By Brandon Alter:
Welcome to the Season of Death. I don’t mean to scare you. Death should not be scary; death should be our friend. But our Western culture hasn’t set us up too well for that. And as a result, we have a pretty fucked up relationship with Death. I mean, just notice how we celebrate Halloween. We either sugarcoat our fears with cute spiders and adorable ghosts or we head in the other direction—we put severed heads on our lawn, we paint ourselves like monsters, and give over to our obsession with scary movies and serial killers. Either way we swing, we are not in right relationship with death. Death is not an adorable spider or a grotesque monster. Death is an ally that unsticks what is stuck in us. Scorpio Season is where we begin to get right with Death.
Scorpio rules over our subconscious, our shadow, our deepest fears, our shame, our hidden selves. The Eighth sign of the Zodiac is the underbelly of the psyche, the depths of our emotional and intuitive oceans. This is an energy that loves to hunker down and dive deep. Scorpio also rules over the occult, astrology, Tarot, witchcraft, and magic. It also rules over sex, which is probably why Halloween swings so far into the sexy side of costumes. All this talk of death can get us feeling pretty alive, if you know what I mean. If it seems like Scorpio energy is intense, then brava, you’ve been paying attention. Scorpio is all or nothing, like a dog with a bone. It’s the natural response to a moonth of Libra energy. After a season of playing nice and keeping the peace, it’s time to the tell the truth and own our shit. Don’t shy away from the beautiful intensity of Scorpio Season, it’s designed that way.
The New Moon in Scorpio happened Sunday, October 27, and it invites us to rewrite our relationship with Death. You are going to die, honey, everyone and everything does. The sooner we can accept this—and I mean truly accept it—the sooner we can really start living our lives. Consider the more-traditional Scorpio holiday, Day of the Dead. This is a holiday dedicated to honoring the ancestors, not just because there’s a desire to bridge the realm of the living with the deceased but also because one day, we will also be ancestors. That’s unavoidable. By honoring our beloved ghosts, we ensure our ghost will also be honored. I want you to take some time this moonth and accept that you wont be here forever. Not in a morbid way. Not in some overdramatic, slasher flick, sexy zombie sort of way. I’m talking about the simple acceptance of your mortality. Making friends with Death is the most adult thing we can do. It’s no coincidence that Halloween, a holiday designed for children, has glamoured all of us grown-ups because when it comes to Death, we are all kids, and we need the grow the fuck up. Use the energy of this new moon and rid yourself of old childish notions about death. Death is not a monster. Death is not a villain in the night. Death is a gentle process that heals us all. We die many deaths before we actually die. Relationships die, identities die, dreams die—and it’s important that they do, or else our soul will stagnate.
This Scorpio Season also contains a Mercury Retrograde which began on Halloween. Retrogrades can bring back our ghosts, not to scare us but to show us how far we’ve grown. Perhaps this retrograde, in the sign of secrets, is here to uncover some deep truths that have hidden well past their expiration date. You’re Nancy Drew this moonth, and your life is the mystery needing to be solved. Pay attention to what shows up; it’s not a coincidence, it’s a spirit-driven clue to help solve the greatest mystery of all: what you are supposed to be doing here on Earth in the first place.
In the Tarot, the Death card carries the potent power of transformation. It invites us to become new people by killing off who we once were. This theme seems to run through almost all of your individual Tarotscopes. So I want to highlight it here. Use the Scorpio energy to transform yourself.
Where are you ready to let go? What in you is begging for a sweet death?
It might seem a little overdramatic or theatrical, but how about a ritual to bury the identities of yourself that are no longer true? What about a funeral for your old fears, shame, doubts? Think of a Phoenix rising from the ashes; before your ascent, what must you burn?
Don’t let Scorpio Season scare you. If you can move through your fears, you’ll find something beautiful on the other side. The Full Moon in Taurus that happens two and half weeks from now is one of those beautiful discoveries waiting for you. You see, the Scorpio/Taurus polarity is all about Death and Sex. While we are going to die one day, for now, we are alive, and we best make the most of it. Don’t neglect your sensuality and sexuality. The Scorpio intensity can help heighten our pleasures and expand our capacity for intimacy and eroticism. Did someone say sex magic?
