) to destroy our negative personality traits and not our most tender heart.

But can you take conscious control of this ability?  Can you die on purpose?  Can you hold onto what is essential and be reborn?  Can you, with the courage of the phoenix, build your own funeral fire, climb into the flames and endure the pain of your own destruction—on purpose?  Can you let yourself be burned down to nothing, trusting that there is something in you so essential that it will continue beyond death?  The phoenix offers knowledge of that essence.

Tired of being drawn again and again into the same kind of bad relationship, dead-end job, addictive downward spiral?  Scorpio says, “if you’re falling, dive!”  Maybe you haven’t really felt all there is to feel there.  Maybe the pleasure still outweighs the pain.  Maybe you’re dampening the pain with transitory pleasure.  Do you need yet more pain before you will allow the thing to be burned away?  Then get it.  If you don’t reach for it on purpose, it will come to you when you least expect it.

Pretending you’re a victim of the process only slows it down.  For Scorpio, sometimes the only way out is through.  Embrace the pain, clasp it to your heart, feel every mote of it.  Let the sobs rack you at midnight.  Let it burn you until only what is essential is left.  Then see yourself, reborn, shiny, new, as if for the first time.  That’s the gift, hard-won, of Scorpio.

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There’s a new James Bond movie coming out next week (Quantum of Solace), which reminds me how very much James Bond exemplifies the nature of the sign Scorpio, which happens to be the sign we’re in right now (kudos to the movie studio for their timing).

In what ways does Scorpio resemble James Bond?  To begin with, Scorpio, like Bond, has a reputation for being sexy.  Bond is a seducer, a womanizer who can control others—or be controlled by others—via sexual passion.  Bond radiates masculine magnetism.  An emphasis on Scorpio in a person’s chart can cause them to radiate sexuality in a similar way.  Hopefully most individuals are more intimate in their sexual expression than Bond is.

Scorpio is also highly intuitive, sometimes in ways that are startling.  Scorpio’s brand of intuition is sharp, incisive and not easily tracked.  Bond, like Scorpio, has a particular talent for reading the motivations and desires of the people around him.  Scorpio has the instincts of a spy, a person who must always be hyper-aware of his surroundings and the possible presence or actions of the enemy.  If this sounds like paranoia, that’s because it sometimes is—to the detriment of Scorpio individuals who become overly preoccupied with the responses of other people, even to the point of obsession.

Scorpio, like Bond, has passions that run very hot and very cold, with not a lot in between.  I’m reminded of Billy Joel’s lyrics: “darling, I don’t know why I go to extremes.  Too high and too low, there ain’t no in between.”  Joel is an honorary Scorpio, having Pluto (Scorpio’s ruler) squared his Taurus Sun.  And if he doesn’t know why he goes to extremes, it’s probably because no astrologer ever told him to read the Scorpio section in addition to the Taurus one.

But back to James Bond.  Scorpio, like Bond, can be sneaky, secretive and private.  That also goes along with being a spy.  In fact, the Scorpio in us sometimes likes being sneaky for its own sake, purely because it’s fun.  And sometimes just because we feel we have something to hide or protect.

And finally Scorpio, like Bond, we suspect is soft on the inside, but hard on the outside.  This is part of the fascination.  When we see hints of vulnerability or emotion behind that armored exterior, we are intrigued.  We want to know more.  This is why Scorpio is so seductive.

But what is actually going on behind these rumored traits?  What is behind the spy’s mask?  What is it like to be Scorpio?  More on this in my next post.

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Astrology blogger since 2007

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