On Sunday, May 3rd at 11:42 PM EST, there will be a full moon in Scorpio. In some traditions this is called the Beltane moon. Beltane is a cross quarter day, marking the day in between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. There are four of these days, Beltane, Lammas, Samhain and Imbolc that all occur between the equinox/solstice times. They mark liminal moments, celebrations of seasonal shifts in the cycle of our year.
The sun is now anchored in the sign of Taurus. Beltane occurs when it is precisely half way through the sturdy earth sign. The sign is symbolized by the fertile bull and, given its association with the fecundity of the springtime in the Northern hemisphere, Beltane in particular is a full-fledged celebration of life, creativity and the abundance of the upcoming summer season.
But, its polarity, Scorpio, is not.
Scorpio’s domain deals with matters that no one else wants to: the vile, the putrid, the petrifying, the intense, the rejected, the betrayed, the scorned, the scathing, the denied and the dead. Scorpio reminds us that we can repudiate anything for an eternity but that doesn’t mean it will be resolved, it doesn’t mean that it will be repaired, and it doesn’t mean that it will go away.
Hurt festers until it is healed. Trauma steals our lives away until it is righted. Murder cannot be undone, lives lost cannot be restored, histories cannot be wiped out. The truth will eventually prevail.
But the truth can be suppressed for quite a long time.
And anything suppressed gathers the energy it takes for it to be withheld. Energy can never be destroyed and nothing stays in hiding forever.Anything suppressed actually becomes stronger, perhaps in a disfigured, near unrecognizable way.
Any fact quelled for long enough, can, eventually get twisted into its opposite. Any group can be misrepresented, misconstrued and misnamed as lethal. Any spin can win. For the moment at least.
But betrayal will never bring peace.
Only truth will. Only real reparations. Only restoring trust through time, through sacrifice and through actions that illustrate that the matter is being taken seriously.
Scorpio has the fortitude that it takes to stand the test of time and get its due. You cannot bluff a Scorpio. You cannot denounce its resiliency. You cannot feign ignorance at its ability to seek vengeance when it’s been wronged. Scorpio will wait. Scorpio has time. Scorpio never forgets.
The asteroid Lilith is conjunct this full moon. The tales that bear Lilith’s name harken back to the distant gardens of Inanna, the Goddess of the ancient world, the queen of heaven and earth, and of love and war. In Inanna’s garden Lilith takes residence in the sacred hulupuu tree, a tree that the Goddess wishes to make her throne and bed out of. Lilith, together with an “evil” spirit, a coiled snake and an anzu bird all take up residence in the tree. The snake, the tree spirit and the bird are all former aspects/symbols of the Goddess Herself and seem to scare her. Inanna is so scared that her male consort Gilgamesh has to chase the “evil” spirits out of the tree and the garden. Interesting that the tale turns so that the Formidable Mother needs a man to save her…
Myths point to the ways in which stories are used to illustrate the human condition and to suppress our inherent power. We must always ask who is retelling the tale and for what end.
When Lilith reappears it’s in another famous garden, Eden. She is one half of the first human who, being made in the image of god, was both male and female originally. Once made into two separate beings, Lilith and Adam have a hard time finding common ground. Mostly because he doesn’t think that she is equal to him.
They fight because he won’t let her ride him when they have sex. He thinks he’s above her. Lilith can’t stay in a place that doesn’t recognize her right to be an equal. So she leaves. But before she does she calls god out. Speaks his secret name (a blasphemous gesture) as if to say, “This child of yours is no mate of mine. Teach him some manners and learn some yourself. How dare you call me into a garden that has no place for me. You’re both children. I come from a time that began long, long before you and I will survive without you.”
And survive she does.
But she’s blamed for leaving. She’s condemned by god to lose 100 of her children each day for betraying him, condemned by a lie that she refused to live by, condemned by a garden that grew into a cage. Lilith is made into a demon for her refusal to act her part.
That’s what happens when lies are repeated about us without pause.
Known as the screech owl, Lilith’s howl is that of the repudiated, the abused and the misnamed. It’s the howl of those who are demonized for refusing to be mistreated. It’s the howl of those who are murdered for walking down the street wearing a hoodie. It’s the howl of generations of women and men that are thrown into the backs of police cars alive but do not come out breathing. It’s the howl of those who aren’t allowed to be self-determining because of their gender, their gender expression, their race, their class, their ability or their social status.
