scorpio 2008

MARS, YOUR MAIN SQUEEZE planet, does not go retrograde so often, but when it does it really goes for it. The process works itself out for six months every two years and as of January we're in the late-middle phase. This time around, Mars is working its way over the Gemini-Cancer line, a total of three times. It has done so twice and as of this writing, Mars is slowly moving backwards through Gemini.

This is not the only transition in your life or in your chart. As you have read elsewhere, Pluto, your other ruling planet, is in the process of one of its extremely rare sign changes, from Sagittarius to Capricorn. This is a big change for everyone, but it's a particularly big change for you. So get ready for the ride of your life. Don't hold on tight -- just let go and see where you end up. Where you have opportunities to make decisions, they will be pretty obvious.

An Alternate Reality

Suffice it to say that you are not quite yourself at the moment, or rather you are experimenting with some alternative versions of self that are making you question your ways, and the ways of others. I see you in one of those sci-fi episodes where you are suddenly introduced to another aspect of yourself or the world that you didn't know existed, or odder yet, that you forgot existed.

I'm trying to think of a visceral example for this that does not involve a mind-altering substance, because they have an unusual way of pulling back the veil. But I can't think of one that would be common enough to relate to. You're sitting in a room and suddenly you're in a different place -- a completely different place. Same chair, but the feeling is entirely new, the light has changed, the faces look just slightly unfamiliar and the feeling is different and somehow you are different. It feels distinctly real, and you wonder where it was a moment ago, now that it's suddenly there.

What is this room? Is it your sensorium? Your whole psyche? Is it the space of your relationships? Is it your view of your life? Is it literally a different geographic place where you never expected to be? For sure, it's one important place where your encounters with others occur -- it's a shared space in any event, not a solitary one. You are not alone. You may be wondering if others around you feel the shift, if they can sense your perception or if they have any sense of the understanding that you have.

It might be altogether different if you didn't have the distinct sense that how you feel has the power to change reality for others, in particular by your questioning the depth of a commitment or wondering if you did not have yourself all wrong -- or someone else all wrong.

What is more likely is that your perception of your circumstances is altering, and others are either not noticing, or have consciously extended consent for you to feel what you feel. You have more freedom than you think, particularly if the most significant thing on your mind is being present for your own feelings and your experience of life in a conscious way. You will not rip the fabric of reality by your perceptions alone. However, what I suggest you hold off on is committing to your doubts.

Notice them, respect them, be with them, but you don't need to announce them. What would be more prudent would be asking how others feel any time you want. This does two things: first and most significantly, it is relational. Enquiring about how someone feels is an act of companionship. Second, it allows you to reality-check. You can be certain enough that the perceptions of others will provide you with vital information that you can use to size up your situation and make your choices.

When a planet is retrograde, it's a smart idea not to make firm commitments that could shape your life. Rather, leave the possibilities open. Mars stations direct relatively early in the year (the end of January) but there is sufficiently intense activity all through February as the retrograde works out (in forward motion, this time) that you might want to coast for a while and make decisions as late as possible. This is particularly true if you are feeling fear in any form.

The most helpful thing when you're feeling fear is usually information. And the longer you wait, particularly through February, the more information you will have and the better your decisions will be.

Part of the drama you're experiencing or about to experience involves the sign change of Pluto from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Pluto is your planet too, who you met later along the journey of your incarnations. Pluto is about to take root in Capricorn, which I am certain you will find comes as an enormous relief. You get to cool down (but not too cool, because Capricorn is a vibrant energy, full of initiative). You get to apply your ideas, you get to change your ideas and best of all, you get to focus and explore the impact that you have on the world by way of your thoughts.

That may not seem too encouraging now, when your thoughts consist of at least 50% doubts and you are concerned that those doubts will impact others. You can relax and give yourself freedom to think and feel whatever you need to think or feel.

By way of a second introduction, I will add this. Scorpio is one of the most complex signs in the zodiac. You have no doubt noticed this. You are extremely dynamic and energetic and at the same time one of the most deeply introverted people around. Pluto's journey through Sagittarius has pushed, pulled, stretched and dragged you out of your scorpion shell.

While you may not have appreciated this at the time, you are a freer, more independent person as a result of this transition -- and you are prepared for the next long phase of your journey, which involves working out a new relationship with your life mission, with your profession and with your culture. In essence, you are being invited or compelled to participate in a deeper way. The confidence you have gained in recent years will help you -- no matter what insecurities you may be feeling now.

The Inner Couple

RELATIONSHIPS are about agreements, and they are about the agreements we have with ourselves. Sexual encounters, which often lead to relationships, are also about agreements, though this is usually less conscious.

With your ruling planet Mars retrograding toward or into Gemini as of this writing in December 2007, you have a story about a major inquiry into the nature of your agreements with others. At the same time, you're under the influence of one of the small worlds in this same house (your 8th house, that of contracts, shared resources and erotic surrender) -- that being Chaos, named for one of the prime Greek creation deities.

