Scorpio is a fixed water sign that represents the idea of dynamic power. This potent energy of desire can be used in construction or destruction, death or resurrection, and is characterized by great intensity. There is a myth that a scorpion will sting itself just for the intense sensation. Scorpios deal with issues of power. Tests include temptation relating to the use of power, exercising discipline, and a need to establish emotional control. Scorpios are reserved, and more happens internally than is expressed on the surface. This is a path of transforming the desire nature, of tempering a purely physical desire into spiritual aspiration.
Scorpio is the eighth zodiac sign, traditionally represented by a scorpion, which has eight legs. The Goddess Sign for Scorpio is the Spider, which also has eight legs, and her affirmation is “Every strand in the web of life is connected.” She is the great weaver who spins all of creation into existence, and creates the literal web of life from her own life force. In Scorpio, the substance of life is spun out of the spider’s belly, creating the potential for something to manifest. The Scorpio goddesses include spiders and scorpions as well as goddesses who embody passion, sexuality, healing and themes of death and rebirth.
Spider Woman is a great creation goddess who is still known to Indians as She Who Creates From A Central Source. Hopi Spider Woman spun threads to form the sacred directions. Cherokee Grandmother Spider brought the Sun into being and thereby gave humanity the gift of fire. Spider goddesses are wisdom keepers and are seen to guide those who weave magic with the written word.
Kadru is a Hindu goddess who is the mother of the Nagas, who are a thousand beautiful serpent beings in Hindu myth. Sesha is the most famous, and his giant coils are thought to turn the mill of life. The Greek Medusa, whose stare had the power to turn men to stone, was a Gorgon who had snakes for hair. She was once a beautiful woman who was turned into an ugly hag, representing the ascendancy of the patriarchy and the demonizing of feminine power and wisdom. I believe “turning into stone” is a clue to the deeper notion of the nature of the wisdom the philosopher’s stone represents. Yurlunger is the Great Rainbow Serpent, a mammoth copper python, who has a major role in the Aboriginal story of the Wawalag Sisters from Australia. Egle is a goddess archetype who fell in love with a being who was a serpent god. Themes of goddesses as serpent beings and dragons are pervasive in myth.
Selket is an Egyptian goddess who is usually depicted as a beautiful woman with a golden scorpion on her head. During the Sun’s nightly journey through the underworld it is Selket who subdues an evil serpent who tries to block his way. It was said that a scorpion will never bite those who revere her. Iktoki is a creator goddess of the Miskito people of Nicaragua who is envisioned as a great Mother Scorpion who makes her home in the stars of the Milky Way.
Panacea, whose name means “all healing,” and Hygeia, “health,” were sisters and Greek goddesses of healing. In some stories they are daughters of the famed healer Asclepius. To this day, physicians swear the Hippocratic Oath of medicine by the names of Panacea and Hygeia.
The Norse Valkyries were beautiful goddesses who were called “choosers of the slain,” as they decided who lived and who died in battle. Their leader was named Brunhilde, which means “victory bringer.” The Irish Morgen had domain over death and guided souls to the afterlife and aided them in their transition. Maman Brigitte is a loa, or goddess of Voodoo, who is a guardian of graves in cemeteries and who stands watch over the portal between the worlds. Nicheven is a Scottish goddess who was called Bone Mother. Like other Triple Goddess archetypes, she is born, ages, dies and is reborn each year as the light increases and decreases. This archetype was later “borrowed” and is now portrayed as the old year dying and the baby New Year being born on December 31st.
Lilith is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess who demonstrates how once-powerful feminine deities were demonized by the emerging patriarchy. She was Adam’s first wife in some Hebrew texts who left the garden because she refused to submit to him. She claimed they had been created equal and simultaneously, as related in the first creation story in Genesis. Jehovah sent three angels to bring her back, and when she refused, he turned her into a blood-sucking demon. It seems a rather harsh punishment for her independence. In modern times Lilith has become an icon for powerful women. In her ancient myth from four thousand years ago, she lived in a tree with a dragon at the roots and a nesting bird at the top. These symbols link her with the sacred feminine as it has been represented in cultures around the world.
Baubo is a Greek goddess who played a key role in Demeter’s healing after her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades, lord of the underworld. Baubo did a bawdy dance and lifted her skirt, making Demeter laugh. Rati is a Hindu goddess of joyful sexuality and passion. Her name means “one who moves” and is thought to connote the motion of lovemaking. Her consort is Kama, the god of love. Sheila Na-Gig is a fascinating representation of feminine sexuality. The “sheilas” as they are called, are representations of feminine genetalia that appear on churches in Europe. Not surprisingly, controversy surrounds their origin and significance.
The Scorpio goddesses teach us the nature and lessons of desire and passion. More than any other sign, Scorpio has the power to harness and direct the life force for either good or ill. This energy can be used to heal or destroy, to give life or to take it away. How we use our power makes all the difference, so it’s wise to consider the consequences before acting.
Based on and excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA www.newworldlibrary.com