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The other day I was walking in the arroyo (creek) that backs the house I’m staying in here in New Mexico. I noticed the rocks, birds, vegetation, the various piles of interesting poop left behind by animals unknown. The desert is a fascinating place to walk, because it calls to us to really pay attention, to look close, to slow down, and to be more aware of our bodies. There is a vast array of things to see, colors, tiny animals, interesting bugs, though at first a scan of the desert may yield an impression of acres and acres of sameness.
I have been struck by my time in New Mexico of how willing the land is to communicate. How sacred the creatures, trees, mountains, mesas. Truly I have been enchanted by the ‘land of enchantment,’ but it hasn’t been an easy experience, and necessitated my willingness to dive down into myself, my vulnerability, my ‘crazy’ bits, my existential feelings of connectedness and loneliness.
In the arroyo, a swift moving, grey lizard caught my eye. He faded into a pile of rock and stone, and in following his quicksilver movement, I discovered a small snake, baking low in the dirt. Ah! Snake, with her powerful medicine, and in NM, possibility of poison as well. She wasn’t a rattler, just a small, exquisitely patterned creature. She saw me, I saw her; we gazed at each other a few moments before she flicked her tiny black tongue and made her elegant departure into the sage.
I recognized the holiness of the exchange; let myself receive the magic of snake in what was the most humble of interactions. The receiving was the important bit, and also the willingness to stop and see, to be present in the extreme vulnerability of another creature—chosen by her (we all know how fast snakes can move when they want to) and witnessed by me. And taking her example, can I be so present and vulnerable with myself? With another? What will it take to keep me from running for cover, or from striking out in defense? How can I honor others the way that snake honored me—in just letting myself be seen?
This is the work of Saturn in Scorpio. Take the cue from Saturn to move slower, pay more attention. Saturn honors those who honor him; what this means to us is to look at our boundaries, fears, and self-imposed structures and say, is this meaningful? Useful? Honoring present time or based on a past belief or occurrence?
Although the shadow of Saturn may encourage withdrawal or undue attention to safety, what could be more “out there” than Saturn’s expression through the mountain goat, the symbol for Capricorn? Mountain goats walk in impossibly vertical and hazardous places, and they do it with aplomb. They trust themselves, they trust the mountain, they trust their ability to find the path. This is what Saturn wants us to do in Scorpio: to trust that there is a path through the underworld, our emotions, fears, and darkness. To believe that we can reclaim our power and emotional authority with integrity, responsibility, and honor. And that to do so, we must be willing to be vulnerable.
This is no mean journey, and the Sun, North Node, and Mercury by transit are helping to light the way and keep the smoke signals coming for this journey that often feels like walking through a cave at midnight. Pluto is still in Capricorn, thus Saturn and Pluto are making what is called a mutual reception: they are traveling through each other’s signs of rulership. This gives a double signature for the archetypes, emphasizing the need to work with power structures, our shadow selves, our emotional responsibility (or lack of it), and our integrity of purpose. In a sense Pluto and Saturn have a greater ability to walk in each other’s moccasins, and work collaboratively to solve problems and create new strategies for sharing our world and resources—for being truly intimate with each other, nature, the universe. The energy here is one of opportunity; Scorpio and Capricorn are in sextile to each other, and in water/earth, the opportunity is one that we have to see and choose to take up.
Now is the time to get clear about how we are in alignment with our lives: actions, feelings, relationships, money, work, intimacy, rules. The mystery of Scorpio is irresistible, if unnerving; yet Saturn is like the wise papa that holds the flashlight to illuminate the path: are you really not curious? Do you really not want the adventure of knowing the self more deeply? Do you not desire the freedom and pleasure that is on the other side?