Following my piece on the Aries-Virgo quincunx, comes the next aspect in line: the Aries-Scorpio quincunx.
It’s useful to think of this line when working with quincunxes (also known as inconjuncts):
“When she was good she was very, very good but when she was bad she was horrid.”
So how do you interpret such ambivalent aspects and, more importantly, how do you make them work for you?
Inconjuncts (also called quincunxes) are hard to define because, while they are considered to work “erratically,” they also provide us with all the abundance and “ease” of trines.
This is because they work somewhere between a trine (luck and ease) and an opposition (tension and discord).
In this 12-part series on inconjuncts I’ll take you through each of the 12 possible inconjunct combinations, starting with the Aries-Virgo inconjunct.
Before I get started, here is a list of all the possible inconjunct combinations:
Aries and Scorpio: Key Concepts:
Mars links both these signs (traditional ruler of both Aries and Scorpio). Mars =the personal will. Stamina, force, ego, “fuck it or kill it,” rage. Mars blasts your butt out of a rut. Aries =”killing” your Father, a new spiritual vision, dynamo, bravado. “Conquest tests the warrior.” Scorpio =”killing” the Mother. Patriarchy and Matriarchy. Archetypal Mother and Father energies (may be superimposed on personal Mother/Father). “Making your way in the world.” Both immensely passionate signs. Hot headed (Aries rules the head and is associated with the Oedipus myth, which is ultimately a story about a red-head with a hot temper, not to mention killing the father/Father!)
Ego death (Scorpio)/ Ego formation (Aries)
Aries= rebellion. Scorpio = perversion. Aries = upstarts, movers and shakers. Scorpio =detectives, occultists, physicians. Destroying that which threatens its survival. Scorpio =associated with the “dark night of the soul” and depression –has the choice to use darkness and dark energy for either good or for ill. Aries =associated with being a “birthplace” for divine ideas and higher consciousness. An inspiring sign. Must try and avoid becoming like the “terrible father” it seeks to destroy. Both signs are about learning to be strong (becoming individuals) and reinventing the overriding Father/Mother principle. Aries =a strong father or father figure tests the native’s mettle. Scorpio = an emotionally demanding, powerful mother figure is used to test the native –will he/she become embroiled in this overpowering Mother energy or will they “kill” Her and thus bring about their own psychological birth and transformation?
Death of the Parent
Both signs are involved with the death of the personal/archetypal Mother/Father. But how is their new power used? For good or for ill? A new spiritual vision (Aries) and a new emotional paradigm (Scorpio) must divorce itself completely from past models. The trick is not to become like that which it has destroyed but to rise above.
From Aries-Virgo the native is learning how to master subjectivity and from Libra-Pisces the individual moves away from subjectivity to master the realm of objective experience.
This means that there is extra tension built into the Scorpio-Aries quincunx. While Aries is the first sign of subjective experience, Scorpio is about mastering objective experience.
For example, say an individual is born with the Moon in Aries quincunx Mercury in Scorpio.
Moon =the conditioned self. Automatic responses. Emotional and security needs. The unconscious mind.
Mercury =logos, nomenclature, speech, communication. The conscious mind.
This native would have two very different ways of “processing” and “filtering” their experiences.
The Moon in Aries is emotionally reactive, egotistical. Mercury in Scorpio is a subtle “still waters run deep” type, likely focused on the “inner life” and the “inner workings” of things.
The conscious mind and the unconscious mind therefore sometimes work together and sometimes work at cross-purposes. When working at odds with one another the child-self (Moon) is yang-oriented and may be prone to temper tantrums and/or other childish outbursts if it feels its needs are not being met while the conscious, logical self is subtle, inwardly oriented and aligned with the yin principle.
Working together Mercury in Scorpio and Moon in Aries is passionate, explosive and a charter of new emotional and spiritual territories.
Transformation and Transmutation: Birth, Death and New Beginnings
Other images and symbols to consider with the Aries and Scorpio archetypes are Death/new beginnings, psychological birth, psychological death, conscious awareness, unconscious programming.
Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac and therefore concerned with birth and new beginnings while Scorpio is the sign associated with death and endings.
Since birth and death are two sides of the same coin they embody a single archetypal energy. Birth cannot be understood without death and vice versa.
Things come to a head in Aries and Scorpio. Some sort of poison is released (like when you pop a pimple or drain a cyst).
Life is not the opposite of death it is birth that is the opposite of death because life is continuous. This means that Aries and Scorpio are profoundly linked with change (transformation) and the duty of instigating fresh new cycles.
Mother Queen, Father King: The Cup Runneth Over
Marie Louise von Franz uses the analogy of wine to talk about a tribe’s need for a new ruling system (both Aries and Scorpio are about usurping outdated ruling systems).
