The constellation of Scorpio, located between Libra and Ophiuchus, is very ancient, known to the earliest Mesopotamian civilisation in around 3000 BC, receiving lots of attention especially for its bright shining star Antares.

The glyph 'Serket'In ancient Egypt the scorpio was associated to the scorpion goddess Serket (Selket, Serqet), whose name translated as 'She who causes the throat to breath'. Serket was shown as a beautiful woman with a scorpion on her head, or as a scorpion with a woman's head. Her scorpions could be deadly little killers, but had their good tasks, as well. Legends tell that Serket sent seven of them to protect Isis from Seth, and some others to fight the demons that were threatening Ra.

Having a reputation as both destroyer and helper, Serket was worshipped as the helper of women in childbirth, and as a healer who cured the innocent that were 'accidently' bitten by scorpions. In early times she was viewed as a tutelary goddess of the dead who protected the canopic jars that contained the viscera of the deceased.

Scorpio in the Egyptian zodiac
Scorpio in the Egyptian zodiac

Like Isis, whose association with the constellation Virgo survived in her wings, Serket's name left its traces in Scorpio. 'She who causes the throat to breath' - it is amazing that even in our days the most common astrology takes the Scorpio as the constellation which is responsible for throat and breathing.

Some early Egyptian records called the constellation a serpent, but the serpent soon got its own images in the constellations Serpent and Ophiuchus. Ancient Babylonians had the legend of the scorpion men who were the children of the dragon mother Tiamat, deadly warriors on one side and sacred guardians of the sun on the other, showing the same double meaning that Serket had later.

The Greek mythology connected Scorpio with the scorpion that was sent by Apollon to kill the hunter Orion, who was told to be a very attractive guy and Apollon went jealous seeing him hunting with his sister Artemis. The scorpion killed Orion and Zeus placed them both in the sky.

Scorpio in the Zodiac

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