“I love the lotus because, while growing from mud, it is unstained.” — Zhou Dunyi, Confucian scholar
The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is a prominent, polyvalent symbol in many Asian religions and philosophies, which is unsurprising given its very wide native distribution. It is revered in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism alike.
This graceful, fascinating plant can live for over a thousand years and regulate its own temperature, much like us warm-blooded animals do. It is symbolic of the Soul’s expansion, of Divine beauty, and, in Buddhism, of enlightenment.
Buddhists were fascinated by this flower’s ability to rise and bloom above the murk, growing in muddy waters and keeping its enchanting beauty untainted – a remainder that enlightenment is possible for all people.
Of course, this succinct explanation doesn’t do any justice to the rich cultural history of the religions I have listed, nor to the poignant symbolism of the lotus flower (plus, I think it’s usually better to be cautious when approaching cultures that are not ours to claim: I’m especially referring to Westerners as we have a history of taking elements of other cultures out of context and appropriating them, but this is another story that will be told another day). But whether or not we aim for enlightenment, and regardless of our religious affiliation, there is much we can learn from the remarkable wisdom of this flower.
Especially on October 28, at 03:38 AM UTC, when the Moon will renew herself at 4°25 Scorpio. No other sign embodies the very essence of “rising and blooming above the murk” as effectively. Scorpio is the murk, and the enlightenment. Φάρμακον, “pharmakon”, both the poison and the antidote. Alchemy. Turning the lead into gold, the mud into beauty, the crises into opportunities.
The upcoming New Moon in Scorpio has the potential to be regenerative, cleansing – even empowering. But in order to make the most of this potential, we have to accept getting our hands dirty. There is murk somewhere within us and in our life – a wetland clogged with the debris of what we refuse to let go or let in. In the former case, we are being given the opportunity to make room for something more functional and suited to the individual we have become. In the latter, the opportunity is to take back our power, reclaim the lost fragments of the Soul and become whole onto ourselves.
But first, it might be necessary to face our fear of change, that very same fear that holds us captive, keeping us from confronting the shadow – that of death, in special mode. To truly and deeply understand that endings are just important as beginnings – in fact, they are essential to our growth. Not everything is compatible with the person we are becoming. Not everyone’s energy is suited to the person we aim to become. Acknowledging an uncomfortable truth, or accepting the loss of something outdated will not make our world collapse. On the contrary, digging deeper, getting rid of emotional burdens and tearing the veil from our secrets can and will lead us to freedom if we are brave enough to dare. What we cannot see has power on us. But the moment we accept to look at the Truth right in the eye, we have the upper hand. We are closer to freedom.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” — Carl Gustav Jung
This revolutionary undercurrent is signalled by the most important aspect received by the Moon. The Scorpio New Moon makes an opposition to Uranus in Taurus, signalling that now is the time for significant breakthroughs, personal and interpersonal revolutions, and radical renewal. It’s like the cosmic compass is pointing towards radical change – a change that might catch us off-guard, perhaps, but that we can embrace gracefully as we emerge from the depths of our Souls, ready to detach from what no longer serves our growth.
With Mars, the co-ruler of this New Moon, transiting the sign of Libra, and making a square to Saturn in Capricorn, we are being challenged to deal with our Soul Searching in a way that doesn’t compromise our integrity, especially when dealing with other people – friends, collaborators or partners. Confrontations don’t have to lead to break-ups, and separations don’t have to be messy. Whatever our intuition tells us to do, and intuition is a powerful and reliable force during Scorpio season and especially under a Scorpio New Moon, we can and should take the high road – just as the Lotus would do.
Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.