Monday, October 26, 2009

Scorpio for a Day




A Little Halloween Humor

© 2009 by Joyce Mason. All Rights Reserved

Back when I was growing up boomer in the 1950s and ‘60s, there was this schmaltzy show called Queen for a Day. On its nostalgic website, Queen is described as an early rags-to-riches reality show. Broadcasting live from the historic theatre-restaurant, Moulin Rouge, in Hollywood, each episode would consist of three to four women competing to become Queen for a Day. The women revealed their most personal stories to the American public. Audience members then decided which woman’s story was most heart wrenching (by use of the applause-o-meter) and the winner was crowned Queen for a Day.


Well, that may be fine for a Leo down on her luck who actually managed to swallow her pride, but it gave me an idea about Halloween. Halloween is the one day a year we can all be Scorpios for a day! It’s even expected of us! Then I got to thinking: How would each sign of the zodiac “do Scorpio?” Naturally, some signs might be more predisposed to Scorpio’s well-known darkness, power tripping, and sex mania. (OK, to be fair, their extreme depth and natural abilities to transform themselves.) Here’s my best guess on what this masquerade party would look like. I’d call it my Halloween Scorp-Off. You’re invited. Please comment if you have other costume ideas!


Aries: Rams love sharp objects. Combine their ruler Mars with Scorpio’s, Pluto, and you have a recipe for torture and death by knives and other sharp objects. Since they are so often attracted to their opposite, Libra, this is your chance to impersonate a carnival knife thrower with the quaking Libra as the “hope-he’ll-Miss.” It would even be more hilarious and astrologically pointed if in a traditional role reversal with a female Aries throwing knives at a male Libra. The juxtaposition of it just makes me tingle! If you’d rather fly solo and very much on the dark side, you can go as Dexter, the CSI turned serial thrill killer who loves to implement comeuppance on the “bad” serial killers. Not to forget, its star, Michael C. Hall, got a lot of experience at death’s door playing an undertaker in Six Feet Under. Don’t forget your CSI kit or medical bag, especially the scalpels and other "possibilities."

Taurus: To be creepy yet pretty for their Venus sensibilities, I suggest a wartless, high-fashion witch or wizard, the kind that eats little children. After all, we know how those Tauri like their snacks. (Heads-up and no Bull! You can still find nostalgic chocolate babies candy—still a sick idea to me today—to carry in your portable cauldron to sink your sweet tooth into and add to the full effect.)

Gemini: Women, dress as Sybil or any other multi-personality maniac and morph dramatically all night. Men might wear a dark cape and one of those creepy masks that has a face on both the back and front. To be witty and symbolic, perhaps the faces are comedy and tragedy—or any pair of opposites, like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker or George Bush and Barack Obama.

Cancer: It’s difficult for any Cancer, male or female, to play an anti-nurturer, but do it s/he must. It’s Halloween! A women Cancer can bring her date to play her adult son and come as the domineering, evil mom in The Manchurian Candidate. (I love the original version with Angela Lansbury and have not yet seen the more recent, Meryl Streep version. These normally nice ladies prove anyone can be diabolical when acting.) There are many potential characters in the mean mother genre, including Mommy Dearest, Fay Dunaway’s portrayal of Joan Crawford who apparently would not get the normal Cancer’s Mom of the Year Award. Men Cancers might play the evil nurturer more literally and come with various candy pills or powders to slip into people’s drinks, while having ready a string of statements said straight-faced and kindly, such as, “Drink this, my friend. It’ll take any pressure off for being the life of the party.” Or carry fake poisons carried in a Halloween bucket; position the bucket near someone’s foot before saying, “I made this just for you. You’ll get such a kick out of it.” Or you could come smeared in fake blood and grease, carry a skillet and a carving knife, look mean, and be a contestant on Iron Chef (especially good for those who also have a dose of Aries in their charts). For the mother/child relationship gone bad, a couple could play Norman in Psycho and his deceased mom.

Leo: Since both Leo and Scorpio tend to be high-drama signs, this is a natural. Except for the part where sunny Leo has to be “made in the shade.” Since that has a Tony Soprano ring to it, a thug and/or his moll would be the perfect get-up. Leos like to be the center of attention, so he or she could also choose a very limelighty model of mayhem, like Bonnie or Clyde or maybe Al Capone. Girl Lions: How about some real juicy historical murderer like Lucretia Borgia? You’re so fiery; a pyromaniac would be a good choice, too. (Watch those matches.)

