"Tis' better to be furious than to be bland and uninvolved."
It's said that you can recognize a Scorpio by his stare. That famous stare has become downright notorious in general astrology textbooks and sun-sign columns. Enigmatic, penetrating, probing while revealing nothing, apparently hostile or ruthless. The man with the x-ray vision. This little cameo, along with the infamous passion which is usually attributed to the sign, has gone a long way toward making life pretty difficult for Scorpio people. After all, when someone asks you at a party what sign you are, and you look at them (penetratingly) and reply, 'Scorpio', and they give a little gasp and back away in fright, or instantly inquire what you're doing later, well, it can get a little…difficult.
Scorpio is without a doubt the most perplexing and perhaps the least understood of all the signs of the zodiac. Scorpios themselves do not help this problem, since they are indeed prone to playing the enigmatic, mysterious type when they are unsure of a situation and are checking out the currents. Let's abandon preconceptions and start from the beginning. What is it about the eighth sign that seems to provoke so much confusion, fascination and dread? Open a medieval astrological text and, if you're strongly Scorpio - sun, moon or ascendant - you may as well take a flying leap off the Golden Gate Bridge, or turn yourself in to the police right away before you perpetrate violence or sexual assault on someone. The descriptions are that bad. Power-driven, sex-crazed, violent, warlike, vindictive, cunning: the image is a pretty horrific one. The modern equivalent isn't much better. It's a real nuisance having to live up to Mata Hari (who was a Scorpio rising) or Don Juan. Tiring, you might say. What is Scorpio really like?
Like Cancer and Pisces, this is a water sign. Earlier, we talked about water as the element which is most connected with the feeling side of life. This means that Scorpio, regardless of his habitual smokescreens - and make no mistake about it, Scorpio has the best smokescreens of any of the signs - is a sign of profound feeling and sensitivity, easily affected by the emotional currents inside him and around him, susceptible to the feelings of others, easily hurt, sympathetic, compassionate, often intensely lonely, and driven by an almost voracious need for relationship. Never mind that 'loner' business that has been tacked onto the sign. Scorpio is no loner at heart. Just the opposite. He longs for really profound, close union. It's just that he's rather discriminating about whom he allows into his psychic field, being so intensely sensitive. And also, he's well, you might say a little mistrustful of people.
Let's talk about the mistrust. Scorpio might prefer to call it realistic caution. Like all water signs, Scorpio has no illusions about the goods in the shop window necessarily matching those in the shop.
Scorpio has an uncanny way of perceiving what other people don't wish to be known. Often they don't know it themselves, which makes things even more uncomfortable. It is very unnerving to feel that somebody knows something about you that you don't know yourself. From early childhood on, Scorpio sees through hypocrisy and sham with his curiously, tuned nose for undercurrents. Being watery, he will often not be able to formulate these perceptions. More likely, he'll have strong, immediate gut reactions to people. And you can be pretty sure that when he smells brimstone, he's liable to be dead right. The trouble is that he smells brimstone just about everywhere.
Scorpio, you see, is privy to one of the most profound and disturbing secrets of human nature: all individuals carry within them a dark side. Scorpio cannot afford to be romantic, because he knows perfectly well that alongside mankind's nobility and greatness he is also still an animal, and not a very attractive one at that. We mentioned that the element of air is idealistic. In principle, man is fundamentally good. The element of water is more realistic. Principles are lovely, but life is different. No wonder Scorpio sometimes seems deeply cynical. How could he be otherwise, when he is constantly barraged with the unwelcome and unoffered sight of everyone's dirty linen, including his own?
One of Scorpio's greatest difficulties in life is to learn tolerance. Compassion he's got in plenty, although he will be ruthless when necessary and, unlike Piscean and Cancerian fellows, is far less likely to be swayed by a sad story when the teller has made no effort to help himself. But even with all that compassion, you usually find that Scorpio is intolerant of weakness. Suffering he responds to; he has the deepest sympathy for pain and loneliness. A great number of Scorpios may be found in the helping professions, both medicine and psychology, because they are so keyed in to people's pain and the struggle of those trapped in their own darkness. But laziness and weakness Scorpio will not abide. His attitude is that no matter what sort of mess you are in, you can do something about it, and make of your life what you will. By the time he is ready to leave his life, Scorpio will usually have found the secret to performing this little act of self-transformation himself. Why, then, he reasons can't others? What he fails to realize is that people are made differently, and not everyone has his capacity for ruthless self-discipline. Also, it just isn't everyone's path in life. Scorpio's famous Luciferian pride - the cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face variety - keeps him from recognizing that it's sometimes necessary, even courageous, to yield.
