Full Moon 2010
I am, and from the battle I emerge triumphant.
Scorpio and the Path of Discipleship
Scorpio is one arm of the fixed cross, where we learn to truly love through the
transformation and purification of the astral or emotional nature. In many ways
Scorpio generically represents the fixed cross that the soul voluntarily mounts
- to tread the fiery path of discipleship and initiation. It is upon the fixed
cross that the first three initiations are taken and Scorpio represents the
second degree initiation where the complete control of the emotional nature is
demonstrated – unequivocally, undeniably and incontrovertibly!
This initiation represents a high water mark in the voyage of the soul and its
achievement is usually marked by a life of great striving and turmoil. It is
not an easy stage of achievement nor of ascertaining whether one has reached
that point. The balancing of the pairs of opposites occurs through the pairs of
signs, hence the Taurus polarity is most important. The ‘world disciple’ is ruled
by Scorpio, just as the ‘world aspirant’ is ruled by Taurus. Desire in Taurus
leads to the depths of Scorpionic experience:
“The secret of Taurus is revealed at the second initiation by the sudden
removal or disappearance of world glamour in the blinding energy of light. This
constitutes the final radiant activity which consummates the play of the
Taurian force upon humanity during the long and cyclic journey to which man is
committed. The individual enacts on a tiny scale what humanity—as a whole—will
enact when it takes initiation in Taurus.”
The Mutable, Fixed and Cardinal Crosses
Hence the challenges of Scorpio, a sign of initiation
and triumph – through the sacrifice of the lower nature, by overcoming the
warring pairs of opposites. Mars as God of War is both the personality and soul
ruler of Scorpio, whilst Pluto the Lord of Death and Destruction, is its
As a ‘non-sacred planet’ Mars indicates that which is unredeemed, in conflict
and inharmonious; it spurs us to action and drives us forward. Mars can be
blind desire but also brings about the recognition of that blindness through
sharply accentuating the pairs of opposites, whether they be love and hate,
fear and courage, sex and celibacy or pride and humility. The month of October
2010 saw Mars in its own sign of Scorpio, along with his opposite number Venus,
hence the battle may have been on for many. The ‘burning ground’ of sex and
relationships could have been particularly emphasised – as individual internal
battles or in the ‘battle of the sexes’. Was harmony wrought from any conflict?
Sacred and Non-Sacred Planets
co-ruler Pluto is also a ‘non-sacred planet’ but has a very ‘esoteric’
influence. Both planets rule the solar plexus and base chakras respectively. Mars
also has an obvious relation to the sacral or sexual centre. Pluto is also
associated with the solar plexus in its role of transforming all the energies from
the lower centres and raising them to the heart centre. It is for this reason
that Pluto’s new symbol is the vertical upward pointing arrow.
Flow of Energy Between Lower and Higher Centres: Planetary Rulers
Yet Pluto’s influence is also said to be ‘first felt in
the mental body’, hence its rulership for humanity over the crown chakra as
well as the base or root chakra:
“It [Pluto] governs however the death or cessation of old ideas and emotions,
and its influence is therefore largely cerebral and in that you have the clue
to its late discovery. Mankind is only on the verge of becoming mental. Its
effects are felt first in the mental body.”
This head/mental influence relates to the developing mental faculty that,
through its increasing strength, achieves a greater ‘grip’ over the astral body
and eventually controls it. This is partially why Uranus, another ‘mental’
planet, is exalted in Scorpio, representing the deeply occult nature of both
operating together, whilst the astral nature is subordinated.
Mars’ rulership over the solar plexus chakra is particularly
important as this centre is the major area of expression for the desire or
astral body; likewise, Scorpio is a water sign, symbol of the emotional nature.
These two factors together create a formidable combination of forces for any
human being to control. Hence the reason why the undeveloped or
not-quite-integrated Scorpio has had such a bad reputation for misusing their
zodiacal energy by selfish appropriation of power, money, sex etc.
Saint Paul may be a good example to study here - as one
who, on the road to Damascus, was transformed from the belligerent and
bellicose Saul to Paul, the zealous proselytiser of Christ. Paul confesses to
having (as Saul) “violently persecuted” the “church of God” prior to his
conversion – he was very much in the mode of inquisitor. It has been speculated
by some esoteric scholars that Paul (now the Master Hilarion), took the 2nd,
3rd and 4th initiations in that one incarnation. Even if
he did, the distortions that still worked through his imperfect personality
left their mark:
Saul Blinded on the Road to Damascus
Merisi da Carravagio
“Christianity exemplifies the death of the personality,
with individual and not universal implications; love has been conspicuously
lacking and the controlling colour of Christianity has indeed been red. It is
not Christ's expression but the Scorpio-Mars presentation of St. Paul. Mars has
ruled Christianity because St. Paul misinterpreted the esoteric significances
of the New Testament message and he misinterpreted because the truth—like all
truths as they reach humanity—had to pass through the filter of his personality
mind and brain; it was then unavoidably given a personal slant and twist and
this is responsible for the sorry historical story of Christianity and the dire
plight of the nations today—ostensibly Christian nations yet swept by hate,
ruled by fear and at the same time by idealism, governed by a fanatical
adherence to their national destiny as they interpret it and "out for
blood" as the piling up of armaments discloses. All these are sixth ray
characteristics, emphasised by Scorpio and conditioned by Mars which ever rules
the path of the individual disciple, and today the world disciple, humanity as
a whole, stands at the very portal of the Path.”
