All About Scorpio: Your Complete Guide To The Water Sign

This sign will sting you

Photographed by Ricky Michiels, Beauty Editor: Jade Taylor, Styled by Michael Kozak, Makeup by Lindsey Williams, Hair by Remy Moore, Model: Sara at New York Models.

Symbol: The Scorpion, Phoenix, Golden Eagle, Gray Lizard  

Ruling Planet: Mars and Pluto (dual)

Element: Water

Quality: Fixed

Body part: Genitals, reproductive organs, bladder, bowels, intestines, hips

Crystal: Topaz, Opal, Smoky Quartz,

Colors: Scarlet Red, Black, Charcoal Grey, Burgundy, Gold, Purple

Luckiest Numbers: 5, 8, 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90 

Positive Traits: Assertive, passionate, perceptive, resourceful, psychological, determined, probing, fixed, focused, brave, loyal

Negative Traits: Possessive, prowling, stubborn, distrustful, dramatic, jealous, secretive, violent, self-destructive, addictive, depressive, anxious, issues with mental illness

Most Likely BFFs: Aries, Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces

Most Likely to be Bae: Taurus, Cancer, Pisces, Virgo, Capricorn

Most Likely to be Frenemies: Aries, Scorpio, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius  

Famous Scorpios:
Drake
Katy Perry
Hillary Clinton
Frank Ocean
Kendall Jenner
Leonardo DiCaprio
Bill Gates
John Adams
Caitlyn Jenner
Emma Stone
RuPaul
Winona Ryder
Lorde
Kris Jenner
Shailene Woodley
Ciara
Future
Tyga
Alexa Chung
Ryan Gosling
Rachel McAdams
Matthew McConaughey
Scarlett Johannson
Julia Roberts
Joaquin Phoenix
Theodore Roosevelt
Tilda Swinton
Pablo Picasso
Grace Kelly
Roberto Cavalli
Vivien Leigh  
Chloe Sevigny
Ivanka Trump
Joni Mitchell
Art Garfunkel
Samantha Bee
Marie Antoinette

Ask any late-October or November-born individual to reveal their sun sign (go ahead, play dumb—they’re 10 steps ahead of your chess strategy), and watch their reaction. Depending on the Scorpio (we are a complex bunch), several similar reactions may occur: The first and most common? A raging wall of sass and razored wit, using the magic and power of sheer intellect to outthink their opponent. This tactic conjures a psychological specter of intimidation designed to scare off any intruders or creeps. But try not to take that insult to heart; earning the trust of a suspicious Scorpio can be a backbreaking battle, everyone and anyone nosing around Scorpio’s personal life for answers is automatically a creep or a mole operative of some sort sent to engineer their ultimate demise—even the harmless flirts and potential friends. Second, Scorpio may shyly divert conversation after quietly answering honestly, or third, with oak-straight posture, Scorpio adopts a commanding and honorable gaze chock-a-block with eye contact, firmly declaring their native sign, perhaps sealing their stereotype with a surprisingly warm, powerful handshake reflecting their strength. Although these behavioral examples all seem basically different, they have a few things in common, like unintentionally combative undertones, secretive tendencies, and a naturally defensive or diversionary stance—which many other signs pick up on as a reason to feel uneasy or threatened. 

It’s no surprise to learn that Scorpio is the most misunderstood, feared, and even despised astrological sign of the 12. Undeniably, Scorpio provokes powerful emotional reactions without really trying, which is both a blessing and a painful curse. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, everyone’s got an opinion on Scorpio. They simply cannot be ignored—try as you might. Personalities of those born under the constellation Scorpius are synonymous with sheer willpower, possessing a magnetism and beguiling allure few can resist. These rare gifts give this unique sign the uncanny ability to waltz onto anyone’s stage and effortlessly steal the show—but only if the mission benefits Scorpio’s insatiable ambition. Passion is another one of Scorpio’s hallmark traits, however, these unusual water signs rarely act irresponsibly or immaturely, rather remaining balanced, jovial, and generally regarded as interesting souls, sometimes wiser beyond their earthly years.   

