The Strong and the Trusted

“The Ambassador’s Red Buds” by Lanvi Nguyen.

INTELLIGENCE for Scorpio by Eric Francis

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
— Coretta Scott King

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
— Helen Keller

The prevailing condition of humanity, particularly here in the Western world, is the feeling of the ground crumbling beneath our feet. We could describe this many ways — as economic unfairness, as corruption in government, as late-stage capitalism. What is actually crumbling are one’s sense of uniqueness, and social relationships. Individuality and the bonds we form as individuals are the ground on which we stand by ourselves and as a society, and they are being transformed into inherently meaningless zeroes and ones.

From this condition, the result has been largely reactionary. Politics has grown more extreme, and more tribal. Digression from “new norms” is often treated viciously. And the result is more chaos and destabilization.

You are on the rectification team. When Jupiter and Saturn meet in their once-per-generation conjunction on the winter solstice of 2020, the alignment takes place on the nadir of the Scorpio chart: the first degree of Aquarius. This is the 4th house cusp of archetypal Scorpio, and it represents your leadership role in all matters related to family, tribe, organizations, and informal social relationships. You had some taste of what that was about during the summer of 2018, when you may have experienced a disturbance in this area of your life.

The 4th is one of those endlessly complex houses, well suited for its main theme — whether you feel safe and secure on the planet. There is no easy answer to what makes you or someone else feel safe. It would seem that for most, a steady job and a dry roof won’t do it. How much is in the bank won’t do it. For most people, a relationship won’t do it — for many, that’s just another source of insecurity.

For Scorpio, the answer to the riddle is community. In the most immediate sense, this translates to family, though I will begin by saying your mission is much greater than the nuclear family, or your family of origin, even out to your cousins. I mean the family of humanity, in which it is your destiny to play some vital role as the Earth and its people go through the current (and upcoming) initiation.

The sign involved is Aquarius, which has two main properties: groups and energy patterns. These are related. I could expand that a little: Aquarius is the nexus where the individual meets the group and the group influences the individual; and it represents energy patterns that influence everything, particularly the patterns of human relationships — and notably, our relationship to technology.

These are all nested within one another like Russian dolls. The concepts of family and of community have been broadcast onto the internet, where they have not only lost their meaning; they are the equivalent of a mother bird feeding its baby plastic, thinking it’s food. There is exceedingly little of the nutrient value of community available on the internet; and it has a way of becoming toxic fast. Aquarius has a dangerous side to it, which is to amplify humanity’s impulse to conformity.

It’s worth knowing something about the original vulnerability that leads to this. It involves a child’s knowledge that it’s entirely at the mercy of its family (or originally, its tribe). Kids know that if they are deemed unacceptable, they can be thrown in the river. That may sound harsh, but it happens constantly; and what I am talking about is a primal fear more than a practical reality. This primal fear is extant on some level all the time. And this can create systems of toxic dependency and pressure to conform to social norms that in reality don’t work for the benefit of anyone, particularly not the group itself.

As a sign ruled by Mars (from classical astrology; we will come to Pluto later), yours is one of the most fiercely independent signs. Yet at the same time, a planet that represents intense sexual polarity also wants to bond, which magnetizes you to others. As a feminine sign ruled by a masculine planet, you can evoke intense responses from people, whether you’re a man or a woman. People feel your sexuality but are not sure how to respond to you. And you may be feeling nothing of the kind; you might be thinking about a new kitchen or the next time you go hiking, while others are plastering a story onto you (again, I’m ahead of myself here).

If we study the chart for Dec. 21, 2020 — the major point of arrival at the end of 2020, which will likely be the most unusual year of our lives — you arrive at a point of stability, of leadership, and of urgent action. You are preparing for something you know you must do. What that is won’t be clear until right before you arrive. The urgent action is described by Mars conjunct Eris, square Pluto — all to the degree. And this comes after a long Mars retrograde between Sept. 9 and Nov. 14, 2020; that’s likely to be when you figure it out.

Speaking of Mars retrograde, the most recent one, in the summer of 2018, took place mostly in Aquarius. As I described in some detail in the audio reading, this was a critical point of preparation for you. Mars retrograde in Aquarius challenged you to do something very difficult: to go against the norms of your family, tribe or community. There are some who managed to do that; there are others who succumbed to that toxic energy of groups and gave up their individuality, in exchange for false security. I suggest you do a careful evaluation of the events of last year, and assess honestly how you did; what choices you made; how you responded to your fears, and to your impulse to be ideologically free in the face of pressure to be someone other than yourself. When those two forces met, what did you do? And where do you stand today?

