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Scorpio Personality Traits and Characteristics

Perhaps the most misunderstood sign of the zodiac.


Born between October 23 and November 21? You’re a Scorpio! Scorpios’ fierce and fiery personalities often hide a deeply emotional and loyal interior, making these water signs one of the most misunderstood personalities of the Zodiac. Too often, Scorpio’s bad rap is unfounded. Read on to learn about the most mysterious sun sign of them all. 

What is the symbol of a Scorpio?

Scorpios are symbolized by a scorpion, based on a Greek myth in which a scorpion stung Greek hero Orion to death (thus, the Scorpius constellation rises in the sky as Orion sets). Like scorpions, Scorpios can be fiercely territorial of what they consider their home turf, and they aren’t afraid to sting people who threaten them. They fear no one and nothing and go to the mat to defend the people they care about. This also gives them a reputation as dangerous or scary — but, like their arachnid counterparts, they only attack if provoked. (You’ve been warned!)

Are Scorpios a fire sign?

Along with Cancer and Pisces, Scorpios are water signs — meaning they are ALL about feelings. This might be shocking to hear about the queens of fierce and feisty, but underneath their tough exteriors, Scorpios are deeply sensitive souls. They are motivated by their emotions, often moving through the world on a tidal wave of feelings and holding onto objects with sentimental value well past the time others have moved on. Water signs are also highly creative and drawn to participate in and create art. Think of someone you know who gravitates towards sad music: They’re likely a water sign. 

What characteristics are associated with Scorpios? 

If you count a Scorpio as one of your closest loved ones, consider yourself lucky. Scorpios are fiercely loyal, tough, and empathetic friends who will stick by your side no matter what. But those aren’t the only loveable traits of these intimidating water signs…


One reason Scorpios come off as so intimidating is their naturally secretive nature. Scorpios keep their eyes on the prize — the prize, of course, being whatever they want. But they don’t flaunt this ambition the way other signs might. Instead, they prefer to keep their goals and plans private, or at least contained to their closest inner circle. Scorpios might be sensitive on the inside, but that sensitivity is usually a secret. They don’t enjoy making themselves vulnerable to others unless there is a deep bond of trust. However, don’t mistake this secrecy for weakness or sneakiness. Scorpios can be honest to a fault — they’ll tell you exactly how it is, even if the truth is uncomfortable or not what you want to hear. They also aren’t inclined to sneak around — why should they? Scorpios waltz through the world as if there’s a crown on their heads. They just don’t want to show their hand before they lay all their chips on the table. 

There’s certainly nothing wrong with keeping one’s circle small and personal life personal. But — and I’m talking to all the Scorpios reading this right now — don’t let your desire for privacy keep you isolated or prevent you from being vulnerable with the people you care about. Vulnerability is key to cultivating intimacy, and intimacy is key to cultivating meaningful and honest relationships. Figure out who you can trust in your life, and then open up to them. 


If you’re ever backed into a corner, there’s no better ally than a Scorpio. Like their arachnid namesake, fear is a foreign emotion for courageous Scorpios. Or at least, it seems that way from the outside looking in. As with all things relating to water signs, their internal emotional life is more complex than they reveal to others. However they may feel internally, though, a Scorpio will never back down from a challenge, especially when it comes to defending someone they care about. Once you’ve earned a Scorpio’s trust and loyalty, expect to have it for life — and don’t take it for granted. 

Scorpios aren’t just courageous when it comes to defending their friends, though. These emotionally intuitive water signs aren’t afraid to wade into the metaphorical deep end of life — the prospect of death, grief, and other heavy and intimidating emotions don’t frighten Scorpios. This is because Scorpio’s ruling planet is Pluto: dark, mysterious Pluto, orbiting the sun from the vast and cold depths of space. With such a planet dictating their emotions and inner life, is it any wonder Scorpios are so emboldened in the face of the dark emotions other signs avoid? A Scorpio won’t deflect or shirk a tough conversation because they don’t fear heavy or difficult topics. So, if you need to work through a difficult conflict, be brutally honest with someone about how you feel, or express heavy emotions like grief or rage, a Scorpio is the right sign to seek out for advice.


Don’t take the fact that Scorpios don’t reveal their cards before they play them to mean they have no cards in hand. Scorpios are the definition of ambition — they’ve got goals AND a plan to achieve them. This makes Scorpios great strategic thinkers, perfect for roles like consulting, brand strategy, and life coaching. This also contributes to the perception that Scorpios are mysterious and intimidating — after all, who wouldn’t be intimidated by someone who always knows what they want, and how to get it? But intimidation aside, Scorpio’s ambition is an admirable quality. If we are who we spend time with, stick around a Scorpio for long, and you may find yourself plotting to take over the world. 

An important trait to note about Scorpios — and one of the reasons they’re so driven to succeed at their goals — isn’t just that they’re ambitious, it’s that they’re also determined. Scorpios are relentless in pursuit of their goals, be it a promotion or perfecting a hobby. This can occasionally cause Scorpios to be competitive, but more often, it just means they’ll do whatever it takes meet their objective, even if they have to get up after failing time and again. Look to the Scorpios in your life for role models of determination and drive, and don’t forget that even if they don’t want to admit it, they need support, too. 


Although they might not reveal their strengths right away, Scorpios are often the smartest people in the room. Their natural gifts for strategic thinking mean they consider every possible angle of a scenario, including the angle that allows them (and their closest confidantes) to come out on top. Make an enemy of a Scorpio, and you might find yourself looking over your shoulder for weeks before they strike back. Make an ally out of a Scorpio, and you never need worry about being wronged. A Scorpio can spot manipulation a mile away, and they’ll go to bat to protect loved ones from trickery and deception. 

It’s possible that Scorpios’ natural gift for strategy comes from their determination to succeed, but it’s also linked to their ruling planet, Pluto. Pluto influences Scorpio towards cold calculation and a keen grasp of the aspects of human nature that other signs shy away from. Not all Scorpios are devious, but their natural understanding of humanity’s darker side makes them gifted at sniffing out danger and threats to themselves or their loved ones. If you count a Scorpio among your closest friends or loved ones, consider yourself extremely lucky. Scorpios see trouble coming toward their loved ones before anyone else notices — and they’re the first to stand in the line of fire to protect them.

Scorpio Compatibility: Are you Scorpio’s perfect match? 

Romantic relationships with a Scorpio woman can be invigorating, passionate, and everlasting — but a bad match could put you on the receiving end of a stinger. If you’re looking for a little Scorpio energy in your life, there are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind: The most compatible signs for Scorpio, whether for friendship or love, are fellow water signs or earth signs. That means Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Virgo, Taurus, and Capricorn will have the best luck forming partnerships with this controversial sign of the zodiac.

Still, air signs and fire signs shouldn’t be discouraged from pursuing a love match with this fixed sign. The remaining signs — Aquarius, Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, and Sagittarius — can find their footing with Scorpio if they’re willing to put in a little work. Plus, your sun sign is only one piece of the compatibility puzzle. To really see if your love is written in the stars, you’ll need to compare your entire birth chart.

A Misunderstood Sign

One of the most common misconceptions about Scorpios is that they’re fire signs — after all, fiery is practically Scorpio’s middle name. But the truth is that nearly all of a Scorpio’s tough exterior is rooted in a deeply-felt inner emotional life; that’s why they’re actually a water sign. Beneath the armored front they present to the world is a sensitive and artistic soul, attuned to the complex and difficult emotions of being human. Once you get to know them, Scorpios are sensitive, loyal, cunning, ambitious, and protective of those they care about. I can’t think of a better friend to have.

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