Scorpios are keen observers from the moment they are born, roughly between October 22 and November 23, lending to their naturally defensive initial stance in every (and I do mean every) situation. This sign likely possesses an exhaustive mental catalog of all the negative reactions they’ve received from plainly saying, “I’m a Scorpio.” Gasps, shudders, raised eyebrows—I’ve even heard serpent hisses and guttural growling on a few occasions—have all been tallied up in our long memories of being burned, alongside immature innuendo (“Scorpios are all freaks and nymphos, bruh!”), and a barrage of “crazy Scorpio” stories (everybody’s got at least one!). Yes, Scorpios are the most easily impassioned, intense sign of the 12—lending to this sign’s polarized reception as either incredibly scary or incredibly sexy, depending on your taste in thrills and chills.

Libra may gently light the path into autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere), but Scorpio defines the season, blazing across the calendar with their hypnotic intensity and mysterious-if-unforgiving nature. Like the graceful, bold death of the earth’s greenery in fall, the enigmatic eighth sign of the zodiac is all about metamorphosis and change—symbolized by death, sex, and regeneration, just a few of the taboos these frighteningly focused personalities can become fixated (or even obsessed) with learning about. Infamous for their intensity and passionate minds, Scorpio’s mission is to constantly ponder the deeper symbolism contained in their vast sea of emotions. Scorpio commands an unusual understanding of psychology and the human mind’s innumerable mysteries, which many other signs find unsettling or supernatural. Always urgently aware in any given situation, Scorpio is constantly alert to what’s going on at all times, on all levels, strategizing and anticipating others’ thoughts, motives, and actions, and preparing to strike. Scorpio-born people are skilled in “glamour magic,” namely bending energy in order to conceal their true feelings and motivations—and these often scandalous, endearingly devious arachnids almost always have ulterior motives and hidden agendas in play. Once again, Scorpio is intense and contradictory, nothing if not the misfit sorceresses of the Universe.

Being the determined sort that Scorpios are, these folks throw themselves mercilessly into whatever goal they become infatuated with, sometimes to a masochistic, self-abusive degree. Yet persuading Scorpio to commit to a cause, course of action, or relationship is rarely a breezy task. In fact, it’s best to avoid going out of your way to obviously convince your Scorpio of anything—they’re so in command of their mind’s probing power, they’ll catch onto your game, stubbornly grinding their heels into the dirt. Now they’re just proving a point to teach you a lesson about trying to beat Scorpio at their own game: psychological manipulation. (Which if were an Olympic sport, a Scorpio would take the gold, natch.) Scorpios aren’t necessarily above subtle manipulation tactics to get their way, but they’d much rather take a scientific or even mystical, spiritual tack. Powerfully passionate, these dark talents toe the line between good and evil, and can serve Scorpio well in life as long as they do not allow these qualities to run wild and devolve into compulsion, addiction, or self-indulgence.

One of Scorpio’s greatest strengths is their resilience, which makes facing annihilation from failure—should one of Scorp’s (many) bold rebellious stands backfire—nearly impossible. Scorpio’s fierce sense of independence makes these water signs natural introverts perfectly suited to solitary life. Solo time is Scorpio’s essential lifeblood—without the opportunity to it alone, Scorpio would wither and likely spiral into a depressive state. Needless to say, though devilishly charming, Scorpios are not known to be chiffon-light social butterflies like their autumnal siblings, Libra and Sagittarius. Many, if not most, Scorpios prefer living alone to a roommate lifestyle or shared housing arrangement. Aside from natural tendencies toward introversion and isolation, Scorpio relishes the power that comes with being a lone head of household. That way, no one can ever tell them how to live or what they should or shouldn’t do in their peaceful domestic bastion. Uninvited authority and domineering personalities are self-sufficient Scorpio’s kryptonite typically met with a rude awakening when pressuring these, frankly, buck wild signs. Does that mean Scorpios are control freaks? To say the least.

To Scorpio’s militant, strategic psyche, being out of control feels extremely threatening—dangerous, even. Remaining firmly at the helm of their own lives (Scorpio parents, now that’s another story altogether) is every Scorpio’s comfort zone—when they’re in control, they’re in their safest space. This insatiable hunger for control lends to Scorpio’s reputation for possessing remarkable dedication and a forceful drive to accept nothing less than success in every one of their endeavors. Scorpio, however, is known to be haunted by a fear of failure. But these magicians are aces at hiding their deepest emotions, no matter the cost. The irony of this intense and persistent phobia is that a mature Scorpio is well aware of their regenerative powers; should they fail (unlikely), Scorpio will simply call upon their exceptional sense of adaption to swiftly escape a bad experience. These resourceful, elevated Scorpios almost always go on to rebuild a positive image of their future.

