The Scorpion, The Eagle and The Phoenix – Thoughts on Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio

Scorpio levels - Alan Oken

Image from Soul-Centered Astrology by Alan Oken


Alan Oken in his book, Soul-Centered Astrology, allocated three symbols to Scorpio – The Scorpion, The Eagle and The Phoenix. Each one represents a level of Scorpio’s expression. In theory the Scorpion must evolve into the Eagle who must then evolve into the Phoenix.

He goes on to explain:

“It is through Scorpio that the personality enters into battle with the Soul and eventually emerges as the ‘Victorious Disciple’ – the Soul-infused personality. But as we all know, the Way is not easy, and the Path is filled with many – often self-created – obstacles.” – Alan Oken, Soul-Centered Astrology.

I read this book many years ago when I was first learning about astrology. That bit about Scorpio having three symbols, three levels of evolution of expression, stuck with me, especially the Eagle. The rest of the book confused me, and I did what I always do when that happens, I decided to explore the part which confused – The Seven Rays. I went straight to the source and researched the works of Alice Bailey, which added confusion to confusion and turned it into mind soup.

Mind soup is my code word for when there is too much information in my mind and it’s just floating around, swirling, claustrophobic, like a thick mist, not being understood or absorbed.

I have Neptune in the 3rd house of the mind, so being confused is normal for me. My Neptune is in Scorpio, and Scorpio energy dominates my mind. My Mars is also in Scorpio in the 3rd.

A few astrologers consider a link between Neptune and Mars as a possible indicator of addiction. Usually only if the two are in hard aspect, and especially if they are conjunct. Mine are not in aspect to each other at all, they just share house and sign (unless you look at my progressed chart, where they are conjunct), but I would say that they do point to my greatest addiction – Thinking.

I am an aggressive and obsessive thinker. I will latch onto something and keep going over it until I have achieved understanding. Being confused triggers the need to analyse, dissect, research and dig deep. When I have a vague sense of something being not quite right, a missing piece of a puzzle, a bothersome irritation of not seeing the whole picture, then my mind turns into a laser to cut through the confusion.

My mind is very combustible. When I get confused I get angry. When something does not makes sense to me, it drives me to distraction.

I used to go around in circles when I did this, but eventually I learned how to do it so that the circles were spirals. The Scorpion stinging itself to death learned how to shape shift into an Eagle to get perspective. Being aware that I am going around in a circle pushes me to climb up out of the circle and see why I am stuck in a repetitive cycle. Occasionally the Eagle turns into a Phoenix, because I see the folly of my mind, and everything I thought I knew and understood goes up in flames. Once the fire dies down, out of the ashes rises insight, enlightenment. Not spiritual enlightenment, but a more down to earth kind. The kind which shows me that I am my own worst enemy, that I am creating my own problems, but that I am also my best ally, and I have the power to solve my own messes.

When Mercury goes retrograde it prompts the need to review, reassess, reevaluate, and in Scorpio it urges research into what we consider taboo, the no-go areas of ourselves, the parts we hide from our consciousness.

Restructuring of thought and communication is how I am experiencing Mercury’s passage through my 3rd house. I keep finding myself in situations which force me to do battle with my style of communication and that of others. How I think communication should flow and how others view it.

There is a lot going on in Scorpio at the moment, so figuring out which planet is doing what in that part of my chart is confusing, especially as anything which touches the planets I have there natally kicks off a chain reaction to other planets in my chart which are linked by aspect. My emotions get involved in my thinking process. Since both Mars and Neptune are connected to my Moon, my emotions are always involved in my thinking, but I have developed a way to detach from their influence as best as I can. This can sometimes cause more hassle than it prevents because I dismiss how I am feeling as being illogical in favour of logical thought. I am not unaware of my emotions, it is because I am very aware of them that they are being put to one side. My emotions might say – kill – whereas my mind says – understand. Or my emotions say – poor soul, they’re hurting – whereas my mind says – they are causing their own pain, they must solve their own pain and heal it for themselves.

Recently with Mars transiting my 12th, and about to hit my Moon with a wallop, which will hit everything connected to my Moon, such as squaring my natal Neptune, I have been confronting my subconscious motivations and habits. I do that all the time, but there are some areas I avoid. I am urging myself not to avoid those and to see what they have to reveal to me.

One of the things which has repeatedly been coming up is the listening side of communication. Listening is a vital part of the flow of conversation, not just listening to others, but listening to yourself when you talk, listening to the reactions you have to what others are saying, listening not just to words but the language of the senses and feelings.

Chances are that if you’re not listening to what others are saying, not just with words but with their bodies and entire being, you’re not listening to yourself either.

Many people think they do listen to themselves, but what they are actually doing is hearing their thoughts, not the results of those thoughts. And are those thoughts fluid or static? Our thoughts are often stuck on repeat. When our thoughts are stuck on repeat, so are we. We repeat the same cycle of behaviour over and over again, and then wonder why the same scenario keeps happening to us over and over again. Why we keep attracting the same type of person or event. We ask that question – Why does this keep happening to me? – but we don’t wait to listen to the answer. So the wheels are set in motion for it to happen again.

If you want to see me go from laid back to rant in a split second, slamming invisible doors and silently screaming see you next Tuesday, ask me a question and then don’t listen to my answer. This confuses me and pisses me off. Why ask a question if you don’t want to listen to the answer? Want to see my head explode like a giant firework, ask me the question again as though you didn’t ask it before, and then don’t listen yet again, and look confused when I get stroppy. Add insult to injury by then getting snippy with me because I point out to you that you’ve asked me that question, I’ve already answered it and if you missed my answer that’s your problem not mine.

One of my main points of contention is the fact that when someone is talking to me, they expect me to listen to them, yet I often notice that they are not listening to themselves, which means that they will have this conversation with me again, expecting me to listen to it again as though for the first time. If I tell them I’ve heard it before, they’ll get upset with me for being rude. If you’re not listening to yourself, why should I have to! Problem is I like listening, but I also hate it.

I realise that many people use conversation as a means to think something through. They’re not talking ‘with’ me, they’re talking ‘at’ me. I’m the proverbial wall. I don’t use conversation this way because I do that with myself within myself. I talk things through with myself. So there is much I don’t share in conversation with others because I save that for conversations with myself. I do share those private conversations in my blog posts. And that has made me see something about blog posts, and the different ways and styles of posting on a blog, which I am now mulling over. In fact it has changed how I view everything which I read, not just on blogs, and eventually it may change everything which I write.

The dynamics of this problematic puzzle are very intricate because they are connected to my early conditioning and a myriad other things and I have been trying to get to the root of this, mostly unsuccessfully, my spiral is still more of a circle. I keep asking myself the same question, sometimes couched differently, but still the same. Yet I am not answering. It’s annoying me because, well, I know that I’m missing something really obvious, I often do, which is infuriating. But I feel as though I am on the edge of a breakthrough which may involve making a bonfire out of everything I know and think I know about this issue. Which is appropriate as it will soon be bonfire night.

In truth this whole year has felt as though Mercury has been permanently retrograde in Scorpio, with communication flowing backwards rather than forwards. The past under continuous review and reevaluation. Perhaps all of life is like that, we’re just not always conscious of it. But when we are conscious of it… hmmm.