Scorpion symbolism is linked to the astrological sign Scorpio, but it also has other meanings. It has a deadly meaning and can also mean danger. The black scorpion in a dream means death. It is also a warning of being afraid of one’s pride. Let us delve deep into what do scorpions mean spiritually as well as symbolically.
Table of contents
- Scorpion Symbolism and meaning
- Scorpion Native American Symbolism
- Scorpion Eastern Symbolism
- Scorpion Christianity Symbolism
- Scorpion Celtic Symbolism
- Scorpion African Symbolism
- Scorpion in Dreams
- Scorpion Encounters and Omens
- Scorpion’ Mythology and Folklore
- Scorpion Spirit Animal
- Scorpion Totem Animal
- Scorpion Power Animal
- Scorpion Tattoo Meaning
Scorpion Symbolism and Meaning
Scorpion, terminating in a poisonous upturned stinger, as if ready for an attack, is the symbol of death, disease, and danger. Scorpions are essentially creatures that are active at night. They are also linked to the Scorpio zodiac sign through which the sun passes.
The Scorpio zodiac is powerful and men and women born under this sign are secretive, powerful, domineering, resistant, intuitive, assertive, charismatic, magnetic, and strong-willed. Many famous buildings and monuments have scorpion symbols etched on the ceilings.
The Ambras Castle has a scorpion symbol on the dining room ceiling. Likewise, the 16th century artwork in the Metropolitan Museum Venetian Covered art dish has two opposing scorpions.
These may be symbolic of the dual representation of death and destruction. In Renaissance pottery center near Florence, artwork with a shield depicting a woman with scorpion shows the allegorical figure of Philosophy dressed as Artemis.
Orion, the hunter, pursued the scorpion relentlessly but was unable to kill it. As a result, Artemis placed the scorpion in the constellation to be pursued by Orion, the hunter, for eternity.
In some parts of the world, scorpion jewelry has been found and it represents intellectual prowess and unfaltering morals. Thus, the scorpion symbol meaning is ambiguous and changes according to the regions it is found in.
Scorpion Native American Symbolism
Scorpion has a long and noble pedigree and it is little wonder that it became the object of cults, spells, and ancient rituals. Native Americans used scorpion poison as an antidote and medicine as a remedy for other deadly toxins.
The native elders often used animal symbolism and stories to explain the world order and morals to children. Based on this, they had a story of a scorpion that hitches a ride on the back of a creature swimming against the flood.
The creature first refuses, saying that the scorpion would sting him. The scorpion assures the creature that he won’t since he too needs to cross the river. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the creature.
The creature dies and the scorpion drowns. The moral of the story is that one cannot escape the natural order of things and especially their true nature.
The natives also believed that scorpions had great medicinal value and they honored the creature from a shamanic viewpoint. Native medicine men and shamans also took the scorpion’s poison owing to its psychedelic properties.
They believed that the toxin gave them a high and enabled them to enter higher states of consciousness. They also felt that the scorpion never stung out of malice but only danced with its victims in accordance with their true natures. (1)
Scorpion Eastern Symbolism
In the east, the scorpion symbol is perceived both as a protective force as well as an embodiment of evil. Scorpions have been around for millions of years and can be considered the greatest of survivors.
You can find records of their existence on all continents except Antarctica. The evolutionary history of this survivor can be traced back nearly 430 million years to the Silurian era.
Their earliest mention of the deadly creature, though, is as the zodiac sign and much of the eastern symbolism of scorpion is related to that. In South Asia, scorpion motifs have been used in artwork, especially in Islamic culture.
In many parts of the continent, the scorpion emblem is used as a charm to protect against negative or evil powers. In China, the scorpion symbol is used along with 4 other deadly reptile symbols – spider, viper, toad, and centipede.
Many families with one son worship these 5 symbols for their protection. The families even have these motifs embroidered with black silk thread on a red cloth to be worn by the child.
This ‘charm’ prevents illnesses. In China, the character wan meaning 10 000, is derived from the scorpion symbol- showing claws, head, and tail, and believed to be a common reptile. (2)
Scorpion Christianity symbolism
The scorpion in the Bible is one of the Christian symbols of evil. The sting of the tail of the scorpion is poisonous and causes great agony to a person who is stung.
It is often mentioned in the Bible in this context: their torment was the torment of a scorpion, or ‘I chastise you with the power of scorpions.’ Such references contributed to scorpions becoming symbolic of all things hurtful and unpleasant.
Scorpion motifs are found in the Christian world too. France’s Charles Cathedral has a column of scorpions. Medieval writers and illustrators used the scorpion symbol in creative ways and forms.
A 12th-century manuscript found in the British Museum shows the scorpion as a woman’s face.
Some even depicted the venomous creature as a male human with four legs and a body impaled on a spear.
In the devotional book- the Ancren Riwle, the scorpion is shown as a woman that puts on a pleasant countenance.
