Friday, November 7, 2008

III. Scorpios Talk

As I did with Gemini, I'm going to let some people born under the sign of Scorpio speak for themselves (mostly).

[Disclaimer. Sort of.]
But first I want to make clear I take astrology as art, like poetry, not as science. Through signs, symbols, and stories, it illuminates real human types; but you can find these types among people who have birthdays throughout the year.

Still, it does seem people born in the Northern Hemisphere while trees strip bare can be tinted with darkness. I am tempted to add, Who isn't? But that's just my Scorpio Rising talking.

I also want to say Scorpio has a rotten reputation, but it's one of my favorite signs because people with Scorpionic qualities don't bore you at dinner parties. Hurt you, maybe, but not bore you. Plus they smell ever so faintly of patchouli, myrrh, and ginger, so they stimulate the appetite(s).
I would risk the pain to meet every Scorpio on the list below, save one (you'll know who).

So, here are some qualities astrologers associate with Scorpio, illustrated with quotes from Scorpios. I tried to keep this list light, but the light kept bending.


"To put it rather bluntly, I am not the type who wants to go back to the land; I am the type who wants to go back to the hotel."
—Fran Lebowitz, born Oct. 27, 1950

and Determined.

"We don't know what we want, but we are ready to bite somebody to get it."
—Will Rogers, b. November 4, 1879

Forgive and Forget? Scorpio?

"In the Bible it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I'm keeping a chart."
—Hillary Clinton, October 26, 1947

"You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes only if you generously consent to share them."
—Albert Camus, November 7, 1913, Algerian-born French philosopher

One of the countries associated with Scorpio is Algeria. Syria is another. History suggests one not cross them.


"I find it very difficult to draw a line between what's sex and what isn't. It can be very, very sexy to drive a car, and completely unsexy to flirt with someone at a bar."
—Bjork, 21 November 1965 (musician, actor in Dancer in the Dark)

"If the Soviet Union can give up the Brezhnev Doctrine for the Sinatra Doctrine, the United States can give up the James Monroe Doctrine for the Marilyn Monroe Doctrine: Let’s all go to bed wearing the perfume we like best." [1]
—Carlos Fuentes, November 11, 1928, Mexican writer

Scorpio's "mode" is Fixed. Its element is Water.
How do you fix water?

Freeze it.
Grace Kelly, b. November 12, 1929, To Catch a Thief.
Say no more.


“I want to be alone.”
—Greta Garbo

[OK, she was not a Scorpio, but this is such a quintessential Scorpio quote, I am going to borrow it.]

Intense. Even to the Point of Being Welsh.

"We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run over."
—Aneurin Bevan, 15 November 1897, Welsh Labour politician; Minister of Health in the 1940s

"When one burns one's bridges, what a very nice fire it makes."
—Dylan Thomas, 27 October 1914, Welsh poet

"I might run from her for a thousand years and she is still my baby child. Our love is so furious that we burn each other out."
—Richard Burton, 10 November 1925, Welsh actor

Happy? Scorpio?

"What do you take me for, an idiot?" [when asked if he was happy]
—Charles De Gaulle, 22 November 1890


"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York. ...I couldn't help wondering what it would be like being burned alive along all your nerves."
—Sylvia Plath, October 27, 1932
(opening lines of The Bell Jar)

Transformation Through Suffering; or, Scorpios Do Not Play Pollyanna's "Glad Game"

I don't know if the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus was a Scorpio--he's called the Father of Tragedy, so he could have been-- but anyway, Robert F. Kennedy sure was (b. November 20, 1925), and he famously quoted Aeschylus in his announcement of the assassination of Martin Luther King (April 4, 1968):

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget

falls drop by drop upon the heart,

until, in our own despair,

against our will,

comes wisdom,

through the awful grace of God.
(—from the play Agamemnon 179-183)

Interestingly, RFK actually *misquoted* Edith Hamilton’s translation, changing “despite” to "despair"--a most Scorpionic mistake (if it was a mistake). RFK was himself assassinated two months later (June 6, 1968).