Hmmm, quite an damning indictment Master DK makes about
one of the lives of his fellow Masters! Nevertheless, the great spiritual
heights that Paul reached cannot be denied; his writings are deeply esoteric
and prophetic. Being blinded upon the road to Damascus for three days is a
symbol of the third initiation, whilst his eventual be-heading is an esoteric
symbol of the fourth degree.
Ananias restores the sight of Saint Paul.
(A 1631 painting by Pietro Cortona)
The Beheading of St Paul
Merisi da Carravagio
Most human emotional bodies are conditioned by the
sixth ray. Nations like the USA have this energy conditioning its personality
expression. Mars therefore stimulates attachment, whether in the realm of
ideas, religion, people, food, substances etc. In other words the unconscious
forces of Mars are behind the fundamentalism of Christianity and Islam for
instance; it is the force behind the host of addictions, the craving for
repeated experience along one track. (The lower vibrations of Neptune as
co-ruler of the solar plexus are of course also related to addiction.)
Indeed, Mars and the sixth ray have the tendency to be stuck on a narrow track
strewn with thorns! This is why the red rose that surmounts its thorny stem, is
such a beautiful symbol of the prickly path trod to the fiery red heart. The giving
of red roses as an expression of romantic love has a much more profound
significance. The rose is central to Rosicrucianism and the Rosy Cross. The
perfume that emanates from the rose is the sum of the sattvas (extracted
essences) of many lives. Indeed, DK tells us, “The mystery of the second ray [of
Love-Wisdom] is found to be hidden in the significance of the perfume of
This thorny path that leads from the solar plexus to
the heart, can also be termed the ‘lesser burning ground’, ruled over by Pluto:
“Two of the other non-sacred planets—Mars and Pluto—function in connection with
the sacral centre (Mars) and the solar plexus (Pluto). This latter planet
becomes active in the life of the man who is "becoming alive in the higher
sense, his lower nature passes into the smoke and darkness of Pluto, who
governs the lesser burning ground, in order that the man may live in truth in
the higher land of light."
This is why Scorpio is the sign of discipleship, one who can discipline the warring lower nature, by transforming earthly, temporal desires into aspiration toward higher soul experience. This is where fear shifts to love and
courage, sexual procreativity into higher mental creativity. There
is a healthy circulation of forces that sees all centres activated but none of
Hence Pluto’s destructive power is utilised to destroy impediments upon the
Path, not to appropriate earthly power and control. In this latter respect
Scorpio can be the ultimate Nazi, black magician and all the negative PR that has been ascribed to this sign down
the ages. Indeed, breaking this ancient thoughtform is the role of the modern
disciple and esoteric student who can demonstrate Scorpio’s more redeeming
features. Scorpio – ‘Sinner’ or Saint.
“Pluto, transmitting first ray energy, rules Scorpio, the sign of
discipleship, of the man ready for the fusion brought about through the
influence of the sacred planets, and governs the house of major separations and
of death. "The arrow of God pierces the heart and death takes place."
But in this connection it must be remembered that death is definitely brought
about by the soul. It is the soul which shoots the arrow of death. (The upward
pointing arrow is the astrological symbol of Pluto.)”
Lord Pluto with Cerberus, the Three-Headed Dog
Pluto is the Lord of Hell, a realm that has been
created by Humanity since Atlantean times. Likewise Heaven is an artificial
creation upon the astral plane and both places are from a higher viewpoint,
illusory. Yet until we reach that higher perception, they are both very ‘real’
places that dominate most religious ideologies and superstitious thinking. From
a very broad perspective, all of Humanity is in ‘hell’ until the Final Liberation,
yet there are many smaller liberations prior - where the ultimate ‘heaven’ or
nirvana is glimpsed or experienced.
Pluto’s ‘underworld’ is therefore the province of all that is unredeemed,
hidden and unconscious for each individual. Pluto’s transformative power
resides in his ability to resurrect and raise from the depths that which is
buried in the subconscious – into broad daylight; just as Hercules triumphs in
the Scorpio labour, by lifting the hissing nine-headed dragon above his head.
Note Johfra’s painting for Scorpio, where St George is vanquishing the dragon.
