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Definition: Scorpio from Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained

In astrology, the eighth sign of the zodiac, between Libra and Sagittarius.

In Western astrology, Scorpio is the sign of the zodiac for those who are born between 23 October and 22 November. The symbol for Scorpio is the scorpion, and the sign is ruled by Mars and Pluto. Scorpians are said to be intense, resourceful and passionate, although they can be secretive. Scorpio is believed to be a water sign, having an affinity with the element water.


Summary Article: Scorpio or Scorpion
from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

Scorpio is the eighth sign of the ZODIAC, which the sun enters about 24 October. ORION had boasted that he could kill any animal the earth produced. A scorpion was sent to punish his vanity and it stung Orion to death. JUPITER later raised the scorpion to heaven.

Fable has it that scorpions carry with them an oil which is a remedy against their stings.

’Tis true, a scorpion's oil is said

To cure the wounds the venom made,

And weapons dress'd with salves restore

And heal the hurts they gave before.

samuel butler: Hudibras, III, ii (1680)

The oil was extracted from the flesh and given to the sufferer as a medicine. It was also said to be very useful for bringing out the descending stone of the kidneys. Another belief was that if a scorpion was surrounded by a circle of fire it would sting itself to death with its own tail. Byron, in The Giaour (1813), extracts a simile from the legend:

The Mind, that broods o'er guilty woes,

Is like the Scorpion girt by fire;

In circle narrowing as it glows,

The flames around their captive close,

Till inly search'd by thousand throes,

And maddening in her ire,

One sad and sole relief she knows,

The sting she nourish'd for her foes,

Whose venom never yet was vain,

Gives but one pang, and cures all pain,

And darts into her desperate brain.

Scorpion, Rock

See under ROCK.

© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2012

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