Stardate, November 2017

Stardate, November 2017.
All times Pacific.

Scorpio, All Hallows’ Eve and the Day of the Dead: Happy Ghost-hunting!

As a genre, horror films, shows, or novels seem more popular than ever these days. At Halloween, a.k.a. All Hallows’ Eve, people who would never watch a terrifying movie are often happy to escort their children for trick or treating, or to wear costumes themselves, go to parties or parades, and enjoy some sweets.
On All Saints’ Day, November 1st, which is a holy day in Roman Catholicism and which Mexico calls the Day of the Dead, many people remember and honor their departed friends and relatives. With or without a ritual, some of us make personal altars for our dead, while others visit them and have a family picnic in the cemetery.

Halloween comes down to us from the millenia when it was Samhain, one of the eight festivals of the pagan year. The veils between the worlds are said to open at Samhain, which is why the living and the dead supposedly draw closer to one another then, and why spirits and Powers are reputed to walk the Earth. In the Northern hemisphere, crops have been harvested, leaving empty fields and aimless scarecrows. The darkest weeks of the year begin; the days grow colder, and the nights lengthen.
Do we enjoy being scared? I’m not sure. Fear of the unknown, the dead and the dark seems fairly instinctive in homo sapiens. I think we like recovering from being scared. We like knowing that night terrors aren’t really there after all, that there’s no monster under the bed, that there’s no such thing as ghosts.

Is there?

Halloween is a Scorpionic and Plutonian festival—skeletons are on parade. Unless you’re on a special effects TV or film crew, however, the skeletons you see on Main Street then aren’t walking collections of articulated bones animated by some unseen force. They’re merely people in costume. In that sense, those skeletons aren’t real.

But death is. So were the loved ones who’ve left us for the unknown.
If the last two sentences made you uncomfortable, welcome to Scorpio.
Scorpio rules metamorphosis, whose literal meaning is “a change of form.” A caterpillar changes into a butterfly. A child becomes an adult, at least physically.
The deaths associated with this sign are not only those of living beings. They are also metaphorical. In other words, some of the skeletons are in our psyches.

The active phase of some of our relationships “die;” as do some of the lives we could have led or the roads we could have taken. If we work on ourselves and persist, some of our bad habits or clouded perceptions can “die,” as well. Epochs of our lives “die,” too, such as our childhood or our twenties—or at least those eras  pass, and the older selves we have become move on, or should.
Since the 1980s, the phrase “inner child” has made me wince. I didn’t want it to become a cliché, but it basically has . . .  I forget who said: “An adult isn’t a dead child. An adult is a child who survived.” (If you know the origin of that quote, please let me know, and thank you.) The phrase “childhood survivor” is more complex but perhaps more accurate than “inner child.” The children whom we used to be changed. They didn’t literally die. Instead, the ageing process transformed us and is still doing so.

Scorpio and one of its rulers, Pluto, are related to the process of transformation, which involves both disintegration and dissolution, and coalescence or some type of rebirth. Some of us find the emotional metamorphoses of our ongoing maturation more difficult than others do.
In psychotherapy, a Scorpio-ruled process, the ego’s defenses from reality and its assumptions about itself are slowly and gently (we hope) dissolved, leaving the person with new insights and, perhaps, some increased vulnerability. What happens next should be a supportive procedure of rebuilding that person’s self-image and developing better coping mechanisms, so that he or she is both more self-aware and stronger than before, as well as better adapted to his or her present-day  circumstances.
I don’t mean that we all need therapy during the Sun’s passage through Scorpio! But it is a good time for some soul-searching. Would you like to get to know yourself much better? (Warts and all?) Are you ready to let go of a habit or an attitude that no longer serves you? Is it time to address a relationship issue or reconsider that stultifying job? But . . .  What would you and your life be like afterward?

The answer to that question is at least partly unknown. Much of the future is hidden from us, “occulted” by our linear perception of time. Scorpio rules the unknown, the depths of the human psyche, and the occult. It rules what scares us. The dead are spooky because we don’t know everything that the dying process entails, or what comes after it. The dead are also frightening because their human forms have disintegrated but haven’t been rebuilt, as far as we can tell, nor do we know if they ever will be. Ghosts, monsters and zombies are usually portrayed in some state of decay or incompletion.

