For those of us who believe, practice and wonder at real magic, the First Full Moon before Halloween is a favorite time of year. The Sun is in Scorpio, hastening our understanding around the great mysteries of life – among them sex, death and change. How do the dark arts relate to these three? In a word: mystery. And how do we respond to mystery? We fear. We desire. In the case of death, we outright object, even reject. Mystery inspires awe, as it should. In the realm of Scorpio, the small “I” or the ego loses ground. There’s no avoiding darkness in life.
The alchemical transformation occurs during all these processes is invisible, spiritually transformative…and inevitable. We can’t explain the emotional exchange that occurs between lovers, how a night of physical passion can heal week long wounds. Or that the dark spectre of death, the collective fear and pain bound up around the act of dying is actually so different from the reality, as those who have had a near-death experience live to tell a beautiful experience, full of love and healing. And change, we fight it, we want it and we fight it, and then it happens as if overnight – but not really, it was happening all along.
We’re held culturally rapt by the big three. How many more movies will we make about sex, death and transformation? Oh, can you say tons?Beautiful and romantic ones, terrifying and ugly ones, we face the extremes of our own ambivalence toward power we’re compelled to understand. That’s what Scorpio does: peer into the mystery, the dark and misunderstood parts of our self – and rescues it from all the confusion. We don’t even need to go to a theater: we each play our personal horror movies, in relationship, at work, with family. Because Scorpio not only holds world mysteries, it holds our hidden mysteries, the pieces of who we are that for various reasons we keep hidden, under lock and key. Like a beautiful and innocent princess banished to the Tower, some piece of everyone’s golden power has been hidden. But Scorpio holds that, too. Sun in Scorpio is here to help us rescue the innocent princess (or prince) from the tyranny of a misunderstood shadow.
I’ve heard the shadow described as many things, but the one that’s stuck with me is this: we were born with it. Since birth, we began witnessing emotions, just kind of floating around in the atmosphere, that maturity prevented from allowing us to cope with or understand (shame, fear, guilt, anger). As teenagers, we had passions far more sophisticated and complex than we could hold, too. Our psyche resembled a person holding too many groceries, not enough hands. We began dropping the packages, and the shadow’s job was to pick them up, dragging them in a black velvet bag behind. In other words, the shadow picks up your litter (and other people’s) and holds it until you’re ready to deal.
When we are ready to process the misunderstood “litter” (instead of project, blame, shame etc., name your demon…) the shadow returns beautiful gifts. Maybe you’ve had the experience of feeling victimized or trapped in a defeating response, and after shining some light into that darkness in your soul, you learned that it was set in place long ago. Instead of believing you’re an inherently flawed or “bad” person (or they are) you decide to look at it from a different angle. Instead of fighting it, you do the soul work of unraveling the shadow. It takes research, sometimes the deeper the truth/gift, the more time needs to be spent sweetly interrogating the shadow: “yeah, I know you’re ugly angry but what do you really feel?” Maybe you read the feedback of your neighbor. Whatever you do, you go deep into your uncomfortable emotion, see it as energy, then see that at the root of your anger/hostility/fear is beauty and compassion. Passion/compassion is the shadow’s paradox. And ultimately, when you realize you misunderstood the whole story, you get your passion and compassion back. “Hey, even though I don’t like this about myself, maybe I’m not that bad after all (and neither are they).” Then you wonder why the misunderstanding in the first place? You had to be kept from your beauty, power and strength until you were mature enough to handle your shadow work responsibly. That’s the transformation.
This Full Moon in Taurus shines an appreciative love light on the shadow. With loving tenderness, and a healthy respect for the beauty and power of peering into the darkness, we can transform our ghosts and goblins into spiritual gifts. As Scorpio Sun is researcher extraordinaire, this might require research into the darker corners of our life experience. With Mercury still retrograde, now backed up into Libra, this research may come through our partners – our intimates are the familiar faces we’ve missed, holding the missing mirror to our dark beauty. Partnership is Libran, and we’re in this shadow work together. Seeing your own reflection in the eyes of another deepens self-knowledge. Someone once said intimacy is really into-me-I-see. I love that. To hasten your Taurus Full Moon transformation, the one you’ve been waiting your whole life for, reach into the mystery of you and trust the process.