Scorpio Full Moon: Hades Heart

I’m not a good person.

I mean, I’m not a bad person, exactly. But let’s face it: there’s some ugliness in here. For instance, I’m not a forgiving person. Once crossed, I never forget, and almost never forgive. I can be vengeful and harsh.

For most of my life, I was able to hide that part of my personality, even from myself. But over the years, it’s taken on weight and presence. It radiates malevolence. And as the old saying goes, “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” I know that clinging to old anger and resentment hurts me far worse than anyone else. So why do I hold on to them?

This is a question for the Full Moon in Scorpio. I wasn’t born with the Moon in that sign, but rather with the Moon square Pluto, Scorpio’s ruling planet. A “Hades Moon,” it’s sometimes called. Hades (Pluto’s Greek counterpart), God of the Underworld, ruled over the death and was, understandably, one of the less popular gods:

Feared and loathed, Hades embodied the inexorable finality of death: “Why do we loathe Hades more than any god, if not because he is so adamantine and unyielding?” The rhetorical question is Agamemnon’s (Iliad, ix). He was not, however, an evil god, for although he was stern, cruel, and unpitying, he was still just. (1)

Stern, cruel, and unpitying. I can locate these within my Hades heart; they’re not qualities I’m proud of. But as I get older, I understand them better: all my ugliest qualities are those of an overprotective mother. I appreciate the ferocious protectiveness from which the ugliness originates. If someone is truly trying to take advantage of you, take something from you, or threaten your well-being, it’s good to feel someone has your back – even (especially?) if that someone is you.

I fancy myself a steadfast person, and while it’s hard to explain, there’s a kind of loyalty to grudges; they’re a tribute to strongly held convictions. And like Hades, I like to think that at least I’m fair. After all, while I will never forgive an enemy, I’ll always admit when they’re right.

But are these virtues enough? The Scorpio Full Moon forms a trine aspect to Neptune in Pisces, encouraging love, compassion, and forgiveness. Christianity seems to prize the virtue of forgiveness above almost all others, and for good reason. Forgiveness has the power to elevate us. But like most sublime gifts, forgiveness, and those who possess its grace, should be respected for their rarity.

I recall, years ago now, when a team of American Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden, confessed mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the United States erupted in jubilance – at least, some of the United States. Condemnation quickly came from many who were uncomfortable rejoicing over the death of any person, even a sworn foe.

I could identify with both camps. I feel no sadness at the death of my country’s enemy. I understood the bloodthirsty cheers at his death. But I also deplored them.

The reason is not that I think I’m better than those who cheered. On the contrary. In my heart of darkness, I know the vengeful bitterness of which I’m capable – and I rely upon society to be better than I am. When I’m poised over a helpless enemy, wielding a spear, I hope to be restrained by the cool judgment of my peers. When my feral side demands annihilation over a relatively trivial slight, I wish for a society of just laws, interpreted by wise elders, to save me from myself.

Ideally, by the time we reach adulthood, there should be no need for these external controls. But sometimes, the years wear a groove of resentment into one’s character, and it’s tempting to count up transgressions like a miser. And then, in loyal witness to our own miser-y, to cry for blood.

Mark Twain once wrote, “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Typical of Twain, it’s a sentiment that appears sweet but could also be interpreted ironically. True forgiveness is a gift from the gods, but insincere forgiveness, like a crushed violet, exudes the sweetly cloying stench of passive-aggression and dishonesty. So while I was saddened to see cheering at bin Laden’s death, I respected its authenticity.

I may not have exulted over a madman’s corpse, but I’ve been thrilled – and recently – when a personal enemy was chastened and defanged. As I said, I’m not a good person. So believe me, I’m yoked with all of my fellow citizens by the most fragile bond of civility. In the eyes of the bloodthirsty, I see the reflection of my own struggle. And when I wish for us to find the grace to forgive even our murderous enemies, I’m no sweet violet crushed under heel, spreading the cloying, insincere fragrance of piety. I’m just a fellow savage, reaching for salvation.


