Skip to the content

Scorpio New Moon: On the Road to a Foreign Country

Over the years, it’s become harder for me to write these essays. Partly, it’s because I’ve been writing them for so long that it’s harder to find something fresh to say.

But it’s a little more complicated than that. I look back into my archives and see that I used to put so much of myself in these little stories, so much emotion. Lately, not a lot of that tenderness finds its way into my writing. One morning, thinking about the Scorpio New Moon on my morning walk, I think I figured out why.

It’s because I haven’t been completely honest with you.

The truth is, I still have a rich emotional life, but over time the emotions became the kind I’d rather not think about too much, let alone share. I’ve always had my share of sadness and fear, but in the first forty years or so of my life, they were the fears of a young woman—sexy fears, just challenging enough to inspire creativity and encourage personal growth.

But my early forties opened the door to new and wholly unattractive fears. For the first time, my completely unearned good health failed me. The lives of people close to me began to unravel. I felt the sharp disappointment of a career that wasn’t as successful as I’d like, and personal growth that seemed to have stalled.

In my fifties, I began to reconcile myself to no longer being middle aged. Suddenly, most of the happy milestones of marriage, new houses, career success, and graduations were happening to other, younger people. I didn’t begrudge them those joys; it was just disorienting to suddenly be past the age when they made up the landscape of my own life.

Once, there was so much road ahead of me that I could afford to make some wrong turns along the way. It doesn’t feel that way now. Like a mountain that was once a distant speck on the horizon and is now coming into view, I can see that there is an end point to this journey. The closer I get to it, the faster the car seems to be going, as though I’ve been away too long and just want to get home already.

I turned 60 last summer, and now I’m looking ahead at an old age that frightens me a bit. Old age is a foreign country to me. Neither of my parents lived very long. I’ve already passed my dad’s longevity by a decade. My mother died when she was only three years older than I am now. Some people have a good old age, of course; my neighbor Mildred did – healthy, sharp, and living on her own until she developed lung cancer and died at home a couple of months later, at the age of 97.

But I hold her story as a comforting talisman, because that’s not the way old age looks for a lot of us. I’m watching friends struggle to care for their aging parents, and they face daunting challenges. Few of us, it seems, live out our final days in a safe neighborhood, in our own homes, in pretty good health, with enough money to live comfortably, and with loving children and affectionate young neighbors to share our lives.

Some of that falls to luck – good genes, supportive parents. Some of it is the result of choices we’ve made. And a huge part of it is just plain bravery and grit, and I guess none of us knows how much of it we have until we need it.

At this Scorpio New Moon, the days are short and the shadows are long. The flat, autumn light is less forgiving, and if we look in the mirror, we see every imperfection. The nights are longer, and in the dark it’s somehow easier to locate our faults and weaknesses, fear and grief. But it’s a little harder to share them, because that means admitting them to ourselves first.

I don’t think we change as we age. I think we just become more comfortable being who we’ve always been. We don’t feel the need to be false—more cheerful, more accommodating than we feel—in order to make others more comfortable around us. We become our Scorpionic selves, stripped of artifice and the comforting fictions of youth.

The Scorpio journey is about stripping off layers, year after year, and getting to know the essence of who we are. We may not be able to count on good genes or good luck, and some bad decisions can’t be undone. We may lose loved ones. We will eventually lose some of our health. But we never lose the person we are underneath our clothes, underneath our skin. That’s the person I’m getting to know. In the end, maybe that’s comfort enough.

Writing and images © 2015-2024 by April Elliott Kent

Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get my free “Working with the Moon” workbook at each New Moon!

Helpful things…

7 comments to " Scorpio New Moon: On the Road to a Foreign Country "

  • Lesley Phillips

    Thank you, April! My Mercury is in Scorpio (conjunct Sun and Venus) so needless to say, this essay resonated to the very core of my being. From your third graph to your closing words, “But we never lose the person we are underneath our clothes, underneath our skin. That’s the person I’m getting to know. In the end, maybe that’s comfort enough,” you express so eloquently and honestly thoughts I’ve had forever but I would not – or could not? – share.

    On Nov. 3 I’ll turn 71. I’m still getting to know the person I am underneath my skin but certainly not yet comfortable with what I’m discovering. The mountain is much closer now, but to paraphrase Emerson, it’s the journey, not the destination, that demands my attention.


  • Olga

    Your “lived wisdom’ is showing itself without apology with this lovely essay. If one chooses – this is what shows up more and more in your sixties and beyond. Even with all the truth that you mentioned above, the years that are left are to be cherished. Thank-you for sharing your true feelings.

    Fellow traveler

  • Ann Raabe

    April, your raw, sweet, harsh truth is so damn refreshing.
    Thank you.

  • Chris H.

    Just about everything you write hits home for me in a way that is deeply felt and much appreciated. As I read Lesley’s, Olga’s and Ann’s
    comments above I keep thinking “Yes, Yes, me too!” I turned 62 last summer and find the sharing offered here comforting so thank you all. How wonderful it will be someday when you get to experience the impact of your sharing, on a level far beyond words, in a place where success is defined in a way not of this earth.

  • teresa

    Thank-You April for your honesty. Your words resonate in my heart.
    Scorpio rising Neptune in Scorpio Sun in Scorpio,
    The last 2 yrs have been a deep dive with my personal identity and not all fun.
    Acceptance and surrender have been an on going theme.
    This birthday month will put me closer to 60, and you just described how Iam feeling.

  • Courtney

    Perhaps wisdom has moved into your writings. A tenderness is still there, a REAL-ness. That’s hard to find anymore.

    I hope you’re taking the above comments in. For every comment, there are multiple not-posted comments of readers who feel the same. And are touched. That’s just kinda how it works. So get out your magnifying glass and make it all bigger, then take THAT in. 🙂

    I’m no love-n-lightey Scorp by any means, but I’m recently learning about “allowing”. As in, we only allow others to appreciate/respect/love us as much as we appreciate/respect/love ourselves. People are probably flinging it at us, but if our Teflon is up, nothing sticks. Also, what I see in my mom…ug, I see in me. She is my mirror. Why don’t I allow myself to be CONTENT?! Why is there always a “yeah, butt…..”? There’s something indirect I’m trying to say and can’t find the words – I hope you’re picking up what I’m putting down.

    Creaking in my Teflon armor… 😉

  • Michele

    Thank you April for sharing your journey with us. Your truthfulness is contagious making it easier for me to take a good look at myself. When I am honest about who I am, I have more compassion and understanding for others. What a beautiful gift of self you have given us.

Leave a Comment