Which brings us to another important facet of Scorpio's nature. We'll discuss it in more detail further on. Suffice it to say here that Scorpio has a great problem relinquishing control. This means control on a lot of levels. It may be controlling spontaneous expression or emotion outward - we all know the character that, even after a couple bottles of wine and a fifth of whiskey, still maintains his iron grip on himself, and will never, never allow himself to appear foolish or sloppy in front of others. It may be controlling other people - and this is a real problem in Scorpio's close relationships. It may be controlling life itself - where you find the arch-manipulators who pull the puppet strings all around themselves to keep the world in its place. Whatever the nature of it, somewhere in his life every Scorpio has a large key which fits a large iron door behind which lies…..Well, you really wouldn't want to know, would you? Take all that insight and immense sensitivity, and a liberal dash of the fierce pride and determination to carve his own path through life, throw in a dose of general mistrust of people's motives and you don't exactly come up with what is colloquially known as a 'laid back' person. Sometimes this produces an attractive and fascinating smouldering quality - hints of fathomless depths. Lucky you if you can plumb them. Sometimes it produces a downright paranoiac.
It has often been said that Scorpio, because of his great will-power, patience, persistence and insight, can succeed at anything he puts his mind to. This is generally true. Scorpio is hard to beat once he decides he's going to achieve something. Because this is a sign of feeling, Scorpio commits himself emotionally to everything he does. Otherwise he can't be bothered. Whether it's becoming a nation's leader (like Charles de Gaulle, a famous Scorpio) or changing a lightbulb, if it interests him, then it will never be just a lukewarm job. It will be done with heart, soul and body thrown in. When you are really emotionally committed to something, you're going to put all of your talents and resources into it. Mountains are effortlessly moved in this way. Insight makes it possible for Scorpio to sidestep, avoid or outsmart - or, if necessary, bludgeon - those who might wish to pull him down, long before anybody else realizes a confrontation is coming. Martin Luther was a Scorpio. Who but a Scorpio can defy the whole Catholic Church. Teddy Roosevelt, another famous Scorpio, had a favorite expression which was his formula for success:
Speak softly and carry a big stick.
And the steady control of this fixed sign, which allows Scorpio to wait for years if necessary to achieve his goal, misses nothing, forgets nothing. It's a remarkable formula for success.
The thing is, success is not usually what motivates Scorpio. Certainly there are those born under the sign who, frustrated in their emotional lives, make absolute power their ultimate goal. But that's a pathological expression of the sign, not a genuine one. Twist anybody painfully enough and you will find they seek power to compensate. The real key to Scorpio's enormous determination to make something of himself lies deep within his own secret soul. His heart is always a battleground, for the masculine and feminine elements war within him constantly, forcing him to delve into his own motivations far more deeply than our extroverted society considers healthy. He has the feminine sensitivity and feeling of the water signs; yet he is ruled by Mars, the god of war, and Pluto, the lord of death. We are taught very early in western culture that Scorpio's brand of introspection is 'brooding', and that to indulge in it is basically neurotic or egotistical. But Scorpio sees it differently. And, after all, he's probably right, at least as far as his own path is concerned. For him it's not neurotic brooding. It's a way of trying to find the truth about himself and about life. To Scorpio, skimming along the surface is offensive. He loathes superficiality almost as much as he loathes weakness of character. He must understand why he feels as he does, why he acts as he does, why others act and feel as they do. He delves and probes into regions which would send the other signs scurrying to the beaches and discotheques. Scorpio must ultimately understand himself, and come to some kind of truce with the warring forces of his nature which allow him no peace.