Lilith’s tale can be a cautionary one, propaganda meant to detail how bad life will be for us if we buck the system and stand up to the man who owns the garden. But it doesn’t take much to see that Lilith’s real cautionary tale is to the overlords themselves.
Lilith cannot be destroyed. Lilith is formidable and feared by all. Lilith is terrifying to those who seek to control her. Lilith is destructive to the things that don’t matter. But to blame her, to defame her, to deny her her backstory would be the worst injustice.
There is a reason for her righteous rage and to leave that tale out of the telling is what is violent.
The traditional ruler of Scorpio is Mars. At the time of the full moon, Mars is in Taurus, not a sign that it does so well in. Taurus wants stability and peace but stabilizing a system based on oppression and violence is not peace. Mars is sometimes hard pressed to do its rightful job of serving and protecting in this sign. Peaceful protests sometimes demand forceful resistance.
At the time of the full moon, Mars is fast approaching a conjunction with the fixed star Algol (the conjunction will be exact on May 6th).
Algol, the binary star, blinking in the heavens was seen as part of a larger constellation depicting the beheading of Medusa. Algol is the severed head of the goddess being held by Perseus, her murderer.
Medusa is another complex tale of victim blaming. Once a beautiful goddess with long flowing hair, Medusa is raped by Poseidon. Instead of him being punished she is. By her sister, Athena, no less. Athena, born of Zeus’s head (because he swallowed her pregnant mother) is, in many ways, an agent of the patriarchy. A gatekeeper in her later iterations. She turns Medusa into a monster with snakes for hair and a gaze that will turn any man into stone.
Medusa’s fury over being betrayed is made known. Looks can kill the onlooker if they are unaware of what they are gazing upon.
Astrologically, anything next to Algol was thought to get charged with this “evil” energy. But to diminish this blinking beacon to such simplistic terms does neither us nor the spirit of its namesake any good. We can surmise that this star has great potential though. Potential that can terrify us or transform us.
To misunderstand these goddesses is to misunderstand their power and their plagues. There is medicine in their wrath, their strength, their love and their pain. There is value in understanding how they ended up becoming the embodiment of what we so wish to look away from. Someone or something must hold the shadow of our obsession with bright lights and blame.
The full moon’s message is magnified by an exact square from Jupiter. The planet known as the ‘greater benefic’ causes things to expand, to become exaggerated. Jupiter creates opportunity for greater understanding and possibility for progress.
Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio, sextiles this moon lending its support. When Pluto does so it speaks to the power and resources that lay under the earth. It speaks to the veins of gold that run through the land that upholds our communities. It speaks to the need and the ability to make long-lasting sustainable change.
The chart of the full moon also contains within it an opposition from Mercury to Saturn. This duo makes our thoughts and our communications real. It lends weight to what we say and it demands that we be true to our word or face the consequences.
The Taurus season that we find ourself in and the cross quarter day festival Beltane is a testament to and a celebration of the irrepressible energy of life. But because astrology is a systematic way of viewing all life, the equal and opposite is always encapsulated by the full moon.
Scorpio teaches us about death and dying, about letting go and giving in to the transformation and healing that occurs in the dark. Taurus is the stabilization of our outer and inner resources while Scorpio details how we use the power we gain from them. In order for us to experience life we must face death. In order for us to celebrate life we must be able to bear witness to the entirety of it.
Not all life is treated with the same respect, reverence or dignity. Not all life on the planet is given the same space to grow, the same protection to flourish under or the same encouragement to exist. Not all life is valued, and until it is there will be a wrath to reckon with and a righteous rage to reconcile. When lives are not protected, when lives are sacrificed to uphold supremacist ideologies, when lives are treated as if they are worth only what they can produce in the custody of the state or within the confines of respectability, there should be nothing less than the screeching howls of protest, a Mothers cry for justice.
May we shut down whatever does not support life. May we rise up in a collective declaration of love, truth and justice. May we be granted the wisdom to recognize the truth, the courage to declare it and the compassion to seek it for all.
Full moon blessings,
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