How To Think for Yourself

Cosmophilia: You Belong Here for Scorpio

By Eric Francis

Scorpio Part One

Scorpio Part Two

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Cosmophilia prologue

Cosmophilia houses

Scorpio is the sign of transitions. For you, every major movement in your life is a transition, and it can be some mix of dramatic, profound and liberating — or challenging. That last piece can be true even if the changes are the most positive, progressive and beautiful. Everyone is challenged by loss; you can be equally challenged by growth and gain, because it involves making adjustments on such a deep level.

Blue Valentine Dreams by Cameron Gray

Blue Valentine Dreams by Cameron Gray.

It’s as if Scorpio magnifies everything to the level of a struggle to reach your soul. You might proceed through life in this manner not knowing it; you might be gradually figuring it out, which is to say discovering how much devotion and energy your growth process deserves.

This property of Scorpio makes it essential that you have actual spiritual grounding in your life. By that, I mean going deeper than appearances, and understanding the nature of appearances and what is beneath them. It’s likely that you are already on this journey, though for anyone who is not, the topic is worth another thought or two.

You are being called to approach existence from the viewpoint OF existence; and that you see your life as a journey of inner development. Along these lines it would help greatly if you make some contact with your ideas about what comes before and after the life we know. Ideas about body and soul that are given to us by mass-produced religion are approximations of the truth, often edited to meet a political or social agenda.

You have your own quest for truth. That’s the essential difference between these things we call religion and spirituality.

What is perhaps most interesting about the way the astrology now describes your life is that the usual way that one might frame topics in a reading — career, relationships and money — cannot be described that way. There is something more urgent, a more alchemical level of change. Those are outer expressions informed and driven by deeper experiences of yourself, though in order to fit into the world, that level underneath is usually denied or cut off from expression.

What seems to be happening to you is that those levels closer to the core of your existence are where almost all the energy is moving, and it’s neither easy to reach in full and make contact with it, nor to express the energy easily and have it emerge as meaningful, tangible or productive. Because of the world’s tendency toward harsh, black-and-white values, there are dimensions of inner change that seem more fragile than they are.

I suggest you recognize that — whether the delicate quality is something you feel, or something that is exposed when people begin to make contact with their actual creativity. By that I mean make contact to the point where they have no choice to express themselves in a new way, a way that seems bold and dangerous — and that would be you.

Saturn in Scorpio: That Was a Trip, and it’s Almost Over

As you may know, Saturn was in your sign beginning in November 2012 through December 2014. It will make one last cameo, between June 14 and Sept. 15, 2015. Though there are many factors in your astrology, a Saturn transit stepping out to front and center has a way of running the show.

This is a good time to review that transit, and consider the meaning and influence of the last visit of Saturn to your sign this summer. The two are directly related. Let’s take them one at a time, then go onto the sign change of Saturn to Sagittarius and your 2nd house.

The Saturn principle is about authority. That starts with our parents, continues to various school and church-type authorities, then it extends to Mr. Policeman and various iterations of boss and government. Yet to take the Saturn principle as a growth tool, that’s about internalization of all authority, so that you are your own boss; you supplant the need for parents telling you how to live; and you don’t need a minister telling you what to believe. You also don’t need cops telling you how to behave.

Saturn going over your Sun repeatedly, or over your ascendant, is saying that it’s been time to internalize this whole concept and in the process, take away the power of external authority. If you need an image, the idea is to have strong bones instead of needing a cast or a crutch. The cast and the crutch would count for Saturn, though the strong bones count for the full internalization of the Saturn principle.

For you, this is the heart of the Saturn in Scorpio quest. This can be extremely sensitive territory, because to take over as your own parents, boss, minister, cops and government can feel like waging a revolution — and for that, most people feel guilty or expect to be punished. That fear or guilt prevents the majority of people from taking over the Saturn principle themselves.

This is what you do when you go to therapy, or at least useful therapy. There is all that stuff learned about being responsible for yourself, taking over for all the places your parents neglected you, teaching yourself all the things they didn’t teach you, and so on. This is a core element of the process of growth and individuation.

I’ve described the presence of Saturn in one’s sign as coming to terms with who you are; you could also describe it as making contact with who you are and getting rid of all the husk and jive that is not you, that does not serve you. When people are not interested in doing that, when they don’t know the concept, resist it or are too lazy, what tends to happen is that outer bosses take over — and they have power. This is the reason why it’s worth having integrity. You could say that Saturn so prominently placed in your chart is about cultivating the integrity of Self.

