Date of Rulership: 23rd October-21st November; Polarity: Negative, female; Quality: Fixed; Ruling planet: Mars/Pluto; Element: Water; Body part: Reproductive organs; Colour: Deep red; Gemstone: Opal; Metal: Steel or iron.
Attempting to make sense out of the eighth sign of the zodiac can sometimes mimic the insurmountable task of trying to answer a cosmological question as to why the universe came into being. If we could equate Scorpio with a physical object, it would be an iceberg. Why, you ask? Well everyone finds it difficult to relax and be uninhibited around an iceberg, especially when you’re on a ship and there’s simply no way of telling what lies beneath the surface of the water, how big it is, and if it will steadfast melt or simply tear a slit into your vessel and sink you. What you see or what you think you see isn’t always what you get, and that tenet is truer of Scorpio than it is for any other sign.
In equating the iceberg with the archetype of Scorpio, the part resting above the water would be the desolate, unapproachable, and cryptic exterior that doesn’t quite lend itself to close investigation for fear of judgement and ridicule, and the larger part beneath the water is the smouldering chamber of power-packed emotions and unconscious images that are left to proliferate there unchecked and are rarely, if ever, vented. Just as the iceberg severs itself from a main body and floats into territories foreign to its own nature, so too does Scorpio show the side of itself that is frequently incompatible with social rituals and codes, alienating it from the joys and benefits of social intercourse. Moreover, ice is a solid, concrete form of water and Scorpio’s watery but fixed nature indicates that it is a sign that can quickly become fixated with things. Scalding is usually associated with heat, though conditions of severe cold such as those facilitated by ice can generate analogous effects. Hence just as heat and cold can scald the skin so too can Scorpio’s behavioural extremes, brooding intensity, and fiery emotional outbursts leave people with psychic burns and scars that won’t easily be forgotten or forgiven. Scorpio, then, is the iceberg that drifts through the cosmic ocean, a block of ice that remains acutely aware of its own temporal existence, vulnerability, and composition while at the same time emanating a snow-white radioactive plume around it that alerts others to proceed with caution, or better still, stay away altogether.
The soul of a Scorpio man or woman is extremely delicate, soft, and pliable. Think of it in terms of a piece of twenty-four carat gold that can easily be bent, twisted, broken in half, amalgamated with other metals, and fashioned into material things that do not accurately express the spiritual worth of ‘gold’. Being the intuitive and proud gem that it is, Scorpio knows this and inherently feels that it’s only viable recourse is to raise gargantuan walls and set cunning traps in the immediate vicinity around itself as to thwart any foreign invasion which seeks to dismantle its bubbling motivations and innermost desires. The type and nature of defences employed by the Scorpion to ensure this never comes to pass varies from person to person, however one that exists in the arsenal of all is a belligerent, angry, and red-coloured force field that will not allow another cheap laughs at its own expense. In the mind of a Scorpio, any deliberate attempt to humiliate, threated, scold, or tease, vilify and slander either itself or a fellow conscious projection of the universe violates the most vital of moral codes and deserves shameless retaliation.
As we have thus far discerned, Scorpio possesses an innate sensitivity that renders it receptive to even the slightest changes in external temperatures and environment. Thus it seems only natural that the sign might become unnecessarily fixated on trying to control and manipulate everything around it for the sake of lessening its anxieties and maintaining harmony of its inner empire in the manner that a chess player strategically positions pawns, knights, bishops, and rooks to defend an inner sanctuary epitomized by the royal couple. Like the latter, souls incarnating under the stars of Scorpio enjoy playing games in which they can draw like-minded others into their private little worlds, identify their psychic dowry and talents as well as the positive and negative elementary characteristics of their personality, and henceforward advise them on what course of action and karmic life choices they should make. Scorpio enjoys proposing unsolicited makeovers that they believe will emphasize another’s finest characteristics, inside and out, and can be quite intrusive in prying for information that it perceives to be of utmost importance to the wellbeing of its significant other, its loved ones, and itself. Being the control freak that it is, Scorpios are aversed to and become apprehensive around obstinate and autonomous persons that will steer clear of Scorpionic manipulation, especially when the individual concerned is their own partner. Like its close cousin Cancer, Scorpio doesn’t like to be confronted about the way in which it operates or the manner in which it chooses to live its life and will often go to any length to protect its emotional security and hold onto the few momentous others that comprise its cryptic and often unintelligible chess game.
“One thing you’ll really like about me,” says Scorpio, “is the fact that I’m very understanding. I understand the conflict of interests between the outer and inner landscape that can cause one to feel like a social misfit, a reject, a loser, or simply undesired and unwanted. I don’t judge people who are different from the conforming majority; on the contrary, I embrace and honour them. I’m also really good at fixing things. I simply love to pick at something until it’s either fixed or it vanishes from the face of the earth. I’m also intensely self-aware. I’m aware of gestures, subtle energies, actions, and implications that often move in the opposite direction to that of the spoken word and might have their own story to tell. Really, I haven’t got a problem in diving down into the abyssal depths of the human soul, perusing an inner darkness that contains the carnal impulses, compulsions, instincts, and latent desires within you, and then re-emerging into the conscious light to reveal how your outer landscape will inevitably undergo a metamorphosis for the worse if you don’t confront it.