© 2011, 2017 April Elliott Kent








14 comments to " Scorpio Full Moon: Hades Heart "

  • Heather Murphy

    So eloquent about the darkness. Lovely.

  • Martha

    The self-honesty of this article is awesome. Thank you for your willingness to shine a light on a tough topic. It’s cleansing like the burn of iodine on a cut. I also identified whole-heartedly with your comments about the reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death. I, too, had a foot in each camp. I understood the jubilation while feeling deeply saddened by it.

  • April, this is amazing! 😀 As a Moon exactly parallel and semisextile to Pluto, I also have the “Hades Moon” and over time have realized I must stand up for myself as much as I did with my children! 😀 I have learned that while behaviors can be held accountable, the soul’s accountability is not my job, only forgiveness which frees us. I so get this! 😀 <3

  • Katje

    Thank you for this. I’ve been struggling with my own darkness lately and tempted to shift the blame to my Moon opposing Pluto, my full 8th house, so on and so on, but excuses are wearing thin. Maybe I don’t need to forgive and forget – I just need to acknowledge my own efforts in desiring to release the anger.

  • helen

    but i love moon in scorpio.. my mars is in scorpio – scorpio is where we get to be really focused, deep, intense.. i love it… (taurus moon ha ha ha) (mars square pluto ha ha ha. ) Yes, i have claimed my dark side, and have only called on it, let’s see, only a few times in this life time (did not have to kill anybody, just scare/threaten the helll out of them..the way animals puff up to make themselves bigger/larger…. and to pull in that energy – very useful for demanding stressful physical challenges, then it is fantastic!). So ya, i own it.. maybe i don’t use it often, but i will not apoligize or anything. It’s there, it’s mine. And if you are lucky, and most people are, you will never see that side of me… just the sweet marshmallow fluffy side 🙂 p.s. so many times i read about people whining about “terrible transits” and i look, and think, wait, that’s my birth chart, what are you whining about? i deal with this every day… lucky me… 🙂 cheers!

  • With my moon in the 8th trine pluto, I intellectually understand the power of forgiveness….yet believe it is foolish to forgive and forget – especially if the perpetrators are still lingering in the dark and waiting for their next chance. Forgive, move on, but don’t forget, and keep your guard up…your necessary boundaries. Trust needs to be earned and won – not freely given. Once people show you who they are – believe them.

  • Jan

    April, I love this! So refreshing. There is something so endearing and shocking at the same time as honesty!

  • April, your best ever (in my humble opinion). The paradoxical nature of the subject you are writing about is wily, and you nailed it in honest clarity. Ohhhh, I can smell the purple, crushed violets-:)
    Thank you.

  • Judy

    I have a NATAL Full Moon Scorpio ….. It has been a challenge ALL-MY-LIFE. At 58 still learning to control my OWN emotions instead of trying to control everyone else’s. Forgiveness?? Lol. My Moon is conjunct Neptune so that softens it maybe a bit?? Also intense sensitivity. Karma is Huge with this placement. Almost immediate and 3 times what I bargained for. It’s a challenge for sure… but also forces me to be courageous and self aware.

  • With writing like this I am reminded why I love you so.

  • Raquel

    LOL “there’s a kind of loyalty to grudges; they’re a tribute to strongly held convictions.” This resonated SO deeply with me– I have the hardest time letting things go (blame it on my scorpio rising). I love this! Thank you <3

  • Tammy

    I have Pluto conjunct my Moon so I understand. What I have learned over the years is to keep the information but lose the emotional response to the information. That way I’m not the person that is making me miserable and causing a negative impact on my health.

  • Irmi1969

    Oh April!
    Thank you for reminding me that I’m not the only one struggling to subdue my vengeful Scorpio heart!
    I have Scorpio rising – right opposite Algol.
    Sun conjunct Pluto.

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