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There is an update to this chart which has been added by Linda Reid, the astrologer who asked me to draw the chart.

Is the scorpion still around

This question came late at night from a very anxious mother. Her daughter, a university student, had just returned from a trip to India and had settled into a new flat which seemed perfect. All was going well until she phoned the mother in a state of panic. An enormous black scorpion, the length of her palm, had chased her from the bedroom to the living room when she had tried to pick up her backpack; it had reared up and tried to attack her. Immediately, the daughter ran out and spent the night at a friend's place. Her landlord searched the flat but couldn't find any trace of it and the zoology department of the university had sprayed insecticide, while advising her not to sleep there again until it was found. (It was feared that the scorpion had hitched a ride from India and could be quite deadly.) Unfortunately, with nowhere else to stay, the daughter had returned to the flat. She had taped around the skirting boards but was left with justifiable concern that the scorpion was still around, and posing a serious threat. Further, it was feared that the aggressive behavior of the scorpion could be due to the fact that it was female and pregnant.

The mother, herself an astrologer, was unable to sleep through worry. As she felt it was impossible to be emotionally detached in this situation she asked if I would draw a horary to see whether the scorpion was still around and whether her daughter was in danger. An interesting footnote is that the daughter had a transit to her own Scorpio Moon on the day of the attack and the day before had asked her mother what it might mean. The mother had jokingly advised her not to go to any wild parties or get bitten on the leg by a scorpion. The daughter had been preparing to go to a party when it happened. The mother now felt very uncomfortable about that flippant remark and the way her joke had turned so sour.

Horary - is the scorpion still around?

Since the mother asks the question, she is represented by the ascendant and its ruler, Jupiter, which is combust showing her extreme concern which is agitated by the fact that she was not in the locality of her daughter and therefore unable to help.

The daughter is signified by the 5th house and its ruler Venus. The Moon on the cusp of the 5th house relates to the mother's concern for her daughter and acts as a general co-significator. The scorpion is signified by Mars, ruler of the 11th house, which appropriately has Scorpio on the cusp and acts as the turned 7th house of the attacker for the daughter.

There is an applying sextile between Venus and Mars which perfects before the two planets change signs (Mars being faster in motion than Venus). In addition the application from the Moon to the sextile of Venus and Mars highlights the connection between these planets and indicates that this situation has yet to be played out. The friendly aspects in this chart suggest the potential for benefit, but the application from Mars, which is naturally malefic, made it difficult to conclude that the threat was over and there was nothing more to fear. I felt this gave a clear warning that the daughter should move out of the property; the principle reasons being:

  • Mars rules the radical 4th house of property which gives a general indication of danger in the home.

  • The Moon rules the daughter's turned 4th of property (radical 8th). The Moon is applying to the aspect of Mars, whilst Mars trines this cusp.

  • Despite the 'friendly' contacts, Mars is particularly malevolent, in conjunction with the fixed star Scheat which is known for its unfortunate nature, and ruling the radical 12th house, which is also the daughter's turned 8th house.

  • The contact between Venus and Mars is particularly strong, because the planets are also in mutual reception by exaltation. In view of the comment about the daughter's Scorpio Moon it appeared she was resonating to Scorpionic energy too strongly to be taking a risk in this matter.

  • Mars is moving faster than Venus, suggesting that the scorpion could find the daughter before the daughter was able to find the scorpion.

My advice was that, no matter how impractical it seemed, the daughter should leave the flat and find a new place to live, if necessary to forfeit the rent that she had paid in advance.

As this was happening the daughter started to realize that, far from being the idyllic flat she had imagined it to be, there were other reasons to be concerned for her safety. The landlord's excuses for 'dropping by to see how she is' at every opportunity unnerved her, so much so that she commented 'I'm beginning to suspect he (the landlord) is the real scorpion here". On investigating flashing lights outside her window she was also advised by a local policeman that if she lived there she should need to be extra vigilant as it was a high-crime area, a fact of which she was completely unaware. The property she was residing in had been broken into many times, through the basement, which had recently been turned into her self-contained flat to help protect the dwelling above.

The scorpion episode also gave the daughter flashbacks to a dream she had a year before which connected her locality to a Buddhist experience. Both the mother and the daughter concluded that this scorpion's appearance, though frightening and unnerving, had come to offer her a friendly warning to get out of such a hostile environment. She took the warning, vacated the flat and the scorpion was never found.

Linda Reid was the astrologer involved in this chart. She has recently sent me an update and has given her consent for publication.

I see you've put the Scorpion episode up online - that was most bizarre. I thought you might like to know what else transpired. The flat was rented out to another female University student and a couple of months after she moved in she was attacked and raped - not actually in the flat but on an access path close to it where she used to take a short cut to University. The perpetrator was never found. She was also very uncomfortable with the landlord [certain concerns about his activities and associates are omitted here], and avoided him as much as she could.

My daughter is a Taurus with a Scorpio Moon - born at the "Buddha Moon" in May. Just prior to this event she had spent several months in India at a Buddhist University as part of her studies. The following weekend after we'd shifted her into a new flat, she went to visit some caves with a friend to see some sort of rare underground spiders and guess what the cave was called "Scorpion Cave"! It's the poetry of astrology when these sort of analogies and symbols occur isn't it? The landlord wasn't suspected in the rape, but it says something potent about a location resonating to energies and who knows down the track if we hadn't moved her, she might have been the victim.

This chart offers some interesting reflections. Linda Reid is highly regarded for her skill in working with archetypal symbolism and this chart is certainly loaded with that. Rather than take the view that this horary was about locating the scorpion, it was very natural for myself, Linda and her daughter to see a deeper meaning. We all considered the scorpion was a warning of prevalent danger rather than the actual cause and manifestation of it. Although the chart was drawn at my location for a time of my choosing, the act of astrological consultation is sensitive to the involvement of all concerned and I believe this chart significantly responds to symbolism that Linda would recognise. In mythology the Egyptian Scorpion goddess Selkhet was a dangerous yet protective deity, particularly concerned with offering defence against the actions of wrong-doers.

The second point about this chart is that it doesn’t show what happened, but forewarns of what might have happened. What became of the scorpion, what would have happened to the daughter had she stayed in that flat will never be known. If horary is used to illuminate and resolve a problem we shouldn’t expect it to give a fixed prediction that allows no room for manoeuvre.

© Deborah Houlding

Horary Astrology