To put it gently, when the time comes, you’re going to need to know how to stand apart, and to sustain that position. You will need to maintain your independence of thought in the context of many influences that want you to get with the program, whatever that program might be. The winter solstice 2020 chart is also charged with the energy of revolt and rebellion: your ruling planet conjunct Eris (there is the revolt and the rebellion) and also a lone-wolf quality (Mars square Pluto as part of the same aspect).

So when the time comes to rebel, you will need to be good at that too. People speak harshly of politics, though nobody can doubt the skills of working with others, of helping unruly people forge agreements with one another, and stick to them. You are likely to provide that structure, and the example of a social order or orientation that will work for the people around you. We don’t know who those people are, exactly; it could be anything from your profession to the local rescue squad to holding some political office to taking up a tribal leadership position. This will influence any group, organization, or social environment that you’re part of.

I would strongly advise against doing this early; remain stealthy for now. Rather, use your keen abilities of observation to notice what people do when they get together; notice whether they get along, and what influences that; notice those moments when people give up their individuality. Please refer to the Aries reading (available to everyone) for an extended discussion of the relationship between the group and the individual.

The essential thing is that you study your own relationships between individuals and groups, which means studying your relationship between yourself and your family. I cannot emphasize this enough. Our relationships to our families hold many, many secrets, including the key to our insecurities. A book might be helpful, one I’ve recommended many times — A General Theory of Love. You will, in a real sense, be moving into a position of family leadership (that’s the thing that every group has in common), and you must know your weaknesses, your vulnerabilities, and the places where you’re likely to compromise your integrity.

Uranus in the 7th House

One of the most significant transits influencing your life is Uranus in Taurus, which is your 7th place, your relationship zone. Uranus has an odd connection to Aquarius, primarily in the sense that both represent group dynamics (Uranus is also the modern ruler of Aquarius). Given that your primary relationship orientation is most likely to be one-to-one, this will have some unusual effects, and you will get to work your way through one of the great riddles of humanity, that of “the one and the many.”

I covered this in an article some years ago. My basic theory is that all relationships, no matter how monogamous, are set within a community context; and even if relationships are polyamorous, each individual bond is dyadic, or one-to-one.

Getting a feeling for these dynamics will be very helpful to you. They are likely to rewrite the structures of your relationships, no matter how stable they may seem. In fact, the more stable, the more susceptible to some reorganization or rethinking, to accommodate your accruing role as someone integral to your community.

Most relationships need a highly predictable environment as the basis of their stability. There are strict social rules for many people in couples to “assure” that the delicate balance of all the other couples is not upset. And in many communities, single people are outright banned from associating with couples; there are many places where single people are not considered full citizens.

One likely and somewhat immediate effect of Uranus is going to be infusing your life with groups, and also with eccentric individuals (both are represented by Uranus). Eccentric can mean nutty professor types, and can also mean flakes. You are going to need to tune your boundaries to accommodate this.

That means tuning your relationship agreements and understandings. Since many people have relationships without bringing them to the level of a conscious understanding, that may be the first adventure you go on.

Meanwhile, I suggest you notice your environment as it changes. All of the houses represent specific environments. Yet the 7th house is the one that I think represents “the environment in general” — how you experience the outer world, on the level of the psychic weather. With Uranus on the 7th, there are likely to be more unexpected developments than you’re accustomed to, by which (in part) I mean many relatively minor things in the course of a day. You can work with these; you can play the synchronicity game. You can experiment with odd opportunities.

If you take the time to speak with seemingly weird people, you will find out they are intelligent, and may not be so weird after all. To use your discernment does not mean to be untrusting. Trust enough to find out where someone is coming from, and give people a chance to reveal who they are. You may find yourself engaging with, or attracted to, people with whom you never would have predicted that such was possible. This, in turn, will teach you new things about yourself.

There will be some larger changes over the next few years, though if you tune in, and consider the history of the past year, you will have some clues to elements of your environment that may be concealed for now, though which you know are there. It would be preferable for you to be preemptive about changes you need to make, and not put yourself in a position where things seem to happen to you.

They might; they sometimes do on this planet. Yet the more you can raise your awareness to meet your environment, the better. This may mean raising your vibration and loosening up your density level so that you’re more open to people and things you’re unaccustomed to.

