Scorpio has an uncanny way of perceiving what other people don't wish to be known. Often they don't know it themselves, which makes things even more uncomfortable. It is very unnerving to feel that somebody knows something about you that you don't know yourself. From early childhood on, Scorpio sees through hypocrisy and sham with his curiously, tuned nose for undercurrents. Being watery, he will often not be able to formulate these perceptions. More likely, he'll have strong, immediate gut reactions to people. And you can be pretty sure that when he smells brimstone, he's liable to be dead right. The trouble is that he smells brimstone just about everywhere.
Scorpio, you see, is privy to one of the most profound and disturbing secrets of human nature: all individuals carry within them a dark side. Scorpio cannot afford to be romantic, because he knows perfectly well that alongside mankind's nobility and greatness he is also still an animal, and not a very attractive one at that. We mentioned that the element of air is idealistic. In principle, man is fundamentally good. The element of water is more realistic. Principles are lovely, but life is different. No wonder Scorpio sometimes seems deeply cynical. How could he be otherwise, when he is constantly barraged with the unwelcome and unoffered sight of everyone's dirty linen, including his own?
One of Scorpio's greatest difficulties in life is to learn tolerance. Compassion he's got in plenty, although he will be ruthless when necessary and, unlike Piscean and Cancerian fellows, is far less likely to be swayed by a sad story when the teller has made no effort to help himself. But even with all that compassion, you usually find that Scorpio is intolerant of weakness. Suffering he responds to; he has the deepest sympathy for pain and loneliness. A great number of Scorpios may be found in the helping professions, both medicine and psychology, because they are so keyed in to people's pain and the struggle of those trapped in their own darkness. But laziness and weakness Scorpio will not abide. His attitude is that no matter what sort of mess you are in, you can do something about it, and make of your life what you will. By the time he is ready to leave his life, Scorpio will usually have found the secret to performing this little act of self-transformation himself. Why, then, he reasons can't others? What he fails to realize is that people are made differently, and not everyone has his capacity for ruthless self-discipline. Also, it just isn't everyone's path in life. Scorpio's famous Luciferian pride - the cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face variety - keeps him from recognizing that it's sometimes necessary, even courageous, to yield.
Which brings us to another important facet of Scorpio's nature. We'll discuss it in more detail further on. Suffice it to say here that Scorpio has a great problem relinquishing control. This means control on a lot of levels. It may be controlling spontaneous expression or emotion outward - we all know the character that, even after a couple bottles of wine and a fifth of whiskey, still maintains his iron grip on himself, and will never, never allow himself to appear foolish or sloppy in front of others. It may be controlling other people - and this is a real problem in Scorpio's close relationships. It may be controlling life itself - where you find the arch-manipulators who pull the puppet strings all around themselves to keep the world in its place. Whatever the nature of it, somewhere in his life every Scorpio has a large key which fits a large iron door behind which lies…..Well, you really wouldn't want to know, would you? Take all that insight and immense sensitivity, and a liberal dash of the fierce pride and determination to carve his own path through life, throw in a dose of general mistrust of people's motives and you don't exactly come up with what is colloquially known as a 'laid back' person. Sometimes this produces an attractive and fascinating smouldering quality - hints of fathomless depths. Lucky you if you can plumb them. Sometimes it produces a downright paranoiac.
It has often been said that Scorpio, because of his great will-power, patience, persistence and insight, can succeed at anything he puts his mind to. This is generally true. Scorpio is hard to beat once he decides he's going to achieve something. Because this is a sign of feeling, Scorpio commits himself emotionally to everything he does. Otherwise he can't be bothered. Whether it's becoming a nation's leader (like