Home Astrology Astrology and Planets A Reflection on the Day of the Lifeless

A Reflection on the Day of the Lifeless

A Reflection on the Day of the Lifeless


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A Reflection on Scorpio Season and the Day of the Lifeless

by Sarina Romero

I used to be asleep when the scorpion stung me. In my dream, a sizzling, sharp needle pierced deep into my finger, all the best way to the bone. The ache woke me; I keep in mind yelling. I keep in mind one thing crawling throughout my proper shoulder, down my again.

Scorpions are predatory arachnids. They belong to the identical household as spiders. They’ve eight legs. They’ve a pair of greedy pincers. Their tail is slim, segmented, and curved. On the finish of that tail, a stinger.

Their story started 435 million years in the past within the desert. However it doesn’t finish there. Now, they are often discovered on each continent besides Antarctica. I used to be in Oaxaca, Mexico, when it occurred. It was 2022. The Scorpio eclipse on Might fifteenth had taken place rather less than two weeks earlier.

Most web sites insist {that a} scorpion’s sting shouldn’t be in contrast to a bee’s. That it feels much like being burned by the tip of a cigarette, one stated. Or being barely electrocuted, one other provided. Their venom-laced tail is used for offense and protection. However most don’t pose a menace to people. In reality, solely about 25 species have venom that’s able to killing a human. That’s fewer than 1% of all scorpions.

I’m unsure which species stung me, although the web appears to agree that the scorpions in Oaxaca aren’t lethal — except you might be an toddler, have a compromised immune system, or are allergic. “These ones pack an enormous punch,” somebody wrote on Reddit in response to a video of a scorpion in Mazunte crawling up the wall of another person’s room.

The poison that’s launched from a scorpion is stuffed with neurotoxins, and my response to the venom wasn’t typical. Inside an hour after being stung, my muscle tissues felt like they had been constricting from the within out. Numb tingling pushed throughout my physique, pulsed, modified path, elevated, and radiated out throughout my face, my neck, my again, my arms, my torso, and my legs. An unimaginable weight compressed down onto me. It was troublesome to carry my head, or lean ahead. Although I ultimately managed to rise to my toes, I had bother strolling.

As intense because the signs had been, from the surface, nothing had modified. Because the poison labored its means into my nervous system, I sat on the kitchen desk icing the finger that felt as if it’d caught hearth. Panic didn’t really feel like an choice. I used to be so afraid, I used to be lucid. Calm, even. The idea of selection was out of attain — the feeling so totalizing that it demanded I focus solely on it. That I comply with it, as if it had been a path that will finally lead me again out to security. I needed to resolve to make it by way of.


In astrology, scorpion stingers — like different piercing issues, similar to cacti, vegetation with pointy edges, and blades — are dominated by the planet Mars. So it’s no shock that Mars guidelines the signal Scorpio. Which means that Mars is at residence on this signal and capable of do what it does greatest there. However Mars can also be the planet of sharp, decisive motion. It’s dogged, and decided. It’s centered and brave. And it’s unafraid to ruffle feathers to get what it desires. Since Mars guidelines Scorpio, these Martian qualities are an intrinsic a part of the signal, like a strand of DNA.

Scorpio is a set water signal as properly. This mounted nature lends it a top quality that’s plain. It carries a sense akin to strolling right into a tunnel and realizing you’re as far in as you might be out. It’s deeply rooted, persistent, and generally cussed. Not simply shakable. And its ingredient makes it undergirded by emotionality — it views emotions as each a tether and a software. But in contrast to Most cancers’s flowing contemporary water and Pisces’ buoyant salt water, Scorpio’s emotionality is just like the water discovered within the depths of a frozen lake.

As a result of I’ve grown up within the Northern Hemisphere, Scorpio season has all the time aligned with the time of 12 months when what leaves stay on the bushes are brown and on their means out. Most branches are naked. The air bites. The birds are quiet. And day by day is shorter than the one earlier than it. This era spanning from across the finish of October to the tip of November holds a way of spareness. It prompts us to pare again, till we attain our foundations. On this season, fall not seems like a cute pumpkin. You may’t simply throw on a shawl and name it a day. And when you’re north sufficient, it’s chilly. Really chilly. Coming off of Libra season’s pleasantries, Scorpio cools down the people-pleasing — a welcome reduction after a interval that feels, generally, like one big, hapless networking occasion.

In Scorpio season, we’re met with the signal’s willingness to spend time with what’s in any other case feared or prevented, and reminded that loss of life is a part of the discount of life. So it is sensible that this season homes not solely Halloween, however quite a few historic traditions that honor, in a method or one other, the thinning of the veil between our world and the spirit world.

My very own custom is not any exception. Each November 1st and 2nd, my household and I have a good time the Day of the Lifeless. These 48 hours are ones by which we invite our ancestors again into our houses to spend time with us. We gentle candles and burn copal over coal. We sing them songs in Spanish and within the older languages. We put up their footage in frames. I say their names out loud. I say thanks to the individuals I come from, to those I do know, and those whose tales and names I don’t.

