The butterflies in your stomach before you go on stage. That feeling of anticipation right before you move cross-country, away from all you’ve known. The creative mania of those last days before you’re married. The day of your college SAT exam, nerves wracked and palms sweaty. The feeling in the pit of your gut as you wait for news that will ultimately change your life.

Welcome Scorpio energy. Scorpio is edgy. It is the raw, alive, stuff of life. It holds the visceral feeling of a high-stakes risk. With Scorpio, courage, in the face of fear, is implied. Scorpio charges the core fear we all face: our own death, and with that singular knowledge about our mortality we are released into our aliveness. So Scorpio plunges ahead. A high school boy asks out the girl he’s been crushing on for ages and, of course, he’s mortified by the act. The root word of mortified is “mors”, Latin for death. On questions involving psychological humiliation, big losses and equally big growth and rewards, Death always rides shotgun.

I spent a full year working with an EFT practitioner to help me face my fear of public speaking (which many fear more than death), but the spell didn’t actually break until I walked through this fire, in front of a video camera with no script, in a room full of strangers, for 7 minutes. My worst fear was happening. I was, for the first time ever, speechless. I could not only feel but I could see my own sweat dripping down onto the floor. The butterflies in my gut must’ve been competing for an Olympic medal.  I was humiliated. I felt like I was dying. And I was finally free. I cried all the way home, then woke up in the morning feeling brand new. As weeks and public interactions passed, I kept expecting the old acid taste in my throat and knot in my gut to creep back in. It didn’t. Instead, a new resolve had surfaced. I decided I cared more about taking care of myself than this fear — which had been so exhausting! Scorpio transformations are like this. You walk on that trigger edge to earn your stars and stripes. You pay for truth and wholeness, in blood, sweat and tears.

This Full Moon squares Jupiter in Leo, planet of possibility in the sign of speculation. Opportunity and adventure knock – though it may require nerves of steel. Are you in an edgy moment that has really high stakes for you? You’re having a Scorpio Full Moon moment. You could gamble away your fortune and life savings, or increase it tenfold. Your expedited passport request could arrive in time to make your overseas flight- or it may not, costing you thousands of dollars and lost time (true story). You could win the girl. Your pet may lose a battle with cancer (sadly, also a true story). Jupiter’s goal is to grant freedom into greater, greener pastures and death offers this, too. Sometimes we just don’t like his strategy.

As Jupiter straddles this full moon axis, a pivotal question is: What do you want right now? Fame? Success? Glory? Freedom? I have a friend whose dream is to be offered a yurt on a piece of land. She visualized and prayed on this and was recently offered exactly what she wished for. But it’s in France, her home is in the U.S., and she doesn’t want to uproot her life. Sometimes when the benevolent Universe answers our prayers, we have to adjust our expectations to them…and sometimes a greater freedom comes from saying no to a perfectly good offer that may’ve fit the person you used to be but doesn’t fit the person you are today.

By the light of the Scorpio Full Moon, and by the skin of our teeth, we are getting to know our truest desires. We are leaving old, fear-based patterns behind. We are taking risks, and that feels risky. We are transforming. Like butterflies. In honor of Buddha’s Enlightenment, which was said to have occurred at this Full Moon, a prayer: May you be free from suffering. May you experience good fortune. May you be happy. May you be loved. May you be free.