a bittersweet guide to scorpio medicine
It’s the time of year when the veil is thinnest, the breeze twirls, and secret glimmers of magic are all around us. The greens have faded to orange and brown while the leaves gently crunch to dust beneath our feet.
The sun shines differently, and there’s a different whisper to the air. We’ve initiated forward, the fixed fall is upon us and it’s officially Scorpio season.
Maybe you’re sipping warm tea, or wearing sweaters (unless you’re out here in Southern California, then you’re on guard for fires 🙁
It may not be crisp cool air, but no matter where you are, this new season is communicating with you.
Word from the Mother is – the vibe has changed.
Last month, in sweet Venusian Libra we were dancing with the Cardinal winds of change and outwardly relating with others, connecting with friends, partners and sharing in the harvest of the season. Now in Scorpio we start to slip into the deep waters of ourselves.
This archetype can be intense, passionate, mystical and private. And as the season shows, is so complexly a display of life, death and rebirth. Although sometimes misunderstood, this Mars and Pluto ruled sign offers an opportunity for purging stagnant emotions and a crash course in boundaries, transformation and letting go.
So how can we engage with this energy, what activities can we participate in to find balance, and what plants can we work with in this fixed water?
The Scorpion reminds us, like a snake sheds it’s skin, all good transformation requires some letting go.
This energy will express itself differently in everyone based on your individual constitution and current state, but if we can understand the archetype, we can begin to live in harmony with it.
In Medical Astrology, Scorpio rules over the large intestine, reproductive organs and processes. Detoxification, sexual vitality, bladder and genital health are all things to physically observe and focus on this month.
Scorpio teaches us to let go, like the leaves falling from the trees- to cleanse and keep in flow with the continuous death and rebirth of all things, her plants reflect that. They help us learn in both our physical and spirit bodies to let the natural process of release happen. Relax the tight hold and let go.
We are looking for plants that stimulate blood flow, cleanse and purify. Plants that encourage energy to move freely out of the body with out getting stuck. Plants that strengthen our reproductive centers, soothe and nourish the mucosal membranes, and plants that promote clearing and detoxification.
A new found friend of mine and green ally that shares some of the lessons, is her guardian herb, Blessed Thistle.
The little gem couldn’t be more perfectly named. Now, if you’ve ever seen a thistle you know they are spiky and protected around their flowers. Already, through its guarded appearance, this is displaying qualities, through the doctrine of signatures. And although this plant looks and shares some qualities with Milk Thistle they are different plants.
She came into my life unannounced- strong and to the point like any Mars ruled creature would, and it became clear very fast how this plant holds the same sweet bitterness that comes with Scorpio medicine.
Blessed thistle has a very interesting and complex flavor, much like the sign. In infusion form it has an immediate bitter and almost acrid taste but then there’s a sweet demulcent quality and smoothness to its last note.
The bitter flavor is our first signal that this plant contains a healthy supply of alkaloids and terpenes, these are beneficial compounds activating to many different body functions, but are particular to digestive and liver health.
Energetically it is cooling and drying and great for stimulating damp stagnant tissues and waking up a sluggish liver or digestive system. This is great for the person who may hold a more depressive state, and lean towards burying feelings or have a lot of trapped anger. Those that have a tendency to get stuck and have a hard time letting go, will benefit from this plant as well. Physically it drys and clearing excess phlegm, but its balanced bitter profile can also work sympathetically and be used to stabilize the fluids in the body, making it a great ally for nursing mothers.
However my biggest take away thus far, is that this plant reminds you, and if needed pushes you, to let go. How very Scorpio.
I’ve been experimenting and drinking cold infusions of this plant every day since a few days after the sun entered this sign and even when I’m not fully present, I am being encouraged and more often than not, pushed, to let go around every corner.
It’s been happening in a literal sense, where I am running to the bathroom and peeing all the time, a normal response to detoxing. Or it’s also being triggered in more internal ways where a certain song will play and I’ll be overcome with sudden tears and find myself in a full body sob. There’s also been encounters where I’ll have an unexpected epiphany and get stung with some self reflected truth or sometimes it’s having to speak up and set boundaries or see where I am not. The medicine has come in all forms, but the underlying symmetry is that I’ve been feeling everything more deeply which is forcing action around dealing with whatever comes up. It’s through this discomfort that action results. This is very Mars.
It’s not always gentle but it’s always activating.
I’ve been finding myself on my hands and knees cleaning out the most buried of cabinets and finding that no project will work until everything in the background is clean and clear.
No more can come in until some is released.
I’ll be honest, sometimes it feels great and other times its been quite painful. But with the help of this plant, I’ve been able to tune in to the secret teachings of Scorpio. To transform, first we must see, then we must feel, and then take action and release to create new.
Life, death, rebirth.
Sitting with discomfort and being forced to look at what is decaying our inner landscape is no small feat, but there’s a chance this season to gaze so far inward, way down into the vast caverns of ourselves and feel who we really are. Can we allow the darkness within us to rise to the surface and shine love and compassion on those parts that we bury? Scorpio wants us to be willing to understand ourselves so clearly that we can come to a place of truth, and then empowered acceptance.
