Scorpion Symbolism (7 Meanings) – Totem & Spirit Animals

Scorpions symbolize:

  • Guardianship
  • Death
  • Fertility
  • Defensiveness
  • Power
  • Danger
  • Control

Historically, there are not that many animals that have such powerful meanings. For Ancient Egyptians, the scorpions were acting as guardians for the souls moving to the other world. Other cultures see the scorpion as the symbol of death, while others see it as a symbol of passion.

Today, we view the scorpions a bit differently. Sometimes, they’re connected to fertility and sex. They’re also often connected to control and power, transition, and defensiveness. We’ll explore the different meanings today and in older cultures, as well as a spirit animal and in dreams.

Below I explore all 7 symbols of the scorpion.

Scorpion Symbolism

> This article is from our series on insect symbolism


Scorpion Symbolism and Meanings

Some of the meanings of the scorpion symbolism are closely tied to its character, while others have a deeper meaning.

1. Guardianship

Historically, the scorpion was seen as one of the most potent spirit animals in the world. For Ancient Egyptians, the scorpion acted as a guardian that would carry the soul of a deceased to the other world. That’s why they were often used as symbols of protection on urns and coffins or sarcophagi, especially for the higher castes.

Overall, this is a very feared animal, especially when it comes to the sub-species of scorpions that have the power to take away the life of someone with its sting. The view of the scorpion as a guardian was also observed in some other African cultures.

2. Death & Life

Scorpions are such interesting creatures – on the one hand, they represent death and pain. On the other hand, they can represent healing and life. That’s why many ancient cultures believed that it’s better to get on the good side of the scorpion and invoke the positive meanings rather than negative.

As a symbol of death, the scorpion has the power to kill a person with its toxins. These can be so powerful that they might kill the stung person in minutes or hours. The most poisonous scorpions can be found all over the world, but especially in Brazil, Africa, Asia, and most notably, India.

But interestingly enough, some ancient cultures believed that the scorpion’s sting had the power to heal wounds and cuts. This was especially common in shamanic cultures where shamans saw the scorpion as the ultimate spiritual guide towards healing. This discrepancy is interesting to observe, even today.

3. Sex and Fertility

It’s no wonder that the star sign of Scorpio is very closely connected to fertility and sex. Those born under this star sign are believed to have an enhanced sex drive and are perceived to be very physical in their nature.

That probably stems from the way a scorpion breeds. These animals are dangerous breeders, especially for the other gender they breed with. Normally, these breedings don’t end well for one of the two parties. These intercourses normally end with the death of one of the two involved.

4. Defensiveness

This symbolic meaning stems from the character of the scorpion. They’re rarely on the front foot and attacking, except for when they’re catching food. They’re not aggressive primarily, but they act from their defensive stance. When they start feeling defensive, they will attack ferociously, and often deadly.

They have thick skin, and they tend to hold for themselves rather than exposing themselves. This is especially visible during the day when they spend most of their days hiding in the shadows of larger objects. But when they get provoked, they will activate their powerful defensive mechanism and strike.

That’s when they will engage their deadly tail, which will spring up when there are signs of danger. And if they are completely out of other options, they will use this tail to sting the attacker, which often results in paralysis or death.

5. Power

Those with the Scorpio zodiac can count themselves lucky because this zodiac brings many positive meanings with it. Those who have this sign are normally powerful and dominant personalities, always looking to control the world around them rather than the world controlling them.

Other characteristics of people with the Scorpio zodiac include charisma, assertiveness, intuitiveness, strong will, and magnetism. So you can see why so many people love the Scorpio zodiac and the scorpion symbol.

Nonetheless, this symbol was often seen as an important symbol for the ruling classes in history. This is especially typical in Ancient Egypt, where the scorpion was the ultimate symbol of power and Sun, while it also acted as a symbol of protection and guardianship.

> See Also: Spider Symbolism

6. Danger

When people see a scorpion, they are normally afraid of it or repulsed by it. And that’s normal to see, especially considering these animals are considered to be one of the most poisonous species on Earth.

However, the truth is that these animals won’t strike on their own, but rather when they’re provoked. That’s why people tend to avoid this creature and not disturb it rather than poking it and playing with danger. That’s an important lesson we have learned throughout centuries of our existence.

7. Control

Even though scorpions are largely defensive animals, they like to have full control over their habitats. Sometimes, that’s not possible because there might be larger predators lurking around. But even larger animals are sometimes scared of challenging the domain of a scorpion due to its lethality.

This makes it a formidable animal in nature to deal with. It will not get intimidated by larger species, and it will stand its ground in order to gain control over more territory. Even though they will spend some time hiding around, they’re very shrewd in obtaining new territory and protecting it against larger animals.

Scorpion Spirit Animal

The scorpion spirit animal is one of the most powerful and widely desired spirit animals, and for good reasons. It is closely tied to the Scorpio zodiac sign, and it bears many qualities of that zodiac sign.

The scorpion spirit animal gives you the power and the strength to come up against the stronger forces of life and overcome challenges in life. Just like the scorpion, you should not get scared by big challenges in life – rather, you should prepare for them and defend yourself when needed.

Also, if you have the scorpion spirit animal, you will be able to remove the toxic people from your life and get rid of the “poison”. You will learn that these people draw the energy from you that you would otherwise need to protect yourself and live a better life by overcoming challenges.

Just like a scorpion, you should be able to undergo a transformation in your life and achieve greater things, but you first must accept that something must die in order for that to happen. This “death” is more figurative than literal death, and it could represent something that’s a part of yourself – perhaps it’s a habit of yours or a friendship that must go. 

Nonetheless, the scorpion spirit animal carries some potent meanings that almost everyone could benefit from. But it’s also not for everyone – it carries the fighting spirit to protect yourself against the adversity in life, which is not a quality that everyone possesses.

Related: Animals that Symbolize Hope

Scorpion Totem Animal

Those with the scorpion totem animal have the patience needed to wait for things to come to them at the right time without forcing them. This might be waiting for the right moment for doing something, just like the scorpion waits for its chance to strike and catch its prey without forcing it to flee by rushing it.

You’re also quite comfortable talking about death and life. You are not afraid of challenges that might be dangerous, although you’re also a very lively personality that likes to do things differently. And you’re able to do that even in the harshest of conditions.

Scorpion Symbolism in Different Cultures

There are many different meanings of this spirit animal, and it’s especially different in various cultures. Here are some of the main ones.

  • In Ancient Egypt, the scorpion represented guardianship and the quality of control. It was often used for funerals to protect the soul of the deceased person.
  • Native Americans see the scorpion as a symbol of danger and change. They respect this animal because of those two meanings.
  • In Ancient Greece, the scorpion was also perceived as a symbol of danger but also death. For example, a scorpion stings Orion’s foot which causes him to die in Greek mythology.
  • In some African cultures, the scorpion is seen as a symbol of healing and rebirth.


Are you wondering what the scorpion represents?

The scorpion symbolism is one of the most powerful and ever-present symbols in the world. The scorpion is widely seen as a dangerous animal, making it a symbol of danger and even death. In some cultures, it’s seen as a symbol of protection and change, as well as control and power.