This is a transcript of The Shadow Femme Show podcast. Click here listen to this episode.
You're listening to The Shadow Femme Show, a show in which we ask and answer questions about humans, our feelings, and the ways in which we make meaning.
I'm your host, Sarah, and I'm an astrologer, human design reader, and spiritual communicator. I work in collaboration with my spirit guides to uncover astrological and human design insights that help people understand themselves more deeply and navigate periods of change, possibility, and expansion.
I'm here with a brand-new episode for you in which my guides and I go deep on the archetype of Scorpio. I think this these insights might fascinate you regardless of your birth chart, but they will be especially powerful if you or someone you know has prominent Scorpio placements. As a Scorpio myself, I know firsthand that this is a sign that often gets stereotyped and meme'd a lot, but in this episode, we go beyond stereotypes and into the nuances of this zodiac sign.
Before I get into my own thoughts, here is what my guides had to say...
Welcome to Scorpio season! We are so excited to talk to you about this sign of Scorpio because it is Sarah's sign.
Sarah has her sun in Scorpio, as well as her Mars and Pluto—plus an asteroid goddess, Pallas—AND her rising sign is Scorpio, so she knows a bit about what it's like to carry this energy. But we thought we'd start off with sharing our perspectives on this archetype first.
We think that you, the listener, should take a moment to sit back and contemplate all the times that you've felt the urge to obsess over something and see it through to the end.
We would like you to think about what this feels like—the intensity that comes with the desire to figure something out, to get to the bottom of what's really happening.
We would like you to think of the times in which you have focused on an end result so intensely that you've gotten caught up in the emotion of what it means for you to reach it.
We invite you to let this kind of feeling wash over you. Just let yourself soak in it for a second.
This is the feeling that is most stigmatized in the Scorpio archetype: this feeling of utmost intensity and focus that we call obsession.
Obsession is a loaded word. It is heavy, prickly. It is a word that repulses some people. Some people are fearful of being labeled "obsessive," and others are afraid of witnessing obsession in others.
We think that this phenomenon—the phenomenon of feeling obsessed—is a loaded one because it is a vulnerable thing to admit or show that you care about something. And, therefore, to show that you care about something so deeply as to be obsessed with it—that, in a way, is ultimate vulnerability.
It is the admittance that you are not just cool, detached, unaffected, above the fray, not swayed by the powerful tides of emotional investment.
We think that this phenomenon—the phenomenon of being obsessed with something—is a triggering and polarizing thing. And therefore the Scorpio archetype inevitably triggers strong emotional reactions within people.
Now, we are not saying that Scorpio as an archetype is solely affiliated with obsession. Nor are we saying that obsession, and therefore vulnerability, is always inherently a noble thing. We are just choosing—as any Scorpio worth their salt would—to cut straight to the heart of the matter, to do away with any bullshit or unnecessary fluffy exposition, and to instead dive straight to the point of the matter that is most sensitive and vital.
And so we are starting at this point—we are starting with obsession—so as to prickle you with discomfort for a moment, as a means to get to a much deeper place.
Sex and Intimacy
We would like to invite you next to contemplate what it means to be in love with someone. We ask you to contemplate this because Scorpio is a sign that has to do with the power dynamics of intimate relationship.
It is a sign that is often associated with sex, but that is a salaciously surface-level reading of it. Sex is more than just two bodies coming together (pun not intended).
It is, to a Scorpio, the merging of two souls.
Scorpios are minutely invested in what it takes to unite two souls through the rites of sex as well as intimate self-disclosure and the emotional bonding that arises therein.
Scorpios are not obsessed with sex because they're Scorpios. Anyone with a strong Scorpio signature is simply invested in the merging and interplay and release—or assertion—of control that naturally occurs between two people who are intimately involved with one another, and sometimes sex can play a part in this interplay, but it doesn't have to.
Scorpios are often labeled as hypersexual, but that is an incorrect reading. The point is not the sex itself. It's what's behind the sex.
We would now like to shift gears to talk about another facet of the Scorpio archetype—one that not a lot of people pay attention to. And that is the fact that Scorpio, as a sign, is a composite of lots of different energies.
It is a very complex sign, the only sign that is represented by multiple symbols: the snake, the scorpion, the eagle, and the phoenix.
