Scorpio in the Ancient Zodiac

Scorpio is the third constellation of the zodiac and is the image of a venomous scorpion.  Scorpio also associates with the smaller constellations (Decans) Ophiucus, Serpens and Corona Borealis. In today’s horoscope if you are born between October 24 and November 22 you are a Scorpio.  In this modern horoscope reading of the zodiac, you follow the horoscope advice for Scorpio to find love, good luck, health and gain insight on your personality.

But did the ancients read it this way at its beginning?  

Be Warned! Answering this will open up your horoscope in unexpected ways – embarking you on a different journey then you intended when just checking your horoscope sign…

Where did Scorpio Originate?

Here is a picture of the stars forming Scorpio.  Can you see a scorpion in this photo of the stars?  You’d need a lot of imagination!

Photo of the Scorpio stars. Can you see a scorpion?

Even if we connect the stars in ‘Scorpio’ with lines it is still hard to see the scorpion.  But this sign goes back as far as we know in human history.

Scorpio constellation connected by lines. The raised tail is clear. But how do you know it is a scorpion and not a hook?

Here is the zodiac in the Dendera Temple of Egypt, more than 2000 years old, with the image of the scorpion in this zodiac circled in red.

Scorpio in the Ancient Egyptian Dendera Zodiac

The National Geographic poster of the zodiac shows Scorpio as seen in the Southern Hemisphere.  Even though National Geographic connected stars forming Scorpio with lines it is still hard to ‘see’ a scorpion in this star constellation.

Scorpio outlined in a National Geographic Zodiac Poster

As with the other constellations, the Scorpio constellation of a scorpion ready to strike was not created from the stars themselves. Rather, the idea of the striking scorpion came first. The first astrologers then overlaid this idea onto the stars to be a recurring sign. The ancients could point out Scorpio to their children and tell them the story associated with it.

The Ancient Zodiac Story

The Zodiac constellations together form a Story – an astrological story written with the stars.  The Sign of Scorpio is the third chapter of twelve. We saw in Virgo that the Bible states that God made the constellations. So the Story is His and was given at the beginning of human history. It is this Astrology story that the first humans read in what we now know as the zodiac.

The original zodiac was not a horoscope to guide your daily decisions to good luck, health, love and fortune based on the date of your birth and the movement of the planets.  God placed it as a guide to show us His Way. He desired people could see and remember these zodiac constellations every night. The Story started with the promise of the seed of the Virgin in Virgo.  It continued with the weighing scales of Libra, declaring that our balance of deeds are too light for the Kingdom of Heaven. A price must be paid to redeem our light deeds.

Scorpio in the Ancient Zodiac Story

But who is demanding this payment?  Scorpio shows us and reveals the heavenly conflict between the Seed of Virgo and the scorpion.  To understand this conflict we must see Scorpio along with its Decan (an accompanying constellation connected to it) Ophiuchus.

Scorpio and Ophiuchus constellations. From the 1886 edition of Moses and Geology (Samuel Kinns, London).

The constellation pictures a gigantic scorpion (Scorpio) trying to sting a mighty man (Ophiuchus) in the heel, while Ophiuchus is trampling on the scorpion and simultaneously wrestling a coiled serpent.  This gigantic scorpion has its tail uplifted in anger, ready to strike the man’s foot.  This sign tells us that this conflict is to-the-death.  In Scorpio we begin to learn the nature of the payment to ransom us from Libra, the scales of justice.  Scorpio and the Serpent (Serpens) are two images of the same adversary – Satan.

This sign in the stars repeats the promise given to God’s Adversary in the Garden and recorded in Genesis when the LORD told the Serpent concerning the Seed of Virgo

And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:15

The scorpion struck the heel when Jesus was crucified on the cross, but the scorpion suffered mortal defeat when he rose three days later.  The constellations Scorpio, Ophiucus and Serpens foretold this long before through the One who arranged them in the heavens.

