Twelve Phases of Human Experience
SCORPIO - Page 1 of 3
The Scorpio phase of the yearly cycle of the life-force as it unfolds on earth and in human nature has been strangely misunderstood. Peculiarly negative attributes have been given to it as a result. They had to be negative because the interpreters failed to relate the Sign to the total cycle of the Day-force and the Night-force, stressing the ordinary individual's reaction to it at this stage of social evolution rather than the positive essence of the Sign itself; also because, with Scorpio, the coming of wintry days and long nights becomes evident, and primitive man resents this approach of physical darkness. He resents it, because he is rooted in the soil and a kin to vegetation and animal life. Scorpio brings tidings of hibernation; its frosts seal the doom of red and golden leaves. It has become thus the symbol of death. Only to a few could it mean "regeneration"; and even these few often did not realistically understand the meaning of such a regeneration.
While studying the symbolism of Libra we stressed the fact that the three zodiacal Signs of the Fall period were steps in the growth of society and of the social consciousness in man. During this Fall period socializing forces are surging with ever-increasing momentum following the increase in Power of the Night-force since the Fall equinox. The reality of human interchange, of living together within the organic, stable, permanent structure of a community is envisioned in Libra as a need and as an ideal of behavior. In Scorpio, this reality must be vitalized, made poignant and dramatic, inescapable. It must sink into the very flesh and glands of human beings; into their very depths and their very soul; into the substance of "personality." It must transform itself into a driving force. That driving force is sex in its social aspects, sex as builder of civilization.
The condemnation heaped upon Scorpio, "the accursed Sign," has paralleled the identification of sex and sin, which has conditioned so much of our Christian Western civilization. The subject, therefore, has become invaded by "complexes" and set attitudes, not easily transformed even by the most acute analysis. However, on the basis of a broad understanding of the complete zodiacal cycle of the Day-force and the Night-force much may be said which should bring light into many dark corners.
Sex has two basic aspects: procreative and non-procreative or social. The former corresponds to Taurus, the latter to Scorpio. That such a distinction has not been made by Western astrologers and philosophers is strange; for the correlation between Scorpio and the whole of sex-activity is very peculiar, considering that Scorpio is only a late Sign of the Zodiac and associated with autumn, the time when the life-force becomes somnolent in nature. Sex, as a strictly biological factor, is a primary function of all organisms and obviously should be associated with the animal mating season and the growth of flowers. It is symbolized by Taurus, the Bull — a hieroglyph of fertility and male strength.
Taurus is the sign of purely physiological and procreative mating. It is a phase of the process of personality-building. It represents late adolescence — its instinct toward unconscious procreation, its unsocial urge toward personal self-development through fecundating and being fecundated, thus, through sheer emotional experience. It witnesses the maximum emotional expression of the Day-force and of pure personality without any social context whatsoever. It is pure desire without mind or consciousness, without distortion or individual-social differentiation: a generic force which is universal and of itself has no "Meaning." It just is; as life is.
The sign Scorpio is the polar opposite of Taurus. This means that, in the society-building half-cycle of the Night-force's ascendancy, it occupies the same place occupied by Taurus in the personality-building half-cycle of the Day-force's ascendancy. To the Taurean mating urge corresponds, thus, another urge, which is Scorpio's essential characteristic. That urge is the urge in the individual to merge in absolute union with other individuals in order to constitute together a greater organic whole.
In Libra this urge is recognized as a motive for social conduct and group-behavior; but in the very depth of the Libran's feelings there is still much individualism. The Day-force is too strong to allow the personality to let itself go completely into any union with others that would be irrevocable. Libra is a state of unstable equilibrium between a waning individualism and a waxing collectivism. But in Scorpio the desire to be a separate individual is being overwhelmed with dramatic intensity by the need to be more than oneself; by the urge to flow into others, as little streams merge into great rivers and rivers into the sea. That urge is the transcendent and social aspect of sex. It represents, not the procreative sex of late adolescence which warns to build, but the non-procreative, social and – yes — mystical sex of maturity which is a yearning for self-forgetfulness and union through another with a greater whole, and even with "God" — as the Orient and most secret traditions" well understood.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1943 by David McKay Company
and Copyright © 1970 by Dane Rudhyar
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