The Need for Equanimity and Kindness

I hear a lot about people’s opinions of the astrological signs. As you know, people are often strongly opinionated about the whole Scorpio thing. Given the timing of the Uranus transit, and its potential to present you with situations that challenge your point of view, you will need to be patient with them. And you will need to go out of your way to be kind to them, especially if they are at some disadvantage.

People tend to be responsive to your power, and give you a lot of room to be yourself; this has a way of glossing over some of the ways that people struggle with you. They value their relationship with you and will put up with a lot. This can lead you to lack honest feedback in your life, or a sense of what others experience when they experience you.

I suggest you practice equanimity with everyone — mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in difficult situations. But there is more; it’s necessary that you practice kindness. There are many elements to this, but really, just one: being good to people in word and deed.

Never take an advantage just because you can. Give people a second chance. Practice forgiveness. Go out of your way to be warm. Nothing else can be called “spiritual.” Spiritual is not about being right; it’s about feeling others, listening with sensitivity, and helping individual humans, and the human family, find its way — one day at a time, one conversation at a time, one person at a time. This must be true no matter who they are, no matter what your relationship to them is, and in truth, no matter your opinion of them. The more intimate you are with someone, though, the more you need to pay attention, and not take them for granted.

Decluttering Mentally

Your mind gets in the way, and in recent years you’ve been obsessed with it. This has been due to the presence of Pluto in Capricorn, which has gone through a series of peaks, and is about to go through another. The rapidly approaching conjunction of Saturn and Pluto is likely to increase the perception that you have to make decisions; that you must make up your mind. This is not the case.

This Saturn-Pluto thing is happening in Capricorn, your 3rd solar house. This is likely to arrive with a sense of urgency, and may be stressful. The thing to do is to slow your decision-making process down, and ask parts of your body other than your mind to get involved. No, that’s not all that I’m on about — the first is your bones. If you can arrange this, you need to listen to what your bones are telling you. They don’t sound even vaguely like your mind.

With Capricorn there, your natural tendency is to be a conservative and contemplative thinker. You honor the past, which is a tremendous gift to have right now while the future is coming at us like a torrential rainstorm. However, Pluto in Capricorn has provided you with a kind of mentally obsessive quality that has grown over the years, and you may have made some strange decisions in that time.

Now Saturn is there, and is acting like a piston, applying pressure to Pluto. It’s also attempting to help you sweep up and unclutter your mental sphere. There’s a lot in there that you don’t want — all manner of debris and jetsam and flotsam that has been passed down to you through the generations.

Additionally, Pholus is present in your 3rd and it is an accelerant. A relatively new influence (to Capricorn and to astrology itself), going forward you will need to be fully conscious of this. I suggest you look at the Capricorn reference reading for details, though the short of it is: be careful what influences your thinking (such as alcohol or drugs) and make sure you know how your family thinks, so that you don’t think like them when you don’t want to.

The other area covered by this house is communication skills. There is no way around this: you need to become a master at reading, writing, speaking and listening. These are skills that are going down the drain right now. An old friend who is an attorney sometimes says, “People don’t listen. They just don’t listen.” You don’t have this luxury. Nor do you have the luxury of being a careless reader, or an imprecise speaker or writer.

The potential problem is that two pressurizing factors, Pholus and the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, are likely to cause distortions. The problem with distortions of the mental kind is that they warp everything you perceive. So you’re going to need a feedback loop. For example, fact-checking would work; involve the people around you in a process of verifying what you say. This is not about being told how great or terrible you are; rather, it’s about getting as close to objective responses and impressions as you can.

If you’re a writer, get feedback from people who know nothing about what you write about. These kinds of cold responses are vitally important to gauge how you’re coming across. Basically, your worst enemy is your own bias, and your second-worst enemy is feeling like you’re on a mission or a crusade. When you feel obsessed is when you need to stop, take a step back, and do a reality check.

One issue to watch is that you will be persuasive. You are exuding a kind of mental and verbal power, funded by your sense of urgency, that will attract true believers, and they will always tell you that you’re wonderful. Don’t pay any attention to them. Instead, get your feedback from someone who actively dislikes you, or better yet, who doesn’t care so much; or better still, someone, or several people, who are good at being objective. I don’t mean perfectly objective; I mean people whose minds have a modicum of balance, to help you see into any mental blind spots being created by such pressurized astrology coming from your 3rd house of mental perception, process and expression.

