WE ARE ALONE in the world, and then we die. We are with other people, forced into small spaces with no exit, and then, after having gone crazy, we die. We are born, we live, we die; and then, perhaps, we are born again, to give it another try before, again, we die. We cry. We lie. We aim for cute rhymes that also have some deeper resonance, so that people think our words mean something, in addition to sounding good. They, after all, may be left in some web archive or library storage vault after we die. Because, believe me, we will.

Die, that is. All of us. Of this, I am sure.

This is a world of road rage and sniper shootings and trite accounts of road rage and sniper shootings. Intelligent people have a hard time addressing emotionally deep issues, so they perform shock and pretend that, only recently, our media-drenched society created violence and other dark urges. These, instead, are fundamental parts of human existence. In the fantasy future of social equality and rampant humanitarianism—depicted in utopic astrological accounts of the Aquarius Age, upon whose cusp we hover—power differentials and, consequently, personal advantage and individual yearning and envy are imagined to disappear. Only, that is impossible, insofar as anyone who has ever considered themselves above jealousy, until they are having a bad day, has experienced.

See, in astrology, Aquarius—that sign of intellectual fairness, human rights, and socialist-style progressivism—is but one of twelve archetypes. And, notably, it makes a hard elemental square to Scorpio, which rules that dark realm where individuals meet each other on the level of psychological survival. Faced with those elemental struggles ("how will I satisfy my needs?"), we foster intimate and precarious bonds. If you share your food and money with me, I will have sex with you. In these moments, we see far into each other, assessing and reliving our shit, financially incentiving and/or eroticizing it, stroking each other to little deaths in orgasmically feeble attempts to ward off the big one. Maybe we will bear each other offspring to prolong our legacies. But if we enter into this pact, and then you make up your own rules or don't follow mine, I will be angry and jealous and could try to control you, maybe say horrible things that hit you at the core of your being, or even punch you. Or, rather, I can no longer bear the responsibility for my own life, and so I give up complete power to you, who can do with me as you wish, treat me like your co-monarch or as a slave, a tool for living your life, deciding for me how I will live mine.

This is some pretty serious stuff, and also the root of all passion in the most Scorpio sense. Aquarians, whom we extol for their radical rule-breaking and intellectual superiority and airy detachment, can be so cool to the point of being chilly. They may display passion for the latest political reform or colorful innovation—although "passion" may not be the right word as much as, say, "engagement" or even "fancy"—but Aquarians feel less comfortable with all the socially inappropriate garbage that accompanies profound psychological affairs. How will they assimilate untidy feelings of lust and greed and will-to-power into their egalitarian philosophies?

Scorpio types, for better and for worse, dwell in the land of such intense emotions, though keep this intensity largely concealed with their mysterious ways. In a hypothetical post-nuclear world of twelve individuals and only resources for three or four to survive, aligning yourself with the Scorpio may be a safer bet for personal survival, if you can handle the painful or ugly cards falling where they may. The Aquarian will face an intellectual quandary in deciding which nine must go. The Scorpio might just kill them. As I wrote last week, at Samhain time (Halloween and just after), we confront the fact that not all the livestock will make it to next spring—and so we slaughter some to reserve their resources for the deserving (or are they just lucky?) survivors.

Aquarius and Scorpio are, along with Leo and Taurus, the fixed signs of the zodiac, or the stubborn ones most likely to stick to their guns. The stubbornness of Aquarians is often overlooked because their beliefs are so unorthodox, but have you ever tried to convince an Aquarius to abandon one of their kooky ideas? Meanwhile, the strong Scorpio will is a more known factor. The overriding astrological climate lately has certainly favored Aquarius, with both Neptune and Uranus (Aquarius's ruler) taking their slow orbits through it. We witness this in the continuing push of technology, the increasingly global character of culture, and ideas of revolution to bring freedom for all. Now, this month, Scorpio power reminds us that there are dark, ugly, painful truths to confront—despotic leadership, widespread poverty, atomic fear, death—in order to even approach Aquarian ideals.

This week begins with Monday's New Moon concentration of Scorpio energy. The Sun and Moon, the still-retrograde Venus and its closely-conjunct Mercury all meet in Scorpio to emphasize those deep concerns of which I've been writing. Their square to Neptune in Aquarius precedes, parallels and emphasizes the themes of the upcoming Nov. 19 Lunar Eclipse, with its Scorpio-Taurus axis squaring Uranus in Aquarius. I've already advocated communication with the dead—whether a literal divining strategy or a metaphorical exploration of our submerged psychic depths—as a way to confront parts of ourselves that need to be hung out to rot like yesterday's carcasses. I'm going to go one step further with this advice. Even among our more vital drives is the ever-lingering awareness of imminent death, if it's tomorrow or sixty years from now. It underscores why we do what we do, motivating our passions and animating our fears into survival behaviors. At this time, as we change and discover the morbid fascinations that lie beneath our conscious actions, I say that we beat our behaviors to the chase and admit these motivations. We may be well-mannered social beings, but we are also blood-thirsty beings who will abruptly bear our vicious fangs, given pressing circumstances. (Don't believe me? Watch daytime TV sometime. Jenny Jones anyone?)

As I write this, I admit that it's also difficult for me to face these ugly truths, pouring out of me for this week's writings. I don't always know what the end result will be when I sit down to write. I recently received an email from an old friend who I hadn't heard from in years. She mentioned that she'd been reading my website, which she described as "really fun". I've been struck by that observation the whole time I've been writing about atomic fear and rotting carcasses and blood thirst. I hope you stick with me through the parts that aren't as much fun, too. I swear I won't keep writing about death every week, but sometimes we must face such things. Now go out and do something fun.