Every Scorpio carries within him a wound of some kind, an emotional or sexual problem or conflict or frustration which - no matter how hard he tries - refuses to be solved. He usually creates this problem himself. He has a penchant after all, for creating crisis and then pitting himself against the enemy in good dramatic style. There is more of the touch of theatre in Scorpio. This is the secret of Scorpio's self-destructive tendency. This is really why he injures himself, goads himself with something that he cannot overcome. It spurs him to achieve something within himself, which is ultimately much more important to him than outer achievements. He can perhaps recite for himself the lines of William Ernest Henley's poem:
I am the master of my fate.
I am the captain of my soul.
The Scorpio Lover
Enough has been written about Scorpio's famous sensuality and erotic inclinations to make further descriptions redundant. Not only redundant: they're not strictly accurate either. Passion, Scorpio possesses in abundance. But that passion may not necessarily come out in the obvious way. Sexuality for Scorpio is more a matter of emotion - a symbol, a way of reaching a different order of experience. It isn't just a physical release. Taurus is really the sign of pure earthy sensuality, not Scorpio. Many Scorpios have a deep mystical feeling about sex, and sex and love are bound up with a longing for some kind of experience which the ordinary relationship can never provide. Call it what you like - a mystical experience, a taste of the depths, a surrender, or whatever. It has less to do with the body, and more to do with the soul.
You might call Scorpio erotic, rather than sensual. There is a world of difference. Pick a copy of any Playboy magazine and you will see crude sexuality at its most rampant. It's the body which is the turn-on. Eroticism is different; it's the tone, the colour, the atmosphere, the underlying feeling. Watch a film like the Japanese Empire of the Senses. Sexual it isn't; erotic it is. When you understand the difference, you'll understand Scorpio's sexuality. Sometimes there are darker undercurrents to it - a trace of cruelty, a touch of masochism, some fantasies that involve things our grandmothers pretended didn't exist. Experimentation is something Scorpio will happily pursue - provided it's erotic, not mechanical. 'How to' journals bore him. He doesn't need to learn how to. His curiosity is usually alive from the age of three onwards. It's something else he's after.
Because Scorpio is a fixed sign, it possesses a capacity for enduring loyalty and love. This can sometimes amount to an act of great self-sacrifice. That same fanaticism that we sometimes see in Scorpio's religious and political views can permeate his relationships as well. On the negative side, his fixity can amount to absolute possession. Either way, there isn't anything lukewarm about the Scorpio lover. That is, if he is in love. If he isn't, and the magic gateway into the upper (or lower) realms isn't visible, you are liable to be confronted with that chilly quality which all water signs possess when their feelings aren't engaged. Sorry. Nobody home.
Scorpio's biggest problem as a lover - male or female - is, you guessed it, his need to maintain control. This includes the famous jealousy, as it does the deep and enduring love. But he must, at all times, be master of the game. Sometimes this can show in some pretty petty ways. Like having too much pride to apologize when he has done something really stupid, because it means you've one-upped him. Or finding little malicious ways to test you, so that you always have the feeling you're the dispensable one. On the other hand, paradoxically, Scorpio has little respect for someone who won't fight him. That, after all, is weakness. So, you're caught in a bind. He has to win, but he resents it if you don't give him a little flack for it. Fights are fairly common in Scorpio relationships. That is, if you haven't got one of the repressed Scorpios where everything seethes inside, like a hot volcano boiling, but all you see is an occasional puff of steam out the top. If you've got one of those, beware. Send your Scorpio to an encounter group to release the pressure. It isn't much fun when it blows at you.
Crisis and blow-ups are fairly common games within Scorpio relationships. Implacable resentment, and making you pay for any insult - real or imagined - are other bonuses on the less pleasant side. What about the advantages?
What is really rare about Scorpio as a lover is that he has a real capacity for understanding the other person. Since he misses very little, he will usually know an awful lot about you very quickly. For those who don't like this kind of honesty, choose some other sign. But if relationships mean something more than hanging about at nightclubs together, try a Scorpio. His way of conducting relationships - if it becomes a relationship, rather than a one-night experiment - always has depth. He knows how to read another person's needs - and, if not threatened, will do his utmost to meet them. All water signs thrive on being needed. Scorpio is no exception.