For more specific Cosmic Updates and Tarot Wisdom, I highly encourage you to tune into The Spiritual Gayz. This twice monthly podcast that my husband, Angel, and I offer up is dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality without pretending that it all makes sense. We have tons of episodes on astrology but also Tarot and Shamanism and healing and magic. Not to mention fascinating interviews with groovy cosmic queers like Steven Canals, writer/co-creator of the hit TV show POSE, actress/icon Lena Waithe, and beauty/make-up expert Lihja Stewart.
You may have noticed I’m no longer pulling a collective card for these moonthly Tarotscopes. That’s because I’m pulling a card for the collective every week and doing a video reading. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll find these videos on my stories every Thursday and in my Highlights. But you can also find them on The Spiritual Gayz Youtube page, here!
In light of Mercury Retrograde, I’ve kept your ‘scopes short and to the point to avoid any miscommunication. I’ve also included a little note on reversed cards since over half of them came in upside down. Reversed cards and Retrograde planets operate similarly, they want us to slow down with them and stop taking them for granted.
*A NOTE ON REVERSALS*
When a card comes in upside down, we say it is reversed. Every reader works with reversals in their own way; some readers don’t even work with reversals at all, and that’s gorgeous too. For me, a reversal represents a level of complexity that a direct card lacks. It does not mean the opposite, it does not mean weaker energy or just downright bad. A reversal can be likened to a retrograde planet; its energy is not different just slower. As one of my favorite astrologers, Anne Ortolee, says, "A retrograde planet is like a quiet kid in the back of the car, you have to turn around to see it."
Perhaps reversed cards are just trying to get our attention. Sometimes I think reversed cards are indicating a lack of neutrality, a push or a pull—whereas direct cards signify energy coming in clean but also maybe a tad boring, conventional. However you decide to see the upside-down quality of the card, please do not be dismayed by it. It could signify your own resistance to the message, but it could just as easily signify your own surprise.
It's not that a reversal changes the energy of the card, it's that your position has changed. Where you were once firmly with your feet on the ground, now you've completely flipped—you're seeing things from another point of view. Simply put, a reversal opens us up to the unexpected. Just when you think you know a card, a reversal literally turns that interpretation on its head, expanding our capacity to understand the messages from the spirit world and ourselves.
Below you’ll find your individual Tarotscopes.
Read for your SUN and your MOON . . . and if you don’t know your moon, look it up, gurl— that’s part of your personal power waiting to be claimed!
The Chariot (Reversed)
This is a card that signifies success in the material world. The Chariot is our ambition realized. But when it comes in upside down, it wants us to probe more deeply into the true source of our desires. Do you just want the job so that you can brag about it? Do you just want the man so that you can show him off? We must find a way to dig beneath the ego and attune to the deeper desires of our soul, that's when life gets interesting. Question yourself ferociously this moonth. Get to the bottom of why you want the things you want. Sometimes we want ice cream because we are having a bad day. Sometimes we want ice cream to celebrate a good one. Both are fine. But if you aren't aware of where your desires are coming from, you will always be a servant to them. Take heart that your goals will be realized, even if it's not happening as quickly as you had hoped for. When your goal and your soul are in perfect alignment, that's when things will catch fire.
Nine of Cups
This is known as the wish card in the Tarot. It's an auspicious pull, and it wants you to make a wish and know it will come true—but I don't want you to make a wish on a star, I want you to wish on yourself. I want you wish yourself into the version of you that you have been waiting to become. There is nobody like you and there will never be anybody like you.
Somewhere in the alchemical laboratory of your soul is the perfect equation to bring out this unique medicine. The Nine of Cups is this moment wants you to experiment on yourself to coax your inner magic into your outer life. The only person you have to satisfy is yourself. The only person who needs to think you're a genius is yourself. The more you can tickle your own funny bone and self-validate, the more easily your divine gifts can radiate out. Stop focusing on others this moonth. Stop comparing yourself to others. Dive more deeply into your creativity, your passion, your heart, and you will find the fulfillment and validation that has been eluding you.