Pliny, in Natural History – puts forth many odd ideas about the scorpion – one of them being that the creature’s poison can actually be its own antidote. (3) Spiritually, the Scorpion, who was called by the ancients as the backbiter, is also the symbol of deceit.
Scorpion Celtic Symbolism
The Celts believed the scorpion to have mystical powers. It was considered an enigmatic creature, deadly and poisonous. Celtic mythology has a number of tales of the scorpions.
Since scorpions live in cracks and crevices, much like the snake, it is associated with chthonic powers. Like the snake, it strikes unexpectedly and is believed to be the symbol of evil. Celtic sorcerers and witches also used the scorpion in potions and witchcraft.
Although a symbol of evil, the scorpion was sometimes thought to be an instrument of divine retribution. Galen, a physician born in 130 AD, believed that the deadly scorpion could be killed by man’s saliva.
There was a belief that the scorpion could also sting itself, but a protective oil prevented the poison from spreading through its body. Celtic-Welsh mythology has a famous story about the scorpion that eats enormous amounts of food and grows so big that it cannot fit in the chalice.
The tale has religious connotations. Jewish tales in Se-fer ha’maism also have stories about robbers who learn of treasure only to find the pots full of scorpions.
They throw the pots in anger at a man’s house only to have the scorpions turn to gold. Many of these tales use the scorpion symbolic meaning of stinginess to promote generosity and charity. (4)
Scorpion African Symbolism
In Western Iconography, the scorpion is the symbol of Africa and Logic. The creature symbolizes a conclusive argument. Surprisingly, in African traditions, the scorpion’s sting is likened to chiefly power. (5)
The scorpion is also the symbol of the Egyptian goddess Selket, protector of the dead. There is also a ‘King’ Scorpion, leader of the South, his name written with a small scorpion symbol.
In the earliest known representation of artificial irrigation, a scorpion, carrying a hoe, leads the Opening of the Dykes ceremony to let the Nile water in. Scorpious, known to astrologers as Scorpio, is the most southern constellation of the zodiac.
To the Egyptians, the scorpion with its red flashing heart was one of the great symbols of life and death and, as there can be no life without death, it was the scorpion that showed the way into the Underworld.
In Egyptian mythology, the sun was Horus or Osiris. The scorpion was sent to kill the sun, symbolizing the journey of the sun through the Scorpion constellation. Thus, the scorpion also became the symbol of darkness and death.
In African tribes, a scorpion is neither a symbol of pleasure nor of beauty. Rather, the black scorpion symbolism is linked to racial prejudice against Africans as well as their exploitation. In African folklore, scorpion is taken to be the symbol of evil and death due to the amount of poison it has.
Scorpion in Dreams
The scorpion is a mortal enemy of people; it is a symbol of demonic, and life- and health-threatening powers. Seeing a scorpion in dreams means: you have secret enemies and you must try to confront them.
Getting bitten by a scorpion means one of your enemies is about to give you a great deal of trouble. In Kabbalistic tradition, the dream of a scorpion represents unpleasant and potentially evil influences, so this dream should be seen as something of a warning.
In the astrological zodiac, the scorpion is the only archetype that can kill, so Scorpio dream relates to death and rebirth, the occult, and the mysterious realms in life.
It can also mean that you are on a spiritual path and seeking the divine but that you may be misled on this path by something or someone having spiritual appearance when in fact, they lack spiritual integrity.
Scorpion dream also means that there is a stalling of your spiritual progress. Dreams of a scorpion also signify feelings of revenge and that you should tread with awareness lest you get stung.
Scorpions also represent aggression, sarcasm, cynicism, and bitterness, and you could be the victim of these emotions or the perpetrator. (6)
Scorpion Encounters and Omens
Animal omens obviously had significance not only for sick people but on every occasion. If a scorpion stands at the head of a sick man’s bed, his sickness will quickly leave.
There is a link between scorpion, Satan, and snake, according to the Bible.
Therefore, the spiritual meaning of scorpion is the Devil that has transformed itself into the scorpion and comes to harm the child of God.
The serpent is symbolic of Satan.
The Devil – as a scorpion can sting God’s people if they fail to recognize him, just as he came to Adam and Eve as a snake to bite.
Red scorpion can mean spiritual awakening. In Orthodox Chrisitan countries, people take communion over red scorpion. In India, they believe that the scorpion is dear to Lord Ganesh- the elephant God.
So, upon seeing a scorpion, if you take God’s name, you can arrest the creature’s movement. In reality, any loud noise will arrest their advances.
Scorpion Mythology and Folklore
One of the most popular scorpion mythological tales is that of Orion the Hunter. Orion boasts to his hunting buddies that one day he will kill every animal on the planet. This arouses anger in Gaia (Earth), who sends a scorpion to sting and kill Orion.
At the request of his hunting companions, Zeus sets the slain hunter in the stars. Even today, the Scorpio constellation rises just as Orion sets, seeming to pursue the hunter through the skies.
