October 22, 2020 - July 18, 2021
The Black Moon Lilith ingressed into Taurus last Wednesday, where she will remain until July of next year. The shift from Aries (a Mars-ruled fire sign where the Sun exalts) to Taurus (a Venus-ruled earth sign where the Moon exalts) is a dramatic one, in any case. And as the BML is not a planet itself but a phenomenon of our planet’s relationship to our Moon—the telltale heart of an unseen dark earthly twin—we are, with this transit, calling up some very old and shadowy stories indeed. We are entering the realm of the dark lunar Feminine, where the taproot extends deep into history, culture, and the fabric of our DNA, and has branches into the psyche, regardless of gender.
When I feel into Lilith in Taurus from a mythical perspective, I think of La Llorona, the wailing woman in white of Latin American lore, who roams the waterways in search of her lost children. Or, I think of the Welsh Rhiannon, falsely accused of infanticide and reduced to a beast of burden. Or, her cognate, the Irish Macha, who, abused while pregnant by her husband and the king, laid a curse upon the land for nine generations. Encoded in these myths is a vestigial memory of a time when sovereignty was bestowed on man by the Earth Goddess or the Moon Goddess, in animal form, not by the Solar mandate of a sky god. She was supplanted, and recast as villain, and the sound of her keening still echoes into the present day.
Lilith in Taurus is asking us to look at our relationship to the land, and the ways we have betrayed the Earth Mother, or separated her from her divinity. It is the story of indigenous people, of enslaved people, of refugees and exiles, of witches and wisewomen—lost to their families, lost to history, consigned, and conscripted, to the shadows. It is mothers, fathers and children as the sacrificial bull. It is also a remembrance of our animal nature and our kinship to other species. In our forgetting, we have forced many to the brink of extinction, and the rest into the cruel life of the factory farm. Cows, like human mothers, mourn the loss of their calves, wailing sometimes for days, as most dairy farmers will tell you.
Astrologically, I interpret Black Moon Lilith as the exiled Feminine, as our internalized misogyny, as the pain that is weaponized against us, and as the monster that we create to avoid looking at ourselves. She is also a channel through which we may reclaim our personal power. In Taurus, she speaks to our relationship to labor, to greed, to exploitation, to poverty and scarcity, to our ancestral inheritance, to our possessions and to our values. She shows us the ways we have betrayed ourselves for money, or to survive, and she also shows us the way toward forgiveness of ourselves. She asks us the ways in which we stifle our voices, and encourages us to speak our truth, and to trust that we are loved. So much of our toil, so much of our grief, so much of our sorrow, is invisible to others, concealed behind stoic, ailing or angry exteriors, and this transit is an opportunity to show that pain, if and when we are ready. It is an opportunity to find the wailing woman within, and to let her tears fall, to seep into the soil and water the ancestral taproot, pouring new life into old stories, and allowing her finally to rest, in peace.
It is now the season of Scorpio, and time to honor this alluring and many-sided sign. Those born with the Sun in Scorpio have a soul contract with complexity; with the taboo; and with their own humanity. For Scorpio natives, experiences of sexuality, mortality, and all of the mileposts of life are initiations into the mysteries; thresholds of transformation. Under the rulership of Pluto and Mars, pain and passion are the greatest teachers. They are the blacksmith’s furnace—melting, shaping and forging daggers and an iron will.
As a fixed water sign, Scorpio is the well; the cistern; the pipes that run below ground; the blood that runs in our veins. The still outer surface conceals secret worlds and underworlds. The controlled exterior belies the dramatic depths of the mind and soul.
Scorpio is attributed many animal symbols. Foremost and self-evident is the scorpion, armed with scales, pincers and venomous tail; a survivor on this planet for eons. The gifts of the scorpion are a penetrating mind, a stinging wit, strong defenses, and staying power. Learning how to control the striking temper, and how to let down the defenses every once in a while, are the lessons to be learned.
