By JILLIAN KRISTINA
The energetic tectonic plates shifted by this recent Scorpio Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse haven’t quite settled yet. The descending dust is still enveloping us, still palpable. Even as Mercury stationed direct on the 14th, it’ll take two weeks to fully emerge from the shadow period, so forward movement is still murky, like wading through clay. Things are still unclear. The chthonic ghosts that broke free over the last three weeks aren’t as loud, but they’re still here, aren’t they? Do they ever really leave? Or do their shouts and reverberations just become louder during certain transits – certain pivots, cosmic echo chambers that ramp up the volume on messages – warnings – that have gone unheeded?
Beware of Crimson Peak.
Guillermo del Toro’s 2015 gothic romance turned horror, CRIMSON PEAK, is a gruesome reflection on some of the darker, shadow aspects of Scorpionic energy – the secrets that fester and curdle beneath the surface of lavish, seductive facades. Lives lived behind mildewed curtains, sultry slashes of red faded under years of neglect and decay. Much like the two who roamed those halls, gripping onto one another – gripping on to a diseased past, a poisoned present.
But this wasn’t Edith’s present. Not just yet. Right now, 10 year old Edith is mourning the death of her mother in her parents home. Crying, grieving, the young girl pauses as the grandfather clock in the hallway stops. She senses a shift. She hears creaking. She turns to face the shadow of a skeletal figure in black, fluidly approaching her. She turns over in her bed, terrified, only to be grasped by boney, black fingers. And a message from beyond the pale…
My child. When the time comes, beware of Crimson Peak.
She didn’t know what that meant, the whispered warning from the ghost of her dead mother. A child, terrified, wanting nothing more than this slithering specter to leave her to her grief. To her sleep.
But then, time passed – fourteen years. The little girl grew up. Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), an American heiress and daughter of successful business man, Carter Cushing (Jim Beaver), was now a determined writer. She lived the written word, breathing vision and passion into each sentence of her story.
Her ghost story. “The ghost is a metaphor,” she explained to an editor much more interested in reading love stories penned by women than ghost stories. But for Edith, ghosts and the past extended far beyond metaphors. She would learn that fighting her ghosts, rather than listening to them, comes at a cost. Just as we may have learned over this past eclipse season and recent Scorpio Full Moon that what we have been actively ignoring – the poltergeists of our past – have a way of rearing their screaming heads when the stars align. Or rather, when the light is snuffed out and darkness reigns supreme.
When English baronet Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) comes to Buffalo, New York, to proposition Edith’s wealthy father for funding to support his invention – a clay harvester he built to re-energize his family’s failing clay mine in Cumberland – Edith finds an unlikely supporter of her unpublished, paranormal manuscript.
Ghosts. They’ve always fascinated me. See, where I come from, ghosts are not to be taken lightly.
This mysterious baronet – foreign, well read, well dressed. Appearances can be deceiving; what seems decadent may be casting a glamor over the rot that decays beneath. And where is the rot?
What are we overlooking when mesmerized by the new? By the extravagant? By the glamor magick so easily cast, yet not so easily seen through? Because glamor magick dazzles us – it draws us in, seducing us while casting shade over the parts that might alert us to the truth; to the rawness, the imperfections, the untruths that lie just beneath the shimmer and the shine.
When Carter Cushing turns the baronet’s proposal for funding down, the handsome Englishman shifts his strategy. He turns his sights to Edith. And in the tragic aftermath of her father’s violent murder, Edith accepts Thomas’s proposal of marriage, and returns with him to England. To England, where his sister, the baroness, is waiting. His sister, Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain), whose ring he would give to Edith upon their marriage.
A warning from out of time. And one that I came to understand, only when it was too late.
Allerdale Hall. This is what the Sharpe family mansion was called. And as soon as Thomas arrived with his new bride, Edith soon began to realize that Allerdale Hall was not the majestic family home in Cumberland that she had envisioned. A hole in the ceiling of the entrance showered her with leaves upon entering. Had Edith headed the wisdom of the leaves – the wisdom of letting go, of turning the page and writing a different story – she may have found herself in a different narrative. Like the lessons of a full moon, there is power in release. There is power in the death of a dream, of an illusion. But she would find that out, soon enough.
Soon, the language of the dilapidated mansion would begin to make itself known to her.
Groaning pipes as water begins to roar through their skeletal veins.
Moaning wind. The wind speaks. “The house breathes. It’s ghastly, I know,” Thomas shares in a futile attempt to comfort his new bride.
Betrayals of the past navigate those eerie, aerial waves, soaring in as a warning. What rot lies beneath. What secrets are we keeping? What warnings are we not heeding?
Perhaps we only see things when the time comes for us to see them.
Edith would come to see it. The lies would be eclipsed by the truth. The crimson clay would stain the accumulating snow. Voices from beyond the grave would guide Edith towards their truth, towards their voices. They would lead her, show her. And as Lucille slowly poisons Edith, the same way she poisoned all of Thomas’s wealthy wives before her, Edith would come to an awakening that would save her life. She would finally heed the warnings of the ghosts – her ghosts – and wake up to the truth of her illusions.
A castle sinking, soaked in blood. Sinking with the weight of death. Crimson death.
But not Edith’s death. Because she chose to see the ghosts. To name them. To honor their pain – their violence – by listening. She followed their lead, resurrected their secrets, and liberated both herself and those who had realized their living nightmare too late.
This is the rot. The corpses soaked in red clay. The death, staining the pure white snow above the killing fields. Death – release – is closely associated with the astrological sign of Scorpio, and the full moon – both literal and metaphoric. And Edith suffered both the day she discovered the truth – the death of her husband, and the death of her denial of the messages she had been receiving, all along. It was this day that her sight changed forever. Her perspective shifted. Her truth, resurrected. And as she left the death and the blood and the sickness of that place, she was born anew, with an even greater ghost story to share.
Suggested Tarot spread! Hashtag #crimsoneclipse on social media!
- What ghosts rose up during the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse (May 5)?
- What were their messages?
- What was eclipsed from our lives?
- What are we making space for now?
- With today’s New Moon in Taurus, what intentions can we set to invite the new into this space?