It goes without saying that Scorpios have a bad press. Ask most people what they know of the sign and chances are the words ‘ manipulative ‘ and ‘ sting in the tail ‘ will come up at some point. For the vast majority of people with the Sun in Scorpio this view of things is very unfair and unhelpful. Scorpio is an intense and complex sign and we need to try and understand its role within the greater scheme of things.
We can always learn a lot about the character of a sign by looking at what’s happening in nature as the Sun travels through it. The Sun is in Scorpio from October 22nd to November 21st, a time of enormous change in nature. The leaves that have such vibrant colour in Libra have to die and fall from the trees in order to end the cycle of growth for that year. The leaves decay and become part of the earth helping to provide fertiliser for new growth in the Spring.
In order to truly understand Scorpio we have to recognise that the primary motivation has to be to lose one’s sense of a separate self by merging and becoming part of something greater. This desire to merge with another is so strong that it explains the powerful sex drives that are associated with the sign.
Death and regeneration are the most important themes for the Scorpio. They will inevitably go through many deep and profound changes in their life as they seek to reinvent themselves. Scorpios experience everything deeply, whatever they do they throw their whole selves into it and the reason for this is that they can then feel they have gained all there is to be had from an experience and can move on frequently cutting all previous ties and connections. The urge for personal transformation is the driving force behind all of their experience. Because of this desire to explore things deeply they have a deep and intense emotional orientation.
This powerful desire for intensity can take them to some very dark places, however. The Scorpio justification for experiencing the darker side of nature is that no one can really move on and be free unless they have fully experienced these things. Anyone trying to skip that stage would be simply repressing a desire rather than conquering it.
An important Scorpio festival is Halloween on the 31st October. This is the time when the dark side comes to the fore and witches and ghosts and other creatures of the night come to the surface and walk amongst us, a festival that is still remembered in the children’s toned down version of trick or treat. Something that’s often forgotten is that November 1st is All Saints Day so within the space of 24 hours we have both extremes and a transformation from the dark into the light.
The other Scorpio festival is that of Guy Fawkes on November 5th, the symbolism here is utterly Scorpionic with extra inspiration from its ruling planet Pluto. The idea of a terrorist going underneath the Houses of Parliament to blow the place up is a classic example of the destructive and transformative symbols of this sign and planet. Guy Fawkes’ idea was that he was clearing away the deadwood in order to make a radical new start.
Its common knowledge amongst astrologers that Scorpio is the most difficult sign for someone to be, particularly if the Moon or Ascendant is in the sign. It’s a very big ask for an individual to be plunged deeply into so many intense situations in life and expect them to be strong enough to rise Phoenix like from the ashes as a purified soul. Most of the rest of us would be happy enough not to have to go there. One person for whom the call of the dark side was just too strong was Cheryl Amirault.
Cheryl Amirault was an American child sex abuser, jailed in 1987 after 13 kids who attended Fells Acre School testified about rape and abuse at her trial. The school was established by her mother, Violet Amirault, 65, who was included in the accusations along with her brother Gerald.
Cheryl Amirault had a stellium in Scorpio including the Sun, Moon and Ascendant in the sign. The Sun is in close conjunction with Neptune, adding a powerful level of fantasy to the intensely sexual orientation that all these points in Scorpio would create. This chart has an extremely unusual combination, the kind of thing that would only surface for a period of about one hour every 150 years.
Any planet that is rising in the 1st house demands expression. The Moon, which rules childhood, is rising suggesting that children would be the focus of Amirault’s sexual fantasies.
The only planet that might have saved Amirault would be the softer Venus in Sagittarius, but its conjunction with Saturn severely limits it’s expression. Pluto naturally dominates this chart as it rules the sign of the Sun, Moon and Ascendant but it’s given even more power over Amirault by its placing at the top of the chart in the 10th house.
Pluto transitted the Scorpio stellium between 1983 and 1991. It was conjunct the Sun in the early part of that period when most of the abuse was happening.
Scorpio’s are generally are very good at self control because they understand the depths of feeling and desire that occurs within them and they know how vulnerable this makes them. They usually are able to keep the lid on things and show a face to the world that no-one would ever guess what was going on inside them. This self control and ability to hide the abuse that was going on was lost as soon as Pluto reached Amirault’s Ascendant in 1987. In that year Cheryl Amirault was tried and sent to jail.
Child sex abuse is quite rightly one of the most horrific crimes imaginable. Seeing the chart of a paedophile does not excuse the crime but it can give us some insight and understanding of the internal make up of the perpetrator. For some Scorpios the dark side is just to powerful to rise above.