As a fixed water sign, Scorpio is like a very deep, dark, still well. The phrase ‘still water runs deep’ is particularly appropriate here, because although the surface of the water may be calm, there is always a strong sense of the mysterious and unknown and often frightening depths lying below the surface. At the bottom of the well lies rotten, decayed and decaying detritus which all of us, unless we are Scorpios, would rather not think about. There is an intense magnetism about Scorpio, and people tend to be either strongly attracted or strongly repelled by its atmosphere of inscrutability and controlled power. As a water sign, this magnetism is generated by a powerful emotional intensity which Scorpios will bring with them when they walk into a room, creating a change or a shift in the atmosphere.
Certainly, there is nothing superficial about this sign, and Scorpios never take life lightly. This sign does not share the tidal nature of Cancer or the fluidity of Pisces. Its stillness, darkness and depth make it the most emotionally intense sign of the zodiac. This is a sign of extremes, ice or fire, black or white, never anything in between, and there is often a kind of obsessive intensity which can be either very destructive or immensely creative. Normally secretive, private and controlled, Scorpios, like volcanoes, will either be dormant or active. It is unlikely that you will ever get anything at all out of a dormant Scorpio - there is an impenetrability and a stillness, and even Scorpio eyes will give nothing at all away. This does not mean, of course, that nothing is happening below the surface. Quite the opposite. Scorpios are processing emotions all the time, and storing up impressions and experiences which will be used later. As a very controlled sign, Scorpio can afford to wait. Scorpio has a prodigious memory, a penetrating mind and a compulsion to probe under the surface. Detectives, depth psychologists, doctors and even potholers, and people working in submarines, ‘under the surface’, often have an emphasis of planets in Scorpio.
You will be in no doubt at all when you meet a Scorpio in their active volcano phase. Scorpios are often accused of stirring up trouble, being paranoid and suspicious and smelling rats where there are no rats. Although this may be true, it is also true to say that Scorpios have a very keen sense of smell, and if they sense that something is being hidden which has become poisonous or if something has become emotionally polluted or distorted, then they will feel compelled to bring it to the surface in order that it can be eliminated so that the system or organism as a whole can be purged, cleansed and healed. As with all the water signs, Scorpio is, ultimately, an impersonal force. This explains why Scorpio is the sign of the healer, and there is no doubt that Scorpios tend to function as agents of purging, not only on a personal level but, as the ruler Pluto indicates, on a collective level as well. Scorpios are often blamed for this compulsion to bring issues which are hidden, taboo or poisonous to the surface so that they can be healed.
There are various creatures associated with this sign, one of which is the serpent which renews and regenerates itself by shedding its old skins on a regular basis. Scorpios often seem to go through several lifetimes within one life. Each ‘death’ will be experienced as a period of crisis, during which anything which has been outgrown is eliminated, followed by the generation of a completely new chapter in life. If you are living with Scorpio planets or a Scorpio Ascendant, life is not a game. It is an intense struggle for survival, about constantly having to go into the fires to be reborn. The mythic phoenix is also associated with this sign, the bird which periodically enters into a fire, burns itself up and regenerates itself once again. There is also the actual scorpion level, of course: solitary creatures with poisonous stings, who live in the desert and in dry, barren wastes, and which we will do well to treat with great caution and circumspection. Finally, there is the eagle, which symbolizes the scorpion nature which soars above the world, having completely transformed and purified itself and, no longer caught by emotional complexities or defensiveness, has become magnificently itself.
Naturally, not everyone born with Neptune in Scorpio will be addicted to drugs or group catharsis, but on some level the longing for intense emotional surrender will find expression in one way or another. On a personal level, this placement is likely to find expression in personal relationships, and there can be an intense longing for deep emotional connection, difficulty establishing healthy personal boundaries, emotional confusion and dissatisfaction as the individual comes under the grip of this powerful collective placement.