A Tribute To Scorpio, The Subversive Manipulator Of The Zodiac

It’s Scorpio season—protect yourself

If God is a woman, or at least a Cancer, then it's pretty safe to say the devil is a Scorpio, or at least Pete Davidson, the most obvious Scorpio to ever stroll the streets, perfectly sleazy, wielding that BDE, because he has to—it's who he is, and there's nothing he can do about it but own it.

Even if you know nothing about astrology, you know about Scorpios. A Scorpio's reputation precedes them: A Scorpio is sex-crazed, melodramatic, manipulative, and overly aware of everything wrong with themselves and with those around them; only a Scorpio could have written a poem called "Daddy," that opens like this: "You do not do, you do not do/ Any more, black shoe/ In which I have lived like a foot/ For thirty years, poor and white/ Barely daring to breathe or Achoo/ Daddy, I have had to kill you." 

A Scorpio is a water sign, but whereas its fellow water signs are akin to a warm bath (Cancer) or a bucket of salty tears (Pisces), a Scorpio is one of the hot springs in Yellowstone Park that looks beautiful and inviting, but that is actually laced with so much acid that, if you dare to take a dip in its turquoise waters, you will dissolve upon submersion. A Scorpio will eat you alive, and when they're done, they will look as placid and undisturbed as they did before you ever came along. But while a Scorpio is always hungry for more, a Scorpio is never thirsty. So a Scorpio must position themselves in such a way that their prey comes to them. So they sit there, tail poised, waiting to strike. 

A Scorpio has patience, but it isn't the kind of patience you're supposed to aspire to; it's the kind of patience that's supposed to scare you so badly that, if you think about it too much, you'll never sleep again. It's the kind of patience that goes hand in hand with great ambition; it's the kind of patience that builds an empire. Kris Jenner is a Scorpio, and so is Bill Gates, and so was Charles Manson. 

But this is the dark side of Scorpio. This is just a reminder that being a Scorpio is a lot of responsibility and that it comes with the kind of the power that would intimidate someone born under another sign. But a Scorpio doesn't mind. A Scorpio welcomes their power, and the very best Scorpios take that power and do something incredibly weird and wonderful with it; a Scorpio is nothing if not subversive.

Tilda Swinton is a Scorpio, and that makes a lot of sense, of course; she's probably more powerful than the devil, and certainly more interesting. And Frank Ocean is a Scorpio, and that also makes sense because his music is the sonic equivalent of the word "sly," and I mean that as the highest possible compliment. (Also, only a Scorpio could get away with the kind of live performances Ocean offers, which leave you wondering what you saw, and not really caring that it wasn't what you'd wanted to see, because, since he left you wanting more, you know you're exactly where you're supposed to be.)

But then other Scorpios include Anne Hathaway and Julia Roberts, and so you're probably thinking, What is so subversive about them? Aren't they America's sweethearts? And, yes, sure, they are. But what's more perverted than the idea of being America's sweetheart? And, it only takes one quick look through Roberts' Instagram to realize what a shady queen she is, because only a Scorpio would post so many out-of-focus photos of her friends—truly, her feed is an instance of the purest performance art, a medium that Scorpios have perfected. (See: Swinton in that glass box.)

And then there's Hathaway, who embodies perfectly aspects of a Scorpio in that she's alternately reviled and adored, but through all the bullshit, she stays completely and truly herself. It's inspiring for those of us (ahem, Geminis) who honestly don't have any idea who we want to be most of the time.

And maybe that's the most defining quality of a Scorpio (to say nothing of Satan): They are always busy, being themselves, pulling the strings of the universe, in ways both seen and unseen. They'll prod and provoke you, encourage you to go places you might never have ventured on your own. Sometimes, this can be an amazing thing; other times, you'll find your flesh melting off your bones. And as you fall apart, what will a Scorpio be doing? Probably looking for a new place to crash, a new roommate to fuck with, a new life to take over. Will it be yours? There are worse things in life than letting a Scorpio into your heart—at the very least, you might get a poem or a song dedicated to you. 

Whatever you do, though, if the topic of matching tattoos comes up? Change the subject. Those things are forever, and a Scorpio might not be.