This is because Scorpio is a sign that is all about constant evolution, death and rebirth. It is a sign that is associated with emotional growth and catharsis.
A Scorpio that is beaten down will always come back stronger than before.
As a Scorpio grows and evolves, they pick up life lessons along the way, and they carry these with them. These lessons are transformed into wisdom through an alchemical process that melts down the hard lumps of life into something gleaming and valuable.
Scorpios acquire these nuggets of wisdom through their encounters with emotional intensity in the fiery forge of life. And this makes the sign of Scorpio, which is considered to be a water sign, a bit like a fire sign, because they are able to walk over the coals, so to speak—they are not afraid of being burned.
When you talk to a Scorpio, you can sense, on some level, that they might have been to hell and back, yet they hardly show it on the surface.
So what did you think about what my guides had to say? For me, just going off of that last bit, I can definitely relate to that—like I've had people just be shocked when they learn about some things that have happened to me, because I don't really seem to show the difficulty of those experiences on the surface, and because I can talk about all these things in a seemingly chill way.
On Being "Chill"
I can't speak for all Scorpios, but I think that people generally perceive me to be a chill person, which is kind of funny, given Scorpios' reputation for being intense.
But I think what happens is that people consciously perceive me to be chill, as in: calm, and even "placid," or quiet, or easygoing—but on some subconscious level, they can sense a lot of depth or intensity. And this definitely has a polarizing effect on people. Sometimes people get put off or even scared by what they sense in me, or they just project their own shit onto me.
I've had people tell me that my eyes are freaky—like they think I can look straight through them—or that they think I must be judging them, when actually I'm not even thinking about them. Or they project onto me that I'm up to something, that I want to sabotage them, or that I think I'm better than them.
I think that this is a pretty common experience for people who have prominent Scorpio placements—especially if their Pluto is in the mix as well, which it is, in the case of my chart.
Water and Ice
Water represents our emotions, and Scorpio is a water sign. More specifically, it's associated with water in the form of ice. Which means that Scorpio can present a calm, placid, still surface, but there are untold depths beneath that some people sense to be mysterious or even dangerous.
I mentioned just a moment ago that people can perceive me as chill on the surface. And it's funny because ice is...literally chill.
When I think of an icy surface, I think of the way in which an iced-over body of water can reflect back whoever is gazing at it, and I also think of a cold, unforgiving, and even inhospitable climate.
I think that when people with fragile egos encounter strong Scorpio energy, they can often be scared of what they see reflected back to themselves, and this can lead to strong reactions, the projection of one's quote-unquote "worst qualities," and fear of judgment.
The Scorpio Gaze
When people look into the eyes of a Scorpio, I think it can go one of two ways—either they'll feel deeply seen and understood, or they'll feel put off and even repulsed. This, of course, depends on both the Scorpio and the person interacting with them.
I think that Human Design Projectors can have a similar effect on people (and this goes double for you if you—like me—are both a Scorpio and a Projector). I think this effect comes from the x-ray vision that Scorpios have, which leads them to lock in on the details of human psychology, interpersonal dynamics, and what makes people tick—and this kinda vibe can make others feel beautifully understood or it can just make them feel vulnerable and naked and exposed.
This polarizing effect that arises from eye contact with a Scorpio also comes from the other person sensing their deep well of emotional intensity and vulnerability that exists beneath the surface. This isn't something that's overtly on display, but it can be glimpsed through the eyes. And I think that people who aren't in touch with, or accepting of, their own emotional intensity can get uncomfortable around Scorpios, because Scorpios are a reminder to them that that kind of intensity exists, and that it can't be ignored.
Scorpios understand on an intimate level that energy cannot be created or destroyed—that it can only be transmuted. And therefore, they're not the type of people to just say "love and light" or "posi vibes only" in the face of tough shit. They're probably the sign that's least likely to spiritually bypass or ignore the realities of trauma or systemic oppression.
This is because Scorpios are generally unafraid of dealing with the deep, dark things that other people like to ignore or that are considered taboo. And it's also because they're acutely attuned to power dynamics, and when used for good, this attunement means a sensitivity to abuses of power.
Scorpios get that just because you try to ignore, suppress, or stuff down something that seems ugly, difficult, dark, or shameful, it doesn't mean that it'll just magically disappear. In fact, it'll fester, and all the energy that you put towards keeping it stuffed down will just drain you of your life force.
