Scorpio Man III: Everything Has Changed


This, I am happy to announce, will be the final installment in the Scorpio Man series. Recent findings from NASA, detailed in a NASA1 blog post, declared that the axis of the Earth has changed, and they reminded us that there is a thirteenth constellation Ophiucus. NASA declared that these recent findings require a change in date ranges in the astrological signs, as we know them. They declare this a correction. I call it a miracle, the 9/26/2016 miracle, because it has brought about an end to my suffering. As of this date, I no longer have to worry about some nosy busybody badgering me for my date of birth. I no longer have to lie when they do, for I am no longer a man born under the sign ruled by Mars the god of war and Pluto the god of the underworld. The prejudicial preconceptions people have of those born under the Scorpio ecliptic no longer apply to me. I no longer have to endure those who claim to sense a murderous, dark force within me, and I no longer have to endure the Scorpio Man Evolvement courses to keep those inclinations at bay. I no longer have to partake Ms. Edgeworth’s in-group sessions, nor do I have to take the pharmaceuticals and participate in the Emotional Support Animal program that Ms. Maria Edgeworth prescribed to help me deal with the emotional trauma I’ve dealt with as a result. It’s all over for me now, as of 9/26/2016, a day that shall live in infamy for me, for the realignment of the stars declare me a perfectly balanced specimen of a man, a man of partnership, equality, justice, and objectivity man. By the powers vested in NASA, I am now Libra Man.

I don’t know if the annual Scorpio Man entries on this topic, over the last three years, appeared contrived. They weren’t. After discovering my powers, I decided to post a complaint about the prejudicial treatment I endured from those who insist that men born when the Sun was in the Scorpio ecliptic are the incarnation of a dark force. My intention, in that first testimonial, was to try to change minds about men born under the sign of Scorpio, and to try to spread awareness in a way that I hoped might lead to a national conversation on this matter. The second testimonial was an unplanned report on the progress I made to that point in my Scorpio Man Evolvement courses. After rereading that second installment, I gather that some might assume I enjoyed the process. To those people I ask, have you ever heard of the Stockholm syndrome? For those who haven’t, it involves the idea that one develops feelings of trust, and in some cases affection for their captors. In writing such a thing, I do not intend to minimize those who are actually kidnapped, or in any held against their will, but I harbored some feelings of being unable to escape my plight while appreciating the efforts my captors put forth to free me.

Every time I entered Mrs. Edgeworth’s office I did so voluntarily, and I followed my girlfriend, Faith Anderson’s wishes voluntarily. I felt trapped by this idea that I wanted people to like me, and from what I could see, they didn’t. Some were even afraid of me. I can understand that some people might fear any grown man, while alone with them in an elevator, but I am not a tall man, nor am I any larger than the average male. I don’t know if these reactions to me subsided and I missed it, or if my Scorpio Man characteristics flared as I aged, but prior to this recent phenomenon, I’ve never intimidated another person my whole life. Even when it served a purpose, I’ve never been able to intimidate people. It might be my fair skin, or my baby blue eyes, but no one considered me an intimidating presence before the last couple of years. I intended this testimonial to be a laundry list of complaints regarding the lack of progress I made to that point in the Scorpio Man Evolvement, but the tiny, little NASA miracle rendered all of those complaints moot. I feel for those few who continue to endure the plight of the Scorpio Man, and I have empathy for those forced to endure the toxic climate created over the last 2,000 years, but I am no longer one of them, and I officially bid them adieu.

As an industrious, self-driven man, I don’t often admit despair, but a feeling of powerless overwhelmed me in the last couple of years. The forces that sought to ostracize, impugn, and relegate others to some sort of generalization can be so powerful that it is difficult for the subject to defeat internally and otherwise.

My Natural Psychologist, Ms. Maria Edgeworth informed me that my progress toward the enlightenment that awaited me in second stage of Scorpio Evolution, The Eagle Totem stage, was exemplary.

As these testimonials illustrate, she said that to me many times. The last time she said it to me, I said, “If this is progress, then you’ll have to define the word for me.” I informed her that I felt great about myself, and this suggestion of progress, while in our sessions, “but the minute I walk out that door, it’s one step forward two steps back.” I told her that young children and women continue to flee when I exposed myself to their opinions. Then the lovely Faith dumped me because of my inability to confront my pre-existing limitations, and she stated that my failure to transmute and evolve past them suggested that I had not made the commitments necessary for spiritual growth.

What I didn’t tell Ms. Edgeworth, because I couldn’t summon the courage to say it to anyone, much less her, was that I found out that Faith was with someone, days later, and I suspected that the true nature of our breakup was more self-serving than Faith would admit. Regardless why we broke up, I found myself feeling as alone as I did the day I started the evolvement courses and their subsequent group sessions.

Ms. Edgeworth considered our breakup a traumatic episode that could impede my progress, and she suggested that I might need temporary, emotional, and external support to give me the strength necessary to get back on the road to progress. Ms. Edgeworth prescribed what she called an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). I heard of the ESA program, I saw dogs in airports and restaurants, and I knew about their attachments to the program, but I told her that was skeptical that such a program could work for me.

“What are pets, when we boil the concept of the companionship they provide us down to its most basic definition? They’re our friends,” Mrs. Edgeworth said. “I wouldn’t want to limit anyone’s definition of what a pet is, as my Gordon has provided my life so much more than mere companionship. To a person who has never had a relationship with a pet, however, I think someone like Gordon might fulfil some of your needs, even if only temporarily.”

I was in a vulnerable state, and she knew it.

Ms. Edgeworth went on to provide further details of this program, as she pulled up a webpage on her iPad that documented first person testimonials of the benefits the ESA program provided those suffering from what Ms. Edgeworth called similar, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs). While I read the testimonials on that webpage, she added that she considered the ESA program such a worthwhile venture that she placed her own dog in it.

“Gordon is a 173-pound Newfoundland,” she said, “so his size might intimidate some, but he is just about the sweetest dog I’ve ever met, and I’ve had dogs as companions since I was about twelve.” She paused here. She spoke in the manner she always did when she was about to open a wound. “I think the companionship Gordon could provide you would be beneficial. I suggest you try him out for a weekend. You can take him places now. The laws in this state have changed. I’m sure you’ve seen dogs in airports and restaurants. You’ve said sitting alone in restaurants makes you feel lonely, now that you and Faith have broken up, and I think Gordon can help you. You try it out. Just for a weekend. You tell me what you think.”

