Life is an Experiment in Community

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Reality Check for Scorpio and Scorpio Rising | 2012 Annual Horoscope by Eric Francis

Both planets associated with your sign — Mars and Pluto — are now in earth signs, and both are making big moves through 2012. In case you need a reminder to stay focused on the most meaningful tasks at hand, and to keep things practical, let that be it. Earth signs means pragmatic and down to Earth. I’m going to take this reading with that as the starting point — let’s look carefully at these two earth signs and see if we can pick up a message, and then move onto other transits, and see how they fill in the story of a year that is designed to fulfill your Scorpionic thirst for intensity and quest for pleasure.

Prayer & Synchronicity: the Matrix. Painting by P.C. Turczyn

Prayer & Synchronicity: the Matrix. Painting by P.C. Turczyn

For the first time in many years we are experiencing an abundance of planets in water signs (including your own, starting in October). In order to make the most of these transits, and many other super-high-intensity events of 2012, it will help immensely if you have your grounding. In particular, most of that grounding will be in community, on many levels.

Indeed, you could say that the equation of your life for the foreseeable future is that the more grounded you are, the more freedom you will have. I am aware that we think this equation works the opposite way — the more we evade responsibility, the more freedom we have — but everything that happens this year points in a direction precisely opposite that. And — plenty happens, much of which will leave you wondering whether you were the prime mover, or whether you are taking a ride on some very interesting circumstances. I would propose that you want to stay in the position of the leading actor in your own life; let’s see if we can use astrology to keep you on top of your game.

Let’s start with the planet that rules your sign in traditional astrology, which is Mars — and this planet is making some fancy moves early in the year, and will be the star of the show for most of the late winter and spring. Mars, a planet close to Earth, goes retrograde for about 10 weeks every two years. It’s about to do that now, between Jan. 23 and April 13. It’s been warming up to this for months — the total duration of Mars in Virgo is about eight months, ending on July 3 — just in time for the Occupy movement’s national conference in Philadelphia.

Mars in Virgo is a preparation phase for many more significant events that happen between late May and late June 2012. Yet preparation itself is meaningful, especially when there is big news on the horizon — and there is. Virgo falls in your solar 11th house (11th house by whole signs, if you are Scorpio rising). The themes of the 11th include your social circle, organizations you may belong to, and how you present your public image. The 11th is also about what you want the most from life — described in earlier times as the house of hopes and dreams.

Finally, it’s the house of the financial rewards of your profession. The comment Virgo is making about all of these themes is that you’re fussy and precise; that you have a perfectionist attitude; and that you may judge yourself in any situation where these topics arise. The time has come to know your true desires and act in accordance with them. This would include the specific elements of reward that you want from your professional life.

At the same time, be clear how you are willing to contribute to the community. Know your true value, and you will feel more worthy of what comes back to you.

Mars spending so long in this region of your chart is saying it’s time to get clear what you want, and then be bold about it. While I prefer not to use astrology in an ‘advicey’ way, this transit seems to be equally bold about what it’s offering as well as what it’s cautioning. Here are a few thoughts:

One. Watch your reputation. You not only need to be in integrity when it comes to your conduct, even among your friends, you need to always look like this is what you’re doing. In legal terms this is called maintaining the appearance of propriety. That includes being careful what groups and individuals you’re associated with; where your name appears; and what ideas are ascribed to you.

Two. Strive for impeccability in your words, whether spoken publicly or privately. The words you speak and your inner truth need to match carefully. It would be better to say nothing than to bend the truth at all. Avoid gossip in any direction — hearing it or speaking anything that harms the reputation of another. Anything negative you say could and likely will come back to haunt you, so say constructive things or hold your peace.

Three. Be careful who you call a friend. This word should imply a sacred honor, mutual loyalty and a true affinity of values. Problems in friendships often arise where there is a lack of agreement about values. These topics are easily overlooked — until a test of your mettle arises, and you need people around you who are willing to stand up for what is right. There will be times when you have to stand alone, and they will teach you a lot.

Remember — more than any other planet, you’re represented by Mars. Yes, Pluto is important and we will come to that point. Yet Mars is the traditional ruler of your sign and has significant momentum as such. The movement of Mars through the first four months of the year will help you establish yourself in the world a new way; you will be able to tidy up your reputation, and establish yourself as someone who strives for impeccability in all that you do.

