Scorpio is one of the most maligned signs in both Traditional and Modern Astrology. When you read descriptions of Scorpio, you will be told that Scorpio is ruthless, deceitful, and cruel, among other things. On the other hand, you may also find reference to the dual nature of Scorpio, the Scorpion and the Eagle. The Scorpion represents the lower nature of Scorpio, the dark side with the poisonous sting, while the Eagle represents the higher nature, which soars above the difficulties and limitations of manifest existence. It is said that Scorpio represents the highest and lowest possibilities of human nature.
In this article, I will talk about the astrological associations for Scorpio and give some basic information for how to interpret Scorpio in a Nativity Chart.
Scorpio by Season
Many of the associations for Scorpio are derived from its seasonal placement in the Northern Hemisphere. The Tropical Zodiac, which is most commonly used in the Western branches of astrology, is based on the seasons rather than the constellations. For this reason, the Sun will be in Scorpio at the same time every year.
The Sun is in Scorpio from around October 23 to November 21 of every year. The exact date of the Sun’s ingress into and departure from Scorpio vary from year to year. For this reason, if you were born at the very beginning or very end of this sign, you may need to have a Nativity Chart cast to know what your Sun Sign is. If you know your date, time, and place of birth, you can get a Nativity Chart cast for free at Astrolabe.
The Sun is in Scorpio in Autumn and is the Fixed Sign of this season. This is the deepest part of Fall. The harvest is mostly finished, and it is time to clean up the garden. The dead annual plants need to be pulled and put into the compost, and the perennials need to be protected for the Winter. The daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter. This is the reason for many of the negative associations with Scorpio, which are all related to darkness and death.
Yet, there is a positive side. The Autumn cleanup is necessary for the rebirth in Spring. The compost pile will become next year’s fertilizer, and this is when you plant the bulbs that will become the Spring flowers. For this reason, the Phoenix, or the bird that rises from the ashes, is another one of Scorpio’s symbols.
In many cultures and traditions, the main holidays that fall in Scorpio relate to death and the honoring of our ancestors. This is consistent with the seasonal end of the harvest and preparation for Winter. Here are some of these holidays:
- Popular culture – Halloween, October 31
- Christianity – All Saint’s Day, November 1; All Soul’s Day, November 2
- Celtic Tradition – Samhain, October 31-November 1
- Latin American Tradition – Day of the Dead, October 31 – November 2
- Filianism – Tamala, October 31-November 2
Scorpio by Element
Scorpio is a Water Sign. This means that Scorpio is intuitive and emotional. Water is the All Possibility, and even though Scorpio is a Fixed Sign, she can adapt to changing circumstances. Indeed, it is this very adaptability that allows Scorpio to persist in her goals. She keeps her eyes on where she wants to go and is able to bypass or circumvent any obstacles along her path.
Scorpio’s Dignities & Debilities
Each sign is friendlier to some planets than to others, which impacts how these planets can operate in that sign. These are known as essential dignities and debilities. Below are the planetary dignities and debilities for Scorpio:
Ruler – Mars
The ruler of Scorpio is Mars. Mars is the perfect planet to watch over the end of the harvest when everything that will not survive the Winter will be pulled and put into the compost or the fire. Mars is very hot, and so she is tempered by being in Scorpio, which is her Night House. Mars is also the only planet with unambiguous dignity in every degree of Scorpio.
Exaltation – None
Scorpio does not exalt any planet.
The triplicity rulers have governance over all three signs of an Element. According to the Dorothean system, the triplicity rulers for Water are Venus, by day, Mars, by night, and the Moon as the participating ruler. On the other hand, as we will see shortly, both Venus and the Moon are also debilitated in Scorpio. It seems rather appropriate for Scorpio to dislike two of the planets that have authority over her.
If you use the triplicity rulers according to William Lilly, Mars is the triplicity ruler for Water, by both day and night.
Detriment – Venus
Venus has a difficult time operating in Scorpio. Venus is the sign of love, creation, and life. Scorpio is the sign associated with the final harvest and Death. Yet, death is a necessary part of life, and though in detriment, Venus still has some dignity in this sign.
Fall – the Moon
Scorpio is hostile to the Moon. The Moon is the sustainer of life and all existence. Scorpio is the end of life and desires to transcend existence. Yet, Scorpio plays a crucial role in allowing for rebirth, so the Moon does have dignity in this sign as well.
In addition to the planets that have dignity in a sign in its entirety, there are planets that rule specific degrees of each sign. These are known as the planet’s terms or bounds. There are two main systems of the division of the terms, Egyptian and Chaldean.
Egyptian Terms for Scorpio
0 – 7 Mars
7 – 11 Venus
11 – 19 Mercury
19 – 24 Jupiter
24 – 30 Saturn
Chaldean Terms for Scorpio
0 – 6 Mars
6 – 14 Jupiter
14 – 21 Venus
21 – 27 Mercury
27 – 30 Saturn
Each sign is divided into three parts, known as face or decantes. Each face has a separate ruler. The faces of Scorpio and their rulers are:
0 – 10 Mars
10 – 20 Sun
20 – 30 Venus
Scorpio and the Body
Scorpio rules the organs of reproduction and elimination. This means that if you have Scorpio prominent in your chart, you need to take special care of these body parts because this is where you will be most prone to injury and disease. You also need to be careful of these parts if you have a Gemini Ascendant because Scorpio will be your 6th House, which is the House of Illness.