I deferred to Ms. Edgeworth’s abilities as a Natural Psychologist, of course, but I had no idea the expense involved. The state changed their laws, as she suggested, but these new ESA laws required the prospective participant write a therapy letter that required a mental health professional evaluation. The law also required that each individual patient purchase an ESA vest. An ESA travel kit is also required, regardless if the prospective participant plans to travel or not, and this includes the registration card and a survival guide. On top of that, I had to pay Ms. Edgeworth’s rental fees, and the high-priced food that Gordon eats. Ms. Edgeworth was kind enough to provide the necessary evaluation of my therapy letter at her customary hourly fee, and she said she could provide the various other products I would need at her retail prices. I probably should’ve been more skeptical when she placed the bill before me, but I was in such a desperate place at that time in my life, and I considered Gordon a light at the end of my dark, lonely tunnel.

I wasn’t sure what to expect of Gordon, but when I met him, I was giddy. The thought that the sanctioned companionship of this dog might help me progress through mental health channels was such that I thought he might change my life.

As Ms. Edgeworth warned, Gordon’s size was intimidating, but his almost comically sad face and the very sweet disposition countered that. I laughed when I saw him. This laughter was born of the preposterous nature of the idea that he could help me, but it was also born of the idea that it was so silly that it might just work. I tried everything else, I rationalized, who am I to say that the companionship this dog offers cannot offer healing properties. On top of all that, Gordon was such a beautiful dog that I wanted to love him, just to love something, just to revive those feelings of completion that my relationship with Faith Anderson provided.

I am not a dog guy. I am not a cat guy, a goldfish guy, or a pet guy in general. My family had a couple of dogs when I was younger, but I never bonded with them in the manner kids normally do. It’s not that I have a problem with animals. I don’t loathe them, and I am not afraid of them. They are just not for me, but I was eager to pursue any idea that I thought might get me out of the funk I was in, until Mrs. Edgeworth informed me that Gordon would need to lick my face to establish a relationship between us.

The need dogs have to lick is the primary reason I’ve never had anything more than a passing relationship with a dog. I understand that dogs are no different from humans in requiring some form of link that makes them comfortable with a total stranger. I’ve fed dogs special treats in the foyer of their home, I’ve avoided eye contact with them until shaking hands with one, and I’ve pet numerous dogs until they were comfortable enough with me to leave me alone. I’ve never heard of a dog who needed to lick a person to establish that link before, and to be frank I thought less of Ms. Edgeworth for suggesting it.

The very idea of anyone, or anything, licking my face repulses me, and I have had to restrain myself on those rare occasions when a friend’s dog would sneak in a lick of my arm or leg. It’s just a leg or an arm, I think to coach myself down, but I am unable to control my emotions when a dog licks me in the face. I’ve lost control, I’ve yelled things, and I probably made a fool out of myself, but it’s very traumatic to me. I don’t know if I have some deep-rooted psychological issue, or if it’s just so disgusting to me that I can’t control my reaction, but I consider a lick to the face an affront every bit as personal as a slap to the face.

I told Ms. Edgeworth all of this. All of it. It confused her. Even after all of our counselling sessions, the facts of my being confused this woman. She informed me that to Gordon, a lick was the equivalent to a handshake, and that the two of us wouldn’t be able to work together, unless I allowed Gordon a lick. I don’t know if the dilemma at hand absorbed me, but I swear I saw a plea in Gordon’s face, as she said this.

“If you’re aversion to licking is that intense,” Ms. Edgeworth said. “We may want to consider allowing him to sniff either your crotch or your backside. I’ve never tried it before, but it may be an alternative. It’s up to you, but we have to find a way to allow Gordon to bond with you, on Gordon’s terms.”

When faced with this alternative, I considered a lick to the face preferable. I thought it might prove less traumatic than voluntarily placing my crotch in front of the dog. I’ve never tried to get a dog to sniff my crotch before, but I suspected that it would require numerous attempts as the dog likely wouldn’t know what we were trying to do at first. I suspected that I might confuse Gordon’s confusion with some sort of rejection. As a person who never owned a dog before, I also wondered if they ever smelled something in a human’s anus or crotch that they found so unattractive that they wanted to progress. I flirted with all of these notions, but the primary reason I went forward with this interaction was that my vulnerabilities were so intense, at the time, that I didn’t think I could endure even an unwitting rejection from a canine.

When Gordon licked me, a part of me expected a spiritual connection to develop, but this was no single swipe of the tongue. This full-fledged, pore-penetrating lick led me to believe I may have lost some layers of skin in the process. The tongue on this massive beast was the width of four of my fingers. My recollections of this lick occur in slow motion, and I imagined that it took a full five seconds, though I know it only lasted a second. The saliva of the Newfoundland is renowned for its near-gelatinous quality, but what I felt on my face reminded me of the congealed substance that the alien in the movie Alien had dripping from its mouth. I immediately moved to scrub my face raw to rid myself of what I assumed might disfigure my face, but Ms. Edgeworth stopped me.

“Don’t wipe it off yet,” Ms. Edgeworth said. “Not until he looks away, anyway,” she cautioned.

Gordon’s sad eyes stayed on me for an elongated period, until he looked at Ms. Edgeworth. I took that occasion to begin wiping it off, and I was in the process of sprinting to the bathroom to begin scrubbing when she squealed:

“He likes you.” Whatever she saw in his face affirmed her hope we would get along, and she was giddy. She was clapping. “You’re in!” I heard her say before I closed the bathroom door behind me.

When Ms. Edgeworth convinced me that the initial lick was often all Gordon needed, and that he wasn’t a licker, I retained Gordon’s services for the next weekend. I signed up for a night shift on Friday, the day shift on Saturday, and a short day shift on Sunday.

I was a little skeptical, seeing as how I was, in essence, paying Ms. Edgeworth to babysit her dog for a weekend while she engaged in an active social life, but the next Scorpio Man group session I attended quelled those fears. One Scorpio Man sang the praises of ESA program in general, and Gordon in particular. He said that Gordon was a loving dog who sought constant companionship, and he said that feeding, watering, and walking Gordon also provided a sense of responsibility that distracted him from his pain in life. Another Scorpio Man stood up and detailed for the group how Gordon gave him the courage to make a clean break from organized religion. I wasn’t sure how valid these claims were, but I knew that these men believed what they were saying. I couldn’t help but feel awed by such claims, and I looked forward to witnessing my own progress in this regard.