The Day of the Lifeless tailored round and despite Catholicism. It’s what stays of an Aztec custom that honored the lifeless for the entire month of November. Lengthy earlier than the Spaniards arrived, my ancestors invoked the goddess of loss of life (Mictecacihuatl), who oversaw the underworld (Mitlan) alongside the god of loss of life (Mictlantecuhtli). This custom was reorganized by the church to land on November 1st and 2nd to sync up with All Souls Day. Like so many results of colonization, what we have a good time as we speak comes from an historic observe, compelled assimilation, and the birthing of latest traditions, over tons of of years, that morphed into what we now name Día de Muertos.

There’s nothing quiet concerning the Day of the Lifeless. Streets shut down. Folks costume up. Cemeteries remodel. Thick-petaled marigolds crowd altars and canopy each floor. Flower garlands and paper cutouts swoop and crisscross overhead. In every single place: candles. In every single place: sugar skulls and skeletons. The skeleton is the human physique stripped of every thing however its basis — a reasonably Scorpionic notion — and the Day of the Lifeless celebrates this. It makes the naked bones lovely. Over these two days, skeletons are in every single place — from large paper maché sculptures to miniature collectible figurines — doing every thing an individual would possibly. They’re dancing, ingesting, consuming, preening in mirrors, lifting their skirts, waving flags, enjoying music, and strolling skeleton canine in between plates of meals, candles, pan de muertos, and footage of family members. All through this celebration, bones and faces bounce candlelight off each other. And altars function bodily, sacred areas you can embellish and re-make yearly. On this means, the vacation is about honoring the lifeless and the holiness of doing, assembling, and arranging one thing impermanent — similar to our lives.


Scorpio, not in contrast to a scorpion’s sting, strips us of pretense. It doesn’t have persistence for posturing. And in consequence, it clarifies what’s basic. It persists. That’s what mounted water does: It will get to the underside of issues. And it beckons us to comply with.

The one clear-headed thought I had the night time I used to be stung was a easy one: Both I can be high-quality, or I gained’t be. The closest ambulance was hours away, so a taxi driver and his spouse drove me and my companion half-hour inland to the closest hospital — a squat, two-room brick constructing.

I keep in mind the hushed nurses and the mattress they arrange within the corridor. The outdated girl within the mattress subsequent to me, respiration in brief, shallow bursts. My IV and antivenin dripping. And machines within the room beside us working all night time, whirring and beeping whereas related to the opposite individuals — all of whom had been dying.


It’s been greater than a 12 months and a half for the reason that sting, and nonetheless, I hold returning to that second. It has ignited a starvation in me — I wish to perceive it. I hold wanting to inform and retell the story to make sense of it. To get to the “that means.” However it makes a idiot of me. It taunts my insatiability. It forces me to ask myself why, and what I wish to perceive. I used to be afraid for my life. After which I used to be secure.

One thing was stripped from me that night time, however I’m not certain what. “Once you’re again residence, we are able to speak concerning the symbolism of what it means to get stung by a scorpion,” my good friend’s mother, who had additionally been stung as soon as, texted me. However once I returned, I by no means adopted up along with her. I couldn’t bear the concept of lifting into the summary. I couldn’t sq. the physicality of my expertise to illustration. After I tried to inform individuals the story, I didn’t acknowledge the details. The descriptions felt off.

Very like my expertise in Oaxaca, Scorpio forces us to face our frailty, our inside reserves of energy, and ourselves. It’s unafraid of the laborious elements. I used to be afraid of the laborious elements. I didn’t assume I might face my very own humanness. Then, I had no selection. Unrelenting is the phrase I like to make use of once I consider Scorpio. This signal doesn’t thoughts mucking by way of the swamp; trying below the hood; edging additional into the deep, darkish cave; changing into the ashes and what’s born from them; or pushing by way of the lengthy night time. As a substitute, it thrives on the problem. Its vitality is penetrating, ceaseless even. Its underlying motivation is to hunt out each query, and to deal with every reply as a bridge to extra questions.


This 12 months, I’m wondering if I can’t additionally embody the scorpion sting on my Day of the Lifeless altar, or who I used to be earlier than it. Within the poem “One Artwork,” Elizabeth Bishop writes, “I misplaced two cities, pretty ones. And, vaster,/ some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent./ I miss them, but it surely wasn’t a catastrophe.” Whereas this loss could not have been catastrophic, essentially, she nonetheless names what’s gone. She commemorates her loss by tacking it onto the web page. If the Day of the Lifeless affords an annual house to honor these we’ve misplaced, if it affords an area to bear witness, then this 12 months, I’d like to incorporate the losses that weren’t a catastrophe, however which nonetheless pierced me, modified me, and arranged time into clear befores and afters.

Scorpio season jogs my memory that it’s okay to be afraid. To not know. To grieve. It thrusts my dwelling again at me. The bushes are empty. The sunshine slants. Absence is made tactile by way of absence itself. However I’m alive. This 12 months I don’t wish to solely honor loss; I wish to make room for it. I wish to make it radiate.

Sarina Romero is a author from Oakland, California. She holds an MFA from New York College, and her work seems in POETRY, The Yale Evaluation, and elsewhere. She can also be an in-house astrology author at CHANI app and is at work on her first ebook. To view extra of her writing, go to sarinaraquelromero.com.


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