The History of Scorpio
The astrological sign of Scorpio does not coincide with the constellation of Scorpius. In the zodiac, this sign is located between Libra and Sagittarius, taking the eighth 30 degrees on the zodiacal circle. Scorpio is a fixed sign that comes after the autumn has begun in Libra. From a point of Libra’s fallen Sun and the darkness that has come, the end of life as we knew it since the spring, Scorpio is the fixed quality of this change. This is exactly why we observe it as a sign of death. As opposing to Taurus in which everything blossoms through the stable phase of spring, in Scorpio everything dies down, falls asleep and nature ends one cycle to enter the cold winter.
To understand the significance of this constellation, we have to be aware of the fact that the claws of this scorpion represent the constellation of Libra. The name Scorpius speaks of one specific scorpion, rather than a creature itself, pointing to the specific nature of the sign, too. This constellation has been recognized by the Babylonians, just like many other constellations, and its name from that time can literally be translated as “the creature with the burning sting.”
The biggest star in the constellation of Scorpius is Antares, also known as “the rival of Mars” because of its reddish color. It represents the heart of the scorpion and it is one of the four royal stars, known as the Guardian of the West, which connects it to all western locations on the map of the world.
The myth of Scorpio
There are several versions of the myth of Scorpio, the first being the one in which Gaia (one of Greek primordial deities and the personification of Earth) got angry because a hunter named Orion wanted to kill a bull. She decided to send a scorpion to sting the hunter and prevent the kill. In the night sky, the constellation of Scorpio is in opposition with the constellations of Taurus and Orion. As Scorpio rises above the horizon, Orion falls below it, as if falling to its death.
By a different myth, Orion threatened Artemis and her mother, Leto, that he would kill every animal on our planet, which made them angry enough to send a scorpion into a battle with Orion. The scorpion kills Orion with his sting and Zeus raised them both to the stars so mortals on Earth can understand the punishment for excessive pride. Another version of this myth speaks of Orion’s hunting skills that turned out to be better than those of Artemis. Since he chose to protect her, saying that she is better at her calling, she starts developing feelings for him. Her twin brother Apollo grows angry because of her romantic feelings, and sends a scorpion to kill Orion.
If we want to understand the sign of Scorpio, we have to understand that there is also a sexual side of the myth, in which Orion is seduced by the goddess of the dawn Eos, abducted by her as many other young men were. This made Artemis jealous and out of anger she sent the scorpion to sting Orion, once again.
The connection between the Scorpio myth and the Scorpio zodiac sign
Whatever the myth, Orion gets stung and killed by the Scorpio, either because of excessive pride or because of love and jealousy. The first important thing that the sign and the stars from the constellation of Scorpio want us to understand is that nothing too grandiose, too proud, or too emotional can go without consequences. We might even say that each of these stories is linked to the general lack of balance, in one of its extremes, or the other. The second important thing that Scorpio and Scorpius teach us is that something small can in fact be deadly and that the strength of Mother Nature is shown in the smallest of its representatives.
The extremely maleficent manifestation of the scorpion is a contract to kill. It speaks of an assassin, sent by someone extremely influential, godlike, in many cases a woman or a jealous young man. It can speak of a fatal love story or a resistance one gives to nature itself. In the best possible manifestation, Scorpio and Scorpius give depth of mind and healing abilities, as well as a natural interest in alternative teachings, astrology, bioenergy and healing different from typical western medicine.