When Gordon began whimpering at my table, that first night at a Denny’s, I tore off a bite of my sandwich and fed it to him. When he whimpered more, I gave another, larger one. I thought the dog was begging in a rather aggressive manner, and even though I considered him a nice dog with a sweet disposition, he intimidated me too. As the dog continued to wolf down whatever food I gave him, I began calculating how much it would cost me to keep this enormous dog fed when he began walking around in small, tight circles. I thought he was searching for a comfortable place to rest.

I’ve never owned a pet as an adult, as I said, and I never paid much attention to those who did. If a conversation about dogs arose among my friends, I would tune them out until they switched subjects. I write this to illustrate how foreign a dog’s characteristics and routines are to me. If the others in the restaurant knew these patterns of behavior better than I did, and they said nothing, it was on them when Gordon proceeded to arch his back and lower his bottom to dispense extraneous nutrients. I, honestly, didn’t know what was going on, until it was too late.

I wouldn’t call the sounds the other patrons at Denny’s made shrieks or screams, but they did make sounds when the dog began responding to his biological needs after I failed to do so. After those sounds ended, the giggles of younger people at a nearby table were the only sounds to hear. I was embarrassed when I saw the source of the commotion, but what could I do? How does one stop a dog, once they’ve started the process? I was so embarrassed, looking out on the patrons, and I decided to pretend that nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Two patrons stood up, their meal half-eaten, and left the restaurant without paying.

“Excuse me sir,” the waiter said. “I believe your dog has gone to the bathroom on our carpet.”

“I know,” I said. “And I am sorry. I’m sorry!” I called the latter out to the remaining patrons.

“We’re going to have to ask you to clean it up,” he said.

I showed him the evaluation that Ms. Edgeworth provided my therapy letter. I showed him Gordon’s registration card, and I informed him that I didn’t think cleaning up after Gordon would be conducive to my therapeutic progress. “I’m a man born under the astrological sign of the Scorpio, during Pluto’s once-in-a-lifetime transiting influence.” I said. I thought that would bring clarity to our discussion.

The waiter gave me that look that I detailed in my first testimonial, and I could feel my therapy begin to regress under the weight of that look.

“You brought the dog in sir,” the waiter concluded. “I believe it’s your responsibility to clean up after it.”

“Sorry,” I said. “I can’t.”

The waiter consulted his manager, who promptly left the stand at the front of the restaurant, went to the bathroom to retrieve some toilet paper, and scooped up Gordon’s offense.

I informed Ms. Maria Edgeworth how much stress the ordeal caused me, and she decided that we needed to explore the benefits of her Eastern Medicine cabinet. We tried this before, of course, and I was dubious about their medicinal properties. I also informed her that I considered them too expensive for my budget.

“I understand,” Ms. Maria Edgeworth said, “but at this point, a better question may be can you afford not to?”

Ms. Edgeworth was an excellent Natural Psychologist. She administered to my needs, throughout the years of our professional relationship, in a manner that suggested that she cared about me, as a person. She listened to everything I had to say, she offered me advice, and she was a patient steward of my life. I write this disclaimer, based on her reaction to my claim that Gordon did me more harm than good. Her claim that I needed to pursue the pharmacology of the Eastern Medicine was so, how should I say this, urgent. She even placed me on a timetable for payment, which she never did before, and she placed me on a timetable for taking these drugs, saying that I needed to do something to help me get past the trauma Faith’s breakup caused me. The prospect of doing nothing, and its probable effect on my progress prompted me to say that I would do some research on that which she prescribed. I didn’t even want to do that, but I was in pain, and I wanted that to end as quickly as possible.

I had that itemized list of medicines before me, off to the left of my laptop. I was involved in research on the medicinal properties of the drugs on that list, and I had already checked three off. As a person who lives paycheck-to-paycheck, with various other bills and whatnot, I calculated that I might not be able to make the payments on these drugs, according to Ms. Edgeworth’s timetable. Therefore, I entered my company’s website and saw that some overtime would be available to me at the click of a mouse. I entered the amount of hours I thought I would need, and all I had to do was click the enter button and my next two weekends would be gone. I was reluctant to hit that button, of course, as I enjoyed my weekends, but I knew it had to do something. With the blinking cursor in the blank, I surfed around on the net through all of the meaningless websites I normally read, and that’s when I stumbled upon the miracle.

It started with a simple, little link on an alternative news site. The link to this story read, “NASA changed all of the Astrological Signs, and I’m a Crab Now.” I wouldn’t say that the article moved me in anyway when I first read it. I read the article in about a minute, and I reread it for the next five. I attempted to process what this article suggested, and how it pertained to my life, but my emotions drifted between euphoria and confusion. It seemed odd that after 3,000 years of study that everything could just change like that. It seemed so arbitrary. It seemed like a spoof.

I’ve fallen for so many online stories before that I became a primary source reader. I went up to the title of the article. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a piece from The Onion, or some other spoof news site. I went to an independent search engine and entered the words, “NASA changes Astrology”. I took a deep breath, I hit enter, and one of the first posts listed was a link on the previous article from a kid’s site called NASASpacePlace. It appeared as a kiddie information page will, but it also appeared to confirm the declarations made by what I worried might be spoof pieces. Rereading this, and reading again that it was from NASA, I decided that it was a page designed for kids, but various lines on the site suggested that it was from NASA. I clicked on links on the page and searched the various authoritative names listed on the site to verify that they worked for NASA. As excited as I was, I tried to remain skeptical. I tried to determine how anyone could consider this anything but primary source information. I watched YouTube discussions on the matter. I watched news clips from local and national broadcasts. By the time I read this information, it was days old, and several outlets had secondary information on it. After getting burned by so many online stories before,

That idea that this piece was from NASA should’ve been sufficient. After everything I had been through, however, I couldn’t achieve a sense of confirmation that brought me peace, until I had overwhelming evidence of the fact that everything had changed.

I felt free. I felt peaceful and fair-minded. I felt like a balanced man who seeks the cooperation his fellow men and women are more than willing to offer. I felt more diplomatic, and gracious. I felt like a social man who no longer needed the accompaniment of a dog in a Denny’s restaurant. I felt like a Libra man.