When a bottle of wine is first opened it is rich and full-bodied and causes elation and drunkenness in the person imbibing the brew. Likewise, when a King and Queen first start to rule over their tribe, it creates feelings of giddiness and euphoria. The “wine” still contains its promising life-giving and life-renewing properties and provides the people with much needed spiritual, emotional and psychic nourishment.
But what happens to wine when it is left open for too long? It no longer has the same abilities of renewing and revitalizing the public because there is no longer any alcohol in it.
This means that after a generation of rulership a new King and Queen must be sworn in because they no longer provides the same psychic, emotional and spiritual nourishment for their people.
If a King and Queen are in charge for too long the entire system becomes corrupt, tired and uninspiring. There is rot, decay, waste, petrification and stagnation. A new bottle of wine needs to be opened so that the public may be filled with the same euphoric, life-giving properties that a new rulership promises.
If an old King and/or Queen rule by force nothing can grow, nothing can change and there is no creative renewal of life. Hope, faith are dashed and there is emotional apathy, stagnation and rot.
If a new King and Queen step in to reign supreme, the balance of power does not rest in the hands of an entitled Mother (Queen) and Father (King). It changes hands and therefore fresh changes can be bought to our inner and outer landscapes.
Aries and Scorpio both embody the Crusader Archetype. Once our inner Mothers (Scorpio)/ Fathers (Aries) have been appeased we can use the energy and excitement of a new rulership for more consciously directed goals.
Consciousness and Unconsciousness
Aries is male/yang and therefore related to conscious expression. Scorpio is female/yin and related to unconscious expression. The power of the conscious mind and the power of the unconscious mind can join forces and create a holistic One Mind. This can be an aspect of Unity and Merging.
Both signs are being held back by something destructive and powerful (Mother/Father) and a lot of energy can be unleashed to destroy these forces, however, such tremendous energy reserves must be used wisely and handled with caution lest they turn self-destructive.
In primitive societies the Queen was said to contain/reflect the secret inner life and emotional needs of her subjects while the King was said to express the spiritual and creative needs of the tribe. They were therefore the allegorical Mother and Father figures of a kingdom.
Aries and Scorpio are concerned with gathering experiences/sloughing off old experiences (reprogramming for more positive/consciousness directed goals). The weight of the past (Scorpio) and the liberty and expansiveness of new beginnings (Aries) can merge together to create exciting new forms charged with inner purpose and rich, symbolic meaning.
Waxing Moon/Waning Moon
While Aries can be likened to the waxing Moon phase (new beginnings, gathering new experiences, excitement, adventure, setting off on a brand new journey), Scorpio is more like the waning Moon phase (endings, sloughing off/processing old experiences, despair, cynicism, dejection, a longing to go home after it has experienced many grand adventures).
As you can see both lunar phases represent very different things and may seem antithetical to one another, however, as we have seen above, all experiences are like coins that contain two faces of the same experience.
To use the power contained in the Aries-Scorpio quincunx, we must first understand the ancestral past from which we have sprung and use it to rectify our experience (both inner and outer) of the Feminine/Masculine forces within.
By doing this we can pave the way to renewed self- possession and self-authority, not to mention becoming more fitting containers for ruling the vast kingdoms within/without.
Individuating: Mars, Iron and the Key to Successfully Handling your Aries-Scorpio Quincunx
Since Mars is the traditional ruler of both Scorpio and Aries (not to mention the esoteric ruler of Scorpio), it is important to understand how "the red planet" can inform our understanding of this tricky quincunx.
In my article on Mars, I talk about how Mars (the traditional symbol of masculinity) is a by-product of feminine rage. This is vital for understanding the Scorpio-Aries inconjunct and the core archetypal energies of these two signs, which contain the themes of rage and anger as part of their symbolic make-up. Rage, anger and aggression all protect (and form) individual ego awareness and using the power contained in Scorpio and Aries, we can rise above conflict and adversity to become better vehicles for our budding masculine/feminine energies. Mars, after all, is about learning how to rule (but not suffocate) our vital energies (uniting the head and the loins since Scorpio rules the genitals and Aries rules the head in medical Astrology).
The archetypal images of queens, kings, mothers and fathers has been discussed in detail and it seems that Mars is the planetary container par excellence for both the feminine and masculine within us.
The traditional metal of Mars is iron, which is hard and durable though malleable enough to fashion into weaponry. The Iron Age, which started in 1200 BC, augurs a period of the advancement of mankind and the human race and, in such periods of transition, it is important to stay focused yet flexible, "relying on our own mettle,." while still allowing ourselves to be sensitive to the needs of others.
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