"Unfortunately my personal involvement in some of my projects is being misconstrued as high-handedness."
—Aishwarya Rai, 1 November 1973, Bollywood Queen

"If technique is of no interest to a writer, I doubt that the writer is an artist."
—Marianne Moore, November 15, 1887, poet


"If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it."
—Sojourner Truth. Truth was born into slavery about 1797. I don't know why she's listed as Scorpio since her exact birthdate is unknown, but she fits in well with some other formidable Scorpio women, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815).

Truth Tellers.

"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor."
Neil Gaiman, November 10, 1960, modern "rock star" of literature

"Power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and like the grave, cries, 'Give, give!'"
—Abigail Adams, November 11, 1744, (wedded, in one of the world's famous marriages, to fellow Scorpio John Adams, b. October 30, 1735)

"Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men."
—Jean Rostand, October 30, 1894, French biologist and philosopher

"What Is Truth?"

“It doesn't matter who my father was;
it matters who I remember he was”
—Anne Sexton, November 9, 1928

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
—Kurt Vonnegut, November 11, 1922


"If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new."
—Voltaire (born François-Marie Arouet, 21 November 1694)

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."
—Carl Sagan, November 9, 1934, astronomer, etc.

Hidden. Brilliant.

"We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity."
—Marie Skłodowska Curie, 7 November 1867
(the only person yet honored with Nobel Prizes in two different sciences)


"People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love."
—Claude Monet, 14 November 1840, French impressionist


"From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment."
—Charles Manson, November 12, 1934


"An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor, I can play anything."
—Whoopi Goldberg, November 13, 1955
[photographed, left, by Annie Leibovitz]

"There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence that we can scarce weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue."
—Oliver Goldsmith, born November 10, 1730 or 1728, writer

"Almost all crime is due to the repressed desire for aesthetic expression."
—Evelyn Waugh, 28 October 1903, writer

Drop Dead Gorgeous.

"There's no such thing as simple. Simple is hard."
—Martin Scorsese, November 17, 1942

"The quietness of his tone italicized the malice of his reply."
—Truman Capote [Sun in Libra, but this is a spot-on description of Scorpio.]

Acquainted with Suffering

"If people would forget about utopia! When rationalism destroyed heaven and decided to set it up here on earth, that most terrible of all goals entered human ambition. It was clear there’d be no end to what people would be made to suffer for it."
—Nadine Gordimer, 20 November 1923, (1991 Nobel Prize in Literature)


"I just come and talk to the plants, really--very important to talk to them, they respond I find."

—Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, 14 November 1948

Always Interesting.

"If your morals make you dreary, depend on it, they are wrong."
—Robert Louis Stevenson, 13 November 1850

"Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one's bath like a lump of sugar."
—Pablo Picasso, October 25, 1881

...and let's not overlook Adolphe Sax (November 6, 1814), Belgian inventor of the saxophone, who, his biographer says, "had exceptional gifts for the gentle art of making enemies."

Note: Without stretching a point, (e.g. Uhura singing "Beyond Antares" two posts below), I couldn't think of anything very Scorpionic in Star Trek, the Original Series, so I googled "Star Trek Scorpio." I found the article Blake's 7 vs. Star Trek and learned that the final ship in the dark, British sci-fi series Blake's 7 is named Scorpio. It is destroyed in the last episode, in which all the main characters are killed. So, that seems right.

Blake's 7, sometimes called "a poor man's Star Trek", is not available on DVD in the USA, but I look forward to watching a pirated version from a friend who will be in town this Christmas.


From Demokratizatsiya: The Journal on post-Soviet Democratization, Spring 2005
by Arias-King, Fredo

The perpetually witty Gennady Gerasimov was the Soviet Union's foreign ministry spokesman during the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe, and he famously labeled Soviet policy toward those events the "Sinatra Doctrine."