You know at the end of The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy realizes she coulda clicked her heels at anytime and gone home? That's the Judgement card. It's when you realize that you were the key to your whole problem in the first place. But you weren't ready to click your ruby slippers together back then. You had to take that strange and wondrous journey or else you wouldn't appreciate the value in going home. Going home doesn't mean your actual home, it's a metaphor that speaks to returning to your true nature—the deepest, most authentic part of yourself. Well, this card shows up when you get there. You have changed. Big time. Huge. And it's important that you take a moment to receive the completion of your transformation. Spend this moonth affirming the new you. Make certain that your choices aren't coming from an old version of yourself. The upgrade has been installed, make sure all your programs are running on it.
Ten of Swords (Reversed)
Are you ready to quit it with all your bullshit? The Ten of Swords would suggest you are. This card, more than any other in the deck, shows up when we are fully committed to stepping out of our old, well-worn cycles of struggle. Essentially, the struggle bus is pulling over, and you are getting off, for good. Swords rule the realm of our mind and let's be real, our minds are where we suffer. So treat this moonth as a portal: you step through it and on the other side is a brand-new you, liberated from all these internal slings and arrows. At the end of the day, we are nothing more than the story we tell ourselves about who we are. Maybe your old story was a melodrama, maybe it was a soap opera, maybe it was an erotic thriller. Take responsibility for the story you are telling yourself about your life and you can change your whole world. Freedom awaits you. Let your thoughts lift you up and carry you forward. And where they don't, honey, kick them to the curb.
The Hanged Man
For some, the summons this card brings would be a challenge. But for you, dreamy Pisces, it's a soft place to land. The Hanged Man is connected to Neptune, planet of mysticism and spirituality—the ruling planet for Pisces. In a lot of ways, the Hanged Man is your original programming, an invitation to drift with the invisible tides. Let this month take you where you need to go. Don't fight the current, flow with it. The Hanged Man knows how to surrender, and in that surrender is bliss. Remember, there are always two oceans that we are swimming in: the Ocean of the External World and the Ocean of Our Inner Truth. Generally we find it easier to surrender to one more than the other. I want you to try to surrender to your inner Ocean this moonth and make sure that you are not denying any piece of your true self. Accept yourself completely, joyfully, and you may just find the Outer Ocean changes accordingly.
Ace of Swords (Reversed)
You're trying to be this new version of yourself, and nobody is taking it seriously. Well, it's not really their fault. You see, people treat us the way we demand to be treated. And you're still trying this new you on for size. So you'll have to forgive those around you if they're a little tentative to acknowledge your recent significant transformation. My humble advice, stop TRYING to be the upgraded version of yourself and realize you already ARE the upgraded version of yourself. You are a badass. You are a creative genius. You are the one everyone is rooting for. The more you can live your new truth instead of trying it on, the more quickly the world around you will change. The Ace of Swords shows up when we are ready for a brand-new story about our life. I don't know what your new story is, but it feels like you have only committed 90%. This last little leap is going to make all the difference for you. Own your awakening. Own your metamorphosis. You have wings now, use them to fly.
Five of Swords (Reversed)
Fives in the Tarot are sacred contractions, they prepare the way for an inevitable expansion. Like birth, like breath, first contract, then expand. This moonth will be a gentle mental contraction for you. Gentle because the card came in upside down. Sometimes this feels like writer's block. Sometimes it feels like hitting your head against a padded wall. But don't misunderstand the magic of this card, it's not a curse. The Five of Swords illuminates for us where we are making ourselves crazy. Suffering happens mostly in the mind. This moonth is a wake up call to notice where you are doing just that, suffering unnecessarily. We need to check in every once in a while and observe where we leak energy on the regular, where we hang ourselves up, chase our own tail. This can be comparing yourself to others, getting stuck on an arbitrary timeline, or just general negative self talk. Let these next few weeks be a manhunt for your inner saboteur, and when you find them, slice them open once and for all.
Five of Pentacles (Reversed)
Fives in the Tarot are sacred contractions, they prepare the way for an inevitable expansion. Like birth, like breath, first contract, then expand. This moonth will be a gentle contraction of your resources, your body, maybe even your own personal brand of charm and magic. Gentle because the card came in upside down. Think of this card like a spiritual traffic jam, nothing to do but turn on some good tunes and enjoy whatever view presents itself to you. Why must such a moment in our lives exist? What medicine does a downer card like this have to offer? In my experience, the Five of Pentacles shakes us down so that we learn how to ask for help. None of us are meant to go this life alone. No matter how talented or gorgeous or rich we are, at some point on everyone's journey, asking for help is the only solution. Where in your life are you resisting reaching out and getting the support you need? Keep in mind that this is only a moment, it has a beginning, a middle, and (Goddess bless) an end. Trust that the breakdown in your life this moonth is the vital catalyst to your inevitable breakthrough.
