Looks Like Libra, Smells Like Scorpio

Posted by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

Although the Sun is still in Libra, some of this week’s news events appear to have a distinct Scorpio scent. This would seem to relate to astrology involving Mercury in Scorpio that is bookending the current workweek. Amanda Painter takes a look at these aspects and a couple of emblematic news stories.

By Amanda Painter

Although the Sun is still in Libra, some of this week’s news events appear to have a distinct Scorpio scent. This would seem to relate to astrology involving Mercury in Scorpio that is bookending the current workweek.

Micro-landscape at Acadia National Park one year ago. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Mossy micro-landscape at Acadia National Park in Maine one year ago. Photo by Amanda Painter.

We began the week with news coverage intensifying about the disappearance of Washington Post journalist and Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish officials allegedly have audio and video evidence of Khashoggi being tortured and dismembered within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, which he had visited to obtain legal documents pertaining to his upcoming marriage.

We might interpret this as representing a dark shadow side to Mercury conjunct Venus in Scorpio, which was exact on Monday and which was also sextile Vesta in Capricorn. Usually astrologers describe Mercury-Venus conjunctions as stimulating an appreciation for beauty or declarations of love. Yet Mercury-Venus can also help one to see the underlying patterns in a relationship. The alleged events surrounding Khashoggi’s disappearance and apparent murder do appear to be laying bare certain unsavory facets in the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Here we have the communication role of Mercury in a few ways. For one, Khashoggi was a journalist. Second, I’m considering this event from the perspective of when new reports spiked in popular awareness, rather than looking at an event chart for the alleged murder. Third, the evolving reporting has elicited shifting responses from the Saudi government, as well as Pres. Trump’s vocal desire to protect arms deals with the Saudis.

Retrograde Venus shows up in terms of a diplomatic relationship now suddenly under review, and gets echoed in the marriage documents Khashoggi sought: he had to ‘return’ to Saudi Arabia — in the form of its consulate — to be able to proceed with his marriage (which tragically will never happen now). Scorpio’s themes of death, money and secrets are all over this story. And, just for good measure, Vesta in Capricorn could be hinting at a government making a sacrifice of someone who’d once been its own (Khashoggi has previous close ties to the Saudi royal family).

Another news story to catch my attention this week is less directly Scorpionic, but still has an association thanks to the sheer hell immigrant families are being put through in the U.S. — the underworld being the province of Pluto. Pluto is considered the modern ruler of Scorpio.

On Wednesday, Pluto received a square from Ceres in Libra. We can see this symbolized in reports that the Trump administration may resume its policy of forcibly separating migrant children from their families along the U.S.-Mexico border; this despite the fact that hundreds (if not thousands) of children seeking asylum still have not been reunited with their parents after having been separated earlier this year, and detained ever since.

On top of that, Democracy Now this week reported that data from Amnesty International suggests immigration officials separated approximately 6,000 families between April and August, a significantly higher number of children and parents torn apart than previously thought. As I wrote in Wednesday’s Four Winds Almanac, one interpretation of Ceres in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn in this configuration is that it looks like the archetype of “mother” squaring off against an authority figure or institution that’s putting people through hell. Regardless of your gender, you may have felt compelled this week to pay attention to your instincts to care for and protect others, especially children.

Back to Mercury in Scorpio, and More

As I mentioned initially, aspects involving Mercury in Scorpio bookend this work week. On Friday it enters an interesting aspect pattern, making a trine to Neptune in Pisces and a square to Mars in Aquarius. Note that Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio.

One way this could be playing out is through irritability with anyone who challenges your desire for escapism. For example, how many times have you posted about a favorite movie on social media, only to have people pipe up with their unsolicited critiques of it? That’s one possible example.

Another reading of this energy could be heightened sensitivity to the rampant gender rage in our culture. If that’s the case, bear in mind that while much of the debate centers on behaviors that can have life-and-death stakes, challenges to your ideas and point of view are not themselves actual threats to your existence.

Culturally, we have a problem with letting our egos and identity get so closely identified with our ideas and beliefs that it’s nearly impossible to have a reasonable, open-minded conversation about certain topics. The internet seems to be codifying this social dysfunction; a Mercury-Mars square can exacerbate it.

Alternatively, the Neptune influence could have you preoccupied with daydreams and creativity. This is generally harmless and even beneficial, especially if you can find someone simpatico with whom you can share your dreams. (Also: do you get dressed up for Halloween? This might be a good time to brainstorm your costume if you haven’t already.) The thing to watch for is if you let fantasies based in unexpressed hostility or anger provoke you to impulsive action, or if rage-fueled imaginings distract you while driving or dealing with hot/sharp objects.

In other words, be aware of your thoughts and urges the next few days, and the ways you feel compelled to express yourself. For now, the Libra Sun is still offering some sense of balance, despite all the aggression, intrigue and upsetting news we’re suspended in. The Sun will leave Libra and enter Scorpio on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Just three days later, on Oct. 26, the Sun will meet up with retrograde Venus for their interior (or inferior) conjunction in Scorpio. That will mark the astrological midpoint of Venus retrograde. And then on Oct. 31, Venus will retrograde back into late Libra.