Virgo: Poor Virgo would only come to this party with a gun pointed at her head. Not a bad idea. Virgo brings a partner to play the nutcase. As Virgos live to serve, she’s glad to be his victim and knows she also simply must agree to be his sex slave. She arrives at the party in a tasteful, but somewhat revealing submissive costume—preferably, one of those little maid outfits. You know how Virgos love to clean! She will be handcuffed to the perpetrator who will wave his gun around makes her say witty, suggestive things at his direction about what he plans to do with her later. (Anyone who reads The Radical Virgo should be onto the fact that Virgos are really earthy babes with big libidos looking for the right person to do it with.) Guy Virgos: Come as Adrian Monk and try to solve the cases of murder and mayhem rampant in this den of iniquity. Your date can play your assistant, either Natalie or Sharona, depending on personality type. Don’t forget the wipes!

Libra: This sign may have the most difficulty of anyone at this party, because it’s so hard to be nice all the time and be Scorpio. (Sorry, Scorps.) Since they rarely function solo, Libras should attend this “do” with a Scorpio bent on luring them out of their comfort zone. This will not be difficult, as we know Libras are the “yes, dears” of the zodiac. Other partygoers can let out their inner Scorpio as we watch this poor thing become more and more embarrassed and humiliated by her next-door neighbor in the zodiacal pie. (Diabolical laugh.) If she has a costume, she should play someone from a wholesome, nice era of history, like Mrs. C. on Happy Days.

Scorpio: Well, you could come as yourself, of course. Or you could come as a Double Scorpio. After all, being a Scorpio playing a Scorpio—imagine the possibilities! You could impersonate countless famous, fictitious killers, menaces, or sexpots. (Stay away from criminals still living or too recent to avoid turning fun into something truly chilling.) Ideas: Jack the Ripper (give it a playful twist and rip rags near the ear of women you’re trying to seduce), King Kong in an ape costume with a sexy little doll he can menace while not jumping on furniture or threatening to abduct the actual women at the party. (“Wanna come back to my skyscraper and see my etchings?”) Or how ‘bout the ultimate Scorpionic character, Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Female Scorpios can do the Scorpio overdose as a dominatrix politician, who runs around the party with a ballot box, forcing you to vote for her in the costume contest on penalty of painful consequences, if you dare resist. Then there’s my favorite, a running pun. Dress in black with white body paint or any washable liquid resembling milk splashed all over yourself. (Don’t forget your milk mustache.) Carry a big bowl of shredded wheat and give it manic stabs every few minutes with a butcher knife. Yep, a Cereal Killer.

Sagittarius: Take the Sag love of travel. Add a little Scorpio. Voilà! Come as a travel agent to dark places: any one of several global torture device museums or traveling displays; the creepy, abandoned Alcatraz whose walls still quiver with the bad vibes of its criminal inhabitants past; or kinky sex cruises. (I refuse to provide links. Go Google yourself.) Be sure to have plenty of flyers as take-homes to distribute at this gala. Dress in black with old-fashioned luggage labels plastered on your shirt, advertising your ports of crawl. Or make your get-up look like the typical tourist with a twist: loud Hawaiian shirt in blood red with people-eating plants, à la Little Shop of Horrors, rounded off with a lei of bones.

Capricorn: Given Capricorn’s well-known issues with control, the consummate Halloween job for this executive type playing Scorpio is Inquisitor or chief torturer from the Inquisition. (Get with Sag for details and that museum link for the easiest medieval torture devices you can replicate as props. There are even more gory ones to Google, but my Libra planets can’t bear it.) It’d be good to bring a date whose head and hands are locked in homemade stocks to drag around and threaten. Or you could live on the edge of life and death with your money as a cruel mogul or greedy financier. (Caps do love dough!). How ‘bout plastering money—play or real--all over you, and saying often, “My money? Not on your life.” It could get playfully nasty if someone tries to nab one of your greenbacks.

