Overcoming Ego- Desires Thru Scorpio and Pluto
by Jef Bartow
This article series has been specifically focused on spiritual practices. It just as well applies to any new project or life endeavor. The mandala symbolism in astrology describes 12 phases within any human life process. Even without being a student of astrology, you can use this 12 phase process to enhance your spiritual and life progression. Given that, now let's focus on the eighth phase which is best described by overcoming ego-desire through transformation (i.e. gaining some form of self-mastery). In the seventh phase, we were challenged to take our spiritual practice to a new level through objectifying it in the outer world. The end result of this phase is usually some form of realization regarding the importance of our spiritual practice in our life. Naturally, this new level of expression is usually accompanied by a small to large inflation of our ego regarding our spiritual practice, new project or new life endeavor begun in Aries. For many a spiritual student or practitioner, this eighth phase includes either another level of outreach or failure. On the Spiritual Path, many times this failure aborts the ultimate potential within the spiritual practice, new project or life endeavor. The obstacle to be overcome in this phase is the success in objectifying our spiritual practice in the seventh phase.
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The seventh phase in the creative process is about a first flowering or personal success. Ultimate success is not personal, but either for the greater good or the greater society. If we allow our ego attachment or sense of pride and accomplishment to remain, this eighth phase leads to a failure. The key here is how we relate to Scorpio and Pluto intimately related to this eighth phase. With Scorpio, we can either move forward intensely, magnetically and regenerative or controlling, power-hungry and secretive. With Pluto, we are either motivated for change and transformation in order to make us more perfect or exerting our internal will for dominance.
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The eighth phase also relates to sharing. How we share the success of our spiritual practice, new project or life endeavor can either be qualified by ego or non-attachment. Unfortunately, the outer world conditioned by human nature is highly influential on ego fulfillment, taking credit and self-aggrandizement. This is the challenge to overcome in the eighth phase of our creative process. For myself with a Scorpio ascendant and Pluto in Leo in the ninth house, I have always been motivated to hide my ego. I shunned the limelight even when I wished to be in the spotlight. Regarding my spiritual practice of exercising, competing in triathlons meant jogging instead of my normal speed walking. Otherwise, my spiritual practice was always about speed walking. After having completed four triathlons, normal conditioning would be to have me try to be the winner in my age group in any competitive event. Instead, I chose to go back to speed walking with its energy qualification for my growth. Outwardly, this meant I would never be competitive in events. And even though it became obvious that I was the first speed walking participant to cross the finishing line, I denied any orientation to be anything other than just another participant enjoying the day’s event. How many times have you participated in some spiritual event, seminar or conference and recognized the ego expression of the speaker or event organizer? This is a good example of the test in the eighth phase. If you're sharing what you've learned on your spiritual journey and not gaining more in the experience than those listening to you, you're stuck in the eighth phase. On the Spiritual Path, the eighth phase relates to the "Dark Night of the Soul" which is not about experiencing a continuous high, but recognizing the depth of what's left for you to transform and regenerate. On my spiritual journey, my Scorpio ascendant (1st house cusp) means that I need to "unite my potentials with others through deep involvements based on mutual respect" in how I project my self image and approach to all of life's activities (1st house activities). This is definitely the opposite of ego expression and fulfillment. As to Pluto which rules Scorpio and is in my ninth house in Leo, I need to creatively self express (Leo) my spiritual nature and internal spiritual will (Pluto) while exchanging abstract ideas and philosophies in order to develop a deeper understanding and philosophy for life (activities and goals of the ninth house). Fulfilling the needs of Pluto in my ninth house has helped me fulfill my Scorpio ascendant needs. To bring us back to the practical level of implementing a new spiritual practice, new project or endeavor in life, we have already talked about objectifying our practice to the outer world through some sort of expression in the seventh phase. Here the eighth phase, it becomes a form of sharing through deeper involvements based on mutual respect (Scorpio) that will bring about a level of transformation and regeneration within ourselves and those we share with (eighth phase). Let's use some of our examples of spiritual practices to see how this might work. A good example is attending spiritual workshops or seminars. You could decide to organize a local group in which each participant shared their learning and understanding of their seminar experiences. Your role would be to organize and facilitate, not express your wisdom. Allowing others to be in the spotlight is a great way to minimize your ego. Organizing a study group focused on new and/or powerful spiritual books in which you do most of the serving and handling of the details to allow the study group to express and shine is an excellent way of successfully navigating this eighth phase. Regarding journaling, it can be as easy as organizing a sharing group in which your role becomes helping others in making journaling not only a habit, but a spiritualizing tool in life. This eighth phase is a difficult one which requires moving beyond self fulfillment, ego and personal focus. Successfully completing the test of transformation and regeneration is the door which opens up the potential of the last four phases in the creative process symbolized by the astrological mandala.