Scorpio is also identified with the eagle. Acumen, tenacity, sharp senses, and an imperious demeanor are the gifts of the majestic predator. Learning how to manage and wield their power is the lesson.
Scorpio has associations with the serpent, ancient symbol of creation, regeneration and the Divine Feminine. The snake values her privacy and leads a solitary life. While she is capable of attacking when provoked, she is not the monster that myth makes her out to be. To the thin-skinned and sensitive creature, the horror with which people recoil when they see her is, she feels, hurtful and undeserved. Wisdom, healing abilities, and insight into human nature are the gifts of the serpent. Being the recipient of others’ fear-based projections is the lesson to be navigated.
When you combine these potent, primordial beasts in the alchemical bath, you end up with the final Scorpionic emblem: the phoenix. The mythical creature that periodically burns itself to ashes only to rise up anew, the phoenix represents the Scorpio native’s shamanic ability to touch death, probe the underworld, penetrate the unconscious, shoulder others’ pain, and still come back to life. Thus, as evoked in the iconic poem of Maya Angelou, who had Scorpio on the IC (roots, lineage, homeland), a motto for those born under the sign of the phoenix are three powerful words: “Still I rise.”
(Oct 13- Nov 3, 2020)
11° Scorpio - 25° Libra
The water signs have played host to the retrogrades of Mercury this year, engaging our minds along the liquid, non-linear channels of feeling and intuition. And now, in his third and final retrograde of 2020, our messenger planet is calling us all from the mystery depths of Scorpio, to join in the Danse Macabre.
In his evening star apparition, he is a ghost, visiting us in the wee hours, whispering secrets to our ear alone, and then vanishing with the sunrise. In his waning aspect, he is contemplative, introspective, backward-looking, and quizzical. Little by little, he will disappear into the heart of the Sun, burning away artifice, pretense and falsehood, until what lies beneath is revealed. And in the first decan of Scorpio, he plays both psychopomp and gravedigger, one foot in each world. What has been buried is being dug up again, and reconsidered with wiser, more critical, eyes.
The Libra Sun, meanwhile, has reached the point of opposition to retrograde Aries Mars, and is ensnared in a square to Pluto in Capricorn (and following that, to Saturn). How we handle the burdens life places on our shoulders, our relationship to ego and leadership, the expectations we place on ourselves, and the responsibilities we have towards others, are themes that are coming into focus. To act or not to act? To trust or not to trust? And even to be, or not to be, for some who will feel the heaviness especially. A naturally philosophical mind can become disturbed, questioning everything, or paralyzed by indecision. Circumspection can turn to suspicion, or even paranoia. The usual mischief of Mercury can turn to trickery, or treachery. This is a transit of eavesdropping behind curtains, of foiled plots and of heightened senses: let it not lead to betrayal, costly errors or self-undoing. And be careful of the Scorpion tongue: it’s not poisoned swords but poisoned words that will wound, if we feel wronged or vengeful. Let us all have a care for one another, and for ourselves, now more than ever.
The play’s the thing: only, there is no conscience in our Mad Orange King. This time will shine a limelight on corruption and decay. If something is rotten, we will be able to smell it. We are watching those in power with intense scrutiny, and witnessing not feigned madness or a guilty mind from our Pretender-in-Chief, but true derangement, and the desperate death throes of an imploding gerontocracy. And really, when has the political machine ever appeared more farcical, or the Theater of the Absurd ever felt more absurd?
Mercury will station direct on Election Day in the US, which promises a certain degree of drama and disarray. PLEASE VOTE. Until then, we can weather the intensity of this month by putting our energy into research or investigation, enjoying our closest friends and allies, delving into the occult, or letting off steam with physical exertion or gallows humor. And I’ll leave you with the sage advice of Polonius: “Beware of entrance to a quarrel…Give every man thy ear but few thy voice…Take each man’s censure but reserve thy judgment…This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou cannot then be false to anyone.”