Aquarius: Scorpio and Aquarius both can be kinky in their own way. Leave it to Aquarius to do Scorpio to the most outrageous degree. Since Aquarius rules electricity, s/he might come as the executioner, ready to place a hood over the other party-goers, then “juice” him with one of those gag buzzer devices, the kind you shock someone with when you shake hands. (You should have at least two, one for each hand to make the shock worth your time.) Anything that gives them a good jolt will do without doing any real harm. Aquarius can camp it up with frizzed hair and a Doctor Death t-shirt. In terms of live astrodrama, s/he could offer frequently throughout the night to put Libra out of her misery.

Pisces: This act must involve drugs—or, at minimum, lots of smoke and mirrors. The first character that comes to mind is The Gypsy Queen from the rock opera, Tommy. (Can’t lose. Substances and music, blending a Pisces theme with a Scorpio character. Whee!) Here are the Tina Turner visuals on the ultimate version! Suggestion: find the biggest, fattest calking syringe at Home Depot (or several) and insert the longest nail you can find on the end. Maybe supplement it with candy “acid.” Carry paraphernalia and fake drugs in a little medicine pouch. Alternatively, if you’re clever and handy enough to execute making an “acid chamber,” as in this video, you’ll win the costume contest, hands and hypodermics down! (Men, it can be a Gypsy King just as easily, barely changing a word of the lyrics. Carry your iPod/ speakers and dance around the party to this diabolically Scorpio ditty, injecting some spirit into it!)

Happy Halloween!

Although my tongue is planted so far into my cheek in this article I’m sure I’ve sprained it (good thing I’m typing not talking), I think there are still some seriously good costume ideas in this Scorpio for a Day (make that Night) Show. Don’t forget to make voting for the best costume part of the party, complete with applause-o-meter! Let me know if you try it. Disclaimer: The Radical Virgo will not be held responsible for any results. Play a Scorpio at your own risk!


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Photo credit: Halloween falls... © James Thew | Fotolia.com



Want more costume fun? I love Halloween and costumes. For more inspiration, read Incognito: Costumes and Other Cheap Thrills on my other blog, Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chiron: The Shaman Centaur















© 2009 by Larry Williamson, Guest Blogger

Centaurus is one of two constellations said to represent the centaurs, mythical creatures with a human head and torso on top of a horse’s body. Centaurus was the name of the first centaur. The constellation Centaurus is primarily associated with Chiron, a wise, immortal being who was the King of the Centaurs. He was renowned for his healing skills and a wise teacher and mentor.

Chiron was the Son of Chronos (Saturn), ruler of the vanished golden age, where men lived in harmony with nature. His mother was the nymph Philyra, whose name means both “the love of music of the lyre” and “sweet-scented linden tree." Philyra gave birth to Chiron, was horrified by his appearance, and abandoned him. Chiron’s initial wound was the rejection and abandonment by his mother.

Apollo, the Sun God and Diana, Goddess of the Moon became Chiron’s foster parents—and along with the wild animals, his family. Chiron would become their first pupil and, in turn, he would teach humankind. Apollo and Diana taught him the art of healing, medicine, science, music, war, archery and all survival skills. All the greatest kings and heroes were taken to him as children to be raised in his cave. Some of his students were Jason, Achilles, and Hercules. Chiron taught Orpheus, the great musician, how to play the lyre in a way that made trees weep and rocks melt. He taught Asclepius, god of healing, the arts of healing and medicine.

Chiron’s healing powers were so great, it has been said that he cured those who suffered mortal wounds during the Trojan wars. Below Chiron’s cave lies a sacred valley where he grew powerful medicinal herbs, which he shared with his pupils, along with how to turn them into salves and potions. Chiron was the only centaur able to maintain his higher self. The centaurs were known for their rude, drunken and rowdy behavior, but Chiron was above the fray.