This may require you to make changes, and there surely have been changes in your life on the level of structure. Structure is about the shape of your life and your home, as well as your use of time. We don’t normally think of time as a structure, but it is — and there is a direct relationship between one’s structuring of time and one’s capacity for intimacy. [For more about that, I would refer you to books by Dr. Eric Berne, particularly Games People Play, which illustrates this point beautifully.]

There is a direct relationship between maturity and the ability to use time well; and between time, discipline and whether authority is experienced as an internal or external structure. An easy example is, can someone come to work on time as a voluntary act, or must they be constantly disciplined? With the Saturn principle internalized, you just show up on time or maybe a little early, which has many benefits for you and the people to whom you report.

Saturn is changing signs and therefore changing houses in your chart; it’s going from your 1st house (Scorpio) to your 2nd house (Sagittarius). This will have the approximate feeling of the cast or imposed structure being taken off, and a test phase to see how you did knitting those bones and internalizing that structure.

Saturn in Sagittarius will take you to a new level, which is understanding the inherently spiritual basis for self-esteem. I consider “spiritual” to be a controversial concept, and I am not a big fan of the word, though I have not come up with a more suitable way to address this. What I mean is something that is deeper than merely behavioral or psychological, extending into a much wider field of inner reality. I certainly do not mean pertaining to the church. I mean it more on the level of “pertaining to direct contact with your inner source.” That can also mean “direct contact with your inner purpose as you have discovered it.”

I would add, what is the prophecy that drives your life? Is there one? Do you feel destined to do or to become something, perhaps because you were given information to that effect? Let’s get back to that in the next section.

Saturn has one more return to your sign, which I perceive is an opportunity to tie up the loose ends of the process you’ve been in the past two years. This influences all Scorpios, though it’s especially prominent in the charts of people born Nov. 19 through 23 (whose Sun will take additional conjunctions), or those born with degrees 26-30 Scorpio rising. However, that is secondary to the fact of Saturn’s return to Scorpio at all.

This will remind you in a tangible way that you must take command of your existence. I think that the emotional dimension (always important for Scorpio) will be one of the levels where this emerges the most distinctly. This last moment of the Saturn in Scorpio transit is going to help you to come in from the edge, whatever edge you may be perched on. What edge is that? Well you would know. I suggest you remain near the edge, in a place with a view — but not so close that if you lose your balance, you fall.

The last three months of Saturn in Scorpio is also about enacting any decisions you’ve made the past three months; you might plan the Libra equinox as your time to have those plans fully in place. Saturn makes its last move into Sagittarius on Sept. 15, and the equinox follows close on its heels. I am aware that you may need to take action earlier; make sure that all your contingency plans are in place, by which I mean having Plans A and B at the least, a bit of Plan C and the willingness to mix and match.

Saturn in Sagittarius: Your Personal Prophecy

What is the vision that drives your life? What is the promise that you intend to fulfill? Scorpio is the one sign that has Sagittarius as its 2nd house. This is why I suggest that the basis of your self-esteem is inherently ‘mystical’ or ‘spiritual’. It’s not merely psychological; it’s not a mental construction.

The message here is if you’re seeking true self-respect, go deeper. Turn your attention inward. Skip the external referencing and look within. You do not need an ideology to do this. Honest soul-searching is all you really have to do, because that’s going to be what you find when you find your deepest self-respect. Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius, which lasts until late 2017, is all about this theme.

You will not need to go digging. What you’re looking for is not exactly buried under 100 meters of rubble. Its light is hot and bright, and it is reaching for you. But what will help is if you not practice denial of the obvious. Denial can come in the form of skepticism and doubt. To allay those things, the remedy is to keep an open mind.

That takes practice. An open mind implies use of the mind, which implies thinking for yourself. Once you get that process going, it’s sometimes a bit stunning how you might notice you were not thinking for yourself, or at times, at all. So step one is thinking, which implies that you have some creative control and originality.

Now, as for prophecy. This is similar to a sense of destiny, though there is some tangible expression of it. Let’s say you acted in a play in 6th grade and someone randomly came out of the audience and said, “I’ll be looking for you on Broadway.”

On the day that Patric Walker’s last horoscope column was published, one month after his death, I was about six months into writing them. His last words to Pisces in his daily column were, “You will shine in your chosen field.” I have never forgotten that. Though I did not use this word at the time, it stood as a prophecy, which is a gift.

