Some Thoughts on Scorpio

Testing and Triumph:

In the Bhagavad Gita we find a wonderful depiction of a particular stage of the Path with profound spiritual implications. Arjuna, representing the world disciple, stands between the opposing armies made up of his own kinsmen, dismayed at having to choose a side. But choose he must, Krishna declares: “Rise up and fight”, he urges the bewildered Arjuna.

From the harmony resulting from the balancing of the pairs of opposites in Libra, Scorpio initiates a new cycle of crisis and repeated testing. Testing is an unavoidable aspect of spiritual development at a certain stage of the Way, and therefore Scorpio is said to govern the Path of Discipleship. When the personality has become pronounced and dominant, that is a sign of readiness for the great fight which takes place between the higher Self, the ego or soul in esoteric terminology, and the personality or lower self. The differentiation becomes clearly marked, Alice Bailey writes, and the sense of duality—of choice—becomes undeniable. It was at this stage that Arjuna found himself on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. His “default mode” was not to choose, but rather to stand on the sidelines and simply observe, but Krishna would have none of it. “Rise up and fight!”, he demanded.

There is spiritual significance in this dilemma, Alice Bailey wrote. Arjuna’s dismay arose from the realization of what obedience to the higher Self implies. A war must be waged within himself, a battle long and arduous for the life of the Soul, and “nothing but high courage, joined with faith and aspiration, makes the contest possible”, the Theosophist Charles Johnston wrote in his commentary on the Gita. Only when the mind is awakening and the personality has become integrated, does it become possible to recognize the stark contrast symbolized by the soul, and all that veils or impedes its expression in the outer world. When this impediment achieves epic proportions demanding drastic measures, it’s known as “the Dweller on the Threshold”, an esoteric term for the sum total of all the personality characteristics which have been developed over the eons of experience but which have remained unconquered. At a certain stage of the Way, they emerge into conscious recognition as barriers to further spiritual progress, and this opens up the battlefield of kurukshetra.

The Dweller is not only an individual problem but a problem for humanity as a whole, with major implications for today’s world. “Only when there is adequate fusion in humanity as a whole does the great human Dweller on the Threshold appear…or the Dweller in a national or racial sense make its appearance”, Alice Bailey wrote. Then the stark contrast between the soul of humanity and ancient forces of its potent collective personality assume proportions which call for drastic activity, she said. Can we not recognize signs of this stage in the stark contrasts being raised today? Throughout the world whole societies are facing fractures created by warring ideologies, spiritual versus material values, and the desire to retreat to a cherished memory of a more benign past or to welcome transition into an unknown, only dimly emerging future. Many people share Arjuna’s dismay and horror at the cleavages coming to light, but we need to remember that, as Alice Bailey pointed out, the urgency of the present situation is in itself the guarantee of human progress toward its destined goal.

Krishna’s command to “rise up and fight, Arjuna”, must be obeyed, as Alice Bailey wrote, by preserving the flame of love intact and permitting no hatred to disturb the serenity of love or upset the inner poise which will enable the clarion note of world understanding to be sounded. This is the message of the keynote for Scorpio: Warrior I am and from the battle I emerge triumphant.



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