Note: Astrology forecasts are inevitably generalized because they can’t account for each individual’s birth chart and how it interfaces with the current planetary positions. This post focuses primarily on the new Moon. Each week, Modern Witch creator Devin Hunter writes a magical astrology forecast for the week as a whole that I encourage you to check out! Also, this post refers to the pure, archetypal forms of the zodiac signs, not what we see in actual people, who each have complex birth charts.
On Sunday, October 27 at 8:38 p.m. PST, the new Moon in Scorpio will rise. New Moons occur when the Sun and Moon conjoin, occupying the same degree of an astrological sign. In a nutshell, this means that our core identity (Sun) and emotions and feelings (Moon), align. They communicate fluently and provide us with greater clarity about ourselves. As the Moon begins a new cycle, we’re invited to start one too, and new Moons are known accordingly as times of initiation and intention-setting. They’re also powerful opportunities for breaking unhealthy patterns and exploring our shadow, which is more perceptible under a sky lit only by stars. Shadow work is particularly relevant on this New Moon as we’re entering the season of Scorpio, the sign most associated with it.
The Dark is Rising
Scorpio season, the time when the Sun is in Scorpio, begins on the 23rd. With the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and soon, Mars, all in Scorpio, a Scorpionic mist hangs about our lives. Decorations of death and occultism abound, and nature is palpably darkening. There’s a texture in the air of something active just beyond the veil, and that Samhain is near. Paralleling Persephone’s annual descent, we’re called to enter the Underworld within, the soil of our being, to do what can only be done in darkness.
Scorpio is the fixed water sign (each element has three phases in Astrology: cardinal, fixed, and mutable). Fixed signs are steadfast, stubborn, persistent, and strong-willed, and Scorpio embodies these qualities. Water signs are home to emotion, intuition, psychic ability, and instinct, though they manifest these things differently. Scorpio is the water of glaciers, wells, and the deep ocean beyond the reach of the Sun. In its highest manifestation, Scorpio is a sign of truth-telling, skin-shedding, transformation, regeneration, and owning our entire being: light and shadow. It has no interest in superficiality or hiding.
Ruled by Pluto (in Classical Astrology, Mars), the planet that unrelentingly seeks truth at the expense of comfort, Scorpio unlocks the closets we keep our skeletons in, and Scorpio season can place what we usually avoid or deny in our face, demanding that we claim it or suffer for resisting doing so. There’s a famous Zen Proverb, “Let go or be dragged,” which may as well come directly from Pluto. The best way I know to navigate this is to recognize that ultimately, what terrifies us from our shadow is the parts of ourselves and our history we struggle with, the actions we regret, and the aspects of life we fear. Centering ourselves and bringing these matters to consciousness while applying mindfulness, wisdom, and compassion can provide relief, especially with consistent practice (and we can pace ourselves in this work). Scorpio season challenges us to integrate all of what we are, and in doing that, become freer.
Scorpio is also known for being suspicious, even paranoid, which extends from the sign’s innate ability to see through falsehood. Scorpio won’t tolerate deception, and it’s harder for us to tolerate it within ourselves (and otherwise) during the Scorpio season. One of the shadow sides of Scorpio is cynicism because in seeing through social masks and comforting illusions, Scorpio must grapple with disturbing truths: people can be profoundly selfish. Violence surrounds us. Nature is magnificent, but also deadly, cruel, and unforgiving. Many of us care little about the suffering of others as long as our wants and needs are largely met. On the wave of this realization, Scorpio can become misanthropic and vengeful.
The answer to this isn’t to argue against these assessments, but to continue the Plutonian journey of truth-seeking. Underneath the selfishness and cruelty of the human ego is the crystalline structure of the soul, and beyond that, the undiluted spirit common to all things. If Scorpio can just keep going, it will experience the alchemical flowering of consciousness. Mature Scorpio composts what it finds in its shadow and creates fertile soil for the growth of others, whether directly as a teacher or indirectly by lived example.
On a lighter note (not really, no such thing with Scorpio!), Scorpio is tied with Taurus for being the most sexual sign, and that’s also available to us during Scorpio season. Where Taurus seeks sensual rapture, Scorpio wants to experience cosmic consciousness. It craves orgasms, whether solo or with partners, that take minutes to recover from, where “Oh, God!” isn’t just something we cry out because of social convention. With others, Scorpio seeks nakedness on every level, and in that vulnerability and connection, to make such passionate love that all sense of separation from the divine dissolves.
Otherwise, though Scorpio can be highly possessive, the Scorpio season is often a time of purging. We have an opportunity to clarify what is and isn’t serving us, and to let things go or change them accordingly. Much like the Hindu deities Shiva and Kali, Pluto can destroy or create (or create through destruction), and when we align with Scorpio season, we shed skins to regenerate as deeper, fuller beings.
Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio
Otherwise, Mercury Retrograde begins on Samhain, lasting for three weeks (and depending on your beliefs, about two-and-a-half weeks beyond that when it’s in its shadow period). Mercury Retrograde is infamous for computer malfunctions, communication errors, brain fog, and misunderstandings. It’s also an opportunity for reflection. When planets move retrograde, their energies turn inward. With Mercury, this can mean exploring how we communicate and our prevailing ideas about things (it’s a good time to edit projects too). Since Mercury is in Scorpio, this will be a shadowy retrograde that facilitates the truth-seeking Scorpio season is known for.
I primarily think of Mercury Retrograde as an awareness practice, and paying closer attention to things can sidestep most of its challenges. My main recommendations for that are to: think before speaking, choose words carefully, triple-check things, back up electronics daily, and write all important things down. Mercury Retrograde is not the apocalypse, though it can be calamitous if we impose that mindset on ourselves or don’t pay sufficient attention to what we’re doing.
This New Moon, consider setting intentions and journeying into your shadow. For those of you who enjoy Tarot, here’s a Scorpio new Moon spread:
- Card One: what am I avoiding that I should look at?
- Card Two: where am I being dishonest with myself?
- Card Three: how can I better integrate my shadow?
- Card Four: what can aid me in bearing fear and grief?
- Card Five: where would it be beneficial for me to set an intention?
If you enjoyed this post, please consider learning about my forthcoming book, The Little Work: Magic to Transform Your Everyday Life, due from Llewellyn Worldwide in March.