Here are the facts I attained from exhaustive searches, for those suffering from anything close to what I’ve experienced. NASA decided to do the math on the astronomy put forth by the Babylonians, and they discovered that there are 13 constellations in the original zodiac, and that the Babylonians arbitrarily left 13th constellation, Ophiucus, off because they already created a 12-month calendar, and they apparently didn’t want to go through the messy details of correcting that error. Other sites confirmed the fact that NASA, and the astrology community as a whole, have known about the Ophiuchus constellation, and arbitrary calculations of the Babylonians for years. I enter this for the sole purpose of refuting the use of the term discovered, as if the use of that term pertains to something that they just found to be true. They didn’t recently find it, most of the articles detail, they’ve known about it for decades. They also detailed that:

“The sky has shifted because the Earth’s axis (North Pole) doesn’t point in quite the same direction that it once did.

“The constellations are different sizes and shapes,” NASA furthered. “So the Sun spends different lengths of time lined up with each one. The line from Earth through the Sun points to Virgo for 45 days, but it points to Scorpius for only 7 days. To make a tidy match with their 12-month calendar, the Babylonians ignored the fact that the Sun actually moves through 13 constellations, not 12. Then they assigned each of those 12 constellations equal amounts of time. Besides the 12 familiar constellations of the zodiac, the Sun is also aligned with Ophiuchus for about 18 days each year.”

“What took them so long?” I whispered to myself. Why did NASA decide to come forward with this information now? How long did they wait? When did the Earth’s shift become apparent? At what point did the manipulation of the Babylonians become mathematically apparent and how long was NASA sitting on this information? I’m speculating here, but something tells me that one of the reasons that NASA listed the excuse that “Astronomy is not Astrology” is that they knew the chaos this would cause so many people. Something tells me that the men and women of NASA sat around boardrooms trying to figure out a way to reveal their findings, but they didn’t have the courage to come out with this information sooner. If they had come out with this sooner, and the article said they knew about this error 3,000 years ago, they could’ve eased my suffering a lot sooner.

One answer I found is that we live on, and I quote, “a wobbly earth”.

“This wobble, a phenomenon called precession, has altered the position of the constellations we see today.”

This begs the question, what defines a person? Some say parents are the ones who best define a person, and that family and friends are almost as influential. Other suggest that class and the location of one’s maturity are other mitigating factors, as in even a person born in Saint Louis is going to view the world in a fundamentally different way than a person born ten hours away in small town, Kansas. Those who I listened to for too many years said, in a roundabout manner, that a person born under the Sagittarius ecliptic, for example, is going to be the same whether they were born in the depths of poverty, in a third world country, or in the richest cities of the richest nations on earth, until, apparently, the earth wobbles.

One of the unfortunate characteristics of the Libra Man that I’ve known for so long is that we do hold grudges. As a newfound Libra Man, I would like to direct my first official grudge at the Babylonians. They developed the 12-month calendar, and they wanted their constellations to match that calendar, so they arbitrarily picked a constellation, Ophiuchus, to leave off and thus match that calendar. I’m quite sure that if they knew that this calendar, and its accompanying listing of the Sun’s movement, would last 3,000 years, they might have reconsidered leaving one constellation out, but my question is why did it take so long for modern man to make this correction? Do those who decided to wait have any sympathy for those who have suffered for so long? We’ve been through personal and financial hell because of their delay, to prove that the Mars the god of war and Pluto the god of the underworld didn’t rule us, and that no dark forces ruled some part of our nature.

I don’t care what it is, any time something earth shattering of this nature arises true believers will say something to account for these changes. They say that they knew all along, that there are different kinds of astrology, and that it’s more a reading of relationships between stars, planets and other heavenly bodies than it is a direct reading of a person’s nature through the stars. It was for this reason that Ms. Edgeworth proclaimed that I was making a mistake by firing her, and “that would be only be fully realized over time.”

“Did you read the latest NASASpacePlace post,” I asked her over the phone. She said she had. “Then you know,” I said with less confidence. “Everything has changed.”

“Nothing has changed,” she said, adding my name to the tail end of that sentence. “NASA works from a Sidereal Zodiac, which is different from the Tropical Zodiac you and I have been working from in your therapy. The Tropical Zodiac has not changed. Astronomers have known about the differences between the two studies and the 13th constellation since about 100 B.C. It’s been rumored for a year that NASA would be evaluating the findings of astronomers from the Minnesota Planetarium Society found regarding the moon’s gravitational pull on Earth, and the affect it had on the alignment of the stars.”

“Okay,” I said. “Why didn’t you tell the rest of us? Why did you lead some of us to believe that astrology was based, in part, on a science consistent with astronomy?”

“As I’ve always said,” she said in a manner politicians will when they have been inconsistent or vague on an issue. She also concluded this intro with another mention of my name. I don’t think Ms. Edgeworth was lying to me, but I do think there was an element of desperation in her attempts to persuade me. When I hear someone say my name in a repetitive manner, I suspect that they are trying to make a deep, personal connection to help me avoid the central theme of our discussion.

“Astrology is geocentric. It involves the children of earth, and the mother of nature, and the dramatic effects of her seasons. It’s also been in place since Ptolemy first made calculations on the Zodiac for Tropical, or Western astrology. This strain of the zodiac is not affected by NASA’s recalibration.”

“Then why have a number of publications decided to publish new star dates based on NASA’s findings?” I asked. “I’ve noticed that some of these publications are sitting in your waiting area.”

When she answered this question, I thought about what a beautiful woman Ms. Edgeworth is. Ms. Edgeworth is a very smart person, with a rich vocabulary, and a person who should have received an honorary degree in persuasion, but she is also extremely beautiful. The reason this matters is that in my plight to find happiness, I believed everything she said. I believed every proclamation, every diagnosis, and every prescription she provided for what ailed me, because I wanted to believe her. I also thought about the urgency she displayed when the experiment with Gordon fell through, and how quickly she wanted to get me on pharmaceuticals, with a scheduled payment timetable. Our relationship was such that I had no reason to be skeptical, but I couldn’t help but think that she knew I, and all of her clientele would read this NASA report, and she probably figured that it might do some damage to her business. I knew I was regarding Mrs. Edgeworth in a manner that might’ve been unfair, but while she spoke, I considered the idea that she wanted me to pay her as much money as I could before I found this NASA report.