Granted, you might not like the amount he or she knows about you. But probing is Scorpio's business. You can't expect this sign to play with veneers. He may keep his secrets, but you won't be allowed to keep yours. Scorpio is not above scanning the telephone numbers in your little black book while you're in the bath, or checking the receipts in your wallet. Both Scorpio men and women do this. Yet this primitive attitude of 'You're mine and that's that' can be immensely flattering. Scorpio is said - particularly by air signs - to be too 'heavy'. But that kind of heaviness is a matter of taste. Whatever else is going, you know the relationship is terribly important to Scorpio. The job, the in-laws, the boys at the club don't come first. And there's a great deal to be said for someone who considers a relationship something current and important, rather than something which can be placed on the shelf while he gets on with something else.
There are a lot of current opinions and definitions of jealousy. From Cosmopolitan magazine to erudite psychology books, jealousy is one of the most perplexing and ever-present of human emotions. Some people believe that jealousy is a natural accompaniment to life, the sour with the sweet. Others think it's pathological, a sign of insecurity. Others believe it has something to do with older standards of morality. Still others believe that it's morally wrong, and not part of the idealized state of self-abnegating love which says, 'Whatever makes you happy makes me happy.'
You won't hear a Scorpio mouthing that sort of drivel. More likely he'll tell you. 'Whatever makes you happy without me, you'll pay for.' Jealousy is undoubtedly, in some people, a symptom of deep insecurity and mistrust. Like the beautiful model who once came to me for a horoscope, who was certain her boyfriend fancied everybody else because she didn't think she was worth anything at all. Possessiveness, in some degree, on the other hand, is pretty natural. No one likes to lose what they have become attached to. To Scorpio, possessiveness is as natural as breathing. His feelings are intense. They don't let go easily. It's simply how he's built. Unless a Scorpio has deliberately hardened his feelings because of fear of involvement, you won't find many Scorpio swingers. If you do find one, you can be pretty sure they are running away from their own deep capacity for love, for fear it will hurt.
Double standards are often part of Scorpio's game - male or female. What's good for him, he won't tolerate in you. Many Scorpios believe - with all the emotional fixity of which they are capable - that they have the prerogative to flirt, or have affairs - but not you. 'It's different,' they say blithely. And it's not male chauvinism either; I've heard this from Scorpio women as well. If you want equal standards, you have to train your Scorpio. This means wearing armour, helmet, and lance. It also means being prepared for some god-awful rows, many tears, some rather spicy words, and quite a few hurts - with only the chance of eventually understanding. Otherwise, accept the status quo. Is it worth it? I once knew a woman married to a Scorpio man who had to put up with all of it - the jealousy, the double standards, the little barbs, the moodiness, the works. I asked her why she stayed with him. She replied, 'Because he's exceptional. He's himself. He's also true to himself. Of course he's a bastard sometimes. But he's an individual. I respect that.' There you have it. For many people, complain as you like, Scorpio's fierce individuality can only inspire respect - and often love.
No one experiences a relationship with a Scorpio without changing. They come out of it more self-aware, sometimes a little scarred, but looking at life a lot more deeply. Don't expect fair play and sweetness and light. Remember Milton's Lucifer - better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. But it is said, by some very wise people over many ages, that life is made up of light and dark both, and that only the fool believes it to be otherwise. And Scorpio is no fool.
The Scorpio Woman
There are two keywords you should remember about the Scorpio woman: depth - meaning that hers is a subtle, complex, and never obvious temperament, and will - meaning that this woman is not about to bow her head to anyone or anything, unless it's temporarily necessary to achieve an end. You might also keep in mind other Scorpio qualities: the famous possessiveness, intensity, pride, loyalty. No Scorpio is either easy to understand, or easy to live with; but then, if you wanted something light and frothy and unobtrusive, you'd be with someone else, wouldn't you?
