BY LISA MARIE BASILE
I don’t care whether you believe it or not, the Scorpio exists. If it’s not a personality carved out by the celestial, then it is most certainly an archetype born out of real-life human beings, the kind—like me—that drinks, breathes and moves about attached to some chthonic place. We are the people who were born rummaging through the dark. We were the kids who weren’t like the others. We were the adults who realized our strangeness is actually power. Grew into our wings.
Scorpios, I’m talking to you here—but if you love someone who is a Scorp, it’ll benefit you too: It is like we cipher what we need from the darkness just in order to make it through the day. It could be that we drain a crowd of its mass energy—taking just a little bit from you there, and you there, and you over there so that no one aches for what went missing, or it could be that we consistently keep one foot in the otherworld, always dreaming, always obsessing, always plotting. It could be that we expertly speak the language of endings. Because we know endings mean something comes next.
Ruled by Pluto, lorded over by death and sex, we are intrinsically linked to the body—the body as sigil, the body as engine, the body as an immutable thing, and, of course, the body as a thing with an end-date. We can’t seem to ever really live here, on earth, in our town, in our houses, in our workplaces—because a part of us always off somewhere bent over in a corner, meddling, whispering, hiding, licking our wounds, or opening them.
Sure, for the secular among us, it could be that the zodiac is nothing more than a tool for suggestion. Like some view Tarot, for example, astrology provides a map for meditation—rather than being a stone-cold, steadfast, set-in-stone reality. (I mean, hello, "13 signs"—no Scorpio is going to fucking budge, no way). When you’re a scorp, you know it. It’s not like the Aquarius who says "Yes, I am eclectic!" or the Leo who chants, "Look upon me!" Or even the dreamy Pisces, who, like the three water signs (Scorp included) is also always attached to otherworlds. A Scorp is a Scorpio is a Scorpia. Even if you don’t want to be a Scorpio anymore, you’re stuck with us. Trying to hide it is akin to being drunk. You might be able to get around, but you’ll never feel quite right.
Scorp might even influence you if it’s in your chart or, say, your moon sign. Either way you know it. You can feel its pincer spread inside you. You can feel its poison push through you whether you want it or not. When Scorp has you, she has you. I can’t tell you differently.
So brings us to Halloween season—scorpio season. This time of year has always been magical for me (surprise, surprise). I was born November 3—right after all the beautiful festivities honoring the dead (were I to be a Halloween child, well, I curse the universe for failing me…). I’ve always felt most alive now, and with all the talk of Scorpio season, I feel at home, like I’m understood, like I’m seen—not just banished to the shadows of scorn and sex and wound and water and darkness.
But the scorpio is more than Scorpio season. And we’re more than the qualities we’re usually defined by. As sexy and intimidating and intoxicating as we seem, I believe that Scorp is, in equal measure, made from darkness and light. Capable of immense transformation and instrospection, this sign—and its wild season—is a time when we can confront the shadow and find good it in. Find a home in it. Become comfortable with our discomforts. Especially around loss, grief, fear, body, desires, and identity. Do not worry that this season will bring out your ghosts and leave you scared and haunted and overwhelmed—because you can harness all of that and use it to your benefit. (And just think: For some of us, it’s always Scorpio Season. If you don’t live in this place in perpetuity, consider yourself, well, lucky?).
But for just this season, transient and ending, you can indulge.
Some of the indulgence tips I include below are therapeutic in a very DIY way. I encourage you to seek professional help if you feel you need it, though. Working through your pain or grief on your own is one thing, but if you feel you need help, do ask for it. The Scorpio would want you to be good to yourself, even if she doesn’t always express it.
Here are some ways Scorpio Season can be curative—if you work it, rather than fear it.
1.Keep a shadow journal.
Here is where you’ll write down all those secrets, all those fears, all that loss, all those people you miss, all that pain. You want it out, and down. You want to sit with it, read it, accept it, and know that these secrets are safe (the scorpio is very secretive, which can make her sick). But mostly, being able to feel a little more comfortable with your wounds can actually lessen their sting.
2. Power your transformation.
If you want to be the person who stops showing up late, or the person who finally lets himself feel loved, or the person who wants to speak up when you think you ought to, scorpio season is the time to make those efforts. With scorpio’s intense transformative powers, this is the time to apply all that energy. You might here of scorpio’s death wish, but really it’s the fact that scorpio feels the need to transmorph, to kill a part of themselves off (give birth to another) and send it to the grave.
3. Talk to the dead.
Scorpio is the sign of the dead, sure. We all know that. And while that might mean Scorpios are busy walking that liminal space, it doesn’t mean you can’t join them. Whether the veils are literally or metaphorically open—because many people and Scorps are secular and don’t really believe this season is really a time of spirits—it’s still a good time to meet grief head-on. (Again, see note above around seeking professional help if you can’t move through grief on your own).
I like to write letters to my dead, sometimes I like to bury those letters, and sometimes I like to visit those graves or places where the dead are and just talk. I took part in something called Into the Veil a few weeks ago, where I recited poetry in a graveyard. The event was produced by Atlas Obscura, and was a truly death positive evening in that it allowed visitors to discover art and transformative ritual around death. The more we sit with it, the more we acknoelege it, the less power it holds over us—at least that’s the theory. It may be hard to stomach (for me, it was), but being surrounded by all those tombstones meant something: Life regenerates, life moves, life ends, memory lives, memories mean something, and that we ought to to live while we have the chance—live for our loved ones who cannot. Who didn’t get a long enough chance. This scorpio season, sit with the dead, or your dead, and just try to find a way to make peace. It’s probably different for all of us, that way, but it can yield beautiful results.
Lisa Marie Basile is the founding editor-in-chief and creative director of Luna Luna Magazine. She is also the moderator of its digital community.
Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Bustle, entropy, Bust, Hello Giggles, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, greatist, Cosmopolitan and The Huffington Post, among other sites. She is the author of Apocryphal (Noctuary Press), war/lock (Hyacinth Girl Press), Andalucia (The Poetry Society of New York) and Triste (Dancing Girl Press). her book, nympholepsy, was a finalist in the 2017 tarpaulin sky book awards.
Her work can be found in PANK, the Tin House blog, The Nervous Breakdown, The Huffington Post, Best American Poetry, PEN American Center, The Atlas Review, and tarpaulin sky, among others. She has taught or spoken at Brooklyn Brainery, Columbia University, New York University and Emerson College. Lisa Marie Basile holds an MFA from The New School. @lisamariebasile