Even as I was considering Mrs. Edgeworth’s actions in the most cynical manner possible, I didn’t want to believe any of it. I wanted to believe she was so beautiful that she knew a secret password, or handshake, to the world of beautiful women. I thought she could tell me something I missed. I began to wonder, as she continued to answered my question, if her appearance had been bland, and she was slightly overweight, if I would’ve spent years, and as much money as I had, in our professional relationship. She did answer every question I had, sort of. She answered me bold in some areas, but in others, she deflected, obfuscated, and outright avoided my question.

“I’ve decided to go another way,” I said when she finally finished.

“Okay, I understand,” she said, “but I want you to understand that it is possible that not only we will lose any progress we’ve made together, but you might regress.”

“I understand that,” I said, “and I appreciate all that you’ve done for me, but I think it’s in my best interests to pursue other avenues.”

“I-I’m sorry to hear that,” she said, again mentioning my name. She sounded so sad. There were tears in her voice. She sounded like a jilted lover, and that hurt. That hurt me. My resolve, in the silence that followed, nearly broke. I wanted to be happy, but I also wanted her to be happy. She was, is, and always will be a nice person, and this hold she had on me was difficult to break.

I knew I never had unusual inclinations to murder, a dark side if you will, and these feelings have now been borne out. I knew that that designation was not correct when it came to me. I believed that it was as unfair as suggesting that all Italians have fiery tempers, and all Irish drink massive amounts of beer, but the people around me believed these things about the Scorpion Man, and they convinced me that I needed to expunge something from my being.

I contemplated suing NASA for the delays they had in coming forth with this information that cost me thousands of dollars. I asked my lawyer what he thought, and he said, “I would not take such a case,” my lawyer said, “but if you really want to pursue this, and I would recommend that you do not, I will set you up with another who will. My concern is that whatever money you have left, after your episode, will probably be gone after this lawsuit is over, and I highly doubt you’ll be satisfied with the result.” I told him it might be worth it, however, just to go through the discovery phase of a trial to learn what information NASA had and when. When did they discover the purposeful error on the part of the Babylonians, and when did they decide to make this information public? How much money have I, and others, spent in the interim, trying to convince the world that while all of us have dark sides, the dark side of the supposed Scorpio Man is no more prominent than any others?

I decided not to pursue a case and focus all of my attention on the idea that I’m free now. I don’t care what excuses Astrologists conjure up. I know nothing about the differences between Tropical and Sidereal Astrology, and I honestly don’t care. My desperation to be something better led me to believe in something I now consider exposed as an arbitrary study. Writers of horoscopes may not uniquely tailor them to apply to every individual reading them, as the Forer Effect suggests, and Astrology might have some science to it, but I am free of those concerns. I no longer have to lie about the Sun’s positioning at the time of my birth. I can feel comfortable, for the first time in my life, about my celestial phenomenon in relation to my Sun’s positioning. I feel free to look people in the eye again. I no longer have to endure expensive and intensive Scorpio Evolvement sessions, and Ms. Maria Edgeworth’s group sessions with those of us suffering from Male Scorpion debilities. I have been able to fire Ms. Maria Edgeworth, and all of her expensive and extensive treatments, and the stars now consider me a man of balance, a Libra Man, thanks to NASA. I do have some empathy for those few who are still under the Scorpio classification, though they have narrowed Scorpio date range to less than a week, November 23 to November 29. This is largely a good thing, as there should be as few Scorpions as possible on this planet, but I am no longer one of them. I am Libra Man.

Scorpio Man II: The Second Testimonial


My life has taken quite a turn, since last we spoke. I might continue to experience some unease when confronted with the dark shadow of my fixed, archetypal Scorpio male leanings, when the moon is in the north node of my chart, and people ask what Sun I was born under, but I now understand that this is due to years of patriarchal conditioning bred into my psyche.

Those of you who read the previous testimonial may deem me irretrievable, and I may be, but I am focusing all of my energy on progressing through the three totems of this Scorpio archetype. To suggest that I achieved evolvement, or that I’m progressing toward change, would be harmful to my progress, but suffice it to say that my wonderful Natural Psychologist, Ms. Maria Edgeworth, informs me that I’m more open to balancing my summer and winter now. “This is an accomplishment most associate with the Pisces,” she said, “and you’re moving closer to a center than any of the Scorpio Men I treat, who remain stuck in the first level of Scorpio Evolvement, the Scorpion totem.” That’s a direct quote, and I don’t mind posting my progress here. As someone once said, “If you done it, it ain’t bragging.”

Yet, as I work my way through this, I am still going to lie about my archetype, as I said I would in my previous testimonial. I wish I didn’t have to do it, but I find that this temporary lie cleanses the palate for those who worry that Mars the god of war and Pluto the god of the underworld might still rule me, while I undergo intense Level 1 training to face my limitations in order to transmute and evolve passed them.

My hope is that we all find a way to move passed our prejudicial and unconscious displays of emotional security that take the form of a silent scream when we find ourselves trapped in enclosed spaces, such as an elevator, with a Scorpio Man. The act of lying about my essence is counterproductive to my therapy, of course, but it’s just so frustrating that I haven’t witnessed corresponding progress in others. I want to tell these people, these silent screamers, that I’m working on it, but that I’m not yet to the point where I can harness the discordant elements of my power. Until I’ve achieved that level of confidence, I decided to take the stairs.

The always-positive Ms. Edgeworth tells me there is hope, however, and that all of the expensive and intensive hours we put into these sessions to purge the limitations of my past and foster growth, will pay dividends in the form of spiritual fulfilment of my aura that will eventually become evident to all.

Ms. Edgeworth proclaimed that controlling the criminal element of the Scorpio Man is the most difficult aspect of Scorpio Evolvement, for those seeking to achieve the enlightenment found in the second stage of Scorpio Evolution, The Eagle Totem. “But you’ve made such great strides in this regard,” she said. “The idea that you’re spending so much of your free time around such a helpful soul, without giving in to the impulsive desire to harm her in all of the sadistic ways the Scorpio man is predisposed to, suggests that you may already be on the cusp of advancement.” Ms. Edgeworth added that she “thinks sexual congress with this woman may be an ideal method to metamorphose some of my limitations.”

That’s right! Scoop! I have a woman with whom I now spend my evenings. Her name is Faith Anderson, and she have been getting along quite well.