If that happened to you, you’re very fortunate. Most people do not have this, though a great many do, even if it’s someone mussing your hair and telling you that you’re going places, kid. You may have had an experience like this — I suggest you retrace your life, and consider the people who have influenced you, and sift carefully for that information — something that felt like a teaching, or a message from the timeless or the divine. You may also find negative ‘prophecies’ that you need to debunk; the easiest way to do that is you’ll know by now if they were not true.

Humans crave prophecy; that is, a kind of navigation by divine intervention. There are some who build themselves up by grit and determination, though a good few of them were told or just knew that they would accomplish what they set out to do. For those who do not have that personal sense of connection, many reach for it through some form of religion, which is almost always apocalyptic — that is, preaching the end. For them, the message is often, “The end is nigh, so nothing really matters.”

Others experiment with ayahuasca, the modern equivalent of LSD, in search of a vision; many others go on vision quests, which I would say is the specific search for a prophecy. People who go to sacred sites are usually on a search for prophecy.

As an astrologer, I know the extent to which people seek signs and symbols, often grafting onto negative or frightening ones. I know they often seek them in the outer world, so that they can have some element of “seeing is believing.” What I am suggesting you do is use the Saturn principle as it will be applied to Sagittarius and take this on as an inner quest.

By this, I mean focusing on a spiritual path that is personal though structured. It may help to work with some established religious teachings, and conduct a kind of survey of what is true for you; for what resonates personally; for some confirmation. Because this involves Saturn, it describes a slow process, and a layered process, rather than something that develops quickly. Yet the combination of Saturn and Sagittarius promise, at least, that you will be engaging with meaning all along the way.

The thing I suggest you be conscious of is the process of making up your own personal religion. To some extent everyone with either spiritual or religious principles does this, though I suggest you weight things a little more strongly in the direction of traditional wisdom. You are likely to have one or more pre-existing potential areas of curiosity. Start with the one you’ve been the most curious about. Follow your natural lines of inquiry and you will find this to be an interesting and fun adventure of self-discovery.

Of Words, Pictures and Sound

Part One

Thinking For Yourself: Pluto in Capricorn

To what extent were you shaped by books as a child? Did you use books as your own private world, into which you could dependably escape? Or as a way to journey in time, to a world long gone? Your chart suggests a deep contact with words, especially in the form of respect for those that were passed down from antiquity.

Language, in many wider senses, has been a foundation of your life. It’s something of a living museum. The places that words can take you may be in the past, but they are rather alive. This is an amazing, fascinating quality of the printed word that few stop to consider.

Over the past few years, an influence has been working through this part of your chart, which has been shaking up your previous concepts of thinking, of reading and writing, wherever they may have come from.

Continuing on the theme of soul-searching, personal evolution and reading, Pluto in Capricorn, your 3rd house, is showing you the power of the written word to change your life. It’s also helping you rearrange your mental patterns, by which I mean bring them up to date. You’re in an extended phase where what you read will have a profound impact on you, and reveal new modes and patterns of thought that you’ve never considered.

The stop-at-nothing drive and passion of Pluto moving through the angle of your chart associated with how you think, says you’re ready for new ideas — ideas that take you deep into yourself, ideas that challenge your beliefs, and that push you to express who you are more fully. Along the way, what’s being peeled back are layers on the way to yourself.

I say this knowing I’m speaking into a time in history that could minimally be called anti-intellectual. In many social circles, it’s cool to be stupid. Many people think that research is something you do on an iPod. People are intimidated by intelligence, even mystified. You, however, have a special connection to social reality through your intelligence. It’s what people recognize you as; it’s a natural way they perceive you, and a reason to look up to you — and that is burning bright right now. Your job is to make sure your inner intellect burns hot. There are many ways to do that but the very best of them is to challenge yourself all the time.

It’s up to you to make sure that your ideas are in a constant state of flux and uncertainty; what you are really doing is unraveling false certainty, and self-constructs that no longer serve you. My perception is that this will accelerate progress in every phase of your life.

I also speak into a world where most people were made to feel stupid; where the ‘prophecy’ they were given was one of lack of intelligence. This is rarely true. Most people are far more intelligent than they think. With intelligence it really is not what you have but what you do with it. Someone of seemingly limited intelligence can learn mental skills like logic and suddenly be flying across the countryside. Once you get to the level of what I will call real intelligence, it’s the ability to relate ideas in a creative way that counts for more than anything.