While I’m suggesting that there are ways you must tread carefully, there is a reward involved, which is working your way to a more respected, viable, functional place within your community, which will have a direct influence not only on your social life but on the work that you do. The result of this phase of testing and adjustment will be greater confidence and a much stronger relationship to your community — which will benefit you many ways as the extraordinary events of the year pick up energy in late spring.

Pluto in Capricorn: Changing Your Mind, and Investing in Community

Your other planet — the more recently discovered one, Pluto — is also in an earth sign, this one being Capricorn. This is a much longer-term transit, that began in 2008-2009 and is now finally coming up to full energy. This is happening in your solar 3rd house — an internal zone, which describes how you think and how you relate to your immediate surroundings. Pluto’s transit is a long one through this house; it extends a little beyond the end of 2023. You could look at this as a project equivalent to renovating the entire New York City subway system. Only that subway system is the one inside you — it’s your mind. It’s how you think, how you organize information, and how you express your ideas in writing and in spoken words.

Like the New York City subway, this part of your chart dates back to approximately 1880, and you’ve long known it was overdue for a total review. You no longer need to think like your parents, your granny and gramps or your great grandparents. We don’t think we think like these people — but you may be discovering the ways that you do. What you’re going through is nothing less than a total evolution of your thought process — and you’re on the cutting edge. If everyone did that, the world would be a lot better place.

The truth is that most people don’t think — they follow ancient scripts, and in many ways human behavior is encrypted in the strange ways we use language. I suggest you monitor your use of language, the words you say, and whether you express things in a positive or negative way. What side do you take in arguments, and are you clever enough to understand why you take that side?

The idea of this transit is to have you go deep underneath your old tendencies, and begin to make room for new thoughts in your mind. Pluto is teaching you to accept no assumptions; to question everything, particularly how you reach your conclusions. If most people don’t think, you can be sure that deep thinking is about as popular as going on vacation in a mineshaft. But once you go deep, you can never accept superficiality again, and you will have a strong foundation to build on — something that will be truly helpful in the months to come.

Part of this transit is about cultivating strong bonds among your neighbors. This is similar to the weeding-out process associated with Mars retrograde in your 11th house. In our current version of society, we tend to have much weaker relationships with our neighbors than at other times in history. There are many, many reasons to be deeply invested in your local community. For one thing, a significant part of your personal evolutionary growth will come from doing so. For another, many of the changes that our culture is about to go through will be easier and more productive if you know your neighbors and have some involvement with your local political community. As you get involved locally, your perspective of the world will change, and you will have something solid to which you can tether your sense of involvement and participation.

One other point before we move on. Pluto in Capricorn talks about a kind of renovation and renewal — but it also describes retrieving things from the past that work. There are many things that were doing better in the old days; many things about the practicalities of life that our ancestors understood and that we strain to get a grasp on. One of those is indeed community, and this is implied by both of your ruling planets in their current positions.

I suggest you look for other things that existed in past eras that were better, cheaper and friendlier to the environment. Here are a few ideas to get you started. I am sure you can think of many others.

Uranus in Aries, and the Uranus-Pluto Square

In yet another transit devoted to helping you create new patterns in your life, Uranus is in Aries, transiting your solar 6th house (6th house by whole signs, if you are Scorpio rising). Aries in this house suggests you need a lot of independence at work. You were not designed for a cubicle — you were designed for a corner office, or to work from your car, or from any city you happen to be in. You will make more money the freer you are to do so.

Uranus in this house is ramping up the energy, to the point where you may feel like you will either find a job as an inventor, or where you need a new job every day, or where you will simply explode if you don’t figure out how to get some true freedom during the workweek. This includes physical activity — your mind will work better, if you are able to express some physical energy.

Your work must not only be independent and creative — what you do must give you the opportunity to create yourself, and there has never been a time so rich for this in your life. If you are having ‘trouble’ at the office, if you’re being seen as someone who is constantly shaking things up, if you’re feeling like the environment is unstable, or if you’re feeling agitated when you end the day (or all day, for that matter), consider whether the work you’re now doing meets the criteria for independence and self-creation.

Your ideas are excellent; you know that, but the real question in this aspect of your life at the moment is: Do you have the discipline to be independent? This takes us back to the grounding issue. I’ve been self-employed for more than 20 years, and it’s always surprising when I hear someone describe to me how hard it is. There is nobody to tell you what to do. You have to set your own agenda, define your own goals, and create your own workspace. There is a lot of room for error. If you’re not immediately accountable to a boss, you really can slip. Yet if you can keep a grip, you can accomplish much more without the fetters of a traditional workplace.