However, the most valuable thing you can do is to become aware of your own biases and prejudices — and address them. There are two ways to go about this: preemptively, or retroactively. Preemptively means educating yourself, and doing everything in your power to make sure your views are balanced — in particular, a lot of careful (not cursory) reading, learning how to identify and challenge your presumptions, and how to express your views in a balanced way. In short, you would need to do everything that years of conditioning by social media has unraveled.

The other way is to proceed until you have some kind of incident that compels you to do all of these things after the fact, such that you’ve already given up your power.

The Basis of Your Leadership

As I have suggested, you are in a preparation phase for leadership, which you might think of as being on the local level. Local means close to home: your family, your tribe, your community. This is the most important level of leadership in the world today, because it’s the most urgently needed, and the most real to the most people.

Our notions of what it means to lead or influence others are grossly distorted by media presentations of swaggering wannabe dictators leading chants, and wise men in turtlenecks striding around on a stage with their image projected behind them. I am talking about leadership on the level of a guidance counselor, a community organizer or perhaps a mayor.

The basis of your leadership is being grounded. This would include some measure of feeling safe on the planet. This is challenging in our era, when so much seems to go wrong, and when we live with the notion that everything can come crashing down at any moment. You need to set these ideas out of your thinking, and make real contact with the Earth beneath you and the people around you.

Yet grounded primarily means mentally and emotionally stable and solid. That extends to understanding your thought process, and knowing when you’re caught in a fixed mental or emotional pattern that you need to get out of. Carefully reviewing the events of the summer of 2018 will be instructive here, because they were so unusual.

One interesting thing about Scorpio is the extent to which your mental and emotional realms are overlaid. This involves the primarily emotionally based 4th house being covered in your chart by Aquarius, which tends to defer to logic and reason. This can cut you off from your body-knowledge, which is an essential point of orientation for your ability to trust — and to be trusted.

Part of this is being predictable, though not in a mechanical way. Rather, it will help if you prioritize your ability to reason and to work in an evenhanded way with all facets of any situation, and in particular, with people you disagree with. That’s the real measure of whether someone has a balanced mind.

Aquarius on the 4th cusp connects you to groups as a means of you getting some structure in your life, and a sense of acceptance from them. Now, you’re working to a point where you place the two largest planets — Jupiter and Saturn — in this house; then you become the point of attraction. You will not be seeking out others for your sense of safety; people will be seeking you out. And when they do, you will need to be solid in your heart, in your mind, and on your feet.

This means knowing that you’re not doing anything alone; you’re doing everything with help. I suggest you revisit your thoughts about this — about whether you’re open to assistance, and whether you have a sense of how work, influence, and responsibility can be distributed equitably.

Your role is not to gain influence. Your role is not to gain power. To the contrary, your role is to make sure people get the help they come to you for, which means helping others have influence and, if needed, power. This again is exactly opposite of the way the world is currently operating.

Of Work and Sex

Scorpio, as an astrological concept, is famous for its interest in sex; at least that is what everyone projects onto you. Part of the origin here is that in classical astrology, every sign rules an organ system, and Scorpio gets the genitals. The other spooky thing about Scorpio is its association with reproduction and regeneration, which is a reference or inference to death.

It’s this combination that’s a little too real for many people; but as you know, we’re on Earth and subject to its basic principles of nature. In the digital age, we’re pretending none of that exists, though this is another unaffordable luxury.

One interesting angle on how you’re perceived regarding sexuality is that you’re conversant in the subject, and all taboo subjects. This is associated with Gemini on your 8th solar house (or 8th by whole signs). Where there is Gemini there is a conversation. And for you, Gemini occupies the house of all those deep mysteries, the 8th. I’ve noticed that a good few humans bristle when someone wants to be open about that which is not supposed to be discussed at all. (If you’re curious about this, get hold of your natal chart and do a careful study of your Mercury. It’s not difficult, and it will be interesting.)

While sex is important to you, in a conscious way that others deny and that you cannot, it would seem your true point of orientation and self-actualization is your work. You have Aries in the 6th house, and wherever Aries is, self-directed curiosity and the need for expression follow. This argues strongly that you organize your life around your productivity.

This has been challenging in recent years, with Uranus passing through Aries. You may have made progress; you may have felt scattered. This will vary from individual to individual. Uranus can bring breakthroughs, and surprise turns of events, and it can also cause a kind of hyperactivity or ADD that makes it challenging to focus your efforts and concentrate your energy.