Life is about experiencing this world, but it is also about learning how to die and resurrect throughout the course of one’s lifetime in order to expand the psychic and spiritual fields of our collective consciousness. Alchemically speaking, we might say it involves a threefold cycle: necrosis, the corruption of death; leucosis, rebirth through intuition; and iosis, the conciliation of conscious and unconscious elements that leads to the much desired ruby-red state of illumination. We must all come to terms with the insecurities, hostilities, and boiling obstructions within the depths of our being that set this cycle into motion, as well as find a way of reconciling these qualities with our conscious personalities in order to attain closure. Why, you ask? Well in my search for the truth I have acquired a hunch that there are other dimensions of existence beyond our physical one, and so the plight of each human being should be to purge oneself of murky, carnal qualities that go far in inhibiting the attainment of illumination, inner purity, freedom and most importantly, unalloyed love. I, for one, come into the world karmically prepared for the emotional tribulations life will inevitably throw at me, and I know of no other sign that experiences such cheerful bliss, soaring through the boundless skies like a carefree eagle, when these obstacles are finally overcome.
Like every animal on this planet, I enjoy having sex and will often engage it purely to release tension and other psychic steam that has been collecting in the confines of my subconscious for weeks if not months. Hence, anyone lucky enough to tango with me will share in the providential gift of a mind-blowing and positively uplifting experience. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll use sex as a method of exploitation, but one should never take me for easy, and I’m not particularly interested in dispassionate and no-strings-attached casual sex. For me, sex is extremely sacred and must involve love and intimacy between two people who care for one another otherwise the act becomes pointless and futile.”
There are two symbols associated with the zodiacal sign of Scorpio. The animal totem that represents the first of these really does correspond to the distribution of stars in the sign’s constellation, and it appears that all ancient cultures from the Chaldeans, Babylonians, and Indians to the Egyptians, Hellenes, and Romans were in unanimous agreement about this. The most significant stellar body in this vivid star group was Antares, a bright eye otherwise known as the Heart of the Scorpion and inextricably linked with the war god Mars. In ancient Egyptian cosmogony, Scorpio was ascribed prominence as the constellation of Seth, the primordial god of destruction, irruption, anger and chaos. In a book by archaeoastronomer Jane Sellers entitled The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt, astronomy, archaeological evidence, and mythography come together to reveal that the eighty-year battle between the gods Horus and Seth had a precessional basis, the question being which constellation of the equinoxes, Scorpius (Seth) or Taurus (Horus), would gain the ascendency after Orion (Osiris) had been obliterated from the night skies of the northern hemisphere. Given the fervent preoccupation of our ancient ancestors with celestial events, the Predynastic Egyptians would have envisioned a harmonious balance in the annual circuit of the sun when Taurus (Horus) marked the spring equinox and Scorpio (Seth) marked the autumnal equinox. This was something of a Golden Age, a locus classicus when the v-shaped bovine head of Taurus manifested by the Hyades rose heliacally over the eastern horizon at the vernal point just before sunrise and the arachnid-like form of fiery Scorpio reappeared there exactly six months afterward to herald the autumnal equinox. According to Sellers, this Golden Age would have occurred between c. 6900-4867bce before the relentless yet subtle effect of the precessional cycle knocked it all out of allignment.
The second, an astrological shorthand for the zodiacal sign utilized by astrologers in the creation of astrological charts, looks like the small letter “m” save for the fact that the third leg terminates with an upturned arrow. Many astrologers and symbologists have attempted to anatomically define the contemporary sigil, though it appears that none of the suggestions are wholly convincing. Hypotheses linking the modern shorthand symbol to the male reproductive organs, a severed scorpion tail, the tail of the Christian devil, the tail of a mythical dragon, and a coiled serpent have all been proposed. This particular symbol has undergone many changes through time. In Egypt, four demotic tablets were uncovered that recorded days and months in which the five visible planets entered the zodiacal signs over a twenty-eight year period. These revealed that the shorthand symbol used in ancient Egypt was a snake. Alternatively, medieval treatises show an actual scorpion.
In the northern hemisphere Scorpio appears at a time when the formative forces of Mother Nature are at their weakest, but it is also a time of turbulent change when fermentation has commenced and the scales are about to tip towards the proliferation of life energy. Evolving around the rudimentary myth relating the passions of the beneficent Osiris, ancient Egyptian belief ascertained that the latter suffered death and descent into the netherworld beneath the stars of the vigilant Scorpion. In Peri Isidos kai Osiridos, we learn that Osiris’s penis was the only body part that wasn’t found his wife, the mourning Isis, who solved the enigma of how she might conceive a son posthumously by equipping him with one hewn from a piece of wood. The myth’s preoccupation with the reproductive organs, sexuality, and resurrection fits in well with Scorpio as a spiritual archetype intensely preoccupied with the cosmic cycle of death, transformation, and rebirth.
The Scorpion exudes an energy which works in indirect and often cryptic ways. Consequentially, this sign is one of the most misunderstood in the zodiac and will more often than not encounter hostile adversities and reactions from those that cannot comprehend the benevolent intent indigenous to the Scorpion’s nature. Having said that souls incarnating under this sign possess a psychic dowry that enables them to handle and cope with such situations, for one can be sure that the universe will never impose a blueprint onto something or someone unless it is sure that that something or someone can survive experiences and consequences that might be simulated as a result. When looking at the zodiacal image and the symbols as a whole, one intuitively feels that the poisonous stinger and sharp arrow imply sharp qualities and sentiments that cut like glass such as adroitness, cleverness, and smooth-tongued straightforwardness. They also recalls the Stygian depths of Scorpio’s psyche, a raw, windswept, and multifarious breeding ground of passion, charm, astuteness, creativity, intensity, and both sexual and romantic love. These fiery traits can be attributed to the immanence of Plutonian energy in the sign, a prominent planetary position formerly held by Mars.