Faith told me that she was a Pisces on our first date. She said it while we were playing pool. I should’ve been suspicious, but I wasn’t until she sank a frozen to the rail cut shot, using a medium stroke in our very first game of eight ball. When she proceeded to sink several ninety-degree cut shots in the games that followed, I was totally onto her. I knew she was harboring secrets only a fellow Scorpio would. No Pisces could sink a frozen to the rail, cut shot, after calling it, and walk away as if nothing happened. I didn’t hold it against her though. I lied to her too. I told her I was a Virgo, so she couldn’t know that I have the same powers she does of detecting when people are playing mind games. She would later tell me that she was onto the fact that Mars the god of war, and Pluto the god of the underworld ruled my world too, the moment she caught wind of the articulate nature of my dark sense of humor.

As I stated in my previous testimonial, the pressure society places on Scorpio Men forces us to conceal our nature, but what I didn’t know until I met Faith is that women face some similar reactions. Perhaps it was my male need to protect a woman, but I was mad at no one in particular and everyone at the same time. I wanted people to feel ashamed that we scorpions felt the need to conceal our identity no matter how hard we’re working through our predispositions. I wanted to tell the people at the bar that night that this innocent and sweet woman felt the need to deceive them into believing something she’s not. “And do you want to know why?” I would’ve asked in a confrontational manner befitting such a launch. At that point, I would’ve asked them if they dined already, because my rant would’ve been so long I would’ve heard their belly gurgle long before I was done. Long story short, I identified with her need to lie to me and tell me she was a Pisces, until I came to know her better, and she felt comfortable disclosing her vulnerability. “I just wanted a chance,” she confessed when she finally opened up to me, “a non-discriminatory, judgment-free chance to find acceptance and love.”

“I know,” I said. “I know.”

Our connection was so strong that when Faith finally agreed to metamorphose my limitations, she did so saying, “As long as you continue to work with Ms. Edgeworth to confront your pre-existing limitations and make a commitment to grow passed them.”

“It’s as important to me as it is you Faith,” I said.

She relented, but I could tell she had misgivings. “You swear,” she said, stopping me in the moment. “This isn’t just talk? You swear to seek a balance between summer and winter, while acknowledging that you’re predisposed to cling to your blossoming previous life at the same time? We need you to interact with others to delve beneath the surface and prepare for a more spiritual and fertile future.”

I said, “I do,” to each of these questions.

“You can’t just rely on me,” she continued, “or even Ms. Edgeworth. You can’t become dependent on either of us to achieve the highest expression of Scorpio, beyond the Eagle Totem to The Phoenix Resurrected Stage, and don’t say I do to everything I say. These aren’t wedding vows.”

“You don’t need to worry about me Faith,” I said. “I’m striving to advance beyond all this.”

“I believe you are,” she said, holding my face in her hands. “I believe I’ve finally met a man who, like that mythical Phoenix, will rise from the nature of your being and overcome it all.”

It was a glorious moment in our relationship, but it didn’t last long. I don’t remember if it was the next day, or the next week, but we were fighting like cats and dogs. Imagine that, two people ruled by Mars the god of war and Pluto the god of the underworld fought. Ha! Our argument involved an incident in which I exited a packed movie theater aisle, to go to the bathroom, facing the people in the aisle.

“That was definitely a microagression,” she informed me. I said I didn’t know what a microagression was, and she explained the concept to me.

“Okay, how was exiting a movie theater aisle a microagression then?”

“You put your … front side to the people sitting in the aisle, and in such close quarters.”

“Front, back, what’s the difference?” I asked.

“You are, essentially, putting your maleness right in their face,” she said. There was some exasperation in her voice, as she saw that I would need further explanation. “You are essentially raping the space between you and them. It’s called hyper toxic masculinity.”

“But if I didn’t intend to do this-”

“Look up the term microagression,” she added, “and you’ll see the word ‘unintended’ listed as one of the first words in the definition.”

We went back and forth through various incarnations and details, but the import of it was that while she was a little disturbed by my action, she was “completely mortified” by my failure to acknowledge how my derogatory action was directed at people rooted in marginalized groups, and until I confronted my offense, we were “totally incompatible”.

The argument extended into the night, and it included an impenetrable silent treatment that ended with threat that I might never have my limitations metamorphosed again. I was confused. I knew Faith’s belief system, and even though I didn’t fall in lock step with them, I did my best to respect them. I was so confused that I brought the issue to Mrs. Edgeworth in our next session.

“Welcome to primacy of the secret intensity of Pluto’s bearing on the Scorpio archetype’s personality,” Ms. Edgeworth said when I detailed this argument for her.

“Pluto?” I said. “Don’t you mean Mars? Don’t you mean the fires of Mars?”

She laughed in a soft, polite pitch. “Most people think that,” she said. “I think that misconception is based on the fact that Pluto is a relatively new planet, dwarf planet –or whatever they’re calling it now– to us. I would not say that you, or anyone else for that matter, are wrong on this matter. I would just say that because we didn’t discover Pluto until the 20th century, it’s relatively new to our interiority, and we haven’t evolved our understanding of the quietly driving effect its strange elliptical orbit can have on a Scorpio, like Faith. It can alter the characteristics in a manner some call a manifestation magnet that acts in conjunction with the more consistent, more understood fires of Mars acting in a manner that when Pluto is in the Scorpio node two, and Saturn is in Scorpio 10, opposing the Taurus moon, and squaring Venus in Leo and Jupiter in Aquarius. The effects of this magnet can lead to a manifestation you may view as out of character reactions in the Scorpio archetype. Some may use this alignment against themselves and others, attracting destructive outcomes through hyper-awareness and obsessing on negative observances, but when two separate and distinct Scorpio archetypes begin interacting under the same manifestation magnet conjunction, it can lead to some intense energies that result in either the darkest shadows or the bravest, brightest lights.

“My advice,” Ms. Edgeworth continued. “Is try talking to her in a non-manipulative manner. Explore the dynamics of power and powerlessness in your relationship and coordinate those with your patterns of behavior, and her desire to invest future emotions in you. You may find that you’ve accidentally introduced the darkest aspects of the Scorpio archetype into your psyche that have manifested a situation of non-growth, and stagnation, which result in her lashing out in a manner that just happened to occur in the movie theater, but could’ve occurred just about anywhere on any matter of substance.

“If you can somehow tap into undistorted expressions of the matriarchy,” she continued. “To heal your relationship and connect to the healing process of absolute and undistorted femininity you two will achieve a plane above limitations and find deep communion with the higher levels of the Scorpio archetype that are full of healing, grace and compassion.

“It’s up to you of course,” she concluded. “But I have always found that the intense nature of the Scorpion archetype nature can be distorted and misunderstood, but beneath all that is a desire to get to the bottom of things, the real truth as it relates to the soul.”

