In astrology, Scorpio is associated with crisis response. It’s the sign that helps us access our emotional courage so we can move toward what is scary, ideally to facilitate a healing transformation. Many clients I’ve worked with who have strong Scorpio energy in their charts are activists, therapists, social workers, acupuncturists, death doulas, and one even worked in municipal waste management. Scorpio moves towards what we as a culture don’t want to see — oppression, ecological disaster, pain, illness, trauma, death, shit. The goal is to understand what help we can bring, and to witness and grieve what we cannot help. As a water sign, Scorpio values emotional intelligence. If we’re going to heal, we need to feel. And feeling can sometimes be unbearable.
As we move into this Scorpio season the crisis that is most on my mind and that I can’t escape in my dreams or in the news or on social media is the one in Israel and Gaza. It is rippling out into my communities, grief and pain and fear polarizing people in support of only Israelis or only Palestinians, as though we cannot hold the full humanity of everyone affected. The highest goal of Scorpio is to be able to face what is monstrous in ourselves — the ways we dehumanize others, the ways we perpetuate harm or oppression. In facing our own most dangerous qualities, we have the opportunity to disarm them with care and skill. The shadow side of Scorpio is the need to control, dominate, and retaliate when hurt or scared. In the years I’ve studied conflict work, it is the need to be right and to take revenge that has most interfered with restorative justice. I have no political vision for solving this crisis, but I know that each of us has the capacity to be foregrounding care for the larger whole. As a Jew, I know my liberation is bound up with the liberation of Palestinians. I stand with calls for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation, while knowing both are just initial steps towards real restorative justice. And my grief right now is for all of us.
Scorpio shows us what we, as a culture, don’t want to see. When we don’t have the space or support to emotionally process this, we can easily leap toward the need to be right, to know what to do, to feel that whatever actions we take are justified. I’m taking the actions that feel ethical and important in this moment, but I’m also taking the time I need to process what I’m feeling and have discernment before I act.
We are still in eclipse season until the Scorpio New Moon on November 13th, so remember that your feelings, all of our feelings, are heightened right now and our fear responses are turned up high. When we are gripped by fear, empathy is hard to muster. As much as possible, I encourage you to find spaces to feel your feelings and come back to a place of empathic discernment this month. This doesn’t mean that I’m counseling passivity or a lack of resistance to injustice. You may act in ways that are disruptive, that have high stakes for you and others, but I hope you do this from a place of care rather than fear.
My books are open for new and returning clients this month, so get in touch. For a day-by-day highlight of all the astrology of this month you can join me on Patreon for only $2 a month. I’m also intermittently on Instagram and hard at work finishing the guidebook for our upcoming oracle deck, Wild Chorus.
Find the courage to let things change. You’re good at making changes when you need to, but not always as ready to witness and participate in processes of change you didn’t initiate. This month is a good time to notice what’s different, what’s over, what’s ending, and what’s in the process of beginning. Just make sure you don’t jump over all those other parts to get to the new beginning.
Find the courage to encounter difference without shutting down your heart. Notice what level of difference you can accommodate right now — if you’re feeling scared or angry you may have lower tolerance than usual. Reach for what feels like a growth edge, but not a traumatic challenge. Practice empathy the way you’d practice lifting weights: a little bit every day, gradually increasing the challenge. And remember that empathy isn’t passivity, isn’t taking on someone else’s values, isn’t excusing or justifying their actions. Empathy is merely honoring our shared humanity, our shared capacity for love and pain.
Find the courage to do what’s needed. Stress often presses on you to distract yourself, which can be a useful strategy for self-soothing until it becomes its own kind of trap. Notice when you’re at capacity and need to tap out, but also notice when you need to re-engage. Showing up for small, humble, useful actions is where it’s at right now. No need to spin out into all possible futures, or the biggest, grandest gesture.
Find the courage to talk about how you’re feeling. It may feel easier most days to have your feelings alone, or with just the one or two people you usually reach to for support. But this Scorpio season is pushing you into greater self-expression. This can seem intimidating, but it may also expand your networks of mutual care. Seek out people and places that are organized around shared grief, and bring what is true for you.
Find the courage to feel your vulnerability. Notice where you get self-protective, and if what you’re reaching for to protect yourself is actually doing the job. Allow times of retreat and downtime. Find sanctuary. Find your courage to act from the recognition that you, and all of us, deserve safety.
Find the courage to speak your truth. Even if it’s only in your journal or to your therapist, there are things you’ve been afraid to say that need to be said. Because speaking publicly right now can feel high stakes, remember that you don’t need to have the widest platform or the hottest take. Start talking in a context where it’s okay to make mistakes and be messy (i.e., not on social media). Let yourself learn as you go. Just begin somewhere.
Find the courage to prioritize being well-resourced. Know what enough means for you, whether it’s enough time, connection, money, food, knowledge. Know when you have enough to share. You are often quick to over-identify with another’s needs over your own. Remember that sustainable mutual aid requires you to also receive.
Find the courage to know yourself. Know what you love and value. Know what you fear, and how you respond when you’re scared. Know what you’re capable of. Know your history. Know your capacity. Know your needs. Know your boundaries. Know how you feel and how you care for those feelings. Know that you are lovable and worthy in all your complexity. Offer that same love to other messy humans (with whatever boundaries you need in place).
Find the courage to not know what to do. You like to believe that your politics, your tactics, and your understanding of complex issues are all impeccably correct. There’s a “if only everyone else could understand what I do” kind of despair that may arise when you see people making terrible choices. This month, foreground the profound mystery that is other people and how we manage our differences. Acknowledge and honor the parts of you that you don’t understand, can’t name, that are mysterious and beneath the surface. Allow uncertainty a place on your altar.
Find the courage to be a part of the larger whole. A part of you likes to hang back, assessing and critiquing. That assessment and critique are necessary, but bring them where they can do some good. You are often more comfortable working solo if you can’t guarantee that everyone around you is equally competent — find a way to be part of something larger than yourself right now without taking on more work than your own, and without needing everyone else to have your skills.
Find the courage to be who you are in public. This may be high risk, so be thoughtful and strategic as you do so. Choose your words, choose your audience, have a specific goal in mind. Have an aftercare plan. Your values around collectivity are especially needed right now, and there’s a perspective only you can bring to the people who are paying attention to you.
Find the courage to learn more. What’s happening globally, locally, interpersonally, even within you — it’s all more complex than it appears at first glance. Prioritize thought and research. Seek out dissenting opinions. Make room for nuance and complexity. Take time to understand what you can, and recognize what you don’t yet understand.