The strong parts of your chart are also the most dangerous, so if you have Mars in Scorpio, you really need to take any illness to these parts very seriously. With Mars in Scorpio, infections and autoimmune diseases will be especially dangerous for you as well. This will also be true if you have an Aries Ascendant because Scorpio will be your 8th House, which is the House of Death.
Scorpio in a Nativity Chart
The three most important placements in anyone’s chart are the signs of the Sun, the Moon, and the Ascendant or Rising Sign. You can find these out if you have your date, time, and place of birth by having your chart read by an astrologer, or for free at Astrolabe. Below are brief descriptions of how to interpret a Scorpio Sun, Moon, and Ascendant.
The Sun has some dignity in the middle of Scorpio, and Scorpio is in the Solar half of the Wheel of the Year. This means that even though Scorpio is a Night Sign and does not give the Sun any other dignity, the Sun is able to shine a little in this sign, depending on whether you were born during the day or at night.
Scorpio Sun by day
If you have a Scorpio Sun, and you were born during the day, you will generally express Scorpio in your vocation or what you do for a living. You will likely have a Scorpio profession, such as a detective, a soldier, a researcher, or a psychologist. Because you enjoy delving deep into mysteries, you will not rest into you have uncovered the answer. It is very likely that you need to watch out for becoming obsessed with your work. Once you begin a task, it will be difficult for you to stop.
Scorpio Sun by night
If you were born with a Scorpio Sun at night, you will have a lot of difficulty with expressing or feeling your Solar nature. You may be plagued by depression or cynicism. It may be hard for you to find joy in life. This is a tough placement for the Sun, but on the positive side, you will find it easy to have compassion and empathy for others. You will be well aware of the flaws in yourself and in all people, and thus you are able to accept others for who they are without judgment.
Scorpio is the most complicated placement for the Moon. On one hand, the Moon is in Fall in Scorpio. Furthermore, the first half of Scorpio is known as in Via Combusta, or the Burning Way, which is a special debility of the Moon. On the other hand, the Moon has dignity in Scorpio as the triplicity ruler, and Scorpio is a nocturnal sign. If you have a Scorpio Moon, you will have a complicated relationship with your inner nature and your emotions. How this will manifest will vary based on whether you were born during the day or at night.
Scorpio Moon by day
If you were born during the day, you will tend to hide your deep thoughts and emotions, and it is likely that they will be compartmentalized. You will probably not express your Scorpio nature outwardly, but you will instead hide your Scorpio nature behind your Sun Sign. It is very likely that you will have many secrets and that you will be privy to the secrets of most of the people you know.
Scorpio Moon by night
If you were born during the night, your Scorpio Moon is even more complicated. One one hand, your Moon will be strengthened bringing out the more positive qualities of both Scorpio and the Moon. On the other hand, the Moon will be your dominant luminary so the difficulties associated with a debilitated Moon will take center stage in your life. You will have an intuitive, magical quality to you, but you are also likely to have experienced much in the way of hardship and emotional turmoil.
If you have a Scorpio Ascendant, there will be a deep, mysterious quality to you. You do not make friends easily, and you are often misunderstood. You tend to have a protective shell around you, and you often set up tests and traps for others who try to get close to you. On the other hand, when you do allow others in, you are a loyal and devoted friend and companion, and you have a deep capacity for love and affection.
Mars is the Ruler of your Ascendant, and thus, she will take on a very important role in your chart. You can recognize someone with a Scorpio Ascendant by their deep, intense eyes that do not miss anything.
Using Whole Sign Houses, the sign of the Ascendant will determine all of your House placements, and thus which planet and sign rule every aspect of your life.
Home – Aquarius
If you have a Scorpio Ascendant, Saturn-ruled Aquarius is your 4th House of the Home. You are very likely to have had somewhat of an unconventional upbringing. You probably have a complicated relationship with your family of origin or your tradition. On the other hand, your tradition is a source of grounding and solidity, so it is rare that you would break with it, despite the difficulties. Unless your Saturn is very well-dignified, the home is likely to be a burdensome and heavy place for you.
Partnership – Taurus
Even with all of the complexities of a Scorpio Ascendant, your partnerships will generally be quite stable. Your 7th House is Venus-ruled Taurus, and when you mate, you mate for life. Your natural partner is someone who is stable, but also pleasant and easy-going. It is in your relationships that you will find the most happiness and peace.
Career and Public Reputation – Leo
For a Scorpio Ascendant, Sun-ruled Leo is the 10th House of Career and Public Reputation. It is likely that because your home is a difficult place, you will throw your energy and attention into your career. Your capacity for hard work and attention to detail will often get you accolades at work and help your reputation. On the other hand, you will take difficulties at work very personally, as you will tend to associate your job with your identity.
I would love to hear from you! Do you have Scorpio prominent in your chart, or do you know someone who does? How has it manifested in your life? Please comment below.