Yet you may be someone who is suited to do this. Often it seems that you need and would thrive on the freedom that you can only experience in your own home or personal workspace. You may be able to make adjustments to your career that allow you to move the focus of your activity into your home — whether at your current job, a new one or by creating a home-based business. You will have to be realistic about what this means, such as how much investment is required, and how long it may take to turn a profit — but it looks eminently possible.

You may be at a point where certain very close friends or family members are the ones to collaborate with in this process. Make sure they are people with whom you share a real affinity and have minimal disagreements — and more significantly, those who have a way of working out any issues in a healthy way.

The resources you need to do this may actually be available to you. If your ideas are solid, if you’re sincere, and if you have some demonstrated successes, you will feel more confident. A rare event in the partnership angle of your chart is in harmony with any such endeavor — though this comes toward the middle of the year, after you have worked out many other bugs and issues. You not only need to be grounded and disciplined — you actually have to know what these concepts mean.

One thing that Uranus implies is group involvement, something you are well suited for. Group cooperation implies community, and that fits your larger themes of this year and many years to come. It will be up to you to master the trick of cooperation. In your own life you must be the leader, though the best kind for you is different than most well-known styles of leadership.

A Creative Relationship Experiment

The real core of your power this year, however, comes from Pisces, your solar 5th house (5th house by whole-sign houses, if you’re Scorpio rising). Pisces is the sign of your sex-for-pleasure house. There are a lot of houses that represent sex in astrology, and the 5th is the most experimental, creative and playful of them. As you know, sexual energy taps directly into the core of the human biological realm, and in many ways the core of your psychic power. And you are running on Pisces Power. That means creativity; it means holding a vision; it means that what you do must have an element of pleasure.

Between 2010 and early 2012, two slow-moving planets are working their way into this zone of your chart, and the difference is palpable. Your focus is less on ’emotional issues’ or ‘working out your insecurities’ and more about expressing yourself. The 5th is about creativity as much as it is about sex — the two share the same DNA for you. With Neptune arriving in this angle of your chart in February, you need to fully immerse your imagination, and with Chiron there, you need to fully explore your curiosity.

To do this right takes integrity. The idea is not to create needless risks, but to allow yourself the option to create opportunities for yourself to have passionate exchanges that are as much about pleasure as they are about healing. Chiron and Neptune in Pisces will appeal to your more adventurous and imaginative side; and your softer side. You will rediscover an aspect of life that you may well have been in touch with when you were younger and perhaps less cynical about relationships. You can go here, though I suggest you bring your discernment. You are not ‘14 again’ though at times you may feel like it. What you are — and what these transits will remind you of — is that you are indeed alive.

Your mind and your senses were designed to explore the physical plane and to explore your emotions; they were designed to explore contact with the people around you. As you do, I suggest you suspend judgment on what the experiences ‘mean’ and instead use them as a portal deeper into yourself, deeper than your mind, and swim inward toward the warm, original experience of your own creative life-force. Most of what humans in the Western world suffer from surrounds control and judgment of pleasure, curiosity and creativity — and I suggest you leave the judgment part behind, in exchange for awareness.

Saturn in Scorpio: The Next Major Phase

Many transits contribute to this thing we’re calling 2012, and this includes the two planets I’ve just described in Pisces. The last of the major sign-changes that describe 2012 happens in October — Saturn enters your sign, Scorpio. If Chiron and Neptune in Pisces/5th house bring you deeper into a kind of inner well of youth and passion, Saturn in your sign is about making friends with your adult side.

I have said a few times that your central theme of the year is ‘grounding’ — Saturn’s presence in your sign is the ultimate example of this.

Saturn ingressing Scorpio is really two statements: Saturn exits Libra (your 12th house) and it ingresses Scorpio. Having Saturn around this part of your chart — around the ascendant or your solar ascendant (the sign your Sun occupies) can be a time of making many decisions. Saturn’s current trek through the 12th (taking most of 2010, 2011 and a swath of 2012) can be an introspective time, from which you are gradually emerging.

This is a shift of emphasis, and it can feel like you’re finally stepping out into the world after a long retreat. Saturn through the 12th can have a bit of The Hermit to it. Inner retreat is not only advisable under this transit, it’s what feels good — but that is changing.