Let's consider the business of depth. Scorpio is a sign which never takes a superficial view of life; it's almost impossible for the Scorpio woman to accept something at face value. This can span a pretty broad range, from the caricature Scorpio who, when you say 'Good morning', wonders exactly what you mean by it, to the Scorpio whose motivation and deepest need is to understand - both herself and the people around her. In short, this is a woman who expects something more from a relationship than surface tokens. Love, to Scorpio, is more than demonstrations of affections or security or sexual gratification, or even intellectual camaraderie. It's a bond which - hopefully, from her point of view - touches the soul, and means no secrets. No secrets doesn't mean the superficial way of interpreting it either, like where were you at five o'clock on Thursday afternoon. It means that she expects honesty of character. Scorpio, being a water sign, has a lot of compassion, which usually comes from her own propensity to torment herself. The Scorpio woman is probably more capable than any other of both understanding and accepting human weaknesses and human darkness. She's not afraid of ugliness, internal or external, because to Scorpio dark and light make life interesting. What she can't stand is the hypocrite, the person who lives in pretence. If you need your masks and your props, stay away from this woman, because that x-ray eye will see through the lot; and she won't stop at seeing, either. There's a strong tendency to try to remake others in Scorpio, and the Scorpio woman will often take it upon herself, consciously or unconsciously, to help transform you - especially if you've got a lot to hide.
Unfortunately for her, there are a great many men roaming the world to whom the idea of being emotionally honest, or straightforward in revealing their own motives, is absolute horror.
Not that that's such a reprehensible thing. It isn't easy to face the mirror, not to the degree Scorpio thinks you should face it. But this is the one area where the Scorpio woman shows her intolerance. She can accept anything in anybody except what she considers to be weakness of character - that is, the person who hasn't the strength to face himself. And she can be pretty scornful, and pretty scathing, if she feels let down.
That propensity for depth is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it makes her a rare woman, because she's capable of not only seeing but also sharing your pain and your dreams and your burdens; and her enormous strength of will and loyalty are unshakeable even when yours are flagging a little. But her expectations are high; and it isn't easy to live up to them. Basically, she expects that you, like her, should want to be constantly engaged in the great alchemical work of transformation, nothing less. If you happen to prefer sailing and cowboy films to introspection, you might have to explain yourself. Your only chance is in convincing her of the justice of your rights to be yourself. Justice is a thing the Scorpio woman understands. Her sense of justice is so keen and so sensitive and it's virtually inflexible. If she thinks you're in the right, then she's capable of sacrificing completely her own desires and opinions. If she thinks you're in the wrong, and you don't apologize or change your viewpoint, she'll retaliate.
Let's talk about retaliation, since, if you're involved with a Scorpio, you'll have to get used to the concept. Scorpio's sense of justice, as we mentioned, is pretty acute. It isn't an intellectually based judgmental faculty like Libra's either; it's a powerful, gut-level, emotional reaction to any situation where she feels she's been abused and treated wrongly. This can range from being rejected or insulted - which in the case of the more paranoid Scorpio may mean an imaginary rejection or insult - to betrayal. Betrayal is perhaps the thing she hates and fears the most. And if she feels betrayed, she's more likely to strike back than to turn the other cheek. Nice Christian patience and mildness are not, repeat not, qualities which you should be trying to find in Scorpio. It's good basic, primitive stuff - eye for an eye, and all that. Never maliciously, or with cruelty. Just enough to teach you a lesson.
Does it sound a little hair-raising? Well, it depends on how you look at it. The Scorpio woman's feelings run deep and intense, and she doesn't like them to be taken lightly. She's hurt easily because of this intensity and sensitivity, although she can't really be hurt by people in general - only those few she really cares about. Scorpio is extremely selective in love and friendship. Everybody else can go to hell. She isn't intimidated by either public disapproval or snide comments or gossip behind her back. Only from those people who she loves and respects can a criticism or a rejection wound. But then it really wounds. And whether you argue philosophically about the rightness or wrongness of it, that's her stance. Injure her and she'll injure you back, if at all possible. Unless, of course, you did it accidentally. Then she'll forget about it immediately, because that isn't the same thing.
