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Nice Mask: But What Are You So Afraid Of? 

click to enlarge AMANDA PAINTER
  • Amanda Painter

The astrology for Halloween on Saturday is not particularly scary (despite the Sun in Scorpio, which rules the "scary" subjects of death, sex, and money). Unless, of course, you’re afraid of your emotions, your mother, or cooking for others (Moon in Cancer). Or unless you’re afraid of music, your imagination, or psychic activity, and how those things make you feel (Scorpio Sun trine Neptune in Pisces).

Okay, on second thought, plenty of people are afraid of some of those things (therapy, anyone?). And I have yet to meet anyone who fears music in general, though plenty of people would rather be naked in public than have to sing in public. And I’m sure you can think of at least one musician, song or genre that strikes you as being horrifyingly awful.

In all seriousness, though, take a moment to think about some of the themes I’ve mentioned above in the context of this social holiday, for which people dress up as other people, creatures and objects, masking their true selves. Yes, for some, All Hallow’s Eve and the following Days of the Dead have deep spiritual significance. For most people in our culture, however, Halloween is a big party for playing dress-up and letting the imagination run as wild as your crafting skills allow.

It’s a night when our ability to mask ourselves is celebrated. We mask ourselves all the time, however; we just tend not to acknowledge it.

We hide our emotions. We hide our "true selves" from our parents. We hide how much we care for others, to avoid getting hurt; we mask how much we may need others to care for us, and costume a legitimate need for self-care as "selfishness" so its easier to deny. We tell ourselves (and others) that we are "not creative," and believe that false version of ourselves for years, decades. We explain away our intuition and moments of genuine psychic contact (with both the living and the dead or ‘unseen’), covering it with layers of superficiality.

That’s a lot of hiding out; a lot of façade-construction—and it doesn’t even cover everything. I have not even touched the ways in which we mask our erotic truths. We are so often afraid to admit to our partners—and ourselves—what we really want sexually, or that we want sex at all. In this age of texting and social media, it’s so easy to keep on the mask of disinterest—thereby hiding our vulnerable need for connection, affection and intimacy.

But c’mon, people: the Sun is in Scorpio. This is sexy time, remember? And I don’t even mean that your costume should show lots of skin. I mean that this time of year our collective consciousness is naturally drawn to what is below the surface, the facets of life we try to keep secret in the dark; that includes the deep, hormonal, emotional, primal urges that keep the species going.

Looking ahead a little bit, Mercury will join the Sun in Scorpio on Monday at 2:06 am EST. Notice if your though processes and communication take on an edge; Mercury in Scorpio tends to be quick, sharp, powerful and secretive.

Also early next week (Monday at 8:10 pm EST) Venus and Mars make their third and final conjunction of 2015 in Virgo. Check the Planet Waves website in the coming days for additional insight into this event. Briefly: this Venus-Mars conjunction represents the practical phase of development of a relationship. While that might mean an actual relationship between you and another person, it definitely describes your inner feminine and inner masculine coming to some kind of accord.

The chart for the Venus-Mars conjunction indicates that this process is meeting up with a sense of deep devotion to your inner flame—that emotional, spiritual, creative core you might spend a lot of time masking. The chart also suggests that anything you do to light the spark or feed the fire, no matter how small, could have a lasting, rippling effect.

Before we get to Monday, however, we have Sunday: the morning after your Halloween debauchery (or quiet night in with a movie); the morning after we turn the clocks back one hour; the day before you put your workweek mask back on. Before Venus and Mars get up to their own tricks and treats, Mercury has a brief rendezvous with the asteroid Eros (named after the god of erotic love), while both are still in Libra.

Mercury has been in Libra—the sign of relationships and balance—for a long-ass time due to its recent retrograde. It has asked you to figure out how you communicate with partners, and how your thoughts about relationships past and present shape those conversations (or lack thereof).

The message I see here: before you dive deeper into the Scorpionic pool of taboos (especially sexual) and all their powerful, potentially confusing and seductive emotions, sit down and have a little think about how you express your erotic energy in your relationships—and the ways you hold back from articulating these needs and desires. Better yet, talk about it (with a partner if you have one, otherwise talk to your journal, or to a friend or therapist).

Potentially scary? Yes. Even more terrifying: walking around too afraid of your own life to ever take some of these masks off.

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