Ms. Edgeworth was right, of course, as Faith agreed to work with me toward a greater understanding and a brighter future. I can tell you now that with their guidance, I have never been as happy, or as confused, as I am right now, but if there’s one thing to take from this testimonial let it be this: there’s no substitute for a well-informed partner providing a thorough, and subjective, reading of your charts. Not even a wonderful Natural Psychologist can provide such assistance in intensive and expensive, five-day-a-week, hour-long sessions. For those, like me, who spend so much of their time now struggling to understand their charts to escape the first totem, Scorpion level of the Scorpio archetype, who no longer have time for sports, sitcoms, or beer with the buddies, I have empathy. I will tell you, however, that I haven’t found a better method of achieving spiritual fulfilment, or your life’s goals, than sitting down with a partner who can help you find your individualistic method of transmuting passed your pre-existing limitations in a caring and non-manipulative manner.

Scorpio Man


I didn’t ask to be born under the eighth sign of the zodiac, during Pluto’s once-in-a-lifetime transiting influence, but here I am in all my despondent glory. I am Scorpio Man.

I was once a proud man. I was proud of everything that made me who I am. I knew the astrological sign I was born under, just as I knew my ethnic heritage, but I never paid much attention to it. If someone asked me, as far back as a month ago, if I believed other people were concerned with astrological signs, I would’ve said no. What I’ve witnessed since then, however, leads me to believe that I woefully underestimated the number of people who view astrology as the truth.

I don’t watch much TV, and I don’t go to the movies very often, but I suspect that one of them introduced some concept that suggested all Scorpio males born under the sign Scorpio are evil, especially if the year of their birth happened to occur during Pluto’s transiting influence. For all I know, some website that focuses on astrological signs developed this theory by connecting arbitrary dots, and its followers believed it. I’ve done research on the topic, and I haven’t found anything definitive, so I’m at a loss for how it penetrated the zeitgeist.

When I first received a reaction to my date of birth, I thought it was a joke. The next time, I considered it such a coincidence that I thought my friends coordinated a joke. I asked my friend, the prankster of the workplace, if he knew what was going on. “Don’t tell me you don’t know,” he said. I don’t know if he had any knowledge of what I was going through, or if he decided that might be the funniest to say.

Regardless what he knew, people are now asking me for my date of birth everywhere I go. What’s going on? I don’t know. I’ve asked them. They don’t answer. They just look at me as if they know stuff about me, and what they know alarms them. What does that mean? I don’t know, but they start sniffing around my brain the minute we’re in an enclosure in which they feel trapped.

“What’s your date of birth?” they ask after they conclude their little brain scans. “What year were you born?” On more than one occasion this little Q&A ended with a non-verbal shrieks. I’ve witnessed mothers move to shield their children from me, and I’ve seen other women doing everything they can to get as far away from me as they can. I don’t know what’s going on, but the not-so-subtle attempts these people make to escape my company when I mention that the Sun positioned itself in the Scorpio in our birth chart, during a year in which Pluto had a once-in-a-lifetime transiting influence, have caused me so much shame that I’ve decided that the next time I’m in the office elevator with some nosy, busybody who badgers me for my date of birth, I’m just going to lie.

Scorpios are people too, with all of the same hopes and dreams as the rest of you. We want to have friends, and people who love us for who we are, but those of you in the eleven other sectors of the ecliptic have created a climate where the only way Scorpio males can feel comfortable in our celestial phenomena is to lie about our Sun’s positioning.

“I mean you no harm,” is something I tried saying once, “and I do not want to hurt you.” After I said that, the woman pushed the two button to get off the elevator as quick as she could. Prior to my plea, she pushed the six button. I realized that did more harm than good.

Rather than go through anything like that again, I’ve decided that I’m just going to start telling anyone who asks that my date of birth happens to fall under a Virgo Sun, and that nothing, not even an Aquarian Mars coming down on me hard-core, can disturb my Zen. If they continue to question me, stating that they can smell the darkness on me, I’m just going to say I’m a Pisces, because they can be whatever the hell they want to be.

I’m grown so tired of the prejudicial reactions I receive from those who know that Pluto is the god of the underworld, and that I just happen to be a man born in the Pluto in Scorpio generation that lying about the essence of my being, and all that I stand for, is now preferable. Is this what you all want? It appears as though you do. I’ve thought about fighting it. I’ve thought about telling you about all of the peace-loving Scorpio brethren that litter history, but I now know that that’s an unwinnable war.

Some of you and you know who you are, have decided that it’s acceptable, in this age of supposed enlightenment and acceptance, to call Scorpio men a dark force! The term dark force, you should know, is a pejorative term my people have had to deal with since the Hellenistic culture exerted its influence on Babylonian astrology. Just because a few bad eggs have gone rotten since that point does not mean we should throw the whole basket out. In this age of enlightenment, one would think that we would all make a more concerted effort to see passed whatever constellation the Sun happened to be in at the time of our birth.

Even those of us who decided to undergo extensive, and I add expensive, treatment to achieve the evolved state of a Scorpio man, still get that look from you troglodytes who happened to crawl out of the womb during another, superior positioning of the Sun, when you suggest that we “Can be total trips sometimes.” Then to have that air of superiority that comes from some of you (I’m looking at you Cancer Sun women!) who know that we will either get murdered (statistical samples show that most Scorpio males may get murdered in their bed) or murder (statistical samples state that Scorpio males “Can be most high rated criminals” (sic)). And just because we tend to be serial killers who “Thrive on power and control because they [Scorpios] are so insecure, and if they loose (sic) that power or control they go crazy” does not mean that it’s going to happen on our elevator ride together.

We don’t know when it’s going to happen, if you want to know the truth, and some of us have been able to control our Scorpio man impulses thanks to extensive and expensive “Scorpio man” evolvement courses.

It’s obvious you don’t care about any of that though. You’re not even curious enough to ask. You can say you are, but we all know what you say about us when we’re not around. We know you think we’re “Sadistic in our ability to bring out the worst in others.” We realize that no matter how hard we try to prove that we might, might be exceptions to these rules, you’re still going to say things such as, “There may be exceptions to this [Scorpio man] phenomenon. Would not want to rule out that possibility, however, they are rare.”