It will be interesting to see what secrets Venus carries backward into Libra with her. If you feel like you’re putting together pieces of a puzzle, hopefully you’re taking some notes. I’ll be curious to know if anything clicks into place or finds a new equilibrium when Venus stations direct come Nov. 16.

Between now and then, we have the midterm elections in the U.S. on Nov. 6. If you’re a U.S. citizen and live in a state where there’s still time to register to vote, please do.


Order Eric’s Autumn Reading, which will cover Venus retrograde and beyond, and comprises all 12 signs. This will give you crucial insight into your Sun and rising signs, plus those of your closest partners, friends, family members and prospective lovers. Each sign will be 30 to 40 minutes each, and the set will come with a video introduction. You may order here, or call us at (845) 481-5616.

6 thoughts on “Looks Like Libra, Smells Like Scorpio

  1. Sue Edwards

    Beautifully written and wonderfully timed for me, at the very least. Thank You.

    The trigger for me happened on Monday. I’ve spent the past two days spitting venom as I have planned my action and gathered more information. “Uh oh, mom is pissed” I could hear my kids whispering to each other.

    What I’ve also been doing is what I call “transmuting” the energy and that requires allowing myself to feel it. So I can work with it and through it. Now I can take the actions as planned, communicating graciously, untainted by any defenses or need to attack. Being assertive is different than being aggressive.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Sue: you describe what I consider an ideal model for feeling, working through, transmuting and taking appropriate action. Thank you for sharing your experience of this astrology! And good to see you back here this last week — I’d been wondering if all was well on your end.

  2. Sue Edwards

    “I’d been wondering if all was well on your end.”

    You guessed it! It hasn’t been but it’s now moving in that direction. I suspect all the pieces will fall into place by Nov 16.

    I accomplished the move of a 1500 square foot household. It was hard on me, as one of my by-passes has shut down, causing pressure and a decreased flow to my other by-pass. My left arm has no pulse and there’s very little blood flow to my lower abdomen. So it ‘s been a challenge packing and unpacking, since I can’t use that arm for very long before the pain starts. There’s only so many times I can bend, before everything from my wast down starts hurting, too. Muscles deprived of oxygen aren’t happy.

    To top everything off, our cable company took 3 weeks and 3 service calls to get my phone working again. AND my primary care provider left and I’ve seen 2 nincompoop replacements after another. On Monday, I was denied refills on my meds. Told I needed to see a Pain Management Specialist and then not given a referral to see one. If I hadn’t had to switch insurance carriers due to our local hospital switching, I could simply call the specialist I’ve seen already.

    By yesterday, I was in contact with my Vascular surgeon, who’s been trying to call but never left any messages for me and was being seen by my Neurosurgeon, who specializes in Complex Spinal Surgery. I’m “armed” with their instructions as to my care.

    Now all I need do is return the calls from the nurse assigned to me by my insurance company – the one in charge of ensuring I get all I need, and file a formal complaint with them against the health care worker I saw on Monday. Yes, I’m about to cause a stink and trouble is going to descend on their head.

    The health care worker works under the license of a doctor, who works for a large corporation. Neither one is going to like being investigated by the company that writes their checks. It’s bad PR for the insurance company for their insured not to get the services the company has paid for them to receive. It effects their business contracts and future negotiations.

    By Nov 16, I suspect I’ll be seen by the Doctor from now on, be recovering from surgery to install a new by-pass restoring the flow to my left arm and have no difficulties in the future getting refills on my meds. All it’s going to take to set everything in motion is 1 phone call and I will be making that call later today. This health care worker is incompetent and I’m not going to be one to suffer because of it. Nor is anyone else after I’ve released the hounds of hell on her.

    Sometimes I experience things because I am empowered to take action where others cannot. Very few patients around here have a personal nurse assigned to them by the insurance company like I do. Then there’s my 2 surgeons, who are livid. I am one of their works of Art and it’s miraculous I’m still alive.

    And kicking.

    No spite, no venom, just a swift kick.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Holy cow, Sue! That sounds insane — and dangerous. Not having a pulse in one arm is pretty serious. And it continually blows my mind how the bureaucracy of the health insurance system and all that they rule can interfere so much more than it helps at times.

      I am glad you are empowered to take action where others cannot. So many don’t even know that such empowerment in dealing with the health care system is possible.

      May your efforts reach a satisfying result; and may the benefits extend to others dealing with the same organizations you’re dealing with. Thank you for letting us know what’s been up!

  3. Glen Young

    Also; “No matter how close to yours another’s steps have grown, In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone.” ~Jackson Browne (for a dancer)

    Been supplementing my American Medical Association/ AMA experience with the non-conventional realm of the second Kingdom; plant base vitamins and food- in my ongoing existential crisis, which Eric mentioned about Pluto in my sixth house. Also in the sixth, is Saturn in Capricorn, suggesting empowerment in dealing with these health care system problems, with their hidden agendas. Cancer on my twelfth house cusp of secret remedies, and secret agenda.

    With Pluto- Vesta- and Saturn in someone’s ninth house, someone could possibly suggest publishing a book on the conventional and non-conventional polarized medical worlds, and their behind the scenes activities with the Corporate/Government (Capricorn) institutions, and the private and hard to find we are family (Cancer), people giving us space and emotional empowerment to heal.

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