But, unfortunately, Chiron was not above harm. A stray arrow from the bow of Hercules accidentally wounded Chiron. The accident occurred during a wedding feast near Chiron’s cave. Pholus was the keeper of the jar of wine that belonged to the centaurs. He had been had been told not to open the jar. However, when Hercules arrived, he coaxed a reluctant Pholus into opening it, stating that the jar had been placed there generations ago waiting for his arrival. When Pholus opened the cask of wine as Hercules requested, the wild centaurs could smell the aroma from miles away. They sped to the scene, drank all the wine, went berserk, and tried to rape the bride. All mayhem broke out and Hercules tried to stop them. Elatus is the centaur associated with the woodlands and his name means “Fir Man,” because he used to pull up whole fir trees and use them as weapons. Elatus was killed by one of the poisoned arrows of Hercules, dipped in the blood of the many-headed Hydra, a poison from which there was no cure. This same arrow from the bow of Hercules passed through Elatus’s arm and continued its path to wound Chiron in the knee.

Hercules ran to him, pulled out the arrow and dressed the wound with a salve Chiron handed to him. Because the wound was incurable, Chiron moved to his cave yearning for death, but could not die because he was immortal. Ultimately, he passed on his immortality to Prometheus. Zeus saw what a grand and noble gesture this was, and then placed Chiron amongst the stars. In another version of the myth, Chiron offers to trade places with Prometheus who was chained to a rock for all eternity because he discovered fire—or as gods saw it, stole fire from them. Prometheus’s liver was being pecked out nightly as punishment, growing back each day for his vicious cycle of suffering. Since he was suffering himself without let-up, anyway, Chiron offered to take Prometheus's place. Both versions have the same ending. Zeus recognizes Chiron’s altruism, releases him from the bonds of his immortality, and raises him up in a constellation of stars.

In some versions of the story, in spite of his own pain and suffering, Chiron continued to help, heal and serve others. The term Wounded Healer seems to have emerged from this aspect of the myth. Others claim Chiron cured his wounds with the plant Centaury, the sacred herb of the centaurs, and never died. The best definition I ever heard of the Wounded Healer is “the ability to do things for others that we cannot necessarily do for ourselves.”

The kicker of the story is once Chiron was transformed into a constellation, it was not the archer centaur (Sagittarius) but actually the shaman centaur (Centaurus). The brilliant shamanic astrologer Daniel Giamario revealed this to me during an interview. Here the Shaman Centaur is dancing with a She-Wolf (Lupus) holding not a lance, or spear, but a magical and sexual Thyrsus, a staff of wild fennel topped by a pine cone, held by the centaurs. There is a region below the southern ecliptic including, Centaurus, the Shaman Centaur, the original constellation of Chiron. This area of the sky was far more elevated in the southern sky, and due to the precession of the equinoxes, it was all but lost to view in northern latitudes. Because the ancients Greeks couldn’t see the constellation Centaurus, they transferred it into the centaur of the archer, Sagittarius.

Before Chiron was discovered, astrologer Dane Rudhyar predicted there would be a new planetary body found between Saturn and Uranus that would act like a higher Moon. This is interesting, as both, Apollo and Diana, Goddess of the Moon, raised Chiron. One of the greatest paradoxes about Chiron astrologically is in our wounding lies the key to our healing, and it all has to do with feelings and emotions. All healing needs to begin with emotional healing.

This same paradox applies from an astrological interpretive point of view. Wherever Chiron is placed in the natal chart points to an area of possible woundedness, but it also indicates the area in which we can awaken the healing process for ourselves, and how we can best help, heal, and serve others towards integration and transformation. One of the first steps to accelerate the healing process is to “own our wounds.” You can’t change or transform anything you’re denying. Chiron, like Pluto, can serve as a powerful attachment breaker. “De-nial” isn’t just a river in Egypt!

Many astronomers believe Chiron is not an original member of our solar system, but rather came from outside it as a maverick, temporary visitor. They believe, in time, that Chiron will eventually leave. This is a symbolic parallel to the idea of the Bodhisattvas, who voluntarily return to the world of suffering to help assist others on the path of enlightenment. This clearly serves as a powerful metaphor of the Chironic themes of healing, helping and serving others.

It is this astrologer’s humble opinion that the connection between Chiron and Virgo seems clear. Both are associated with healing and service.

The humanistic astrologer Dane Rudhyar states that the trans-Saturnian planets owe allegiance to the galaxy, not the Sun! The former seems to imply “outside help,” the latter relates to “inner work,” or the power of change, transformation inherent in each of us. I feel it is incumbent for all astrologers not to become locked in or fixed solely on the principle of wounding with Chiron, but to cultivate and celebrate the teaching, mentoring, and meaningful service function. We all need someone in our lives at times to serve as a teacher, mentor and act as a bridge between two worlds.