In India, if a scorpion bites someone, all he has to do is call on the Lord Mahadeva (Shiva) to take out the sting and poison. In some old-wives tales, burying a crab for three days in horse-dung will turn him into a scorpion.
But if you bury a scorpion or lizard in the same way, he will die instantly. In some countries, there is a belief that if someone smells too often of the herb basil, a scorpion will form and breed in their brain. (7)
Myth: All scorpions can kill people.
Fact: Only about 25 scorpion species have venom that can kill people.
Myth: A young scorpion’s sting is more harmful than an adult scorpion’s sting.
Fact: An adult scorpion can kill prey more easily than a younger one.
Myth: Scorpions are insects.
Fact: They are arachnids.
Scorpion Spirit Animal
If a scorpion spirit animal shows up, then you are a vigilant protector with guiding powers and spiritual depth. Like your spirit animal, you can withstand extreme heat and cold.
You are resilient and survive anything. You are patient and willing to observe your surroundings, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Symbolically and spiritually, the scorpion is an evil symbol and also a symbol of death.
However, when it shows up as your spirit guide, then know that you are blessed. A scorpion is ready for anything and he will help you, especially when you feel vulnerable and unprotected.
Call the scorpion when you need a shield of protection. If someone you love is under threat, the scorpion can give you the strength and courage you need to defend yourself and your loved one. (8)
The scorpion spirit animal shows up when you are going through a transformation.
If you are feeling angry or bitter about something, call upon your spirit guide, so he will help you keep your passion and anger in check and enable the transition to go smoothly.
Now is the time to release the toxic habits within you. The scorpion spirit will also help in the smooth transition of a recently passed loved one.
Scorpion Totem Animal
The scorpion totem brings change and transformation. The scorpion’s medicine is a reminder that change can sting, and it can be rough and painful.
But trust the scorpion that everything will go smoothly. As a scorpion is a strategist, you are good at sizing people up.
This helps you understand your opponents. You are good at planning and you can transform yourself with your scorpion guiding you.
Scorpion medicine will help you accept change with ease and calm. The scorpion represents a cycle of light and dark, life and death, and rebirth and ending.
This is how life is- with its ups and downs. The scorpion totem animal is strong and can assure you that rebirth comes from death and that death isn’t the ending.
This totem will help by bringing you messages from the spiritual guides. Like with all totem animals, the relationship between you and a scorpion should be mutually respectful and protective.
In Africa, the Scorpion clan, whose totem is the scorpion, claims that the deadly creature can run over their bodies without stinging them. The same should be the case with you: if a scorpion totem animal shows up, you must not kill or harm it unnecessarily. (9)
Scorpion Power Animal
The scorpion is a spirit guide in the form of an animal that is here to help you through this life through its many challenges and transformations.
The scorpion is an intuitive oracle that you can turn to for guidance and counsel on any matter.
The scorpion power animal might appear to you in its earthly form or through dreams, visions, and in your meditation. The scorpion medicine is to help you be prepared for any circumstances.
It is ever ready for a challenge and can grab opportunities as they arise. The scorpion is used to very harsh conditions and it has withstood the test of time by being around for millions of years.
Having the scorpion as your power animal is truly a blessing, as there is a spirit guide that has the wisdom of so many years.
So listen closely to the messages the scorpion might be trying to give.
The scorpion’s venom can heal and has been used as an antidote and medicine. Thus, you too, can use this powerful animal’s healing to not only heal yourself but also those around you.
The scorpion’s message for you is: I may be ancient, but I am a fundamental part of you. I am your arachnidian consciousness. (10)
Scorpion Tattoo Meaning
Tattoos of animals and insects whose bites can kill are a frequent representation in tattoo art and culture. Likewise, the scorpion tattoo motif is very popular. Here is an animal whose bite is one of the most feared in history.
In some cultures, the scorpion tattoo is often stylishly and artfully shown as Aso-the dog-dragon. The dog-dragon is a protective spirit.
So, a scorpion tattoo stylized as the dog-dragon shows dual psychology in that; the person also wants to feel protected from a potentially disastrous fate.
Ancient cultures associated the scorpion with arousal and powerful sexuality. So, a scorpion tattoo can also be a sex symbol.
In films, villains are shown with the scorpion tattoo as a representation of a misogynist who rejects feminism and equality for women.
Bad boys and tough tattoos go hand in hand, and this includes scorpion motifs inked on their arms and backs. A large menacing tattoo of scorpion inked on the chest or side of the neck can also represent gangs.
A scorpion also is a symbol of death, evil, poison, and unpleasantness, but it also can be, conversely, a powerful reminder of the animal’s power, strength, resilience, courage, and patience.
Discuss your vision with an experienced tattoo artist prior to selecting the scorpion tattoo design.
Scorpion symbolism mainly represents evil, death, destruction, and unpleasantness. In some cultures, the scorpion symbol is used to represent lust and sex. A scorpion tattoo can represent a tough or rough nature or even portray a bad boy image. We hope this guide on scorpion meaning helps you decipher the scorpion’s role and message in your life.