|Scorpio by David Palladini|
NOTE: Mr MacNeice's seeming separation of male and female Scorpio-types, in the last paragraph, could be seen as unnecessary these days. what applies to the male applies also to the female!
Scorpio the Scorpion
October 24 - November 22.
A fixed, watery sign, ruled by Mars. Traditionally, people were frightened of Scorpio, since it is the eighth of the signs, and was thus often related to the eighth house, the house of death. Varley gives it rather alarming characteristics: "Scorpio has been occasionally found to afford to one class of human form when it is rising, a near approach to serpents, in the expression of the countenance, especially in the eyes and mouth; and when doing or saying cruel and bitter things, they are apt to be assimilated to the nature of snakes, scorpions, etc." This animal symbolism has been made much of by most astrologers, it is surprising to find a scorpion, usually encountered in hot, dry countries, established as a watery sign. (All the same, we are told that some modern Scorpio types excel at skin diving.)
The watery significance of Scorpio has been explained in different ways. Ingrid Lind says it is "the tidal wave of the thundering weight of Niagara." On the other hand Barbault contrasts it with the water of Cancer (the source) and the water of Pisces (the ocean) and makes it essentially stagnant, the kind of water that is found in marshes. This does not seem to fit with the energy and passion attributed to Scorpio characters, but Barbault no doubt is basing this diagnosis on the fact that Scorpio is a FIXED sign; after all, Cancer is cardinal and Pisces is mutable.
Stagnant or tidal, Scorpio is very peculiar. Barbault points out that the scorpion is the only animal that can kill itself (whether deliberately or not) by stinging itself with its tail. And he describes the sign as "the cemetery of the Zodiac." But readers who think themselves Scorpio types need not be alarmed: Scorpio has enormous stamina and can make a comeback like a phoenix. Having Mars as its ruler, it shows two main Martial qualities: aggressiveness and eroticism. Barbault writes that "the most murderous sign is also the most fecund." and to explain the apparent contradictions in Scorpio he once again, as with the preceding sign Virgo, calls in the anal complex. The Scorpio infant gets its first taste of pwer on the pot - and it will never look back.
Scorpio, being simultaneously fixed and watery, is like the two preceding signs, Libra and Virgo - complex if not self-contradictory. The next sign, Sagittarius, being mutable and fiery (which seems to make more obvious sense), is comparatively straightforward.
Several earlier posts relating to Scorpio can be easily accessed via the Label Cloud in the sidebar.