Scorpio is one of the three water signs of the zodiac. Symbolically water relates to dreams, intuition and emotions. Scorpio's are characteristically intense, forceful, secretive, and powerful personalities.
Scorpios often rely on their dreams and intuition to bring them information. Their emotions tend to lurk further beneath the surface than those of the other two water signs of the zodiac, Cancer and Pisces.
Although most people associate Scorpio with the stinging arachnid which gives the sign its name, this zodiac sign actually has three symbols: the scorpion, the eagle and the phoenix. Which symbol an individual Scorpio portrays depends on his/her level of emotional maturity and spiritual evolution.
The complexity of the sign is also revealed it association with Pluto. In Greek mythology, Pluto ruled the underworld. Themes of rulership and power, as well as some form of underworld appear frequently in Scorpio lives.
Scorpios are intense, and often go through some form of intense, "do or die" experience. Aron Ralston, the man whose real-life experience served as the basis for the film 127 Hours, had to cut off his own arm in order to escape a boulder which trapped him in a pocket canyon.
Although Ralston's experience came through an accident, many Scorpios seek out extreme situations which will test their mettle so they can emerge cleansed of weakness. As Scorpio World War II General George S. Patton once said, "Pressure makes diamonds."
Scorpio's ability to withstand difficulties makes them a force to be reckoned with in whatever field they choose to make their mark. Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church in an era when it still wielded almost complete power over Europe.
During the 1800s when there were virtually no female scientists, Marie Curie not only entered the field of scientific research but discovered two previously unknown elements and pioneered the theory of radioactivity. (Following the Scorpio pattern of passage through some form of underworld, Curie ultimately died as a result proximity to radioactive substances.)
Scorpios characteristically guard their privacy zealously. They parcel out information about themselves with great care to avoid giving anyone power of them through knowing too many intimate details. It is not uncommon for a Scorpio life to revolve around hidden secrets. The joking line "If I told you I'd have to kill you" fits very easily into the Scorpio worldview.
On the other hand, they love knowing other people's secrets and thus working as some kind of detective may be the perfect career for some Scorpios. Some Scorpios may use their intuition and insight by choosing a healing profession such as psychotherapy.
Its one of the trademark Scorpio characteristics that they usually harbor a fascination with power. They tend to be keenly aware of the hidden power dynamics of even the most seemingly amicable friendships. They want to make sure that no one robs them of their power and often assume leadership roles to guarantee they are not forced into a subservient position.
Some Scorpios use their characteristic power in a benign fashion. However, a small minority of Scorpios use their personal magnetism in sinister ways - like Charles Manson who founded a cult-like "family" in the 1960s and ordered his followers to commit murder.