Scorpio Symbolism and Mythology Explained

Scorpio is the eighth sign in the Zodiac. It is named after the constellation Scorpius. It is also more commonly known as «the Scorpion». It is one of the brightest constellations that there is in all the Zodiac constellations.

In Greek mythology the tale of the scorpion is forever tied that of Orion. Even though Orion doesn’t have any of the signs of the zodiac named after him, he still played an important role in many of these Greek legends. You see, Orion was not only a really great hunter, but he was also a giant of a man. I mean that literally, he was a giant. He was also extremely handsome and therefore considered himself to be a «ladies man». There are some variations of the legend as to how Orion and the Scorpion meet, but one of the more popular versions is the one involving Apollo and his sister Artemis.

This particular legend has Orion bragging about how he’d spent the night with the goddess Eos. This is where he makes three crucial mistakes. His first mistake was that he bragged about sleeping with a goddess, his second was that he also bragged about his skill as a hunter. He bragged that there was no beast on earth that he couldn’t kill. His third and fatal mistake was that he did all of his bragging where Apollo could over hear him.

Now Orion may have been large and strong, but he was still mortal; and Apollo didn’t like the idea of a mortal man sleeping with goddesses….or bragging that he could kill all the animals on earth. It also didn’t help the matter that Artemis (Apollo’s twin sister) was friends with Orion. Apollo had long been jealous of their friendship and he was willing to seize any excuse to get rid of Orion.

So he gets another god (Gaia) to send a giant scorpion after Orion. This scorpions shell is so strong that it is virtually impenetrable, and its venom is so poisonous that Apollo is certain this will be then end for Orion. However, as Orion and the scorpion fight their battle attracts a lot of attention. Other gods gather to watch and even Zeus himself stops what he’s doing long enough to see what’s going on. The battle rages on and on. Finally, Orion ends it by running off into the ocean and swimming far enough away that the scorpion can’t reach him.

Now this is where the story line starts to deviate. Some legends say that Orion was stung by the scorpion and swam out into the water before dieing; others say that he managed to kill the scorpion first, but then he died. Yet another version involves Artemis being tricked by Apollo into shooting Orion herself as he swam away. Regardless of which story line you pick, the end result is the same. Orion’s great battle with the scorpion ends in tragedy, with him dead.

Artemis is heartbroken and distraught when she finds out that her friend and hunting companion is dead, so she pleads with her father Zeus to hang Orion’s image in the night sky. Zeus does this, but he also hangs the scorpion’s image as well; in honor of the battle that was fought. He hangs them on opposite sides of the sky though; so that when you look up you can still see Orion being pursued by the scorpion.

The «element» that Scorpio is associated with is «water» while the «quality» is considered to be «fixed». This gives Scorpio’s great powers of imagination and concentration. They make very loving companions in their relationships and are loyal friends.

When it comes to tattoos, there are many different variations you could get. First the most obvious one is to get an actual rendering of a scorpion, which you could also combine with the element of Scorpio. More discreet, you could use the Sanskrit name for Scorpio which is «Vrscika» or even just «Scorpius». Whichever idea you use, you should also check with the artist who will be giving you your tattoo first. Many times they can either expand on your idea or help you come up with one that will be tailored to your individual personality.

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