|Jean Marais as a modern Orpheus, in Cocteau’s visionary and beautiful movie of the same name.|
Someone said: “Bring the bodies upstairs.”
The house I’m staying in is 300 years old with walls as thick as the span of your arm. The room I sleep in is as dark and close as a coffin.
I awoke, pressed down by the weight of the empty room, that one clear sentence ringing in my head. Were there ghosts on the stairs? Then I was taken on a journey through coiling fear-filled labyrinths of my own imagination — or perhaps these phantoms were real.
The psychopomp, my own soul’s guide between conscious and unconscious, showed me through cobwebbed corridors, into the near and distant past, over an oozing serpentine river into the blackest belly of the night, and of my mind.
It is that time of year: the scorpion reigns. The days grow shorter and the dead rise. In fear of impending winter darkness, we light fires, dress up, and dance a devil’s jig. We tell ghost stories.
This year, more than any other, the dead are talking to us at Halloween.
Mercury is retrograde in Scorpio. Mercury, the messenger, Hermes to the Greeks; the only god — aside from the king and queen of the underworld themselves to move between the upper and lower worlds. To communicate with the dead, you need the assistance of Hermes. He is the one who guided Orpheus to Eurydice, who negotiated with Hades for Persephone, who can guide you to hell and back.
Scorpio, the sign of the underworld, death, crime and resurrection. The Sun, the North Node, Saturn and Mercury are meeting here right now, today, and for the first third of November they form a tight stellium. This is enough to make this an exceptionally powerful energy. This is about diving deep into your own depths. With Saturn involved, it’s about testing the boundaries of your fear, revulsion or desire. But there’s more. Pluto, The Lord of the underworld himself, is virile, active, engaged right now, and he demands that you go beyond.
Pluto in Capricorn is in mutual reception with Saturn in Scorpio. That is the god of the afterlife and the god of death and endings are in each other’s signs, and right now, they are also in sextile aspect. And of course, Pluto is galvanised by the threatening square from Uranus, the awakener.
And then there’s the eclipse on November 3, right in the heart of that massing in Scorpio, aspecting the U-Plu square. The Sun, the bright heart of our solar system, will be blotted out.
When Mercury retrogrades, we look to the past; We encounter people whom we thought we had long left behind; we return to old stories. Mercury is in the underworld. The question: what is your hell? A guide is available, who can both take you there — and bring you back safely, as long as you follow the rules.
|Resurrection by Piero della Francesca|