Scorpio has a long memory for both good and ill. Help her, show her encouragement, and she'll always remember it. Betray her and she'll never trust again. In fact, very likely she doesn't really trust you in the first place, or anybody for that matter, because her sensitive and virtually psychic perception of human character tells her that nobody, is really a saint. She's always on her guard, against life and against the shadowy side of others, and against the more convoluted fears and desires in herself. It takes a long time before Scorpio settles into a relationship. She may seem to. But she'll watch for a long time to make sure that you're what you say you are.
Of what use, you may well ask, is this kind of hypersensitivity? Why not just go out and enjoy life and take the bitter with the sweet? Fine if you're a Sagittarian or a Gemini, but not if you're a Scorpio. And the use of it - if 'use' is the word we want - is that spending any time with a Scorpio teaches you to be more aware. Aware of yourself, aware of your motives, aware of your own needs, aware of what drives others, aware of the whole invisible realm of the psyche which we ordinarily, in our extroverted blundering western culture, overlook. Why be aware? Well, if you aren't, then you get nasty things happening - like inadvertently being hurtful and destructive to other people and yourself, and on a broader, collective level, being destructive to all cultural groups and societies. If we all had Scorpio's insight, we very likely wouldn't have much in the way of human cruelty, because we'd catch it first in ourselves.
But for this kind of depth the Scorpio woman pays a price; and the price is that it's hard for her to be frivolous and carefree. Here she needs the help of a partner, and a lot of tenderness and understanding. She'll always have secrets; all Scorpios do. But to watch Scorpio come out of its tangled brooding into a little sunshine is a lovely thing to watch, because then the real warmth and generosity of the element of water is available to other people.
There was that other word, will. It's wise to remember, in dealings with Scorpios of either sex, that you ask, rather than order. This is important to remember if you have a Scorpio child; if you have a Scorpio employee; and if you have a Scorpio woman as well, because (a gentle reminder) the two planetary rulers of Scorpio are Pluto, lord of the underworld, and Mars, god of war.
Not that Scorpio isn't a feminine sign. Remember Mata Hari? She was a classic Scorpio. There's a mysterious and often fascinating quality about Scorpio women; they often exude a sensuality and a thinly veiled and lightly controlled passion which can be intensely magnetic. They also often inspire fear and mistrust, because you're never quite sure what's going on behind those eyes. But those two powerful planetary rulers point out that, along with the intensely female quality of the sign, there's also a lot of fire and a lot of courage and a lot of pride. Don't try to crush the pride. You'll get almightily stung if you do. Scorpio demands respect, and this applies to the Scorpio woman as well as the Scorpio man. She's a person unto herself, not anybody's mate, servant, or property. If allowed to offer herself freely, she's capable of devoting her life. But if you demand or take for granted, you'll meet either with a cold, frosty glare and a deliberate reverse of what you ask for, or you'll suddenly get a screaming, ranting Valkyrie running at you with a spear.
She can be temperamental. The Scorpio woman needs an arena where she can release the fighting qualities of Mars. Releasing them in a relationship isn't always very pleasant, and she does need to have a good fight on occasions. The warrior quality of the sign tends to take to causes, and to other people's fights; the Scorpio woman may often be seen championing the weak or the abused, whether it's in a political arena or a medical or psychological one. But she does need a theatre to work in; and because she thrives on crisis, she needs space to promote them, to accomplish her thirst for transformation and change. Otherwise, guess who bears the brunt of it. Scorpio doesn't like things placid for too long; she mistrusts too much contentment. She's always looking for the worm in the apple, and if things are quiet for too long she'll begin to suspect something's going on underneath. Then she'll upend the whole apple cart, and start a quarrel or a scene, or provoke you into one, in order to find the worm. Never mind. When it turns out that there isn't any worm after all, she's not the least bit chagrined. She accomplished what she was really after: a change in the relationship, a deeper look, a new expression of emotion. She'd rather have you furious than bland and uninvolved.