Energy can't be destroyed; ignoring something just because you don't wanna look at it doesn't make it go away. But Scorpios do know that energy can be transmuted. And they specialize in the transmutation of emotional energy.
Scorpios live for that process, for the transmutation of emotional intensity into something worthwhile. This can often draw them towards tumultuous people or relationships early in life.
I think Scorpios—and water signs in general, because of their association with emotions—often have a reputation for being dramatic or clingy or needy in relationships. But as the astrologer Christopher Renstrom writes in his book The Cosmic Calendar, a relationship is a two-way street, and both people seek it out for their own reasons. He says:
"If you have a lot of water in your chart, then you're going to attract people who are psychologically damaged [his words, not mine], emotionally challenged, or carrying around a lot of personal baggage. They are in search of your water—like nomads in the desert looking for an oasis. We often think of emotional people as being needy, but they're not. If you have a lot of water in your chart, then you have a lot of love to give. If anything, you have too much love to give, which is why you need people to drink from your well so that you don't feel too heavy. People with a lot of water tend to be withdrawn, depressed, and isolated. When they give of themselves emotionally, the water circulates, which lightens the mood and buoys their spirits. It's kind of like the water cycle, if you think about it. Excess water is drawn up into the atmosphere to form clouds, and once the clouds become too heavy, that water returns to the Earth as rainfall. Water signs don't seek out the emotionally walking wounded because they're masochists. They draw them into their orbit in order to keep their energy flowing."
Scorpios are here to experience and facilitate that alchemical process of transmuting their emotions and the emotions of others. This can feel like a deep need, a requirement to feel alive, because still water can grow stagnant. Scorpios possess deep pools of emotion that can feel heavy and stagnant if they're not given outlets to flow through or the chance to evaporate into something more.
Cycles of Death and Rebirth
Water signs are all about cycles, and Scorpios specifically are interested in cycles of death and rebirth, whether physical or metaphorical. In their highest form, Scorpios are symbolized by the phoenix, which dies and rises from the ashes.
Over the course of their life, those with strong Scorpio placements often go through many cycles of spiritual death and rebirth, releasing or letting go of one existence to invite in another. And many Scorpios are also fascinated by the literal cycle of death and rebirth, and the understanding that death, which can be fearful and mysterious to many, can be thought of as another transmutation of energy.
Why Scorpios Are a Lot like Fungi
I want to end with something that I've been meaning to share since it popped into my head, and that's the fact that Scorpios are a lot like...fungi.
When you see a mushroom popping out of the ground, it looks its own little thing. Like oh, there's an individual mushroom. But actually, when it comes to fungal organisms, mushrooms are just what you see above the surface.
Underneath the ground, they are connected by vast, thread-like mycelial networks that allow them to communicate with each other and the trees around them. Through these networks, forests are able to intelligently send information from tree to tree and even share resources amongst organisms. There is so much going on beneath the surface; just one cubic inch of soil can contain 8 miles of mycelial threads.
Just like fungal organisms, Scorpios have a shit-ton going on beneath the surface. And just like fungi, they are attuned to the wordless and subterranean networks that connect us all to one another, and they are deeply concerned with cycles of death and rebirth.
They're resilient, intelligent, mysterious, polarizing, and transformational, willing to deal with the deep, dark stuff that no one else wants to touch, driven to transmute it through a process that is ultimately healing for everyone involved and necessary in order to live life to the fullest.
When a tree falls or an animal dies, fungi come in to do their work—they appear in the night, laboring to transform that which is dead and stagnant into rich, life-giving soil.
As renowned mycologist, or fungal expert, Paul Stamets says in the 2019 documentary Fantastic Fungi:
"[Mushrooms] can heal you, they can feed you, they can kill you...They have incredible capacity to make things change very quickly, so I am super hopeful."
They can heal you, they can feed you, they can kill you. If that doesn't sum up Scorpios in a nutshell, I don't know what does.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. As always, if you were intrigued by the channeled messages from my guides or just my perspectives on this astrological archetype, you can book your very own session with me to get a hyper-personalized experience of this for yourself. I'll channel extensive messages for you, combining these with insights about your astrological and human design charts. Check out the link the show notes for more details. In the meantime, happy Scorpio season to you. Go eat a mushroom or something, and think about death. Good times.