Post date: Nov 5, 2014 9:45:39 PM
Hercules and the Hydra (John Singer Sargent, 1922-5)
"Warrior am I and from the battle, I emerge triumphant."
(Full Moon: November 6, 2014. 10.23 GMT.)
Scorpio, Illusion and Initiation
Scorpio and Emotional Independence
Scorpio and Ophiucus, the Serpent Bearer
Scorpio and Aesceplius the Healer
Scorpio, Illusion and Initiation
As a part of the watery trigon of Cancer and Pisces, Scorpio is known for its intense emotional testing, ultimately culminating after many lifetimes - at the second degree initiation, where complete control of the astral body is demonstrated. The second degree is an advanced stage of unfoldment because the difficulty of achieving control of the desire body with all its complexities and subtleties. Hence, when the earnest inquirer upon the Way finally achieves the second degree initiation in one life or another, sometimes the next initiation is taken in that incarnation or a succeeding one.
The Science of Initiation is a sub-science of Esoteric Astrology and gives an understanding as to what point has been reached in evolutionary unfoldment - as individuals and groups. Information on initiation has been given out with a large body of the Ageless Wisdom teachings , yet like all pristine wisdom, it can become tarnished by limited human comprehension, such as over-estimating one's place upon the Path.
In this respect, Humanity is Prometheus, perpetuating the ancient tradition of "stealing fire from the gods", bloating itself with pride and arrogance as it aspires to be gods - who will eventually take the place of the other "gods". This is in line with the Plan and when treading the Path, this imminent revelation is sensed.
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year
for the cult of Demeter and Persephone, based at Eleusis in ancient Greece.
Discriminating one's approximate position upon the path requires a vigorous and ruthless examination that is not influenced by spiritual ambition, aspiration, lower ego, misinformation, guesswork, or the mental arrogance that characterises Fifth Rootrace humanity.
With all these factors, it is no wonder that only a few can divine their specific place, whilst most can ascertain an approximate position. As the Science of Initiation has had only recent exposure to the outer world, it will be subject to many glamours and illusions before it can be utilised with accuracy in the coming Aquarian cycle:
"Initiation is ... entering into a new and wider dimensional world by the expansion of a man's consciousness so that he can ... encompass that which he now excludes, and from which he normally separates himself in his thinking and acts. It is ... entering into man of those energies which are distinctive of the soul and of the soul alone—the forces of intelligent love and of spiritual will. These are dynamic energies, and they actuate all who are liberated souls.
... There is frequently the theory of unfoldment, and a mental grasp about the facts of the initiatory process before they are practiced experimentally in the daily life, and thus psychologically integrated into the practical expression of the living process on the physical plane. Herein lays much danger and difficulty, and also much loss of time.
The mental grasp of the individual is often much greater than his power to express the knowledge, and we have consequently those outstanding failures and those difficult situations which have brought the whole question of initiation into disrepute. Many people are regarded as initiates who are only endeavoring to be initiate. They are not, however, real initiates."
Scorpio is a sign that presents the trials of initiation - the disciple Hercules who has to overcome the nine-headed dragon in the swamp of Lernea. Scorpio's keynote for the unawakened humanity is, "Let maya flourish and deception rule". Although the aspirant or disciple is upon the "reversed wheel" and invoking the "warrior emerging from the battle triumphant", the pull of the "ordinary wheel' is still very strong, with its themes of deception and maya.
Scorpio's ruler is Mars, on both the personality and soul levels - "Mars is both the orthodox planet controlling the personality in Scorpio and also the esoteric planet conditioning the unfoldment of the disciple." As emphasised in many of these missives, Mars rules the solar plexus, the seat of the emotional body and the source of desire in all its forms - sex, money, comfort, fear, hatred, desire for power, separativeness, cruelty and pride.
Warrior Mars goes into battle with the lower self, lifting the Hydra and its hissing heads out of the swamp of the lower astral nature. Even if the mental nature is well developed and the personality is powerful and integrated, one can still be several lives shy of achieving the second degree level:
"They are those well meaning people whose mental understanding outruns the power of their personalities to practice. They are those who are in touch with forces which they are not yet able to handle and control. They have done a great deal of the needed work of inner contact, but have not yet whipped the lower nature into shape. They are, therefore, unable to express that which they inwardly understand and somewhat realise.
An inner warrior has many guises, some not so obvious ...
They are those disciples who talk too much and too soon and too self-centeredly, and who present to the world an ideal toward which they are indeed working, but which they are as yet unable to materialise, owing to the inadequacy of their equipment.
They affirm their belief in terms of accomplished fact and cause much stumbling among the little ones. But at the same time, they are working towards the goal. They are mentally in touch with the ideal and with the Plan. They are aware of forces and energies utterly unknown to the majority. Their only mistake is in the realm of time, for they affirm prematurely that which some day they will be."
Scorpio is a sign of power and status, especially through its co-ruler Pluto: "Esoterically, Pluto rules over "the lesser burning ground" in order that man may live in truth in the higher land of light." Succumbing to spiritual ambition can be the point of least resistance for Scorpio upon the upward way.
