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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written April 10, 2007,
published in the May 2007 edition of Echo* newspaper

The permanent, north polar ice cap of Mars, taken by the Viking Orbiter 1 spacecraft The permanent, north polar ice cap of Mars, taken by the Viking Orbiter 1 spacecraft.  This digital-mosaic image shows only the portion of the northern hemisphere above 65 degrees so it is not a global image.  The north polar cap is larger and more impressive than its opposite counterpart.  The upper layer of carbon dioxide (dry ice) grows and shrinks during the Martian seasons but underneath it is a permanent cap of water ice.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute/USGS.

This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation of Scorpio as the scorpion. This is a 1491 woodcut of the classical representation of Scorpio as the scorpion, a formidable creature.  It is endowed with pinchers to grasp its prey and a stinger at the end of its tail with venom that is painful or sometimes lethal to humans.  From the 1491 edition of Bonatti (G.B. (c. 1282/1491)).
his is the last (12th) in a series of articles about the metaphysical meanings of the signs.  Metaphysical astrology is the study of first principles and the esoteric meanings of the signs and planets.  This article addresses the first principles of Scorpio, Mars (traditional ruler of Scorpio), and Pluto (modern ruler of Scorpio), which we all have somewhere in our birth chart.  The meaning or energy of each sign of the zodiac manifests in some area of life symbolized in the birth chart of each of us, whether we have planets in a particular sign or not.  The entire visible Universe is based on the 12-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974)).

It is fitting that this series of articles ends with this sign because it is one of, if not THE most complex, esoteric and sublime of the signs of the zodiac.  Scorpio is the only sign of the zodiac represented by no less than three creatures – the scorpion, the snake or serpent, and the eagle (three is a divine number).  To the Hellenistic Greeks and the Romans, the zodiacal sign of Scorpio represented “the Body” of the scorpion in the sky (from the head to the stinger) while the sign of Libra represented “the Claws” of the scorpion.  Thus, the ancient constellation of the scorpion actually spanned two signs of the zodiac.

It is a common misperception that some scorpions sting themselves and, if they did, that their own sting would kill them.  Although their sting is lethal to their prey and can be painful to humans, it is not deadly to themselves so, metaphysically Scorpio-type people are not self-destructive though they can inflict pain upon themselves like the scorpion that accidentally stings itself.  That stinger also metaphorically represents the deadly force with which a Scorpio-type person can penetrate to the deepest recesses of another’s soul.  Embryonic scorpions develop within the egg and hatch while in the mother’s body or as soon as she births them, making the nativity of these creatures similar to mammals.  Female scorpions are maternal and carry their young on their backs until the little ones have molted and are better able to defend themselves, representing the fiercely protective nature of this sign.

Another symbol of Scorpio is the snake or serpent.  Both scorpions and snakes shed their exoskeleton or skin as they grow.  This is emblematic of the “shedding” of our earthly skin when we die and taking a new earthly body each time we reincarnate.  Ultimately, we must shed our earthly “skin” to liberate ourselves from the seduction of earthly desires (repeatedly reincarnating into a material body to experience these pleasures) to grow enough spiritually so that we pay off all of our karmic debts and can return to paradise, no longer desirous of reincarnation.  The snake also slithers on the ground, representing the lowest part of our nature and our addiction to material desires.  However, the snake moves by a beautiful and seductive undulation that engenders fascination and fear (a lot like sex and intimacy).  The serpent in the Garden of Eden seduced the human consciousness into believing that the world of comparisons (the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) is all there is to Creation.  According to the King James version of the Bible, as Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden God said, “behold, the man is become as one of us [Gods?], to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also [the fruit] of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (The Bible, Genesis 3:22).

Scorpio has always been the sign most closely associated with death but death as a symbol of transformation from one state to another.  A common myth associated with this transmutation is the phoenix, a mythical bird that deliberately parishes in flames but then resurrects itself from the ashes (after three days, when the consuming fire had burned itself out).  This consumption by fire is the redemption promised when we awaken to and live our lives in accordance with our divine nature.

Although Scorpio is a water sign, it represents the fire of life in each of us and this is the association with Mars, the traditional ruler of Scorpio.  Mars is the fiery, penetrative, driving force in humans and all life forms, the will to survive, thrive, and reproduce.  One manifestation of this force, in the form of fluid, is the semen or sperm with which the male of every animal species fertilizes the female egg(s).  Water is also the fluid medium in which every embryo develops, whether in a body of water as in the case of many invertebrates, amphibians, and fishes; in eggs with protective shells as in reptiles and birds; or in the uterus as in mammals.  The drive and energy represented by Scorpio and Mars is the metaphor for the serpent of temptation in the Garden of Eden, seducing us to numb our divine nature in the world of appearances and tempting us to reincarnate into physical form over and over again.

The third representation of Scorpio is the high-flying eagle symbolic of the potential transformation of human consciousness into its original state of divine consciousness.  As Elisabeth Haich says, “... instead of operating in the material plane, this force is transformed and transmuted, becoming purely spiritual, sexual desire is transformed into an uplifting force which helps the fallen consciousness return into paradisiacal unity.  Without this force no consciousness that has fallen from unity can find its way back into God” (E.H., p. 250 (1974)).  Herein lies the paradox of this sign:  to return to our original state of paradisiacal unity, the human consciousness must soar above the mundane affairs of life like the eagle, using the same sexual, procreative force of intense desires that binds us to earthly incarnations!

Hades (Pluto) is the Greek god most closely associated with the sign of Scorpio and, to modern astrologers, Pluto rules (is most at home in) this sign.  Pluto was the dark lord of the afterlife and one of his attributes was his helmet, which made him invisible – the archetype of the unseen observer symbolizing the power of secrets.  Cooper says about the serpent (and it applies to Pluto as well), “living underground, it is in touch with the underworld and has access to the powers, omniscience and magic possessed by the dead” (J.C.C., p. 147).  Metaphorically, this represents the power and magic of our subconscious mind.

Reference Citations.

See related article Metaphysical Mars.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

© copyright 2007-2013 Gary Brand.  All Rights Reserved.