The airy signs find her fascinating but a torment, because she seems to contain all those depths they're so fascinated by but terrified of; and she pulls them into their emotions, which is the most difficult place in the world for the element of air to be. The other watery signs generally understand her, but they too are likely to be afraid of the probing eye that sees too much. Earth, stolid and realistic, often doesn't understand her; earthy people may love her depth and shrewdness, but miss the fundamental point, and suddenly find themselves upheaved and staring at a reality they didn't know existed. And fire responds to her innate theatricality, but often flies into really dramatic scenes and conflagrations. No other sign can really subdue or tame the Scorpio; all you can do is decide whether this is someone you can understand and love, and if so, then go along for the ride, because it's bound to take you into some pretty strange quarters. One thing it will never be shallow or boring.
What can we say about the dark side of Scorpio, when he is already so well acquainted with his own darkness? This is a water sign: full of feeling, subjective in approaching life and people. Scorpio has the courage to face all manner of things, but this usually lies on the emotional plane. What he often can't face is the degree to which his reactions are governed by his opinions. We said earlier that the water signs as a group, tend to opinionatedness, because they are so often unaware of their own thought processes. Being so subjective and concerned for their own personal values, it is difficult to see the clear, fair, bird's-eye view of things. And here is one of Scorpio's greatest blind spots. He can be downright fanatical in his views about people and life. And this fanaticism can, in the wrong place and at the wrong time, spur him into some pretty unpleasant actions based on biased or distorted judgment.
Let's take an example of this in everyday life. Let's look at the Scorpio woman who has been hurt in a succession of relationships. For all her insight and sensitivity, you will find that a lot of Scorpio women have formed fixed, crystallized opinions about the opposite sex. Big, blanket generalizations. Like, 'All men are bastards', or 'No man can be trusted', or All men are unfaithful'.
Give one of these a week, a year, ten years, and you have a real horror show, straight out of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Scorpio can ravage a marriage, a love affair, a home, with this kind of behaviour. It isn't sufficient to just say it's a jealous sign. There are many kinds of jealousy. Possessive, yes, but all water signs are possessive. But Scorpio's pathological jealousy isn't simply fear of losing a loved one. We all fear that. Underneath you will find some bitter little vision of life, some black belief about the fundamental rottenness of men/women or whatever. Scorpio's shadow is his negativity, couched in rigid opinions which lurk below the surface and often torment him at the moments when he should feel happiest.
It takes a long time for Scorpio to learn to trust and to forgive. Usually he's learned that mistrust early in life, from seeing the dark shadows standing behind his parents and his religious upbringing and his education. And the wound takes a long time to heal.
It isn't the vindictiveness in these classical situations that is really the problem. Although we're taught that it's un-Christian, a little honest revenge is often healthier than the outward show of acquiescence and the inner, repressed anger that spews out through indirect channels that so many of us call being 'good'. Besides, sometimes it does a world of good for someone to get back what he's just dished out; it might stop him from doing it again. What's really wrong here is that Scorpio never gives the other person the benefit of the doubt. The opinion is already formed, prepackaged like frozen vegetables, ready to be trotted out and tacked onto the offender regardless of whether it's true or not, and without knowing the facts of the situation. Water signs are uncomfortable with facts. Facts confuse the issue, which for water is primarily how it feels, not what really happened. Scorpio's shadow side completely ignores the other person's viewpoint.
This is a pretty hard thing to live with. You can see its traces not only in individuals, but in political and religious ideologies as well. Certain astrologers have considered that Germany is traditionally ruled by Scorpio. Where else but in a Scorpio could you have a single fanatical idea - anti-Semitism - arise with such force to take complete possession of a nation with such destruction following in its wake? The Scorpio who cannot deal with the hydra within himself will project it into the world and see it in others. Then you have the persecutors who believe it their mission to redeem humanity at gun-point. St. Paul was said to have been a Scorpio. Much of the bloodshed committed in the name of Christ throughout the ages stems from his interpretation of Christianity. Never forget that Scorpio is a sign of great power - for good or ill. No Scorpio, however apparently insignificant, is without influence over those close to him. See that mild little man over there in the grey suit, reading the Wall Street Journal? He may not think about things like witch-hunts and the paradox of violence in the name of Jesus. He may not have read Faust, or Paradise Lost. But he's a Scorpio. He has insight and power, however repressed. And he can make of his life anything he wishes.