The seductive siren of deception and maya from the "ordinary wheel" beckons, not unlike one of the temptations of Jesus - "Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me."
Hence, the phrase from the passage above, "They affirm their belief in terms of accomplished fact and cause much stumbling among the little ones", is very pertinent today amongst the "Busiris" teachers that populate the ageless wisdom movement; their illusions foster the glamours of the "little ones", who are less discriminating, inflating the ego instead of destroying it, spreading the virus of spiritual narcissism.
This is where a steady co-measurement is needed to ascertain a realistic perspective; it must be done through an individual's own inner guidance, meditation and serious reflection, not taking anyone else's word for it - or becoming complicit in a teacher's inflated self-estimation.
Such is the insidious nature of Scorpio and the fogs of glamour that it generates, testing the questing aspirant. It looks like chocolate, tastes like chocolate, but it's actually licorice! How to tell, how to exercise the discrimination? How to decentralise from the self-absorbed, self-obsessed personality, and reach for the soul's eye view of Scorpio's eagle?
One method is to emulate the triune nature of the soul, through the three disciplines of study, service and meditation - a sound structure for all aspirants to the mysteries and the science of occultism.
1. Recognition of one's field of service in the world, the part to play in the greater Plan - which is always in a constant state of unfoldment and revelation. This also involves the recognition of co-workers upon the path.
2. To meditate, reflect and contemplate regularly, individually and in group. To draw out the intuition, the sense that synthesises all senses, the "common sense".
3. To study the esoteric doctrine, the world of causes and their outer effects, from the subtle to the material. To reflect upon these ideas in meditation and to apply those principles in service.
Scorpio and Emotional Independence
The previous sign to Scorpio is Libra - the balance, law, marriage and relationships. At the basic human level, Scorpio following Libra, tests the marriage union - in the right use of sex, the balance of power, jealousy, anger, irritation, possessiveness, money, co-dependency, fear, emotional attachment - and abandonment. Scorpio represents the continual regeneration of the Libran relationship, as well as the possibility of its conclusion or death.
Being in any relationship brings deep emotional bonding and attachment for each party. Two souls and personalities merge and overlap one another, creating a third entity, the relationship. The tearing asunder of relationship consequently causes great heartache, pain and sorrow.
It is in Scorpio therefore, where emotional independence is learnt, the polar opposite of deep attachment in Taurus; where the gamut of emotion is negotiated, the intensest feelings are experienced - eventually relinquished and released, raised up into the fiery crucible of the heart; where dark and crippling anguish is freed to dance the Lighted Way.
Here we witness the pairs of opposites balanced through polar opposite Taurus: "The darkness of the experience in Scorpio becomes illumination in Taurus."Longing and attachment are superseded by unconditional love - a love that does not want to cling, own or possess - opposites of sorrow and joy are reconciled.
Despair and Joy
"Despair is the damp of hell, as joy is the serenity of heaven."- John Donne.
“There is no harbor of peace from the changing waves of joy and despair” - Euripides.
"For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower, even from the cliffs of despair." Anne Morrow Lindberg.
The Fourth Ray of Harmony through Conflict is the only ray that passes through Scorpio. It is the ray that highlights the opposites of joy and despair, love and hate, cruelty and kindness, war and peace ...
"Despair is an effect of remorse, produced in the mental body and is itself a characteristic of what may be called "the unregenerated mental" nature. The aspirant has a perception of what might be, though the obstacles as yet overcome him; he is ceaselessly conscious of failure, and this engenders in him a condition of remorse, of disgust, despair and of despondency."
Hence, despair, like happiness, is an expression of the personality. But joy is a quality of the soul, just as bliss is the highest expression of the spirit, where complete unification with Source is realised, fleetingly at first, becoming more permanent as the Liberation initiation approaches. There is much to despair over the old world paradigm, yet joy in feeling the first few drops of the approaching Aquarian monsoon.
Scorpio and Ophiucus, the Serpent Bearer 
When the Sun travels through Scorpio, it spends only nine days in Scorpio and sixteen days in Ophiucus. (7 & 19 degrees of arc respectively.) The total of 26 degrees for Scorpio and Ophiucus is close to the average zodiac sign length. Hence, astronomically and mythologically, Scorpio-Ophiucus can be considered as one zodiac constellation that pours its forces through the zodiac sign Scorpio. (The zodiac signs are "lenses" that concentrate the influences of the constellations.)
L: Note the positions upon the ecliptic occupied by Scorpio and Ophiucus.
Also, the position of Orion opposite Ophiucus-Scorpio.
Ophiucus is exactly opposite another more well-known constellation, Orion, which is only one degree from the ecliptic. Orion is the great hunter who was killed by a scorpion. Hence, Ophiucus the great healer (also known as Asclepius), raises Orion from the dead.
A useful diagram for determining the position and length of the constellations
(including Ophiucus) and their correspondence with the astrological signs.
Note the position of Ophiucus in the two graphics above.
Ophiucus is better known as Asclepius in the Greek tradition and Scorpio has a close association with serpent symbology. Ophiucus is generally depicted "standing on the Scorpion and holding the serpent in his hands”.
Four great figures of history, Hercules, Krishna, Buddha and Jesus all have stories relating to them as young children "crushing the serpent’s head", in this case the serpent of materialism, as opposed to the serpent of wisdom; these teachers were all "wise as serpents". Serpents were sacred to Asclepius because they were a symbol of renovation, regeneration and resurrection, but also had the power to discover healing herbs.
Mercury is the hierarchical ruler of Scorpio and his caduceus has two inter-twined serpents around a staff, surmounted by the wings of the soul. It is a universal symbol connected with the healing profession, and of course there are many healers that have Scorpio prominent in their horoscopes. Mercury or Hermes was also the guide of souls into the underworld and across the River Styx.
The symbolism of the caduceus points to the three major energy channels that intertwine the spine: the ida, pingala and sushumna nadis. Keeping these channels awakened and flowing facilitates good health, the ability to heal and the ongoing awakening of consciousness.
Scorpio-Ophiucus has an association with powerful change through emotional and mental regeneration, particularly pertinent at this revolutionary stage of world history, since the planet Pluto, the Lord of Death and co-ruler of Scorpio, made the final transit of its own sign in 1995. Pluto is also the soul ruler of Pisces, having a powerful impact in destroying obstacles to human evolution at the end of this Piscean Age. World Wars I & II are the result of Pluto's purging forces at work and Pluto was discovered between those two conflicts.
The planetoid Chiron was also discovered around this time, in 1997. In the myth, the young Asclepius (Ophiucus) was raised by Chiron, who instructed him in the arts of healing and hunting. Scorpio's adjacent sign - Sagittarius, is co-ruled by Chiron the Centaur, half man, half horse. Mythologically, Ophiucus-Asclepius "raises the dead", hinting at the imminent reappearance of another great World Teacher.
Orion the Hunter Ophiucus the Serpent Bearer
The Arab astronomers called Ophiucus the Serpent Charmer; the "charmer" who beguiles, fascinates or mesmerises the dancing cobra through music. There is a close connection to Orpheus here, the celebrated musician-poet and World Teacher in the days of Ancient Greece.
After his wife Eurydice died from a serpent bite, Orpheus descends into Hades, the domain of Pluto-Scorpio, and enchants him with his lyre, so that Eurydice is finally released from her torments. Orpheus cheats the power of the serpent bite, though only momentarily. As the World Teacher for that age, Orpheus was associated with the mysteries of initiation, upon which Pythagoras built much later in history.
Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice was a nymph, or member of the deva
evolution, hence the story is symbolic of the merging of human and deva
- and much more besides!
The similarly named Morpheus, the spirit of dreams, facilitates the descent into the underworld of Pluto, revealing that which is hidden and the shadow side of one’s nature.
L: Morpheus and Iris (Guérin, 1811.) R: Morpheus from The Matrix movie.
In The Matrix, the red pill represents the sometimes painful truth of reality,
whilst the blue pill, blissful ignorance. Parallels between The Matrix
character Neo and the Christ story can be found here.
Scorpio and Asclepius the Healer
Ophiucus is Aesceplius, who raised the dead. Pluto, after complaining to Zeus thatAsclepius had encroached upon his domain, succeeded eventually in having him cast out of the world by a thunderbolt. At the request of Apollo, he was placed in the sky as the constellation Ophiucus.
The Gnostics at the time of Jesus were the real early Christians, their beliefs stemming from the Essenes. One of the most important branches of the Gnostics (Gnosis: knowledge of spiritual things), were the Ophites who revered the serpent as a symbol of divine wisdom. Their beliefs also embraced Hindu and Buddhist ideas such as reincarnation, hence they were regarded as quite heretical.
The Serpent Cult, the Ophites.
These "serpent worshippers" regarded Ophis as identical with Christos  and the feminine Sophia (an anagram of Ophis), was wisdom incarnate. Even the tribes of the Old Testament such as the Canaanites and the Hamites, were known as “wise men” or “sons of snakes”. Moses in one Bible story humbles himself before Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite. Perhaps Raguel avers to the star Rasalague in the Ophiucus constellation, known as the head of Ophiucus and "healer of the heavens"? The Ophites also honoured the serpent because it was a symbol of teaching The Mysteries to Humanity.
O course, the other well-known theme of Scorpio-Ophiucus is sexuality. The coiled serpentine energy at the base of the spine is the kundalini force that courses upwards through the three main nadis. Its expression has oscillated from extreme Victorian prudishness, to the sexual revolution of the several decades since the 1950's. Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual - all genders have used, abused or misused sex, for pleasure or procreation; it is the primal universal force and the greatest mystery, only revealed at the higher initiations - "... the mystery of polarity and the clue to the significance of sex in every department of nature, on all the planes ..."
Pluto’s entry into Scorpio in 1984 signalled the onset of the AIDS epidemic, which for some forced a drastic re-think about the indiscriminate use of sex. Libra came into prominence in the planetary horoscope at the end of last century, balancing previous excesses, with a call to look more closely at the nature of right human relationships -that will eventually develop into The Science of Relationships in the Aquarian Age.
Phillip Lindsay © 2014.