See also the meditator in the background, representing the extreme ascetic
discipline that Scorpio is able to summon – the starving or killing out of all
desire. The opposite sign of Scorpio is Taurus, the sign of the Buddha, who
taught much upon these themes. There are many other themes in the painting,
such as the cup of the holy grail and the serpent, Scorpionic symbol of
transformation and wisdom.
“In Scorpio—In this sign, the disciple undergoes those tests which will enable
him to take the second initiation and demonstrate that the desire nature is
subdued and conquered and that the lower nature is (by being lifted up in the
air, i.e. into heaven) capable of reaching the goal for this world period, and
that from the earthy foundations of Scorpio the personality can be so tested
that it shows fitness for the world service demanded in Aquarius. This is
beautifully expressed for us in the legend of Hercules, the Sun-God who
overcomes the nine-headed Hydra or serpent of desire by being forced to his
knees and from that position of humility lifts up the serpent into the air, and
then deliverance comes.”
Hercules and the Nine-Headed Hydra
The Nine Heads of the
Physical Plane: Sex Comfort Money
Astral Plane: Ambition Hatred Fear
Mental Plane: Pride Cruelty Separativeness
These have been discussed at length in other newsletters and articles at
However it is always timely, especially while the Sun is on its annual
pilgrimage through Scorpio, to invoke the forces of Pluto and be totally
ruthless, to look at what ‘hydra heads’ remain unconquered within oneself. But how
do we really know anyway if they are partly unconscious factors? Always
easier to see the mote in our brother’s eye, right? All of our fellow humanity
are usually the best mirrors, but invoking the unwavering gaze of Pluto’s X ray
vision goes a long way toward right perception.
Are you overly pre-occupied with sex? Are you burdened by inertia and laziness,
a comfortable couch potato? Is yours a life that is oriented to serve or occupied
with selfish satisfaction? Of satisfying your every desire at the slightest
whim? Do you express or explore spirituality as if it were a fashion to
appropriate like a new pair of shoes? Are you unnecessarily hung-up about
money? Do you find yourself seething with hatred and jealousy, even toward your
closest co-workers? Are you ambitious, materially and/or spiritually? Do you
feel that you do not get the recognition you deserve? Are you still a slave to
fear, the hydra head that still devours most of humanity? Do you suffer from a
crippling pride and condescension? How mentally cruel are you – do you take others
as your mental or emotional ‘hostage’? Do you find yourself continually
critical of others, creating a separating and dividing barrier between yourself
and the world? Heavens to Murgatroyd, there’s alot of stuff to look at here!
What are the opposites or complementary ways of working with the energies of
these nine heads? Some of them are not ‘bad’, they are just utilised more
narrowly or selfishly.
Right use of sex
Right use of money
Dragons of Matter and Spirit: 9 + 9 heads = 18
The number 9 is the number of initiation. Its glyph
signifies the ascent of matter into spirit, just as its opposite numeral 6
defines the descent of spirit anchoring itself in matter. Hence the number 9
represents the first initiation, whilst 9 x 2 = 18, represents the second
degree initiation, Scorpio’s realm. (9 x 3 =27 the third degree etc)
“You will see from this how important are the functions of Scorpio and Mars
upon our planet at this time, and you will note also how brief a time remains
in which humanity can (rightly or wrongly) handle its tests. You will realise
also the pressure under which the Hierarchy at this time struggles now that
Martian energy is expressing itself upon the astral plane. Will the world
Hercules lift this problem up into heaven and "elevate the Hydra" of
passion and hate, of greed and aggression, and of selfishness and ambition up
into the region of the soul? Or will it carry the whole matter down on to the
physical plane with the inevitable corollary of world disaster, world war and
death? Such are the problems with which the guiding Hierarchy is faced.”
Hercules and the Hydra
This latter passage was written over sixty years ago
and is no less poignant today. The celestial hierarchy of angelic beings that
is called Scorpio, governs Humanity. Humanity is esoterically known as ‘the
initiates’ and ‘lords of sacrifice’. The word sacr-ifice implies a
lifting up from the sacr-al centre. It is mysteriously related to the sacrifice
made by all souls who have undertaken the path of Earth incarnation; it will
eventually result in the entire redemption of Earth and its transformation into
a sacred planet, along side its other celestial brothers and sisters.
The only ray given as passing through Scorpio is the fourth ray of art and
beauty or harmony through conflict. The Moon is the co-ruler of the fourth ray
and allied with the Martial influence of Scorpio, stirs up the lower nature
with all its unconscious conditionings. The achievement of true art in all its
many expressions – painting, literature, dance, poetry, music etc, is the ‘lifting
up’, the successful outcome of Scorpionic transformation and discipline.
Phillip Lindsay © 2010.
Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.388.
A Treatise on White Magic, Alice A. Bailey. p.438.
Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.215.
Psychology I, Alice A. Bailey. p.74.
Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.78.
Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.509.
Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.144-5.
See also “Scorpio and the Seventh Hydra: Pride” by Phillip Lindsay Click
Astrology, Alice A. Bailey. p.217.