We often imagine transformation in terms of magic. Transformation is how we try to talk about the changes in perspective, attitude and story that can utterly transform a life. Magic is the process by which thought becomes matter or effects matter, or form changes from one shape to another.
Magic is made in a circle. These circles are drawn to consecrate the time and space in which the powers are raised and dispersed. It’s the creation of an enclosed and sacred space, a microcosm.
In Greek myth, the great sorceress Circe is an herbalist, spell crafter and demi-goddess. Her father is Helios (the Sun) and her mother Perseis, an Oceanid, though some say Hecate. Circe or Kirke comes from the feminine form of kirkos which Kerenyi says means, “circling birds of prey…circling ambulation of the wolf and in Homer the hawk”[i]. This circling motion is a honing in on the sustaining food. This is also Mars territory, the instinct to dive, thrust and bite. Fearlessness and a keen nose for competition can be seen in Mars’ sign Aries.
In this season of Scorpio the issue of right mixtures and right pressures in our processes of transformation is writ large, and in order to understand Scorpio we have to remember its ancient ruler is Mars.
Scorpio shows us the transformative power of Mars, where Mars is put to the use of union and sharing rather than cutting. Scorpio unifies the right elements, which is a requirement for magic. All sorcerers and alchemists need their accoutrements and ingredients. Circe the sorceress knows what to use (Mars) to affect the transformations (Scorpio) she desires. The art of transformation, whether imaginal or concrete, psychological or physical, requires knowing what is needed to make for the conditions of change.
How do we do that? Scorpio has to do with testing. In testing our psychological limits, the efficacy and trueness of things helps us know what is too much, or not enough.
Venus went retrograde in Scorpio on October 6th. All retrogrades are about repairing our relationship to those principles sacred to that divinity. With Venus we are dealing with issues of what matters, what and who we love. Scorpio gives Venus the heat of honest and intense expression of just what is of value. What needs to change in the manner of how you handle what you love? Perhaps there’s been too much pressure applied? Where does there need to be some loosening of the bonds and complications that Scorpio is very good at weaving? Where is receptivity and flow, Venus’ gentle touch, needed? Or maybe it’s the opposite and more heat, more devotion is required.
Cast a circle in your awareness and explore what this Venus Scorpio ground is about. Look to your chart, study the house she is transiting. How has she shown up, and how are you responding? Venus will not enter Sagittarius until January 7th, so these questions remain open for reflection for some time. Venus will rise as the Morning Star on October 31st, the ancient holy day of Samhain. Let’s keep our eye on the light that shines from the deep and offers opportunities for transformation and magic.
[i] Kerenyi, Goddesses of Sun and Moon, 11.
Painting entitled “The Magic Circle” (1886), John William Waterhouse [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons