Illustration by Taylor Dow

Sign of the Stinger

Here comes death, sex, and more bad news for Donald Trump.

Say your goodbyes to Libra’s easygoing, tactful, peacekeeper vibes, as both the Sun and Mercury are sliding into the intense, sensual sign of Scorpio this week. We’re going from Libra’s “Let’s get along!” to Scorpio’s “Let’s get it on!”

We call this transitional time of the month when the Sun changes astrological signs the “cusp”—a four-day threshold that can create uneasiness and conflicting impulses. The nature of that uneasiness has a lot to do with a shift in elements, as each zodiac sign is ruled by one: fire, earth, air, or water. Libra is an air sign, concerned with communication and intellect, while Scorpio is guided by water’s realm of intuition and emotions. The air-plus-water nature of the Libra/Scorpio cusp means we’re in for some emotional communication this week.


Scorpio is a sign known for its ample, ummm, libido. But Scorpio season means more than just an uptick in sexual urges. Scorpios desire to disrobe and reveal in other ways too: by shining a light of truth onto taboo subjects that polite society deems too raw to discuss. Want an ace detective to uncover corruption and expose abuses of power? Hire a Scorpio. Never squeamish, Scorpios are shrewd and super-perceptive, skilled at reading human intentions on a near-psychic level. They also often have magnetic, intoxicating eyes and a twisted sense of gallows humor.

During Scorpio season (which begins Saturday the 22nd and lasts until November 20) we’ll notice a heightened interest in the themes and ways of the scorpion. At this autumnal time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere), death is all around us in the natural world: Browning leaves detach from trees, frost smothers garden vines, and farm animals trot to their slaughter. Sex and death are quite similar—mystical realms where life enters and exits the visible world. Scorpio is concerned with both: procreation and destruction.

At their best, Scorpios are loyal, passionate, and spiritual. But like every sign, they also have a “shadow side,” a set of negative or unhelpful traits. In the cold depths of their shadow side, Scorpios can be secretive, controlling, obsessed, jealous, addicted to unhealthy substances or relationships, and temperamental. Making enemies with a Scorpio is a truly horrible idea, as they can become revenge-minded button-pushers who will not hesitate to unleash cruelty in order to settle scores. Of course, they aren’t the only ones guilty of such behavior. Watch out for these shadowy tendencies in yourself and others while the Sun (and Mercury) stay in the sign of the stinger.


On Monday the 24th, Mercury, planet of communication, moves into Scorpio, where it will stay until November 12, all the while urging us to quit dancing around any discomfort or touchy subject we might have tried to ignore during Libra season.

Expect conversations to swerve into heavy territory. After all, Mercury-in-Scorpio knows that even though the truth may sting, naming something is the first step to transforming it. With Scorpio energy in the air, we can bravely enter the cobwebbed basements of our personal and collective psyches in order to identify and face the monsters that lurk there. This could be bad news for Donald Trump, since any additional women who have allegations of sexual assault at the hands of the Republican nominee are likely to come forward and continue what has become a very important national discussion about power and sexual abuse.


On Wednesday the 19th, a rare and heated meeting between Mars (aggression, drive) and Pluto (power, change) will keep the burner simmering under those issues of control that last week’s full moon in Aries presented. Draw boundaries and stay strategic on Wednesday; rather than spitting angry volcano lava if you feel someone is pulling power moves or pushing you into combat, make decisions based on your long-term goals. Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st deliver a moon in Cancer, ideal for nurturing projects as well as processing emotions. Some Uranus activity on Thursday and Friday will also cause lightbulb clicks of clear understanding while demanding that you keep your plans flexible.

Saturday the 22nd marks the first day of Scorpio season, bringing with it a challenging quarter moon that asks you to put in extra effort and let go of a dream or belief that’s no longer “you.” Sunday the 23rd supports connection and creativity, so plan a date or work on your screenplay. Fair warning: Tuesday the 25th serves up difficult aspects that may cause disappointment in love or present financial barriers. Because Neptune is involved, your understanding may be cloudy. However, any disillusionment should quickly morph into reconciliation on Wednesday the 26th. So hang in there.

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