After several years of studying and practicing astrology, I thought I understood all the major concepts involved. Then I read “The Luminaries” by Liz Greene. I ordered the paperback version on Amazon right at the precipice of my Jupiter return—a time marked by my long-distance relationship becoming one of a four-hundred square foot radius. In the final chapter, Greene discusses the concept of the progressed moon, which travels through each house of the natal chart for two to three years, teaching us lessons of whatever sign rules the house in which it’s residing. Immediately taking to the internet, I discovered that my progressed moon had just entered the eighth house of Scorpio. Before now, I never felt confident enough to contribute a unique take on this notoriously intense sign. I’ve never had a lot of Scorpios in my life, besides my grandpa who’s an extra-terrestrial obsessed, Buddha-loving, walking cliché of everything we’re told Scorpio embodies. Even interacting with him didn’t help me understand the sign’s “dark, underbelly” I kept hearing about. However, living in a progressed, Scorpionic state for the past year-and-a-half, I finally get it. I’ve been living in it.
I often describe Scorpios with two words, “deep” and “intense.” My mind then immediately jumps to Rupaul, a double Scorpio. On each episode of Rupaul’s Drag Race, he does a walk-through with the queens in the werk room, much like Tim Gunn does with the designers on Project Runway. Living in Los Angeles, I’ve done a fair share of paid-audience gigs. With each show I worked on, it became increasingly obvious that there is nothing more seemingly superficial than the job of a reality competition host. Reading from a teleprompter, faking a smile through all that makeup, remembering which camera to look at, and trying your best not to fuck up, because fucking up means wasting everyone’s time and money. It’s exhausting to watch, so I can only imagine how the performer must feel. Rupaul, however, uses his role as an opportunity to break through to his contestants. Rather than giving the queens advice on sewing or padding, he’ll ask, “Why are you so afraid of failure?” To the more light-hearted, this could come off a bit jarring and even condescending. But a little research shows that Rupaul, in typical Scorpio fashion, grew up in a broken home. He’s had to overcome his own demons at a tender age, which naturally lent itself to a deep and intense demeanor. Perhaps I should start describing the sign as “wise.”
My progressed moon is only halfway done traveling through Scorpio’s house, but I already feel lifetimes wiser than I did a year ago. The idea of this house functioning for intimate relationships has always made sense to me. I have an abundance of planets in the seventh house of one-to-one relationships, so with heaps of experience in that area of life, I see how the next logical step is the experience of intimacy. This is where you experience the nitty-gritty of a romantic union—where two people merge spiritually and share a connection beyond having the same taste in music. But we don’t always think about what merging with another individual requires of us. This is where the concept of death enters the scene. When death is associated with Scorpio, it rarely indicates a physical death. Rather, to participate in the Scorpio experience is to experience a death of the ego. A psychological death. Wow, look at me. I sound like Rupaul. But it’s true! The more enmeshed I became in my relationship, the more attention I had to put on my own identity and habits. I’ll never be who I was before this love, because love has transformed me. It broke down my ego and forced me to see myself and the world through a new set of eyes. Of course, this is the silver lining of death—rebirth. And although I just noticed my first grey hair, my soul feels like it’s the first day of school again. I was reborn with more clarity, and spiritual understanding than ever before. Life has more meaning now. Or perhaps life has always had meaning, and it just took my progressed moon to shake me awake. Nevertheless, I think it’s no wonder Scorpios feel so much—love and loss are life’s most meaningful experiences.