So come my friends, be not afraid
We are so lightly here
It is in love that we are made
In love, we disappear
“Endings seem to lie in wait ” wrote mystic and poet, John O’Donohue who died so suddenly as he slept in the January of 2008.
We wait expectantly for endings at our journey’s end. Endings unfurl in the intoxicating sweetness of that first kiss. In the vows we make at the altar. Endings come with the loss of our identity when we retire; with the changes in our body as we age, our brave beauty etched in our faces, our strength shining through our bones. Endings strip us of our innocence. They come in the brutal betrayal that spills diamonds and rust from the forgotten places in our heart.
Shimmering spiderwebs hang heavy from the hedgerows, adorned with diamonds of dew. We’re at a threshold crossing. We’re in the gap between the equinox and the solstice, we’re in the “fall” as the earth cools in the North, as the light begins to fade. In the south, the ancient rhythm of the earth stirs uneasily as the days lengthen, as the searing summer heat carries the desert sands on scorching breath of the wind.
Things are not what they used to be.
On October 24th, we enter the primordial underworld, the shadowy realm of Scorpio. Spectral plumes of mist curl from rust-coloured forests and from the hill tops, the plaintive roar of the rutting red deer promises new life and the ambush of death.
When we cross the threshold into Scorpio’s territory, we become aware of those things that rust and putrefy; we meet scorpions and snakes. Scorpio rules those body parts that bring ecstatic pleasure and release—the anus, the rectum, the genitals. When we cross this threshold in the cycle of the year, we encounter the healing power of in-depth psychology, the the magic of metaphysics, the deep knowledge of shamanism, the dank dark underbelly of crime, the power of money and political intrigue, the renewal of sex, the inevitability of endings, the surety of death.
The darkly brooding presence of Pluto, Scorpio’s modern ruler, has cast a long shadow over the month of October in world events, perhaps in our own lives with news that has reminded us of the impermanence of this life.
Pluto stationed direct on October 2nd and the heightened effect may have lingered for a week before and afterwards in our own lives, most certainly in world events. Mercury and Venus entered Scorpio on October 3rd and 8th, and all these planets have aspected the Nodes of the Moon that have been moving across the Cancer/Capricorn axis since 2018. Mars in his own sign of Scorpio, squares the Nodes on October 22nd. Something bigger than ourselves, something fated, is at work. We may remember that for the ancient Greeks, Fate came in the form of three Moirai, those three sisters who determined the Fate of every living creature. It was Atropos who cut the thin thread of life. She decided the end of things. We meet Fate when the Nodes of the Moon transit the planets or angles of our birth chart. The South Node draws us back, into the undertow of the past, we hesitate at the threshold, we circle endlessly in our place of discomfort. The North Node is where we see the diamond of our destiny, although the threshold crossing is never easy. Something is calling us to our purpose, our ability as a race to love and heal and to nurture one another and all creatures great and small.
The New Moon in Scorpio on October 28th makes an edgy opposition to Uranus, indicating that our threshold crossing may not be smooth and sedate. Uranus is associated with sudden shock and upheaval, and when the energies of the Sun and the Moon combine at the New Moon in the sign of the Scorpion, we may discover the truth. We may feel a pressure to release, eliminate, burn on the bonfire those things, those thoughts, those behaviours, that have outlived their purpose.
Scorpio is a feminine sign, and paradoxically ruled by testosterone-driven Mars. With Scorpio there can be no compromises. Death, trans-formation, may be unfolding themes in our lives this month and in our collective future.
The ancient pagan festival of Samhain marks the New Year on October 31st, the day Mercury in Scorpio turns Retrograde. As we cross this threshold, we prepare to enter the labyrinth down into the underworld, we must go within. The darkness and the cold, the scorching heat and drought, will test our resilience.
Thresholds are liminal spaces. Threshold crossings were once protected by ritual and talismans. We may not yet see clearly what we are leaving behind, what we are about to enter. As we pause at the threshold of summer or winter, we may feel assailed by grief or resistance, overcome by the instinctual force of survival that distracts us from the inevitability and necessity of crossing this frontier, of leaving those things that are safe, familiar and beloved behind. Our destination may not yet be clear. As we step across the threshold, we must walk lightly in the darkness for a while knowing that there are stars, scattered like diamonds, across the velvet blackness to guide us into the grace of a new beginning.
As our earth strains beneath the weight of our appetites and numbers, many of us sense the ultimate ending, as the climate crisis threatens all species with mass extinction. In a superbly-written piece , Catherine Ingram describes this ending with heart-breaking clarity.
She quotes Jonathan Franzen, who writes in his latest book, The End of the End of the Earth — “Even in a world of dying, new loves continue to be born.
This is now the time to give yourself over to what you love, perhaps in new and deeper ways. Your family and friends, your animal friends, the plants around you, even if that means just the little sprouts that push their way through the sidewalk in your city, the feeling of a breeze on your skin, the taste of food, the refreshment of water, or the thousands of little things that make up your world and which are your own unique treasures and pleasures. Make your moments sparkle within the experience of your own senses and direct your attention to anything that gladdens your heart. Live your bucket list now.”
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