Human consciousness often seems to be trapped in dualism. It's so pervasive we don't often see it: a world of "us and them" and of separate interests. Chaos, an important new discovery now in Gemini, is doing a questioning for you. Gemini is one of your relationship houses.

Chaos here is blurring the usual boundaries between self and other, between us and them, and between the divided elements of self that exist within us. This is necessary for any truly creative process to take part in our relationships. This is because we have an inner couple within ourselves, two parts that are either fighting, hiding, or playing. Being conscious of how this inner dynamic occurs is a good start toward perceiving its reflection on the outside. Too often, our relationships crystallize into robotic patterns, as if this inner relationship was static and preordered. This in turn precludes nearly any possibility for something original or daring to happen.

What we need to do is get that inner dance going; we need to disorder the established order of our inner couple relationship and get the energy moving. The relationship becomes static under several circumstances, which are easy enough to understand. For example, we might become overly identified with our concept of what it means to be a man or a woman, and lose awareness that we possess attributes of both. We might get stuck with an idea one or both of our parents had about us, and forget that we create ourselves as we go.

You need a measure of unpredictability, and you need it badly. This is in part because there has been so much unmitigated discovery in your own life in recent years, which carries into the present time. All that momentum has to go someplace. Scorpio has been under the very intense influence of the extremely restless sign Sagittarius, due to Pluto's presence there. Much other in this sign has recently dragged you through the most profound period of self-questioning of your life. While that focus is finally cooling off, and you seem ready to write the book about what happened, you still have plenty of fuel for self-exploration, and indeed such a habit, once cultivated, will not go away easily.

Though it may be difficult at times, the best you can hope for is for the people close to you to be equally in a state of flux, willing to dive into the unknown and most of all, willing to explore both (or all four, or all eight) sides of their nature as you investigate your own. A good time to review the commitments made and the values they responded to.

Scorpios are known for their controlling attitudes in relationships. Whether this is true or not, that is the reputation of your sign, and I have seen that there is at least an element of truth to this. The other side of this equation is that many Scorpios are conscious of this tendency and do whatever they can to go the other direction, and this often results in a kind of overcompensation. You can turn into a people-pleaser. The movement of Mars through Gemini, as well as Pluto, your other ruling planet changing signs to Capricorn, suggests a profound phase of reevaluation, and I would like to offer some thoughts where sex and relating are concerned.

I have a term I use, to describe a common state of relationship: 'gunpoint monogamy'. That is, monogamy at the point of a gun. If you 'cheat' (have sex with someone else), you're out. Monogamy, or the idea of it, is like the gag reflex: it's not what you would call intellectually based. There is logic to it, but it's emotional and usually based on primal fear. Jealousy is an emotion so strong that few people question its validity. If something feels that strong, it must be true. To question jealousy is, for many people, something that goes entirely against their intuition.

I personally do not believe that most people are actually monogamous -- so in my book of life, I give everyone room to stray. No matter how much you love someone, there are times you just have to fuck someone else, and there are many people we love. This is true for men and women both.

At the same time, we often have to deal with our partners cheating, or the expectation that they will. My solution to cheating is to change the rules. Then there's a new rule -- total disclosure. In that case, cheating, rather than being about fucking, loving or wanting someone else, would become not talking about it. It's a new standard for integrity, and it's meaningful because the communication that this facilitates brings us closer together.

Doing this takes adjustment, and it takes questioning values we were taught (or had rammed down our throats) as children. Jealousy is intense for a lot of people, often too intense to bear and avoided at any cost; and it masks a world of other insecurities that have nothing to do with relationships; fear of abandonment, rejection, comparison and competition, shame, to name a few. When we put jealousy onto the table as a negotiable discussion point, it loses some or most of its power. To do this takes work -- real commitment, to communication, not just to the concept of monogamy. And it requires a commitment to the energy of sharing. We often forget that an "exclusive" relationship means that we exclude. How do we reckon this with our profound need to be included? Do you ever think that the world would be a less lonely place if everyone were not so intent on excluding as a way of life?

Humans must be given the space to be free, and that includes ourselves. We are often reluctant to take any freedom, fearing that it will alienate others, shake them up, compel them to leave us and thus leave us out in the cold.

Then we may fear that others will cheat. However, I assure you that people are less likely to 'cheat' if integrity has a more complex and sensitive definition. I think it's incredibly important not to take the moral high ground of monogamy. Not only do the tables turn in physical reality (the roles reverse; we blink our eyes, and end up on the other side of the discussion), most people would never reveal what they are thinking the last 10 seconds before they orgasm alone.

You cannot control anyone, but you can set the stage for fidelity by allowing people to be fidelitous to their own nature. You can live with the assurance of conscious agreements, rather than unspoken ones. With someone new, you have to find out what they are about. With someone you've been with a while, you are likely to be making many significant discoveries about them now.