Conflict with Scorpio remembered by others

Many ancient cultures remember the beginning of this conflict in the garden, and which reached its climax on the cross. The ancient Chinese even recorded the beginning of this struggle within their very script.

2200 BCE Babylonian seal in British Museum showing temptation of Adam & Eve
The serpent is crushed in the head in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

These two images show how both the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians remembered Adam and Eve in Paradise and also the promise of the crushing of the head of the serpent. The ancient Greeks remembered this through Scorpio.

…you can trace the starlit Ophiuchus himself: so brightly set beneath his head appear his gleaming shoulders. … his hands … firmly clutch the Serpent, which encircles the waist of Ophiuchus, but he, steadfast with both his feet well set, tramples a huge monster, even the Scorpion, standing upright on his eye and breast.

Aratus quoting Exodus 4th Century BCE Greek poet

Serpens and the Crown in Corona Borealis

The third Decan associated with Scorpio is Corona Borealis – a crown placed above Ophiuchus and Serpens. Consider a typical astrological image of the three Scorpio decans shown together.

Ophiuchus and Serpens eyeing Corona Borealis – The Crown

Both Ophiucus and Serpens are looking at The Crown – the constellation known as Corona Borealis.  In fact, these two are battling for this Crown and we can see that Serpens is trying to grasp Corona Borealis.

The Serpent (Serpens) constellation up close – reaching for the Crown – Corona Borealis

Serpens is striving to lay hold of the Crown. This illustrates the nature of the conflict between the two. This is not only a conflict-to-the-death, but it is also a struggle for rule and dominion. The Serpent and Ophiucus battle to determine who will have the Crown.

The Story of Scorpio – for you and me

Scorpio is for all people, not just for those born between October 24-November 22.  Scorpio does not guide to more wealth or love, but from ancient times illustrated from the stars for you and me to know what great lengths our Creator would go to in order to redeem us from our light deeds, requiring a great struggle to the death, and the right to rule for the victor. Accordingly, ‘ruler’ is the meaning of ‘Christ’.

The Scorpio Horoscope in the Writings

Since Horoscope comes from the Greek ‘Horo’ (hour) and the Prophetic writings mark important hours for us, we can note their Scorpio ‘hour’. The Scorpio horo is

Now is the hour (horo) for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

John 12:31-33

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,

John 14:30

In stating ‘Now is the hour’ Jesus marks the ‘horo’ for us.  Scorpio tells us about the conflict over who will rule.  Thus Jesus calls Satan the ‘prince of this world’ and at that hour he was coming to meet him in conflict.  Satan has hold over us all since our balance of deeds is light.  But Jesus said confidently that he had ‘no hold over me’ meaning that the power of sin and death had no hold over him.  That horo would test this statement as these two adversaries confronted each other.

Your Scorpio Reading from the Ancient Zodiac

You and I can apply the Scorpio horoscope reading today with the following guidance.

Scorpio tells us that you have to serve somebody. Someone has the claim to the crown of your heart. It is not a lover, spouse or relationship that has the ultimate claim to the crown of your heart. It is either the ‘prince of this world’ or the ‘Christ’ – the one who will rule the Kingdom of God. Take stock now of who has your crown. If you live to save your own life then you have given your crown to the ‘prince of this world’ and you will lose your life. Since Scorpio’s traits are to kill, steal and destroy, he is not compatible for you if he has your crown. Examine yourself to see if you need to ‘repent’ as Jesus so clearly taught. You can find some good examples to get a better idea of what this means. It is not the planets but your heart that will determine the outcome for you. Good examples to follow are not holy saints but ordinary people with regular traits who repented. Repentance can be done any day of the week and probably to turn it into a habit should be done on a daily basis.

The story of the struggle between the two great adversaries continues with Sagittarius (or understood from the beginning with Virgo)

To go deeper in the written story of SCORPIO see:

Download PDF of the Zodiac chapters as a book