Monday, April 30, 2018

Full Moon in Scorpio: Revisiting Death

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
 - Kahlil Gibran

A note to readers:
This is a reprint piece from 3 years ago, written from Berlin when I had just discovered my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In recent days, I've come to know of many significant deaths in my community - a few relatively unknown, yet no less meaningful, individuals have left the planet to return to stardust. These include animal friends as well. And some important figures, like the great coyote trickster visionary, Larry Harvey, whose founding of the Burning Man project was one of the great wonders of my world.

For the past two years, I have worked as a grief and bereavement counselor for a hospice organization. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to assist these individuals in Facing Death. In honoring the Great Transformation, I offer a deep bow to my late father, Uwe Wolf Reese (1934-2016). And a eternal thanks to all my teachers, my elders, and to the visionaries who have left this physical plane yet continue to guide, support, inspire each of us. Aho Mitakuye Oyasin.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life.
A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
 - Mark Twain

This week and beyond, we are under the impact of the recent Full Moon in Scorpio, fixed water sign of transformation and rebirth. Scorpio is always intense; this sign implores us to go deeper, and then plunge even further, down to the bone. The springtime Sun is happily chirping and singing in the opposite sign of Taurus. And we are confronted with the paradox of living life to its fullest while experiencing a part of ourselves that is passing away.

It is appropriate that I write this from Berlin, a Scorpio metropolis with its city charter signed on October 28, 1237. Anyone with a smidgen of history under their belt knows that Berlin has faced its share of darker days over the years, especially during the 20th century.

But it hasn’t always been horrific Walls, Reichstags and Kristallnachts. Seductive Berlin is comfortable in its own skin, embraces counter-culture, art, sex, grit, and brings us closer to the marrow of existence. That’s its appeal. Like Scorpio, the city transforms herself over the centuries. The Wall went up, the Wall came down, and Berlin keeps on turning poison into nectar by facing the shadow head-on.

Psyche, Berlin Alte Nationalgallerie
This is the tone of the Full Moon in Scorpio, when Luna pushes our experience to the quick. We can’t ignore our most intense emotions – they’re rising like flood waters. We feel the pain, and investigate. Find out what is underneath. Eventually, it will give way, and therein lies pure energy – light and dark and truth and awe and agape.  Ashes to ashes, we see the life that shines through in death. Only by staring death in the face, and not turning away, can we truly live. We are transformed through Scorpio, a phoenix emerging from the ruins. It is thorough. There are no half measures here. Scorpio redoes the whole kit and caboodle.

Death – the point of no return – is what truly plunges us into the Now. We undertake an entire renovation project of our house, from the ground up. A friend commits suicide and we are shocked into the Present. Extreme moments of life occur side by side. A relative has a beautiful new baby boy at the same time you discover another family member has cancer. At that moment, these people become more real to you – hyper-real. Your lover is moving abroad – they have a job they can’t pass up. Until then, you must have more physical contact, more sex, more touch. Every moment spent together becomes critical. Life and death.

If we want to be fully free, truly alive, we face the fact that it won’t last. Nothing does. We have only the Now to love, to laugh, to dance, to cry. To hold our beloved’s face in our hands, gazing at them, really seeing them. How long has it been since you’ve looked – really looked – into each other’s eyes? Are you seeing a projection of who you want them to be? If you see them for who they are, as they are, you’re bound to fall in love with them even more.

In order to truly live, we must know Death. Scorpio teaches through the realization of impermanence and the profundity of irreversible transformation. We exist in the space between. In this breath, we are here. In this moment, we are alive.

Erin Reese is an author, spiritual guide, astrologer, and modern psychic reader based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works with clients all over the world. For readings and spiritual counseling by Skype, phone or email, contact her directly. She can be reached at