In part two of this article, Malvin Artley continues his examination of the hidden forces at work in the region of Antares, the Heart of the Scorpion. Malvin also publishes a regular astrological newsletter, to which you can subscribe by clicking the link at the end of this article.
This brings us to the region of space that Antares and the Association occupies. The constellation of Scorpio is known by many names, among which are "The Lord of the Seed", "The King of Lightning", "The Lusty King", and--revealingly--"The Crowned Serpent". The region of space in which Scorpio is found is a curious and heavily obscured area of the southern sky. Just to the north of Antares is a huge murky cloud that begins to blot out the light of distant stars and which has projecting tentacles that flow out in great swaths. This obscuration in the sky is actually a vast nebula, which marks it as either a birthplace or a graveyard of stars--interesting, given the rulership of Scorpio of the 8th house of the zodiac, which rules death and transformation (re-birth). This tentacle-like nebulosity no doubt contributes to the interpretation of Scorpio being a more secretive, dark and obscure sign and with the more arachnid associations with Scorpio.
The Dragon of the East
To the Chinese, though, this region of space is their Azure (blue or green) Dragon, or "The Dragon of the East". The region of Antares is called Ming Tang--"Hall of Light"--by them, as well as being "The Emperor's Council Hall". Antares itself is called the Fire Star, and is said to represent the Emperor. It is said the Azure Dragon has his tail in the Milky Way (the great Mother of Substance and Life) and "emerges from His home in the Celestial River [Milky Way] as he prepares to descend to Earth, to confer great blessings on the sages who do Him reverence." Far from being a dark, brooding and sometimes malevolent influence, the Chinese saw the Dragon of the East as the "wise and majestic incarnation of the awesome power and infinite splendour of Nature." Scorpios, stand proud!
To the occultist and to esoteric astrologers, Scorpio rules the 4th Creative Hierarchy (counting from the bottom up), named the Human Hierarchy. It is also called "The Initiates", "The Lords of Sacrifice", and it is literally the kingdom in Nature made up of the higher Selves of all humanity, operating from the plane of Intuition, or Buddhi. This last section may mean little to some readers. Suffice it to say that, far from representing the lower and murkier aspects of the human family, Scorpio actually resides over that part of each of us which truly makes us who we are--pure love and omnipotent consciousness--true Angelic beings, fully self conscious in the spiritual sense and conferring initiatory status up to the rank of Adept of the Great Law. This last sentence holds the key to the mystery of death and of transmutation in Scorpio, for it is the death of the lower nature and its replacement with or overshadowing by the full expression in its place of the "Christ within each of us" (which is the Solar Angel--the Angel of the Presence)--The Word made Flesh. "For these things you have seen me do, you will do also, and even greater."
Wisdom and Initiation
The Romans had insight into this great constellation when they named Antares Cor Scorpionis-- The Heart of the Scorpion. The Australian aborigines, too, showed their wisdom in naming that constellation Djuit--the Crocodile. Throughout the archives of the Ancient Wisdom initiates and beings of great wisdom have been called by reptilian names--"Serpents of Wisdom", "Dragons of Wisdom", "Crocodiles"--to name but a few. Even the Garden of Eden had its serpent, which granted forbidden (esoteric) knowledge to the ignorant souls who dwelled therein. The sign Scorpio confers wisdom to all who come under her influence. Even in the Greek mythology the Scorpion, whose sting killed Orion, the Hunter or Celestial Warrior, was a profound symbol of Wisdom and Initiation. Orion itself is the symbol for the would-be initiate, at war with his/her lower nature, or on the eternal quest for higher Truth, seeking to "take the kingdom of Heaven by force" and desirous of gaining knowledge through rebellion instead of acquiescence--a purely human trait. The sting of the Scorpion ends that struggle, producing the death of the lower nature and bringing to the seeker or warrior that for which they have striven--the Wisdom of the Ages. Liberation from the constraints of ignorance is the prize. "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." as the popular song lyric goes.