Six of Pentacles
If you've been working diligently to manifest a vision, this moonth you'll start to see it materialize in the real world—where you can enjoy it. Sixes in the Tarot are an expansion, so prepare yourself for a sweet expansion of your resources, your charm, and your personal magic. Now I'm not suggesting a life-changing amount of money is going to roll in. But trust me when I say that you will have everything you need this moonth, exactly when you need it. And if generosity strikes you, the more you give, the more you'll get. Now, just because you might be harvesting the benefits of your labor doesn’t mean the work is over. You must continue to tend your investments if you want them to keep maturing. But there is cause for much celebration this moonth. Look around and notice what in your life is blooming. Take it in. Thank it. And realize that you are blooming too.
Ace of Cups
The suit of cups rules over the things in our life which flow: your relationships, your creativity, your intuition, and your deep well of feels. The Ace of this suit signifies finding a new flow, particularly around issues of the heart. The Ace of Cups isn't like falling in love, IT IS falling in love. This moonth, a brand-new river into your heart will appear, and your job is to swim it. It might be a new lover, but it also might be a new creative project or a new city to call home. Stay on the lookout for a heartfelt discovery that makes you swoon. Our hearts are our secret weapon, they hold the answers to our deepest questions and they know why we are here in the first place. The more ease you have when it comes to connecting with your heart, the more power is available to you. Fall in love with your whole life this moonth. Fall in love with yourself. Living your life through your heart only sounds cheesy if you’re not actually doing it.
Nine of Pentacles (Reversed)
When are you going to wake up and realize how fucking brilliant you are? Hopefully soon, maybe even this moonth. The Nine of Pentacles is a specific moment in our lives when we begin to acknowledge our inherent worth in the world. And for you, sparkling Virgo, that moment has arrived. You are tremendously valuable. So, too, are your insights, your point of view, and your unique brand of creativity. But it’s not enough to know this, you need to feel it. You need to feel the raw power of your gifts. And only by bringing them up and out will you learn how to work with them. This moonth is your portal to feeling your worth in the world. And the more firmly rooted you are in your worth, the more empowered you will be to start selling those services. Before the world validates you, you must do it for yourself. You need to feel your value in the marrow of your bones. I realize that is easier said than done, but you can do it, and you will.
Seven of Wands
This is the Trailblazer card. It asks us to go where no one has gone before. I can almost hear you complaining, Why can’t it be easy for once? Why can’t someone just tell me what to do? The reason is this: if someone gave it to you on a platter, it wouldn’t mean a damn thing to you. Your destiny will not be handed to you—you must go out in the wilds of the world, armed with only your gut instinct and your heart's deepest yearnings, and hunt that destiny down. At the risk of being overdramatic (but what the hell, it is Scorpio Season after all) YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR YOUR REAL LIFE this moonth. You may feel tired, bedraggled, befuddled, bereft but do not for one second doubt the power of your inner flame. You can do this, and you must. Don't take no for an answer. Don't look to others for help, look inside. Ignore the naysayers, the whispers, and all the side-eye. If people think you’re crazy, let them. They will be the first ones to applaud you when you succeed.
BRANDON ALTER is a Shamanic healer, Tarot reader, teacher, mystic and writer living in Los Angeles. He is passionate about sharing spiritual tools that have helped him reconnect to the wisdom of his heart. Brandon is the Tarot reader in residence for The Numinous and he co-hosts The Spiritual Gayz with his husband, a twice-monthly podcast dedicated to exploring the wide reaches of spirituality, without pretending that it all makes sense. Brandon’s mom took him to his very first psychic when he was seven and gave him his first Tarot deck when he was eleven. Since then he has devoted himself to the study of Tarot, Yoga, Pilates, Reiki, Astrology and Shamanic Skills.