The origin and meaning of the Scorpio Symbol
Scorpio Symbol is a Scorpion but there is more to this symbol than meets the eye. Scorpio is one of the most intense and enigmatic signs of the zodiac and one which sometimes attracts a lot of negative attention, so it is worth looking more deeply at the symbology of this powerful sign, and why it represents a significant turning point on our Soul’s journey.
In Esoteric Astrology the Tibetan Master explains that our Soul begins it’s journey in Aries as “a point of light in the mind of God”, and then continues through each of the twelve zodiac signs. Some soul astrologers believe the soul spends up to eight lifetimes in each sign, which gives us a sense of the vastness of our Soul’s journey. So the fact of reincarnation and the idea that our soul is progressing through each of the zodiac signs, like developmental stages, forms a fundamental basis for soul astrology.
On our Soul’s journey through the Zodiac although at each stage there are important areas of growth there are also significant transition points, one of which is Scorpio. Scorpio is the last of the signs of crisis (see my article about the zodiac signs of preparation, crisis and service). It is in Scorpio that we experience trials and tribulations that force us to confront the illusion of the personality and face up to the reality of our Soul.
Esoterically it is in the sign of Scorpio that personality-Soul fusion happens and completing the lessons of Scorpio prepares the individual to walk the first path of service in Sagittarius. One of these significant Scorpio lessons is around death.
In everyday life most people tend to think of death as pretty final! In mainstream western culture the idea of reincarnation, or that we have any conscious experience following the death of the physical body, is not featured very highly in our collective psyche. Yet this is one of the deepest lessons of Scorpio.
Following the trials of Scorpio the individual knows once and for all, with absolute certainty, that death itself is an illusion, that consciousness remains and cannot die, and that there is an aspect of our consciousness that is eternal. These realizations come through the intensity of experience in Scorpio.That deep, probing-beneath-the-surface that Scorpios are famous (or maybe notorious) for, is exactly what is needed to understand the truth of our reality as beings of love and light.
According to Esoteric Astrology Scorpio is a ray 4 sign. Ray 4 is the ray of harmony and beauty through conflict, otherwise known as ‘the path of artistic living’. The conflict comes as our awareness of our soul grows stronger, and the obsessions and compulsive desires of the personality conflict with the reality of our Soul.
The harmony and beauty comes as one by one our personality compulsions dissolve into the love, light and beauty of our Soul. It is said that one of the highest soul purposes of Scorpio is to embody Divine Love. For this to happen we must already be aware of our Soul light, and allow that awareness to grow within our minds and hearts. This is what happens in Scorpio.
“The function of Scorpio on the personality level is to attract those circumstances – especially on the emotional plane of desire – which engage the personality in battle.”
– Alan Oken, Soul Centered Astrology.
Anyone with Scorpio Rising, and/or Sun or Moon in Scorpio is acutely aware of this inner conflict: an inner tug-of-war between the desires of the personality, and the growing awareness of the Soul’s presence. This is why the sign of Scorpio is associated with (at least) three symbols*: the scorpion (sometimes spider), the snake (or lizard) and the phoenix (or eagle). These are symbolic of the stages on the Soul’s journey through Scorpio.
Scorpio Symbol – The Scorpion
The scorpion or spider symbolizes the intense pursuit of illusory egoic desires, purely to feed the lower personality or ego. There is no awareness of, or higher aspiration towards, Soul experience. This is summed up in the personality keynote for Scorpio:
“Let maya flourish and let deception rule”
– The Tibetan Master DK, Esoteric Astrology
Scorpio Symbol – The Snake
Once there is even a glimmer of Soul awareness, this light begins to grow and the individual is henceforth on a path of transformation. Like the snake or lizard shedding it’s skin many times over, there will be many, many, layers of personality dissolving away to reveal the light of the Soul. This is the long path of healing and transformation, which leads to the ultimate triumph of Scorpio: the embodiment of Love.
We may also think of the eagle as a symbol of the transition from the second to the third stage of Scorpio’s journey. Like the phoenix, the eagle has the ability to soar to the greatest heights (in many native American traditions the eagle represents Great Spirit). Yet in nature eagles still have the predatory nature of the scorpion, which brings a great capacity to focus on their prey.
When the eagle is less focused on captivating it’s prey to serve the interests of the personality, and focuses on the light of the Soul, then the final transformation into the phoenix begins.
Scorpio Symbol – The Phoenix
The phoenix is a symbol of transformation, reincarnation and re-birth. In mythology the phoenix triumphs over death. There are variations of the story but according to one version, when the phoenix ‘dies’ she bursts into flames and then ‘rises’ or is re-born from her own ashes.
This symbolizes the consciousness and life that continues after the death of the physical body. It is the ultimate triumph of Scorpio and is summed up in the Soul keynote for Scorpio:
“Warrior am I and from the battle I emerge triumphant”
– The Tibetan Master DK, Esoteric Astrology
Another little-known symbol for Scorpio, is the Dove*. The Dove is symbolic of the fully ‘enlightened’ Scorpio. One who has completed the process of personality-Soul fusion, and is a fully Soul-Centered being. This is the culmination of the lessons in Scorpio and the individual then embodies pure, Divine Love.
If you have Scorpio Rising you may experience some deep crises at times throughout your life, that test your personality to the limit. This is all for good reason. It is through these final tests in Scorpio that your Soul fully awakes.
When the lessons of Scorpio are complete you will emerge renewed like the phoenix rising from the ashes, to continue your Soul’s journey through the signs of service (Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces).
You can learn more about the Soul Path and Purpose of Scorpio in the video “Scorpio Rising: The Scorpio Soul”.
*Linda Goodman described the three ‘stages’ of Scorpio (or types of Scorpios) as scorpion, grey lizard and eagle; Alan Oken uses the symbology of scorpion and spider; eagle; and phoenix. Linda Goodman has the eagle as the final stage, while Alan Oken puts the eagle as stage 2 and the phoenix as the final stage. See Alan Oken’s Soul Centered Astrology pp.212-214. There is also an association between the glyph of Scorpio and the symbolism of the snake shedding it’s skin. See pp.119-120 Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology (he also describes the symbolism of the Dove on pp.127-128).
Her defining talent is bringing deep insight, clarity and simplicity to complex subjects - in particular Esoteric Astrology and the teachings of The Tibetan through the work of Alice Bailey.
Ruth has traveled extensively in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, USA, Australia, Kenya, Egypt, India, Nepal and Tibet. She has lived in England, Scotland, Spain and the USA.
Ruth is author of:
Soul Astrology: How Your Rising Sign Reveals Your Soul Path and Life Purpose
The Foundations of Soul Astrology Series
and the Astrology [YOUR SIGN] Rising series
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