It’s this kind of talk that has led even us tweeners (those so close to other signs that we may share astrological characteristics with another sign) who are now taking classes to diminish the power of our dark half, to decide that we’re just going to lie about our date of our birth from this point forward. We didn’t want it to come to this, and our intention is not to deceive you, as most of us are quite proud of the position of the Sun in the constellation at the time of our birth. The climate you have all created, with your prejudicial reactions, is now so toxic that it’s become almost impossible for some of us to live normal lives, and we’ve reached a point where it’s just easier for us to conceal that aspect of our identity that was, at one time, such a proud heritage to some of us.

I didn’t ask to be born under the eighth sign of the zodiac, during Pluto’s once-in-a-lifetime transiting influence, but here I am in all my despondent glory. I am Scorpio Man.

I was once a proud man. I was proud of everything that made me who I am. I knew the astrological sign I was born under, just as I knew my ethnic heritage, but I never paid much attention to it. If someone asked me, as far back as a month ago, if I believed other people were concerned with astrological signs, I would’ve said no. What I’ve witnessed since then, however, leads me to believe that I woefully underestimated the number of people who view astrology as the truth.

I don’t watch much TV, and I don’t go to the movies very often, but I suspect that one of them introduced some concept that suggested all Scorpio males born under the sign Scorpio are evil, especially if the year of their birth happened to occur during Pluto’s transiting influence. For all I know, some website that focuses on astrological signs developed this theory by connecting arbitrary dots, and its followers believed it. I’ve done research on the topic, and I haven’t found anything definitive, so I’m at a loss for how it penetrated the zeitgeist.

When I first received a reaction to my date of birth, I thought it was a joke. The next time, I considered it such a coincidence that I thought my friends coordinated a joke. I asked my friend, the prankster of the workplace, if he knew what was going on. “Don’t tell me you don’t know,” he said. I don’t know if he had any knowledge of what I was going through, or if he decided that might be the funniest to say.

Regardless what he knew, people are now asking me for my date of birth everywhere I go. What’s going on? I don’t know. I’ve asked them. They don’t answer. They just look at me as if they know stuff about me, and what they know alarms them. What does that mean? I don’t know, but they start sniffing around my brain the minute we’re in an enclosure in which they feel trapped.

“What’s your date of birth?” they ask after they conclude their little brain scans. “What year were you born?” On more than one occasion this little Q&A ended with a non-verbal shrieks. I’ve witnessed mothers move to shield their children from me, and I’ve seen other women doing everything they can to get as far away from me as they can. I don’t know what’s going on, but the not-so-subtle attempts these people make to escape my company when I mention that the Sun positioned itself in the Scorpio in our birth chart, during a year in which Pluto had a once-in-a-lifetime transiting influence, have caused me so much shame that I’ve decided that the next time I’m in the office elevator with some nosy, busybody who badgers me for my date of birth, I’m just going to lie.

Scorpios are people too, with all of the same hopes and dreams as the rest of you. We want to have friends, and people who love us for who we are, but those of you in the eleven other sectors of the ecliptic have created a climate where the only way Scorpio males can feel comfortable in our celestial phenomena is to lie about our Sun’s positioning.

“I mean you no harm,” is something I tried saying once, “and I do not want to hurt you.” After I said that, the woman pushed the two button to get off the elevator as quick as she could. Prior to my plea, she pushed the six button. I realized that did more harm than good.

Rather than go through anything like that again, I’ve decided that I’m just going to start telling anyone who asks that my date of birth happens to fall under a Virgo Sun, and that nothing, not even an Aquarian Mars coming down on me hard-core, can disturb my Zen. If they continue to question me, stating that they can smell the darkness on me, I’m just going to say I’m a Pisces, because they can be whatever the hell they want to be.

I’m grown so tired of the prejudicial reactions I receive from those who know that Pluto is the god of the underworld, and that I just happen to be a man born in the Pluto in Scorpio generation that lying about the essence of my being, and all that I stand for, is now preferable. Is this what you all want? It appears as though you do. I’ve thought about fighting it. I’ve thought about telling you about all of the peace-loving Scorpio brethren that litter history, but I now know that that’s an unwinnable war.

Some of you and you know who you are, have decided that it’s acceptable, in this age of supposed enlightenment and acceptance, to call Scorpio men a dark force! The term dark force, you should know, is a pejorative term my people have had to deal with since the Hellenistic culture exerted its influence on Babylonian astrology. Just because a few bad eggs have gone rotten since that point does not mean we should throw the whole basket out. In this age of enlightenment, one would think that we would all make a more concerted effort to see passed whatever constellation the Sun happened to be in at the time of our birth.

Even those of us who decided to undergo extensive, and I add expensive, treatment to achieve the evolved state of a Scorpio man, still get that look from you troglodytes who happened to crawl out of the womb during another, superior positioning of the Sun, when you suggest that we “Can be total trips sometimes.” Then to have that air of superiority that comes from some of you (I’m looking at you Cancer Sun women!) who know that we will either get murdered (statistical samples show that most Scorpio males may get murdered in their bed) or murder (statistical samples state that Scorpio males “Can be most high rated criminals” (sic)). And just because we tend to be serial killers who “Thrive on power and control because they [Scorpios] are so insecure, and if they loose (sic) that power or control they go crazy” does not mean that it’s going to happen on our elevator ride together.

We don’t know when it’s going to happen, if you want to know the truth, and some of us have been able to control our Scorpio man impulses thanks to extensive and expensive “Scorpio man” evolvement courses.

It’s obvious you don’t care about any of that though. You’re not even curious enough to ask. You can say you are, but we all know what you say about us when we’re not around. We know you think we’re “Sadistic in our ability to bring out the worst in others.” We realize that no matter how hard we try to prove that we might, might be exceptions to these rules, you’re still going to say things such as, “There may be exceptions to this [Scorpio man] phenomenon. Would not want to rule out that possibility, however, they are rare.”

It’s this kind of talk that has led even us tweeners (those so close to other signs that we may share astrological characteristics with another sign) who are now taking classes to diminish the power of our dark half, to decide that we’re just going to lie about our date of our birth from this point forward. We didn’t want it to come to this, and our intention is not to deceive you, as most of us are quite proud of the position of the Sun in the constellation at the time of our birth. The climate you have all created, with your prejudicial reactions, is now so toxic that it’s become almost impossible for some of us to live normal lives, and we’ve reached a point where it’s just easier for us to conceal that aspect of our identity that was, at one time, such a proud heritage to some of us.