Demokratizatsiya: Tell us how the whole "Sinatra Doctrine" business came about.

Gerasimov: A friend of mine, I guess it was a birthday or something, gave me this coffeetable book about Ol' Blue Eyes written by his daughter [Nancy Sinatra]. And only by chance, looking at the index, I found something which was a big surprise . . .

[Reading from book]

When the Kremlin announced that it would not object if Hungary left the Warsaw Pact or if East Germany reunited with West Germany, Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Gerasimov appeared on a syndicated TV program and said, "Frank Sinatra had a very popular song, 'I Had It My Way.' So Hungary, Poland, every other country has its own way. They decided which road to take. It's their business. And we watch, watch closely, but do not interfere." He called the new policy "The Frank Sinatra Doctrine."
Said dad: "I'm honored to have my name associated with freedom of choice and people's dreams for a better life. I think it's marvelous."
Vice President Dan Quayle said the Bush administration was encouraged by Mr. Gerasimov's comment, adding, "We hope that perestroïka succeeds. But as they talk about the Frank Sinatra Doctrine, also remember the Nancy Sinatra doctrine in song- "These Boots Are Made for Walking.""


shygirl said...

Wow!!! Those Scorpios have a lot to say. And all so smart and wise...wish I was one!

deanna said...

I've enjoyed your starry posts and I'm intrigued by so much in this poetic, astrological one. Madame Curie lauding the radium that helped many and almost certainly killed her. Welsh intensity. Dan Quayle's wit (thanks most for posting that).

bink said...

What a great bunch of quotes! You must have spent HOURS putting this together! The one that made me laugh out loud was the Lebowitz quote, "To put it rather bluntly, I am not the type who wants to go back to the land; I am the type who wants to go back to the hotel." That did remind me of Lytton, but so did quite a few of the others...I guess lots of those Scorpio great minds think alike!

fresca said...

Happy Birthday, Shy Girl! ; )

Deanna: Ha! Yes, one doesn't think of Dan Quayle being witty, but here's proof that he COULD be!

Bink: Thanks-yeah, in fact it took about 8 hours over two days, all told: Lots of time spent reading about this amazing crew!
I hear Lytton's voice in a good lot of these quotes all right.

fresca said...

P.S. Checking up on Dan Quayle, I came across this priceless quote and could hardly stop laughing all over again:
Quayle said "You take the United Negro College Fund model that what a waste it is to lose one's mind or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."
Indeed. Truer words were never said...

momo said...

LOVE the Scorpio series! (of course). Don't forget P. Diddy--he and I share a birthday.

fresca said...

Oh, wow! Yeah, my famous folk are pretty mid-last-century, aren't they...
So here: PERFECT Scorpio sentiment for P. Diddy/Puff Daddy"

“It's okay to be crazy, but don't be insane.”

Anonymous said...

Yo! Okay, now take this with a grain of salt or two, or a shot of tequila/vodka/ouzo/aquavit/grappa/what! ever-your-water-of-preference!: Every time I read your blogposts I am lured closer to and further away from really embarking on my own blog process. Note the quintessential bipolarities of a typical Piscean. The liveliness and excellence of your blog makes me fear mediocrity and dullness if/when I ever launch my own! But, not to worry, if your blog is truly my "gold/Fresca-standard", whenever I do start blogging, I'll apply the standard in the realm of inspiration rather than fear. (Or, I'll try to do that!
I took Ms. P. from Massachussetts on a cyber-tour of your universe last night. Of course she was enchanted and touched. It's probably a good thing she's living without daily computer access these days, and that I have joined the employed and have to share our computer with two busy others, for either one of us might never leave our keyboards.
Also, thank you so much for your Scorpio sharings; you helped me gain more insight into the heights and depths of "Baby Kaya" who turns 17 tomorrow. We are moving into a smoother era these days, which is a sweet relief.
Thank You, Big-time and Love!