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Celebrating Halloween - the Scorpio Way!

Radko Vacek

Could it be that we are already approaching that spookiest of holidays? Halloween, as the major Scorpionic holiday (when the sun is at about 8 degrees Scorpio), is quite special for me. And why not? I am a Scorpio (born November 18, 1955)!

The sign gives the first impression of being as creepy as the holiday: having the scorpion as its symbol--really! We Scorpios might come across with a better first impression by representing ourselves with the eagle, and throughout history some of us have. But the eagle, as breathtakingly beautiful as it is, still is not as benign as a sparrow either. In one famous myth, the eagle is, in fact, the tormentor of one of humanity's greatest benefactors! Guess which myth I have in mind.

If you guessed the myth of Prometheus bound, you guessed right! What a brilliant mind you have! You could even qualify to be a true Aquarius! Prometheus, by the way, is an epitome of the Aquarian hero. No offence, but I still prefer Scorpio! I do think that, all things considered, Scorpio actually is better for us all!

How odd it is, but sadly how true: that which we hate the most often is the very thing we need the most. Few of us want to be scared out of our minds. However, based on what I had learned from studying psychology for six years in college, and even more on having been alive for quite some time now, with much time to reflect on human nature, I do think that we sometimes need to get scared out of our minds, in order to be uplifted to a higher state of mind, a clearer consciousness. Contrary to what we like to believe, I suspect that pushing the scariest thoughts into the periphery of our consciousness is what most likely leaves us with the aftermath of a confused mental state. That's why Halloween, with all those scary things associated with it, is the most psychotherapeutic holiday.

Here's some more food for thought. Let's think of our mental health in terms of an analogy to physical health. One of the symptoms of severe illness is vomiting. Vomiting is unpleasant and embarrassing, so we tend to suppress the need to do it until we no longer can hold it. Usually, however, heaving it up is an instinctive reaction to the infection, one natural way of expelling the disease-causing agent out of our bodies. Heaving up! What a gross verb it is, but upheaval has to do with the pretty, green planet Uranus, exalted in Scorpio. Exaltation means that the planet is in the sign whose environment generates its power. With the vibes of the planet and its host sign harmonizing, the planet is at the peak of its power there. (Brace yourself for the analogy!) That is why it is so fitting to celebrate Halloween when we do! Halloween is celebrated by putting into our front yards all those horrifying images (skeletons! ghosts! hags!) representing the ideas of things that make us the most ill at ease. Those images are closely intertwined with these terrifying ideas we so need to heave up (at last the analogy is here!) from our consciousness, freeing our spirits from the burden of bearing them. What energy is released to us for creative use when this happens! The job of Uranus is to facilitate such upheavals, and when the sun is in Scorpio, Uranus does that job best of all! That's why Halloween is so worth celebrating!

What are those ideas which make us the most ill at ease? The idea of death no doubt is one of them. Notice that I wrote the idea of death, not death itself. All those fantasies we have about death, what it might be, and what might lie beyond it, are what terrify us. The aquatic, emotional sign Scorpio rules that dissolution we call death; Halloween is full of images associated with death. What else scares us to death? If I randomly asked people to tell me what skeletons, ghosts, and witches have in common, I bet a grand that most would answer just plain "death".

Skeletons obviously symbolize death, and, in the minds of our general public, ghosts are the stray spirits of the dead, and witches die to be gone forever, for serving the Devil. What great evidence this answer is for people pushing horrifying ideas into the periphery of their consciousness! My theory of what we fear the most is the following: the transience of life, and even more, the common agonies of life. The sign Scorpio encompasses both of these, our deepest fears. The symbols of Halloween, without us realizing it, confront us with those fears. Not merely does the skeleton of this eve symbolize death, but more so it confronts us with the nightmare of the living skeleton of starvation, just as the ghost of this eve confronts us with the nightmare of the reflections and the echoes of the agony of a person who endured dying in an agonizing way.

If Aquarius is Prometheus, the humanitarian who stole the boon of the forbidden fire for us, then Scorpio is both, the agony of Prometheus bound to the rock, getting his liver devoured, daily and indefinitely, by the eagle, and the ecstasy of the eagle, the spirit free and soaring, transcending the bounds of earthly hardships. We have pondered about the psychotherapeutic value to us of facing the common agonies of life, hopes not fulfilled, pains, and despair, in the symbolic images of Halloween. But now, where does the ecstasy, that transcendence of hardships, come into psychological astrology? Out of the depths of my Scorpionic being (yes, the quiet waters of Scorpio do run deep!) just yesterday I wrote a poetic prayer, with some of the key lines going thus: Leaving myself behind, may my heart heed the call of the helpless creature in pain. It's one way for the spirit to be freed from the bondage of a life lived in vain. To sum up the poetry I just gave you, the pain we endure helps us to learn the value of compassion. We learn true compassion by having suffered passion ourselves, not spared its full intensity; thus we are enabled to share the passion of another creature, and to respond to it with compassion. How does this relate to Aquarius, Scorpio, and Halloween?

Halloween is a holiday of giving ("treat!"), ideally in the spirit of true compassion. The tricky part comes in, not because the children are impersonating little devils, but because you deserve the trick, if you're a rotten person who doesn't heed your heart. Both of these signs and their personality types share the common denominator of Uranus: that planet may rule Aquarius, but it is in Scorpio that Uranus is exalted, that is, the most powerful! Rulership in astrology is more about expression, like words as opposed to deeds, in contrast to the power of action, which is closer to what exaltation is about. Aquarians are great at expressing themselves, and (don't get me wrong!) they often take action through debating in favour of humanitarian causes. The trouble with Aquarian humanitarians is that they get so intellectually involved with the big causes affecting the masses, at the expense of getting emotionally responsive to the one, lonely, helpless creature in pain. But the bottom line is, that responding is what true compassion is about! This is where the Scorpio succeeds and the Aquarian often fails. Emotions are what make the Scorpio tick. When all the people are watching a sadist kick someone or something to death, and while the Aquarian is one of them, debating in his mind the better course of action and doing nothing, the Scorpio more likely has that lightning fast burst of emotional energy from Uranus, which enables us to take the risk of intervening.

So, that's why (although I admit possible bias!) the true Scorpio, although perhaps no genius, definitely is my heroine, or hero! I'll take a heroism over genius any day. And, of course, Halloween is my kind of holiday!

Let's all be brave, and compassionately generous! After all, it is the season of--Halloween!