This condition can exist in the psyche, too. A fifty-year-old who’s one hundred percent as furious at Mom and Dad now as he was at age fifteen may not frighten us, but somehow we can sense that he’s emotionally stuck, that some part of his growth that should have happened by now did not come to fruition, as if something is missing, frozen, or unresolved in his psyche. Even the most unobservant people may feel a bit uncomfortable around such a person.
Little wonder: Metaphorically, his emotional state is like a ghost of himself at age fifteen, a ghost that still haunts his life at age fifty.

In my opinion, the presence of dissolution, the first process of transformation, when not followed by the second process of new growth or integration, and/or when followed by the unknown, can frighten even the bravest among us. Remember that the cultural images of ghosts, zombies and monsters usually involve some unnerving form of disintegration or decay? Feeling fear—Mars co-rules Scorpio—is human. Not letting your fears stop you from claiming a more integrated Self, no matter how disturbing the journey toward a more fulfilling life may sometimes be, is transformative.

Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends in the U.S. on 2:00 a.m., Nov. 5, 2017, which then becomes 1:00 a.m. Enjoy an extra hour’s sleep! (Note: in most European countries, DST ends at 2:00 a.m. on Oct. 29, the last Sunday in October.)

Pick a time when the Moon is well-aspected to start something that you want to finish well. All times Pacific:
Nov. 1, ending Nov. 2 at 8:03 pm PST
Nov. 5 from 2:26 am to Nov. 7 at 2:40 am
Nov. 9 from 4:29 am to Nov. 11 at 12:55 am
Nov. 13 from 3:26 pm to Nov. 15 at 4:50 pm
Nov. 16 from 12:19 am to Nov. 18 at 3:42 am
Nov. 18 from 10:59 am to Nov. 20 at 4:26 pm
Nov. 23 from 12:14 pm to Nov. 26 at 6:37 pm
Nov. 28 from 8:30 am to Nov. 30 at 10:37 am

Planetary Ingresses (planets entering a new sign):
Nov. 5, Mercury enters Sagittarius, 11:19 am. Try to be open to opinions and world views that are different from yours. You don’t have to agree, but it would be wise to listen.
Nov. 7, Venus enters Scorpio, 3:38 am. Start making room for more passion and intensity in your important relationships. How? Begin with some gentle honesty to address any unresolved issues.

Nov. 21, Sun enters Sagittarius, 7:05 pm.
The American Thanksgiving is an appropriate holiday to arrive near the Sun’s ingress into this Jupiter-ruled sign. Find the “horns of plenty” and the “groaning boards” (full dinner tables) in your life, be grateful for them, and think about how they could be improved or expanded. Generosity, tolerance, and a desire for broader perspectives are the calling cards of this expansive sign, and hope is its gift.

Full Moon, Nov. 3, 10:23 pm, 13 degrees Scorpio (Sun)-Taurus (Moon).
If you have natal planets within 3 degrees of the 13th degrees of Scorpio, Taurus, Leo or Aquarius, you’ll need to work out an understanding, a compromise or an agreement to disagree with someone else, in situations concerning that planet(s), the house where it lies, and the opposite house.
Also, this situation may span the month before and/or the month after this full Moon, from Oct. 3 through Dec. 3.

A full Moon marks the beginning of the waning half of the lunar cycle.
Some people feel that it’s better to make new beginnings during the approximately two weeks that fall between the new Moon and the full Moon, and to be more concerned with wrapping up events or discarding what’s no longer needed between the full Moon and the new Moon.

New Moon, Nov. 18, 3:42 am, 27 degrees Scorpio. “The dark of the Moon.”
If you have natal planets within 3 degrees of the 27th degree of Scorpio, Taurus, Leo or Aquarius, then from Oct. 18 to Dec. 18, peaking on Nov. 18 at the new Moon, you’ll be focused on that planet and house. It’s possible to understand some issues or to take some new steps here that don’t necessarily involve another person.

A new Moon marks the beginning of the waxing half of the lunar cycle.
Some people feel that it’s better to make new beginnings during the approximately two weeks that fall between the new Moon and the full Moon, and to be more concerned with wrapping up events or discarding what’s no longer needed between the full Moon and the new Moon.