Regardless of how difficult or painful the situation may be, Scorpio will take on any challenge directly. Fearless doesn’t even begin to describe these fierce overachievers (I mean, just peep that list of notable, accomplished Scorpios), but it’s not prestige or notoriety that motivates these reclusive creatures. Leos can indulge in all the fame, Capricorns can keep the trophies, and Tauruses are welcome to the fortune and prize aspect of victory—Scorpio has their gaze fixed on power. Real power, by Scorpio’s definition, is the liberty to live life, however, one wishes; though their philosophy isn’t devoid of discipline, it is fertile grounds for conflicts of interest with other signs’ lifestyle goals and values. Scorpio would like to glide through life with the ability to become invisible at will, disappearing behind a heavy velvet curtain of personal privacy in a cozy, tastefully gilded seat of ultimate power. No sweat for Scorp.

Scorpio natives are relentless, extremely ambitious, and viciously persistent. Going against these signs in court or legal arguments is rarely successful. Scorpio works perilously for the power and control they crave using logic and ethics in their justifications, often arguing until the opponent becomes tired or driven to the brink and forced to concede. This extreme sign is terrifyingly capable at psychologically grinding down the opposition. A major key to Scorpio’s success is their astonishing flexibility. Scorpions think quickly on their feet, reassessing the battlefield and executing a new strategy if necessary. Savage competitors, Scorpio’s exceptional memory and sharp observational eye arm these people with a massive artillery of facts and anecdotes. And they’re certainly not above whipping out some seemingly small detail and laying it out on the table as evidence to support their case.

Powerful intuition and gut instincts are pillars of Scorpio’s success. Said to possess psychic insights, Scorpio has the edge in making the right decisions at the right time, allowing the sign to lead by instinct alone many times. Their intuitive senses are so sharp, Scorpios have a mystical quality and can easily “read” the minds of others. Like simpatico earth sign Virgo, Scorpios are often experts in personal organization and share a logical, pragmatic realism. This mindset allows Scorpio to excel in breaking up a larger goal into many small, easily accomplished tasks, which ensures their continued victory. Some astrologers and psychologists categorize Scorpio as the most ego-driven sign of the zodiac, but it’s not ego that informs these deep, dark waters; rather, stark self-awareness and an intimate knowledge of their limits and capabilities is their compass. The less-evolved Scorpio set—which might be a bigger swarm than impartial astrologers would like to admit—are clever enough to manipulate this self-starting power to satisfy addictive greed. These Scorpios live up to the “dangerous” stereotype and are known to step on the necks of others without flinching to reach their self-serving goals.

Once Scorpio becomes involved in something, it’s as if they clamp on with iron jaws. These signs have tremendous staying power, never giving up the fight. Absolutely nothing seems to intimidate Scorp, making confrontations a cinch. Scorpio’s bravery and willingness to face a fight poise this sign as excellent leaders charged with restoring order in chaotic circumstances. Once you’ve earned Scorpio’s trust, ask them about their life and marvel at the melodramatic, often tragic hardships that hang in their personal history. Trauma is said to follow Scorpio in life, often attributed to the sign’s dual rulership with Pluto, the grim planet of the underworld. Scorpio is dark and fatalistic, but they are keen when it comes to learning optimism, and will find that they possess those incredible powers of healing, transformation, and regeneration.

From the outside, Scorpio operates with an unnatural supply of willpower. Yes, they almost always know what they want—but these personalities are smart enough to sit back and watch from the wings as they lay in wait for the perfect moment to attack. Self-discipline and inner strength are one thing, but Scorpio’s stubborn patience illustrates their strategic genius. Complex and private, heady emotions are constantly in motion beneath their cool, icy exterior, hence their passion. To stay emotionally and energetically balanced, Scorpio must channel this surplus of energy into physical activities like sports and fitness, hobbies, their career, and meaningful relationships. The ongoing life lesson for Scorpio is to generate positivity from their intensity, or they risk succumbing to demonic forces, such as manipulation, greed, addiction, untreated mental illness, depression, and other self-destructive behaviors.

