all saints in swedenIn tune with Scorpio season, darkness is descending on Stockholm. As the Sun begins to set around 3 PM, and dark by 4PM, the sky will consecutively darken and by February the Sun will only make a 2-hour appearance. It is the perfect environment for skulking through the gorgeous graveyards inhabited by glamorous dead people like Greta Garbo, and for writing crime and mystery novels. Today is All Saint’s Day (November 1) where candles are lit for ancestor’s graveyards. Endless night, combined with the fact that expressing extreme emotion (including celebrating or drawing attention to oneself) is socially discouraged, I understand why Scandinavian mystery, murder and mayhem novelists find it so easy to take darkness to a whole new level.

Into our lives, Scorpio arrives and shadows of the dark season play tricks on eyes and hearts. The person who cut us off in traffic…the unreturned call…an unwanted reality…a disagreement… becomes charged with emotional intensity that threatens to spin out into a full-scale emotional drama. Why? It’s the season for honestly facing what we do not want to face in our Self. What’s unhealed? What still hurts? Where are we holding onto old hurt? Ancient wounds are being triggered, including that bevy of Scorpionic/Pluto hurts that hold a special place in Hell: abandonment fears, jealousy, resentment, rage, violation, unforgiven-ness and when these are unleashed, hold onto your hats and hearts. No one is safe.

vintage halloweenDuring Scorpio season (or a Pluto transit), circumstances and people can trigger remembrances of our most hurt times, which awakens the wounded animal inside.  The story starts innocently enough, with something like this: the soft animal inside me is hurt. No one is helping, no one understands. I’m lost, alone, and abandoned by those I thought loved me. And the animal must be fed.

We can choose what to feed it. Pain is either perpetuated or healed, depending on our response. The animal inside is instinctual. It can believe that the only way it will get heard is if it screams, attacks, blames, harangues and makes other people wrong. Unfortunately, I’m too familiar with being on the receiving end of this pattern – which triggers the animal inside of me, who fears being re-wounded by other people’s unhealed wounds.  Over the years I’ve I’ve used many strategies, from verbally defending myself to forgiveness practices that involve sending unconditional love and understanding for the pain the other is obviously feeling -if I’m able. Sometimes I can only muster a prayer.

These painful encounters with another’s animal are always an opportunity to acknowledge and love and heal the wounded animal inside me – the one that is hurting, for different reasons, but hurting just as much as they are. I do this through going directly to the source and journaling about the original source of the wound, self-care practices, and talking lovingly to myself about how good I’m doing and reminding myself of all the empowering, positive choices and actions I’ve made and continue to take. That last step is crucial for me: it helps me to become present to myself. In a nutshell: I parent myself. 

I also recognise that it’s not my role to heal, make better or even love up another person when their animal is provoked. Fear won’t recognise love; all of your actions and words will always be made wrong by fear. I have also learned to love myself enough to honour my own need for boundaries, safety and protection. I will delete inflammatory emails, take space, and create safety for myself. Just as you wouldn’t offer your hand to a wild-eyed dog, it can be dangerous to engage when someone is in that unreliable, groundless space where things are said that cannot be unsaid, boundaries are fuzzy, and pain easily perpetuates itself.

When I take these measures, the healing acceptance I feel eventually, naturally outflows to those who around me. And if they cannot feel it, that’s okay, too. They’re not ready. Ultimately, it is each individual’s responsibility to heal his or her own wounds, to rebuild whatever it was that was broken – that’s what it means to be an adult. Saturn in Scorpio empowers the maturity, clarity, boundaries and wisdom we need to take control of our own transformative and healing processes; we need to lose the expectation that someone will care for us in the way that our parents, ex-lover, ex-partner didn’t do for us and instead do that for our self. With enough trust building, safety and love, intimate partners and therapists can help heal this, too.

It’s Scorpio season. Remembrances of violations past are arising. Grudges are within arm’s reach. It’s hard to repress dark feelings, and hard to forgive. The hurt animal awakens when we encounter people whose wounds hook neatly into our own wounds. We may cast them in the spooky role of the original perpetrator, as: The Source Of All Pain. But as adults who have paid blood and tears for our wisdom and happiness, we have a choice: we can feed the animal of our own heart more pain -or we can feed the animal inside with acceptance and love. We can stop the pattern from perpetuating, and there’s no better time to release toxic habitual emotional patterns and create a new outcome than this transformative Scorpio New Moon Eclipse.