We have reached the First Quarter Moon phase of the current lunation cycle, which began with a New Moon in Leo on July 23rd. What seeds did you plant in your life on July 23rd? In what house in your natal chart will the Full Moon occur? This is the time to push through and take action on your intentions, toward manifesting achievement and resolution with the Full Moon in Aquarius on August 7th.
During this First Quarter Phase, the Moon in Scorpio forms a challenging square to the Sun in Leo.
The assertion that only water signs truly experience emotion, is faulty. Each of the 12 zodiac signs – associated with fire, air, earth or water – experience emotions. The difference is in how each of the signs process, digest, respond to, and express, life’s emotional content.
Leo; a fire sign, for example, rules the heart. How many times in the English language do we invoke the heart as a metaphor for emotion, when in fact, in a literal sense it is simply a muscular organ in the body? And yet we speak of heartfelt messages, heart-to-heart conversations, listening to your heart, and people who wear their heart on their sleeves.
Every time you read a slogan about “following your passion”, Leo is speaking. To be Leo-like, is to be passionate.
And what is passion exactly?
Passion is defined as: “strong and barely controllable emotion… an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.” Passionate is an adjective that is defined as “having / being compelled by / or ruled by, intense emotion or strong feeling.”
The same fiery, theatrical spark that earns Leos the stereotype of being “drama queens”, is what fuels their spirit with unquenchable, glorious emotions, propelling them toward vibrant, passionate living.
Leo deals in love energy. It gives it, and it seeks it.
Arguably Scorpios too, could be called passionate. Certainly they are often inflamed by emotions of great intensity. However, the vault of their emotions is often rigorously guarded. You may witness a Scorpio-dominant person (or 8th houser/Plutonian) endure the death of a family member, a brutal break up, a devastating loss, and yet you may never catch them shedding a single tear. Stoic as always, their eyes may gleam with rage, their hands may tremble ever-so-slightly, with grief. And yet still, they will face the world wearing their full suit of armour; cold as iron, with steely resolve, and seemingly resilient to a fault.
Why? I believe each zodiac sign embodies a universal truth. The truth that Scorpio so intimately embodies is this:
As much as we might try and resist, we humans – and the entire universe – are continuously subjected to never-ending of cycles of death, transformation, and rebirth.
Therefore, as the embodiment (and teacher) of this universal truth, Scorpio-dominant folks tend to experience the entirety of their lives as a life or death struggle (fyi, everyone experiences this Scorpio dynamic in whatever house Scorpio rules in their chart, wherever Pluto is hanging out, and in relation to their 8th house activities). During their time on Earth, Scorpios are tasked with learning how to master the process of dying – through surrender, through letting go, through facing their deepest fears. Every loss, is experienced as a death. Every change and transition, involves a death. Each new beginning requires, death. Every act of removing one’s iron-clad armour, of allowing oneself to become vulnerable, necessitates the death of one’s previous self.
Is it any wonder then, that Scorpios have a reputation for being controlling and power-hungry? They walk the chasm’s edge between life and death. There is no grey zone with a Scorpio. Life is experienced intensely, as a battle between light and darkness. Until they grow into a deep acceptance of the terrifying, yet exhilarating truth that they embody, until they experience for themselves, the hopeful and liberating promise of transformation and rebirth on the other side of life’s many deaths, they may continue to cling to control – control of themselves, others, and their environments, using whatever means are available to them. Any form of surrender and vulnerability may be scrutinized warily – even as they simultaneously long for it.
Like Leo, Scorpio energy is, in fact, passionate, and “ruled by… strong and barely controllable emotion.” But while Leo may be comfortable with the spontaneous and natural outward flow of strong emotions into the external sphere, Scorpio is often fearful of anything that threatens their absolute control – including their own emotions.
Leo’s fire may hiss and crackle upon receiving life’s emotional content; rapidly consuming it in flames while dramatically spraying sparks and embers into the air. In contrast, Scorpio’s water will steadily, strategically, infiltrate every pore of the emotional catalyst until it manages to lure the water-logged perpetrator of its psyche deep down to the dark ocean floor, where it will feast on its molecules until it slowly disintegrates.
Regardless of their differences, they are both fixed signs, sharing a single-minded intensity and stubborn determination. They also have a lot to teach each other.
At this First Quarter Moon with the Moon in Scorpio squaring the Sun in Leo, we all have the opportunity to successfully navigate a path between the emotions of fire and the emotions of water, to take our next step forward.