Part of the evolution and invitation of this archetype is to become comfortable with the unknown, with the changes, and to trust. To become aquatinted and in love with the darkest depths of our emotions but become fluid with letting them ebb and flow, so we can experience the magic and embrace the power of letting go.
Scorpio asks us to go deep and be honest. Check in with our emotional waters, how we are processing and releasing emotions. Are we making decisions from lower vibration compulsions or tapping into the magical depths of ourselves. Will we stay holding onto ghosts of the past or are we inviting in this next chapter.
Although there is much magic and mystery, this season can sometimes hold a heaviness and can also have it’s stings- but my challenge to you is let the sting be stimulating.
Work with this part of the medicine.
For growth to take place sometimes a little sting is required to catalyze the transformation. This moment in the season is an opportunity to use that spark. Create alchemy within yourself and rise like the Phoenix from the ashes. We can shed the skin of things that no longer fit.
So what are ways we can create that alchemy and inspire the release? How can we become congruent with what’s happening outside.
If you’re curious about exploring working with plants on a spiritual level to find this cosmic rhythm, here are two recipes and rituals to engage with this energy and perhaps catch the wave of its releasing power.
You should be able to find organic plant material in the bulk section of your local herb shop or co-op, and if not Mountain Rose Herb’s is a trusted online source.
This is a ritual you can do once, or if you’d like you can brew it more often throughout the season. Three times a week is plenty.
Keep scrolling to find below. And if you’ve gotten this far, thanks so much for reading. I hope there was something helpful in there.
My wish for you is that this season you give yourself the gift of release. Trust the bigger picture, keep it moving, filtered and clean.
Be willing to go deep.
Invite yourself to melt into the mystical mist of this archetype. See what may lie beneath… Perhaps there’s a beautiful surprise from your under world.
Have an excellent Scorpio season! I’ll see you on the otherside 😉
Scorpio Season Brew
- 64 oz glass ball jar
- .5oz of organic Blessed Thistle
- 1 tsp organic Rosemary
- 1 tsp organic Rose petals
Recipe: Measure organic plant material and put aside. First complete ritual, then add to jar and fill with water at the temperature of your choice and in both cases let sit covered 3-5hrs to infuse.
TIPS: For more of the bitter experience, do a cold infusion, if wanting less bitter use water just under boiling.
*If not wanting it as strong you can lower brew time how you like, or you can cut recipe in half and make as a tea and let sit for only 5-15min.
Ritual: Hold the portioned amount of blend in palms of the hands before adding to the jar. Take a moment and connect to the energy of the blend through touch and smell. With a grateful heart ask the spirit of these plants to share their medicine with you and feel free to give specific directions with what you are needing, or focus on your desired intention for release.
Example: “Help me release my attachment to control, help me let go of my anger from _____ etc… “
There is no wrong way to do this, this is for YOUR healing so do what feels right.
Once brewed, strain and fill yourself a cup. Give it a couple smells, maybe put a little on your body and then start to slowly sip.
Quietly observe what comes up, are there places in your body you feel it move to? Are any memories, images or smells circulating? Just allow yourself to observe.
Know that it will be bitter! This is formulated to jumpstart your system, connect you with the spirit of this plant, and to engage with the medicine of Scorpio. We are drinking with the intention of release and to purge what no longer serves us. Think of this plant as your cheerleader for transformation.
Journaling after doing this type of work with a plant is highly encouraged, its nice to reflect on it after the fact.
Another way to engage, is to brew blend and then sip little bits throughout the day and just participate in life and see what happens. You can always add honey if the bitterness is to intense.
See the situations you find yourself in. Observe your inner dialogue and your inner feeling space, see how you are reacting to people and emotions externally. Are things coming up? Are you letting them? See if you can tune into the subtleties of this plant.
If the tea ritual is not really your jam, here is another one to try- this is a version of the mask ritual we did from the beauty retreat I co-lead last month. It is designed to support deep release through the skin and spirit.
- bentonite, french or green clay
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Take 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons of clay and blend with roughly 1 tablespoon of either water or apple cider vinegar, or a mix of both (also a great use for an herbal vinegar!)
Add liquid to the mud and create paste to desired thickness.
Apply mask to face with fingertips, the thicker it is the deeper the cleansing will be.
As you gently rub the mud on your face hold an intention of all you are calling in to release and purify from your body.mind.and spirit. You can even speak it aloud.
Lay down and imagine the energy leaving your body, as it tingles, feel it be extracted from your being.
Let sit for 10-20 min.
Once dry, wash off with warm water and as the layers peel off, visualize all you are letting go of.
Pat face dry with a soft towel. Spritz with toner or hydrosol and then apply a serum or cream of your choice.
As you moisturize your face, look in the mirror and say
‘I love you. You are beautiful’. Repeat this like a mantra for 1 -2 min and use loving, circulating strokes.
⇢ ⇡ Pro-Tip ⇣ do this ritual on the full ◯ moon for extra releasing power