As Saturn gets ready to move into your sign, you may feel direct challenges that compel you to stand in your confidence — which will be an emotional factor. Saturn in Scorpio is one of those things that influences everyone on this particular theme of emotional confidence — though since it’s so personal for you, this is particularly true. In preparation, the coming months of Mars retrograde will offer you many tests and opportunities to find your confidence, perhaps on a level not quite as deep as Saturn’s arrival. In a sense, everything else that happens this year is a warm-up for Saturn entering your sign.

In case you’re not familiar with it, I will describe the Saturn principle as it expresses itself in personal astrology. This concept is about to become your personal guidepost, and in the nine months or so before this manifests — shortly before your birthday — you have some time to contemplate it, and adapt it into your life. If you are older than age 30, you may have had experiences around that age that made you aware of Saturn for the first time. In a few words, Saturn is the authority principle. Most people experience this as an external factor that is imposed on them, by society, their relationships or the responsibilities of life.

Saturn in your sign (or in some way acting close to personal points in your chart) is about internalizing that authority. In the simplest terms, it’s about no longer needing anyone to tell you what to do; nobody to limit you from the ‘outside’, but rather the ability to set your own limits and make your own affirmative choices; and it’s about internalizing the function of parent, so that nobody has to play that role in your life for you. This is a bigger adjustment than most people can make; it is the essence of what happens when therapy works.

What I suggest — to make this as easy and understandable as possible — is that you consider Saturn the principle of fairness. Let that be the first question you ask yourself, whenever any issue of authority arises, or a situation where power involving another person comes up. What is actually fair? That would mean fair to everyone involved; this may involve crafting a compromise, but you’re the one who will need to hold the vision for that. What is fair may be obvious, or it may require some thought. But in the end, fair is indeed fair, and that is the principle by which to conduct your life.

Beyond The Extremes

Reading over this interpretation, I can see that it seems to present two extremes — for example, the freedom you need in your work environment (Uranus in Aries), and the sexual freedom implied by two planets in Pisces (Chiron and Neptune) — and on the other side, your ruling planets in earth signs, and Saturn entering your sign.

Most of the time we don’t actually live in extremes, we visit them and either spend our time hanging around the middle zone, or when we’re feeling unstable, bouncing with some intensity between liberty on the one hand and responsibility on the other.

There is one last event that I have not mentioned in the written portion of this reading, but which plays an exciting role in your life — the Venus transit of the Sun, which takes place in June. This takes place in Gemini. Your sign has an odd connection to Gemini, a kind of parallel resonance. Your sign is the 8th sign. Gemini is the 8th house from your sign. So in a sense, if you’ve got a strong Scorpio chart, Gemini is where you would look for more information.

Gemini’s prominence in your chart, and its striking difference in quality than your sign, paints a picture of how it’s possible for you to be so delightfully unlike yourself. The stereotype of Scorpio is dark, deep, brooding, potent and controlling. Gemini in the 8th describes someone who understands the principle of brotherhood. While Scorpio is supposed to be the sign of passionate sex and committed relationship, Gemini in one of the most sexual angles of your chart describes flexibility, an egalitarian impulse and a desire to talk about everything.

The Venus transit of the Sun is like something being born in this house. I can feel it developing and it feels like some new and expected quality emerges in your relationships. It may indeed be a new relationship but if it is, it’s the kind that you’ve never had before, or only briefly experienced. It may describe a sacred union or a sacred union with yourself — and in either event (or both), the result will be the sensation of greater presence in your own life and in your relationships.

I recognize that we live in a tenuous — even frightening — time, where there are no guarantees. You of all people may be feeling the urgency for change, and a desire to participate. I can tell you based on your astrology that those doors will open if you form careful, loving and honest bonds with people, and if you follow what is in truth a lifelong instinct to be not only part of the tribe but an integral part of it. Everything is pointing in this one direction, which is to say — in a phrase — that you are not alone.

Your 2012 annual interpretation also includes an extended audio reading. That is available at the top of this page.

Don’t forget to read and listen to your rising sign. Use this link to purchase additional signs of Revelation. Revolution. Reality Check.

Read the past three years of Scorpio annual interpretations for just $19.95. Includes Next World Stories, Cosmic Confidential and Light Bridge. These were designed to be multiple-year interpretations, preparing for and extending well past 2012.