Worst case scenario is that Leo’s passionate response turns into an exaggerated, attention-seeking, theatrical drama, while Scorpio’s inflamed reaction becomes sharply defensive; seething and broiling beneath the surface. The emotions of fire, and the emotions of water, battling it out through internal cacophony. Together, they could chase each other into a frenzy within your internal world, eventually exploding outward.
Find a vantage point within your psyche from which you can survey the landscape of your emotions from an objective perspective.
It may involve swallowing your pride, it may involve letting go of absolute control. However, stay the course and take that crucial step toward the bright horizon that you can glimpse beyond the dark emotional rain clouds you may find yourself standing under.
Scorpio reminds Leo that there is more to life than keeping up appearances. Life plays out all kinds of theatre; it’s not all light-hearted comedy, and not all scenes have happy endings. Scorpio reminds Leo that life’s darkness and pain can be worthy companions to befriend.
Leo is the archetype of the actor, the performer, the famous celebrity. Scorpio reminds Leo that the best training for life’s glamorous stage occurs in the dirty trenches. In the moments when you feel the weakest.
Life does not end when the spotlight shifts to other actors. Scorpio reminds Leo that darkness offers an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of one’s self; to grow in authenticity and the acceptance of a self that is imperfectly perfect and beautifully flawed, a self that has the power to transform without needing the external validation and applause that Leo craves.
On the other hand, Leo reminds Scorpio that spending every moment embroiled in a life or death struggle can be exhausting. Taking breaks from staring into the abyss is highly recommended. Leo takes a page from Nietzsche, warning Scorpio: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
Leo is the one dragging Scorpio out from their cave and now running, frolicking through a field of daisies, while Scorpio looks on with arms crossed. Leo is the one insisting that sunshine, rosy cheeks and smiles, does the soul good. And Leo is right.
Leo reminds Scorpio that strong emotions need a creative outlet. Scorpios are at high risk for repressed emotions and desires wreaking havoc in their souls and in their bodies. Leo beckons Scorpio out from the safe, guarded recesses of their psyche, into the daylight. Leo puts a paintbrush in their hand, an instrument on their lap, dancing shoes on their feet and commands: “There, now let loose and express yourself!”
Easier said than done, but Scorpio would do well to face the vulnerability of exposure by finding healthy outlets for their intensity.
When one holds onto control, are they holding onto life? When one lets go and surrenders, are they giving themselves over to death?
Or is it the other way around?
At the root of Scorpio’s universal truth there lies a great paradox; one that only makes sense from the perspective of cyclical time, from the perspective of the solar system in constant orbit, from new moon to full moon back to new moon, from the seasonal transitions of spring to winter and then back to spring again.
Let John Keats seduce you into another exhilarating rebirth cycle at this First Quarter Moon Phase:
“But this is human life: the war, the deeds,
The disappointment, the anxiety,
Imagination’s struggles, far and nigh,
All human; bearing in themselves this good,
That they are still the air, the subtle food,
To make us feel existence.”
One more thing. In preparing this post and reflecting on the concept of “shadows”, I came across a brilliant, award-winning, 9-minute animated film called “The Man With No Shadow (or L’homme sans ombre)”, by Georges Schwizgebel.
It is absolutely, the most PERFECT example of today’s First Quarter Moon, activating a square between Leo and Scorpio. Go watch it (posted below) and then read Stephen Cavalier’s insightful review and interpretation of it below (spoiler alert). It even features a lunar eclipse!
“Based on Adelbert von Chamisso’s moral tale Peter Schlemihl, this is the tale of a man who starts toiling away in the shadows in a monotone world. After selling his shadow to the devil in exchange for great riches he finds that he is only a shadow of a man without it.
Miserable from being shunned at the exotic parties he now frequents, he decides to go back to the devil and trade back his riches, not for his shadow or his soul but for ‘seven league boots’, a magical element of the original story which enable limitless travel. The hero can now flee the enclaves of self interest and privilege and search the world for somewhere real where he can belong. Eventually he finds a home in the far east where he can operate shadow puppets without casting a shadow himself, the only place where his flaw becomes an advantage.
These specific story details may not be immediately apparent from the animation without prior knowledge of the fable, but you certainly get the idea of a man who has foolishly sold a true part of himself in exchange for riches and therefore becomes a lost soul searching the world for acceptance.”
Is this not an exquisitely appropriate visual accompaniment to today’s transit?!
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