The Egyptians, too, had their spiritual symbolism around the Scorpion and the sign Scorpio. Their ancient priests and healers were called the "Charmers of Selket", and were dedicated to the service of Selket, the Scorpion goddess, which was also one of the many manifestations of their goddess Isis. Antares was thus a star sacred to Isis. The aspect of death in Initiation actually confers healing to the applicant for Initiation and refers to the death of all that hinders the access to the higher worlds for the Initiate. Sometimes that can actually mean a physical death, but it usually just feels like it instead, because there is so much that is wiped away in so short a period of time. Every person born in the sign Scorpio or heavily under her influence thus carries somewhere within their psyche the concepts of struggle toward some higher Goal, of the need to prevail over the aspects of their nature or those things or people outside them that impede them in that struggle or quest and the sure and certain knowledge that sometime, somewhere and in some way they will be tested as to their mettle--and that they must triumph. There is no middle ground for the Scorpio. Perhaps this is why they are often seen as difficult people.
Within the heart of every Scorpio pulses the passion for the higher Life and for liberation from the baser elements of life, however that may manifest. Every Scorpio seeks in some way to attain to a higher state of being. It is the basic drive behind the sign. It is also the strongest drive within any human being, regardless of how it might and often does get perverted and thwarted. But, it is particularly so for a Scorpio. This basic urge for union with the Divine within each of us is also that which gives rise to the sex drive, the 2nd most powerful force in the human nature, for it, too, is a basic drive which causes us to strive toward union and to be more than who we are alone.
So, when we encounter the Scorpio in the throes of some struggle and dark despair, spare a thought for what they might actually be trying to achieve. And, when you find yourself in times of trouble, it may pay you to seek out one of your beloved Scorpio friends or family members. You may just find they have the answers that you seek, or that they can at least point you in the right direction--and, if you are lucky, you might just get a memorable story to go along with it. Nothing else quite brings out the best in Scorpios like a good struggle, especially if they can fight alongside someone else for a common goal, and especially for the betterment of others.
Antares, through Scorpio, brings us the full passion of what our lives are truly meant to be. The trouble is that we too often do not see the truth of our lives. If we do not, then experience in Scorpio will surely set the record straight, and we all go through that at some point. Whether it is the passion of sex with one's beloved, the heat of the field of battle, the drama of life and death in emergency services, the struggle for people's souls in the field of religion, or just the daily battle to get through the day, Scorpio brings its tests and also its gifts. Whatever we decide upon as a direction in life is ultimately tested. As the esoteric astrologer knows, the decisions of Libra lead directly to the tests of Scorpio when the life is geared toward the Spirit.
The Crown of Human Achievement
The crown of human achievement is not to be found in the material constructs of humanity, nor in the outer world of human affairs. True human achievement shows itself in the fullness of our being, wrought through the pain of our struggles over lifetimes and in the gradual dominion that we show over our lower nature until, at the appointed day, we become as the great Teachers of all of the great world Religions and spiritual disciplines as we transform our crown of thorns, worn as a symbol of our sacrifice for all those for whom we toil, to become finally the Crowned Serpent of Wisdom. Then we descend from our true domain in the heaven worlds and emerge on earth to confer our blessings to all who would listen with open hearts and minds. At that point our little self is lost in the blaze of the Solar Angel, merges with it and the Heart of the Scorpion then bestows His blessing upon us, showing us that the Way is not so hard and that the rewards of life eternal and supernal are ours would we but take up call and make the needed sacrifices.
May we sacrifice our ignorance for the wisdom of a life well lead, our satisfaction for the realization that there is always something more that can be done, our love of self for the fullness of love that only being there for another brings, our time for the timelessness of our inner Voice and our resources in the knowledge that whatever we so give to others from the fullness of our hearts will be returned to us as riches beyond our imagination when we finally have nothing left to bind us. The stings of life are but the seeds of our emancipation and realization of our spiritual birthright.
With much love to you all,
18 October 2003
Back to the start of The Heart of the Scorpion
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes