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Peacekeeping (Libra) Versus Peacemaking (Scorpio)

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Willow by Ricardo Mira

This might be a controversial assertion, but I don't think the sign of Libra alone is all that skilled in the creation of peace. Libra is the peacekeeper, maybe. But peacemaker? Peace creator? No.

Libra can often maintain, through its slick social skills and airy diplomacy, a form of peace that has already been established, but getting to a state of real peace often involves getting into it, and Libra is a sign that, especially when squared by Cancer or Capricorn, prefers to avoid that unpleasantness.

This avoidance is problematic because getting to a real state of peace often involves complex and longstanding disputes, injustices, imbalances, injuries, and instances of oppression that have been hidden, covered over, smoothed over, let slide, reinforced - made worse, in fact, by Libra's glossing over of realities and nervous insistence on everything staying nicey-nice.

Slapping a Band-Aid on it and forcing a phony handshake over drinks without addressing underlying issues is not the recipe for true, longstanding justice or the peace that stems from that. Keeping everything Libran light and pleasant isn't really the goal when you get right down to it - getting to the root of the discord and injustice is, as well as to a mutual understanding of what caused and continues to cause these things so they can be addressed and the chains broken.

The drawing up and divining sign of Scorpio, then, becomes instrumental in the process of peace creation. The road to peace might be initiated in cardinal air Libra, but it's fixed water Scorpio that digs in and takes the process beneath the surface, where it needs to go to be truly effective.

It's the catalytic power of expressing the raw human experiences of millennia of suppression on this planet, especially emotional and psychological realities, that starts the process toward real peace, equality, and harmony. If we can't get to and express the core realities, we don't get to any real healing, peace, or understanding.

With Scorpio, there is right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust - and these cut-and-dry distinctions can make Libra, which at times searches for common ground that does not exist, very uncomfortable. This is part of the reason why Venus, Libra's ruling planet, is considered to be in its detriment in Scorpio.

Scorpio is a sign that is, or rather, can become, fully aware of core realities and hidden dynamics, especially of the domination/subjugation variety. Skilled Scorpionic types (whether that be a strong Scorpio contingent, a strong Pluto, a strong 8th house, or a combination) can feel a subtle energetic disruption that most other people wouldn't have the radar to pick up, and they can follow that disruption right to the root via sheer intuition.

Scorpionic or Plutonic people can understand the root causes of behaviour that others would write off as bizarre or extreme - especially when that behaviour is an expression of collectively-reinforced repressive/oppressive dynamics. Scorpio understands that at a certain level of collective denial, the pressure on the individuals with awareness cannot be contained any longer, and it erupts. Scorpio is a sign associated with volcanic eruptions and also nuclear meltdowns of the emotional variety. 

People working in the Scorpionic realms are aware of underlying dynamics that other people are not - or refuse to be. They know the subtext, and this often leaves them experiencing and transmuting way more than their fair share. In societies in full-blown denial of the top-down power structures that are injuring, poisoning, and killing us for profit, this means the Scorpionic/Plutonic-types often have to do their special brand of energy work without proper outlets, assistance, or recognition - despite the collective origins.

Scorpio knows that things left unaddressed and festering too long, with a false and cloying Libra nicey-nice facade thrown over top like cheap perfume, will eventually lead to the powder keg blowing in much more damaging ways. 

Unlike other signs that can slough them off or explain them away, the energetic disturbances and warning signs stick with Scorpio like thorns until it works them bit-by-bit to the surface to do their catalytic thing, and then finally out of the system. From experience, Scorpio knows that if there is discord or an 'off feeling,' there is generally an underlying reason for it that needs to be addressed. Scorpio, operating up to its beneficial potential, will attempt to address the root cause even when those around it are doing everything in their power to stuff it back down and look the other way.

As one could imagine, this can cause social volatility or discomfort, as well as hostility toward the Scorpionic person - things Libra strongly dislikes and would do almost anything to avoid.

Transiting Mercury is currently in Scorpio and will station retrograde at 11 degrees of the sign on October 13. Mercury will retrograde October 13 to November 3 from 11 degrees Scorpio to 25 degrees Libra in a particularly spicy area of the zodiac called the Via Combusta.

The Via Combusta is an area of the zodiac between 15 degrees Libra and 15 degrees Scorpio, except for 23 and 24 degrees Libra, which are protected by the highly fortunate fixed stars Spica and Arcturus. This area is known as the burning path or combustible way and has traditionally been associated with "unfortunate and ineffectual events."

When the Via Combusta is strongly highlighted, there's a feeling of running the gauntlet through sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds, collective karma, booby traps, and friction, very often related to relationship dynamics, which are Libra and Scorpio territory.

There's a fire in the Via Combusta and within people with a strong Via Combusta signature that keeps them burning, burning, burning a path through life as you would imagine a shooting star burning an accelerated path through the night's sky. There's a feeling here that one has to keep going, no matter what, burning through old patterns, dynamics, scenarios, and karmic loops that would otherwise keep us enmeshed, stultified, and unsatisfied with old wounds perpetually being reopened by a revolving cast of characters.

The basic goal of the Via Combusta is to reach escape velocity. In space travel, this is the point a space shuttle reaches when its speed and momentum allow it to escape the effects of gravity pulling it back down to Earth. In the case of the Via Combusta, it's about reaching the points of awareness and pure momentum where we escape the gravity attempting to draw us back into old territory, especially involving old constructs and dynamics of relating.

As Mercury transits and retrogrades through Scorpio, the Scorpio house(s) in people's charts is lit up, stirred up, churned up, and everyone becomes an honourary Scorpionic. Everyone is an energy detective, a psychic sleuth, an alchemical surgeon, plumbing the watery depths of our thoughts, our minds, our conversations, our interactions, and our societies. Things are coming to the surface.

Scorpio is a sign that, at a certain point, simply cannot put up with any more bullshit - even when the people around it are happy to keep shoveling away. At a certain point, there is no more absorption possible of manipulation, illegitimacy, denial, lack of awareness, or the fuzzy end of the lollipop. There can be no more energetic or emotional heavy lifting or processing for others. The tolerance point is reached. At a certain point, Scorpio has been left holding one too many bags, supporting one too many situations or people without recognition or return on investment. The magical purging and transmutation skills can only handle so much overload, and at a certain point, lines in the sand must be drawn.

This is one of those points.

Pluto stations direct early tomorrow morning at 22 degrees Capricorn, bringing issues around "all things Plutonic/Scorpionic" to a point of acute potency. Pluto stations direct in a tight square to Mars Rx in Aries, an aspect that is exact October 9. This means the dispositors of Mercury in Scorpio are in a clashing, powerhouse square aspect, indicating friction, tension, and a potentially explosive desire to progress beyond old control dynamics.

The Sun in Libra is moving into squares to Pallas Athene, Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn and an opposition to Mars Rx in Aries. This creates a cardinal t-square formation (strongest October 9 to 18) that indicates some big tension, spurring new initiatives and movement.

The Sun in Libra forms an exact square to Pallas Athene in Capricorn on October 9 and an exact square to Jupiter in Capricorn on October 11.   

The same day Mercury stations retrograde at 11 degrees Scorpio (October 13), the Sun in Libra forms an exact opposition to Mars Rx in Aries. From there, the Sun forms an exact square to Pluto in Capricorn (October 15) and to Saturn in Capricorn (October 18).

The Sun and Moon move into a 23-degree Libra New Moon on October 16, which occurs within the cardinal t-square formation. 

This indicates a following 28-day lunar cycle characterized by social friction that catalyzes Plutonic change or transformation. Relationship constructs are in an alchemical state of morphing with new rules, structures, and boundaries coming into concrete form. Different forms of social leadership come into clashing contact. Authoritarian forms, becoming more prevalent in those with even the smallest amount of authority over others, will need to be put in consistent check.

Libra New Moon within cardinal t-square - October 16

One saving grace, one buffer to this highly alchemical and Plutonic lunar cycle, is that the 23-degree Libra New Moon occurs on one of the safer degrees of the Via Combusta. This indicates some protection offered by highly fortunate fixed star Spica from the intensity, friction, and heat of the burning way.

That said, there is some air-clearing coming. There can be no doubt about that. 

Mercury in Scorpio will station retrograde on October 13 in a tight opposition to Uranus Rx in Taurus, indicating the possibility of surprising, unsettling, disturbing, or even shocking information, interactions, or conversations. The Uranian edge to our conversations, interactions, and mindsets is strongest between October 7 and 19, with a re-activation of the Mercury-Uranus opposition in mid-November. 

Our words are charged. They carry underlying emotion or truth with them, even if we're doing our best to keep a lid on this. Messages are coming to us through tone, diction, and even the things left unsaid. Maintaining and reinforcing boundaries is critical this October and November, particularly related to communication.

Don't be afraid of all this. The sign of Scorpio can definitely stir some trepidation as it traipses through the areas most fear to tread. Find your core truth, your core reality, and interact from there, no matter what anyone else has to say about it. Follow your intuition down to the slightest twinge. Be as gentle as you can be in asserting yourself while also not allowing yourself to be pushed aside, used, or steamrolled by others.

The Sun enters Scorpio on October 22 and forms a conjunction to Mercury Rx at 2 degrees on October 25.

Mercury Rx re-enters Libra on October 27, just as Venus enters Libra from the other end of the sign. 

Mercury Rx in Libra will then run up against a square to Saturn at 26 degrees Capricorn (exact November 1 and November 6). Mercury stations direct on November 3 within that exact square aspect. This re-activates themes first experienced around fall equinox, as Mercury formed the initial square to Saturn and entered the retrograde shadow September 23.

Again, this indicates "pressured Libra," and there may be a temptation to maintain the status quo, particularly the social status quo, by glossing over some of the underlying issues. This pressure is exacerbated from November 15 to 19 as Venus in Libra forms square aspects to Pallas Athene, Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn in Capricorn, just as Mars stations direct at 15 degrees Aries on November 13. 

(Pallas Athene, Jupiter, and Pluto make an exact triple conjunction - down to the minute! - at 22 degrees Capricorn on November 12, re-activating the degree of the January 12 Saturn-Pluto conjunction that kicked off 2020.)

Though there is pressure to let things slide for the sake of social (Libra) or professional (Capricorn) harmony, glossing over core realities would be a mistake. Hold your ground, while also maintaining your manners, or you will wish you had once Mercury re-enters Scorpio November 10, followed by the Mars direct station November 13, and Venus entering Scorpio November 21.

The sticky, tricky points being brought to our attention now, as Mercury makes the initial pass through Via Combusta Libra and Scorpio, will be revisited.

Scorpio reads the signs. It knows that small events and behaviours and comments and vibes are often just the tip of the iceberg with roots to much larger issues. Read the signs in your own life, and be proactive in following them to the roots and making changes as the Mercury retrograde progresses. Put words to your gut feelings, to your intuitive hits, even if only in personal writing or diaries. Describe the particular thorns in your side and how you are working them out. Mercury stations retrograde in a conjunction to soul mate asteroid Juno in Scorpio. If you feel comradery, support those around you who are attempting to work some of those nasty thorns to the surface that are unacknowledged in the collective - especially as they relate to the mass psychological operative we are currently being abused with on this planet. Help clear the path a little if you can for those who are struggling to bring some long-neglected elements to the surface, pushing through immense constriction and opposition. Don't just put another boot in their face like most will. Run the Via Combusta gauntlet by reading the signs in the human relations around you and avoiding detritus wherever you can. There are plenty of traps we can step around and points of hostility we can avoid during this time if we masterfully heed our Scorpionic intuition. Do not force common ground where it does not (yet) exist, and don't allow others to draw you into this false version of unity, either. Work with the divisions, with the discord, with the differences as if they are real and meaningful - because they are. This way is not the easy way; it's not the lazy way; it's not the simple way. It requires some heavy lifting and some intricate energy work. But this is the only way, the only real way, to get to common ground and to the peace we seek.


Do not be fooled into abandoning your true experience, your true voice, and the work of bringing the words of your experiences to the world around you. Don't allow people to reframe your experience into something more palatable and comfortable for them. It might seem easier at the time, but in the end, this would be regrettable. Things would simply not come out right over the long run.

Mercury is in the Via Combusta from September 15 to November 22, 2020 and leaves Scorpio on December 1.

The Sun is in the Via Combusta from October 8 to November 7, 2020 and leaves Scorpio on November 21.

Venus is in the Via Combusta from November 9 to December 3, 2020 and leaves Scorpio on December 15.

Copyright © 2020 Willow's Web Astrology.

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