This same house, the 6th, is also the one that covers health and wellbeing. And it covers service. This confluence of themes is a top-level life priority for you. I would estimate that seven years of Uranus moving through this region of your life has been a mixed bag; all of the themes require the ability to focus, and Uranus most assuredly does not confer that. Still, you may have learned valuable things, which you will need to consolidate.

There is extraordinary activity focused in Aries this year. The thematic picture that is represented is echoed in several other regions of your chart, though it would not have nearly the intensity if not for Chiron’s ingress into Aries. All my descriptions of grounding yourself, your ability to think and to communicate, and to participate with others for a purpose, not for entertainment or recreation, come home in this one transit.

Chiron in the 6th House

Remember that Aries is often where identity is focused, and Chiron’s presence can draw attention with force greater than the Sun. It gathers events and activity in the chart, and I suggest you get to know where your natal Chiron is and what its aspects are, so you have a second point of reference. For now, meaning for the next eight years, Chiron will be moving through your 6th house of work and wellbeing.

While I’m suggesting frames of reference, I also propose several other points of research. One is to read the Aries reading, which is available to everyone.

Second, I recommend that you find out your rising sign, and then tune into where Chiron is transiting your chart based on your natal whole-sign houses (counting from your ascendant) — as well as what I’m about to do here (which is to use your solar houses, counting from your Sun — unless you are Scorpio rising).

Because Chiron’s primary role is as healer, and teacher of other healers, the 6th house is a vitally important placement or transit for this planet. In the first instance, I suggest you take the personal approach, which is about your own healing process: your health, your therapy and spiritual work, and the need to have teachers in your life whom you trust and seek guidance from. You will need to have your life in order to be able to do the work that you’re going to be called upon to do. So that’s the first step to working with this transit. Your full leadership role does not take place until late 2020, and though there will be a phase-in, part of that transition will be focusing on your personal work. As I’ve described in detail in the Aries and Capricorn reference readings, Chiron through Aries is part of a larger pattern involving two other minor planets, Pholus and Salacia.

I would propose that among the top three items on your healing agenda should be working on your sexuality. We are living in particularly grievous times, when it’s fashionable for people to pretend they have no problems, and then blame everyone else for how they feel. This will in no way suit you, your purpose, your mission, or any facet of your integrity. Indeed, you being clear with your own sexuality is essential to your integrity, particularly in the current climate. This may be one of the subjects that you’re called upon to assist others with the most over the coming years.

At a certain point, the current weather of denial, accusation and projection is going to break. The dramas we’re seeing played out are going to run their course and also be seen as counterproductive and toxic. This will come as a shock to many people; it cannot come as one to you. Your duty to yourself and to the people around you is to take full responsibility for all of your feelings and all of your desires, and for resolving all that has happened to you.

The fact that something may have happened to you (whatever it might have been) could imply that someone else did it, and yet it also means you’re the one whose responsibility it is to take over your own healing process. You will be doing this for yourself, so that your energy is fully available to you; and you will be doing it so that you’re in a position to guide others to do so, from a place of experience and some confidence.

Said another way, your role is to guide people out of the prevailing victim trip, not deeper into it — and the only way to do that is to guide yourself out, and you do that by taking the approach that the buck stops with you (a poker expression): you are the one who gets to deal.

The 6th house calls for study. I suggest you do a lot of reading in the field of sexuality, from older, dependable books dating to a time when there was more courageous exploration than there is today. You can find my reading list here, curated over the past 25 years. The problem with the current discussion of sexuality and relationships is that it’s all placed in a political context, not a personal one. That means there is no discussion at all.

The first thing that has to happen with discussions of sexuality and relationships is that they need to be taken out of ANY public context, so they can be handled where they need to be handled, in a secure environment where trust is possible: between lovers or people interested in one another; with a therapist, or in group therapy; within families; within communities on a confidential basis.

There will be more to your healing process, and more to your teaching role, than just sexuality. Heck, there is more to sexuality than sexuality, though it serves as a kind of key ring that binds together many other topics. Yet true to the workings of Chiron, this is the one place where, if there is a weakness, lack or flaw in the system — particularly for you — the whole system can collapse; and if that situation is addressed, you will emerge with unusual strength and integrity.

You have time, but not a lot of time. You are soon to be drafted into service, and you must be ready, which means you must take care of yourself. The 6th demands that you acquire knowledge, work with teachers, and focus on your process. The 6th demands that you know what you don’t know — and then find out. The next step will be to work with others who are on a similar mission.

Then, you will be among the strong and the trusted: the few, and the urgently needed.

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