I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. Here's my personal website: stenudd.com
Books by Stefan Stenudd:
This book presents an imaginative reading of the divination cards, which is the most appropriate for the Tarot, consisting of symbolic images. Several spreads are introduced, as well as the meanings of all the 78 cards and their pictures. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
The philosophers of Ancient Greece and what they thought about cosmology, myth, religion and the gods. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Qi (chi), prana, spirit, and all the other life forces around the world explained and compared. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Try the old deck of Tarot cards for free divination online. How to use the Tarot and what each card means.
Try the ancient Chinese divination online for free. The 64 hexagrams of I Ching, The Book of Change, and what they mean in divination.
The Scorpio Symbol
Its meaning and origin
The above image is the established symbol (also called glyph) for the Zodiac sign Scorpio, the Scorpion. It's an M with the scorpion tail stinger. Both the Zodiac sign and its symbol have been along for ages.
The Zodiac division of the ecliptic into twelve parts, each assigned a Zodiac sign, is probably of Babylonian (Mesopotamia) origin. They were very early with astrology, mapping the sky and noting planetary movements thousands of years ago. The Zodiac very much like the one we know today, might have emerged in Mesopotamia around 1000 BC, but Babylonian astrology is probably far older than that.
Already the Babylonians connected the Zodiac sign to the scorpion. That might have to do with the constellation with the same name, vaguely suggesting the shape of a scorpion if some of the stars are connected. See the image below of the constellation Scorpius. The tail goes diagonally down to the left corner, where a few stars mark the stinger, much like an arrow head.
Since M is a Greek and Roman letter, this symbol for Scorpio is hardly older than those cultures. I would bet on Medieval times, when alchemy and other metaphysical speculations erupted all over Europe. The mystery would be solved if the Greek or Roman spelling of scorpion contained an M - but no. Not even the Babylonian name for it holds anything near the sound of M.
Unfortunately, a lot of the occult sciences of the past are unclear to us, because of the Scientific Revolution commencing with the discoveries by Isaac Newton in the early 17th century.
Anyway, here's that ink again, this time in the original black and white (click on the image to see a bigger version):
Scorpio the SignAs for the picture commonly used to represent the Scorpio Zodiac sign, it's always an image of a scorpion. It's been like that for very long - probably longer than the symbol described above has existed. Below is one typical example, where the stars of the constellations have also been marked. It's an illustration from Poeticon astronomicon, a 1482 book by Hyginus.