Which leads me to my next topic, what’s going on in Pisces, or your 5th house — the house of art.

Of Pictures and Music (and Touch and Smell)

What is art? That’s a question that could start a fight. In my opinion, art is when somebody takes a chance in expressing themselves. It’s also when someone takes a chance on letting something beautiful influence them, shape them, change them.

Your chart is calling on you to take risks with art. This has been gradually building momentum, and it’s going to get a real push over the next few seasons. It’s not going to end anytime soon, but the beauty of the moment is we are all waiting to hear from you.

You are free to doubt your talent; the thought of making your work public may make your stomach squirm a little bit; yet you are so vividly approaching the place of full expression that it would not be healthy to hold yourself back, to hold yourself in.

In astrology, the 5th house is one of the easiest houses to teach. You know you understand a house when you see the relationship between all the seemingly different topics that house represents. The 5th is the house of sex for pleasure, taking risks, games, gambling (games involving risk), art, creativity, the kinds of fun kids have, the kind of fun you liked to have as a kid, and sometimes, children themselves. Can you see the pattern? Think of it as one dynamic, where something fun happens, where a risk is taken, and something beautiful is created. It does not matter what; when the 5th is working, what comes out is not just something fun but something that changes you and changes the world.

You are very fortunate to have Pisces in this house, because this sign is a deep well of creativity. Pretty much anything that is authentically creative has some tap into the waters of Pisces.

There are a multitude of forces in Pisces, your 5th house. Among them is Neptune, which is a source of constant inspiration; there is Chiron, which is about focusing anything, and in Pisces, creative energy; there is Borasisi, which is about belief, and the power of belief (walking the line between fact and fiction; between religion and science) and soon there will be Nessus.

Of all these ingredients Nessus may be the real powerhouse because it adds the property of shadow, of the dark side. Chiron can do that, but Nessus may do it better. And this contact with shadow is what makes it possible to take risks. Nessus in Pisces in the 5th says to me: well, look at the world. Look at all that’s going on. I can afford to take this risk. I cannot afford not to. Nessus is also a vector. It starts a chain reaction. It moves karma. There are consequences. Where art is concerned, that’s exactly what you want.

Now, in case you consider yourself among the “not creative,” I will relieve you of that; I don’t think it exists. Even the most seemingly thickly matted, caught-in-the-reeds types of people who think they don’t have something to offer, something to say or something to make; well, they often have the most creative energy pent up inside them. And once it starts to release, a whole world can emerge, arise and seem to create itself.

If you’re someone who is already engaged in some kind of creative process, or for whom it’s on hold, take the opportunity to get yourself going. You are sitting on a goldmine.

And for everyone, in anything you do, do it with the love, care, consciousness and devotion of art. Be artful, and allow everything to be an actual and true expression of yourself. Go ahead and dare.

Where This Is All Heading: Jupiter in Leo

Where this all points is to the very top of your chart — Leo, where Jupiter has taken up residence for the next eight months. Jupiter in Leo in the 10th house is the very picture of success. Yet this is the kind of success that is fueled from the inside, where most of the really hot action is in your chart.

The more you burn those fires, and challenge yourself creatively, intellectually and spiritually, the more visible and successful you will be. Your chart is not the story of working in obscurity. It’s the story of emerging into the world as a result of what you do within yourself. Your inner journey will have a way of turning inside out, opening up conversations and opening up doors for you.

You are in a rare moment in your life when the truth of who you are, no matter how uncertain you are, will help you push your growth and learning on every level, and where this will have the property of radiating into the world.

I would remind you what an exemplar you are to others. You are respected for many reasons, but the most important ones are the ones that people cannot describe; it’s as if you have some natural property that draws that attention.

Therefore, be fair with people. Be gentle and forgiving. Keep an open heart and mind and be willing to be wrong; be willing to be corrected and to correct yourself. All of these things will add to your integrity and feed the light of your presence in the world.

Moments like this do not come along every day, and yet the one you’re in will, if you let it, teach you how to focus your energy in this way all the time. When you put yourself ‘out there’, assert what is unfamiliar, even unknown to you. Say and do what you’ve never done before, and bask in the feeling of uncertainty. That is life as art.


Scorpio chart.

Scorpio chart.

Scorpio sketch.

Scorpio sketch.

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