I suggest that you both go out of your way to be especially open now about your past history, your fantasies, your masturbation, and what you want now and what you think you may want in the future. I assure you that your openness will make your relationship hotter, sexier and more emotionally intimate -- or it will reveal that there was not much of a relationship after all. Either way, you will come out ahead.

Remember: passion is an expression of freedom. You cannot catch love in a jar. It dies unless it is free and allowed to be itself. I think that fidelity, as in living the truth, stands a lot better chance of happening in an environment where the truth is made welcome at any other cost.

Your Resources and Your Money

One effect of Mars retrograde is questioning your financial commitments and arrangements with others. This is a perfect time to do it. You have lived through a decade-plus of Pluto in Sagittarius, and that has come with a potent blast of learning to be self-sufficient. You have gained some real independence financially and also ideologically.

In other words, it's fair to say that at this point in your life, you live based on your own values and are far less influenced by those of others, or at least others who you just don't agree with. You can choose your influences; you can choose who to play with; you can choose who to share your resources, your money and your body with. This power of choosing emphasizes that in order to share, you need to choose consciously.

One thing I trust you have learned during this phase is that you have to make your money in ways that are in affinity with your spiritual values. This isĀ another way of saying you know beyond all doubt that you need to have the same values all seven days of the week. If you are vaguely unhappy at work, ask yourself how the business makes its money, and why it makes its money. Do you actually agree with what happens? If you don't, you might want to reconsider what you're doing.

In truth you have the potential to be a lot wealthier than you are currently, and that transition can happen fast. You need to follow your curiosity to get there, but another level of economic success is available to you right now. Based on the structure of your solar chart, this should be absolutely no problem for you. Astrologers learn to question when anyone born under Taurus or Scorpio claims to have financial problems; of all the signs, for these two it is a positively ridiculous notion.

However, aspects lasting well over a year put you in a position where you have some extraordinary power to not only have more but to also change your level of economic reality.

So, too, is an approach to finance that is decidedly less honest. As I have suggested, you really do have all the potential in you now. You just need to be careful what you choose, what you emphasize and thus what you magnify. The planet involved is Ixion. Still, this same potential basically grants you the ability to be exactly what you want or need to be.

I can offer one practical clue about business, which is to keep your affairs local. There is at the moment and for the foreseeable future tremendous emphasis on your local environment; your city or town, in particular, and you will find your greatest successes there.

Creativity and Career

Scorpio is one of the most important signs for commerce, but your chart says that your creative power is difficult for any other sign to match. I don't mean to be competitive, but you are working with the power of both Leo and Pisces in these areas of your life, combining the force of two or more creative energies.

Pisces, for its part, is your house of art and creative love -- the 5th. That is pretty good, particularly with Uranus blowing through town for the next three years. You are an innovator. You will be much happier if you are actually involving yourself in some aspect of innovation. Dive in and take a chance. No matter what you are doing, it will benefit from a more radical, colorful, daring approach.

Don't worry about shocking people -- most of them are bored and prefer the excitement. Don't worry about your boss or bosses -- most of the time, innovation is rewarded if you have the psychological chops to stand up to people, and you know that you do. To really do something creative, you have to have some guts; some intensity, and you qualify.

I will leave you with some words of advice from an artist for Time magazine, who used to visit the communication design department every year and give a presentation to the senior class. This was at SUNY Buffalo.

Basically, his message was this. Being an artist (in the professional sense) does not necessarily mean you get to create whatever you want. It means that you have a creative gift that you get to apply to the different situations and circumstances you encounter in the course of your work. Possessing true creativity implies that you have the ability to respond, apply your ideas and most of all come up with creative solutions where other people might come up with boring ones.

This is the approach to take to your work now. This is indeed the approach to take to your life. It will work just as well in your love affairs, by the way, as it will in any other. And in particular, it's a handy trick to have in a time of transition, with all its challenges and unpredictable developments.


2008 is a leap year, and you are taking a leap. When you look back, it will seem like a quantum leap -- that is, you went from one place to another without actually touching the space in between. But you are at the moment actually touching the ground between one lifetime and the next.

Given the extent and the intensity of the change in your life, I suggest that you keep all your options open, for as long as you feel good doing so. In other words, when the time comes to choose, you will know -- but for now, particularly with Mars still retrograde and/or taking its time coming out of retrograde, hold off on major decisions until you have the additional information that is forthcoming.

I want to add one comment here that, reviewing my charts, I have overlooked -- but perhaps it will stand out if I sign off from this essay with it. You are an exceptionally good companion, and you are better than ever before. You are loyal, you are compassionate and you understand the need for emotional freedom. But you may doubt yourself. Indeed, you may feel like you are some kind of damaged goods. I want to encourage you to at least make a commitment to setting that notion aside.

Give yourself a chance to be someone else, or something else. So much is changing in your life that you can afford to release others from your expectations of them, and to release yourself from your sometimes oppressive expectations of yourself. Give it a chance. I could say that you have more to gain than you have to lose, but in truth you have only to gain.