by Sophia Surage, student staff
Scorpio: October 23-November 21
Symbol: Scorpion, eagle, phoenix
Element: (fixed) water
Body Part: genitals and sex organs
Planet: Pluto (Planet of extremes, death, and rebirth)
Color: Burgundy, topaz, orange
Key Phrase: “I transform”
Scorpio is often given a bad rap for being “over sexual”, manipulative, too sensitive, and too emotionally intense. It must be noted that the negative spin on these traits reflects the ways in which patriarchy devalues and demonizes characteristics associated with femininity. These stereotypes of Scorpio are often misguided and a result of a shallow understanding of some of the tropes and symbolism surrounding Scorpio. Also, it probably does not help matters that shallowness is one of Scorpio’s biggest pet peeves and sources of feeling misunderstood. So before anyone further slut-shames, over-simplifies, or gets frazzled about encountering scorpions and their intense stinger moments, let’s unpack some of the layers of the zodiac’s most mysterious and misunderstood signs.
Part of the confusion around Scorpio and specifically the sexual emphasis of Scorpio, probably has to do with limited understandings and interpretations of what sex is and what intimacy can be. For many, it is difficult to even conceptualize any notion of sex outside of patriarchal definitions, but that is exactly what must be done in order to begin to understand Scorpio. Scorpio’s sexual characteristics are not simply pornographic or necessarily having to do with hyper-sexuality, but may have more to do with the erotic; vitality, extreme sensation, and deep transformation. As described by Audre Lorde, the erotic is a vehicle for joy as well as an inner resource for self-assertion and self-knowledge. The erotic as a concept can help bring understanding to Scorpio’s intense connection with sexuality and sensation, in that it is a source of self-exploration and self-preservation. “La petit mort” meaning “the little death” is a French idiom for organism, which speaks to some of Scorpio’s character. In a sense orgasm can represent the edge between physical and spiritual experiences, an intensity that Scorpio is drawn to. Further, sexual or erotic experiences can be cleansing, nourishing, and transformative for those who seek self-transformation through sensation and various forms of intimacy with self and others. Finally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying sex and one’s self through various intimate experiences and the erotic.
An often-overlooked characteristic of Scorpio is that the sign can actually be read as symbolically intersex, as it represents a combination of male and female organs. The scorpion’s stinger sometimes represents a penis and the claws represent ovaries and fallopian tubes. Both the stinger and the claws are powerful tools to Scorpio and exist within one body. Scorpio as symbolically intersex in conjunction with it’s powerful intuition and love of secrecy are a recipe for many forms of resistance. The ways in which Scorpio’s secrecy is often framed as manipulative may derive from some entitled urge for explanation and clearly marked categories. Perhaps Scorpio’s love of secrecy and mysteriousness can be understood as unapologetic ambiguity and purposeful illegibility. Finally, embracing Scorpio’s complexity and multi-layered nature can be used as a way of exploding categories and binaries
Some advice for social justice Scorpios:
-Do not be afraid to allow a movement or organization to die if it means letting the cause continue in a better and stronger form. The organizations and movements are skins to be shed in order to create transformation and change.
– Utilize your tendencies towards self-transformation as a necessary process in stimulating societal and collective transformation
-Follow your intuition for your self-preservation and also to receive deeper messages that may help you see the complexity of things around you. Learn to be okay with being wrong at times and try to be flexible and open to the viewpoints of others.
-Learn to use your stinger to pin point and expose injustice…just like a scorpion may use it’s poison to take down a much larger animal that could easily crush it, learn to take down the oppressive systems with potency and accuracy
-Continue to be fierce and passionate in all that you do!