Scorpio is associated with the Alpha and Omega of life, the beginning and end, the transitionary ligament between this world and the next, and the regenerative tissues of karmic healing. Unafraid of either death or (re)birth, Scorpio views the world in high-contrast black and white with little patience for nebulous gray area or indecision. Always ready to investigate, Scorpio relishes the opportunity to get their hands, bodies, and minds dirty delving into the darker, seedier side of life. These folks are known to be perpetually obsessed with occult mysteries, the paranormal, criminology, and justice. Scorpios are sometimes typecast as the conspiracy theorists, some going as far as suggesting that David Duchovny's “Spooky” FBI agent Fox Mulder on cult series The X-Files must’ve been a smoldering Scorpio. I’d buy it since Scorpio is the only sign that knows the truth is out there and isn’t afraid to research any given topic to the death.

Scorpio’s curiosity is incalculable, which lends to their investigative prowess. Intuitive water sign Scorpio is known as the “detective” of the zodiac, evidenced by their seriousness in learning about others. Zeroing in on essential facts, asking the right questions, and always trusting the Scorpio gut reaction are tricks of the trade in nosing out any secrets that may lie beneath the surface. Think you can hide something or deceive a Scorpio? Think again. Scorpio will get to the bottom of it—and make you suffer. Above all, Scorpios respect honesty, even when the truth is damaging or painful. Compromised trust for suspicious Scorpio is almost always a deal-breaker in relationships of any kind, an injury that could deliver a crushing emotional blow to the surprisingly sensitive Scorpion. Scorpio will never admit this hurt; showing their vulnerability and emotional fragility no doubt will make them appear weak. And Scorpio simply can’t have that. Weary Scorpio is very slow to trust and needs to build a relationship of mutual trust and respect over time through “tests.” But should you pass through the labyrinth of hurdles to Scorpio’s heart and soul, you’ll experience the deepest and most intense form of love.  

Fiery passion, motivation, and determination are all qualities that poise Scorpio for roles in medicine, science, justice, leadership, and education. The eighth sign thrives in hectic, somewhat stressful professional environments, especially if their work focuses on making a humanitarian difference in the world by fighting injustice. No matter their job, Scorpio needs to be in a position of power and leadership, preferably one with supervising duties over a team or unit.   

Scorpios are well known to be financial powerhouses who accumulate wealth and abundance easily, almost magnetically. Disciplined and conservative with their spending, Scorpios are smart with their investments and business decisions and are very much motivated by cash and wealth. This extremely private sign is notorious for hiding money—literally squirreling it away from themselves and others. Like all aspects of Scorpio, these personalities hold their financial cards close to their chest and will not speak freely about their enviable earning potential, becoming embarrassed or offended if asked. Scorpio is perpetually paranoid of competition—although they love the thrill of the fight, Scorp is paralyzed by the notion of being knocked off their throne, even if the possibility is a slight sliver. Scheming Scorpio overestimates everyone as potential competitors to their wealth, causing them to become even more closed off and suspicious.

Love

In love and personal relationships, Scorpio maintains a tight grip but do open their hearts and become devoted, caring, intensely loyal lovers, friends, and partners. And yes, the rumors are true: Scorpio is the lustiest, physically sensual sign of all 12, making them legendary lovers. Intimacy—especially of a sexual nature—is essential to the Scorpio-born.  

Symbolism

Scorpio is symbolized by the Scorpion, a venomous nocturnal arachnid native to arid deserts and exotic, shadowy locales. Behaviorally, scorpions are known to be incredibly cunning and often vengeful—which is saying a lot for a thing that’s basically a bug. Life is lived on the scorpion’s terms, and much like the creepy-crawlies choosing suicide by stinging itself to death over being killed, Scorpio-born individuals similarly consider themselves the ultimate architects and executors of their destiny. Scorpions are some of the oldest and most indestructible species on the planet, dating back millennia. These creatures simply won’t die, powerful symbolism for such tenacious people. Survival is Scorpio’s main agenda, and being the executives that they are, will push forward no matter the price. Anyone who gets in their way might deem this overbearing or self-destructive (and it often is), but Scorpio’s true power is in their healing, regenerative capabilities. When a scorpion loses its tail in battle, it’s promptly able to grow a new one in no time flat. Such is Scorpio’s ability to bounce back from practically any crisis.

Scorpio is unique in that it doesn’t just have one symbol, but many. The Golden Eagle is Scorpio’s secondary symbolic nature, an ancient icon of power and courage representing the sign’s clear vision, intelligence, and liberty to live as freely and independently as possible. Scorpios who fit the “Eagle” personality type strive to soar higher and feel an urgency to act quickly. Perceptiveness is their strong suit, as these folks often possess sharp, reliable foresight. Scorpio is also symbolized by the mythical phoenix