Finally, let us honor our Inner Shaman, inner Teacher to help guide us on our journey towards healing, reconciliation and wholeness. The next time you need healing, go and heal someone else, and ask where have I failed to give? Out of the place of our wounds, will come our greatest gifts.

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Laurence Williamson is a practicing astrologer with over thirty years' experience. While maintaining his steady practice, Larry served as the resident astrologer for Sagittarius Books store for over six years. He also teaches classes in astrology and mythology. Listen to Larry's New Moon Podcast at his Skybear Astrology website. Contact him at skybear2@juno.com.

Photo Credit: CEREMONY OF THE SHAMANIrbis769 |Dreamstime.com

References

Catherine Tennant – The Lost Zodiac

Tim Lyons - Astrology Beyond Ego

Daniel Giamario – Reflections on being 52



COMMENT CONTEST WINNER!  Congratulations to Sandra Moseley, second and final winner in our Mercury Direct Comment Contest. Sandra is an astrologer and Radical Virgo. Sandra and husband David Mosely have a wonderful website, Zodiac Arts, a visual feast and delightful to visit! Sandra has won a free copy of Joyce Mason's new e-book,  Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quotes for the Signs #4


© 2009 by Joyce Mason

I keep finding them—or they find me! Here’s Round Four of the latest zodiac quotefest.

ARIES - Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off. ~Author Unknown

TAURUS -  There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it. ~Elizabeth A. Behnke

GEMINI - I keep six honest serving-men,
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.  ~Rudyard Kipling

CANCER: Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson:  you find the present tense, but the past perfect!  ~Owens Lee Pomeroy

LEO -  Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them. ~Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943

VIRGO - We are the products of editing, rather than authorship. ~George Wald, "The Origin of Optical Activity," Annals of the New York Academy of Science, 1975

LIBRA - Endurance is frequently a form of indecision. ~Elizabeth Bibesco, Haven, 195

SCORPIO -  Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it's dark. ~Zen Proverb

SAGITTARIUS -  Every one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character. Blessed is he who acts as Columbus to his own soul. ~Author Unknown

CAPRICORN - The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it. ~Elaine Agather

AQUARIUS - Rabbi Zusya said that on the Day of Judgment, God would ask him, not why he had not been Moses, but why he had not been Zusya. ~Walter Kaufmann

PISCES - Learning how to operate a soul figures to take time. ~Timothy Leary

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Photo credit: AND I QUOTE © Zitramon |Dreamstime.com

Crave more Quotes for the Signs? Visit these previous posts:




NEWS! The winner of last week’s drawing in the Mercury Direct Comment Contest is Susannah of The Lion and the Lightning Bolt blog. Susannah won a free PDF download of my new e-book, Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer. A new contest drawing period starts today and runs through next Monday, Oct. 19, at midnight PDT. Comment for a chance to win in the second and final drawing.  People who commented last week but did not win will be rolled over into this week's drawing, in addition anyone making a new comment between Oct. 13-20. Next winner will be announced on or about Oct. 21.  Good luck!



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Your Two Cents Worth! A Mercury Direct Comment Contest


Mercury has gone direct and the Sun is in Libra, the sign of relationship. What nice timing for friendly communications. To celebrate, I’m encouraging more talk amongst ourselves via Comments. I have met several great new friends who have commented on The Radical Virgo. It could happen to you, too!

Prizes! While friendship and shared ideas are the real prize—a nice combination of Venus and Mercury—let’s have some traditional prizes to sweeten the pot. Each person to comment over the next two weeks will be entered into a drawing to receive a free copy of my new e-book, Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer. There will be a drawing each week, so two free e-books will be given away worth $4.95 US each. Winners for the previous week will be announced at the bottom of the next two posts.

The comment contest applies to any post or article on The Radical Virgo. The only “rule” is that your comments be constructive and substantive—responses to the content of a post or sharing a related experience. More than, “Hi, nice post.” Good luck, and have fun!

-Joyce

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Photo Credit: © Tomo Jesenicnik - Fotolia.com