At first sight, the idea of a tattoo with a zodiac sign seems to be banal and trite. This is partly true, because nowadays hardly any idea has never been fully or at least partly implemented. But the aim of any kind of art is to turn something ordinary into something extraordinary, looking at the idea at a different angle, using new techniques. The tattoo art is no exception.
Today, we’ll figure out the meaning of tattoos with Scorpio zodiac sign and the way to create a truly original composition.
Astrologers believe that people born under Scorpio sign have natural magnetism and a rare virility. They are constantly involved in some kind of internal struggle, but this doesn’t prevent them from being loyal and faithful friends, keeping their words, acting in the right way, and restraining the emotions that sometimes overwhelm them. There are two legends concerning the origin of the constellation that, according to astrologers, gives people such admirable qualities. Both of the legends are of Greek origin. By the way, the Greek are the people who at one time achieved, perhaps, the greatest success in astronomy.
The goddess Thetis had a daughter Clemene, whose beauty was so astounding that she fascinated even gods. The sun god Helios, daily circling the Earth in his gilded chariot drawn by winged stallions, admired her, and his heart was growing more and more filled with love for the beautiful girl from day to day. Helios married Clemene, and they had a son — Phaethon. Phaethon had one bad luck: he didn’t inherit immortality from his father.
When the son of the sun god grew up, his cousin, the son of Zeus the Thunderer, began to mock him, not believing that the father of the young man was Helios himself. Phaethon asked his mother if it was true, and she swore that these words were truth. Then he went to Helios himself. God confirmed that he was his real father, and he promised Phaethon to fulfill any of his wishes as a proof. But the son wanted something that Helios couldn’t foresee: he wanted to circle around the Earth in his father’s chariot. God began to dissuade Phaethon, because it is unlikely that a mortal can cope with winged stallions and go through such a hard road, but the son didn’t agree to change his wish. Helios had to accept it, because breaking the oath would mean dishonor.
And at dawn Phaethon set out on the road. At first, everything was fine, although it was hard for him to control the chariot, he admired the stunning scenery, saw what no other mortal could ever see. But soon the horses lost their way, and Phaethon himself didn’t know where he had gone. Suddenly, a giant scorpion appeared in front of the chariot. Phaethon let out the reins out of fear, uncontrollable stallions rushed to the ground. The chariot rushed, scorching fertile fields, gardens in bloom and rich cities. Gaia, the goddess of the earth, being afraid that the inept driver would incinerate all her possessions, turned to the Thunderer for help. And Zeus destroyed the chariot with a thunderbolt. Phaethon, being mortal, couldn’t survive this powerful blow fell into the river Eridanus in flames.
Since then, the constellation of Scorpio, because of which nearly the whole humanity died, reminds us of the tragic death of Phaethon and the consequences of his recklessness.
The legendary hunter Orion was the son of the god Poseidon. Together with his two dogs (later the constellations of Great and Little Dog), he hunted in the woods for game. He had no equals in this business. Orion was not only strong, fast and dexterous, but also merciful. One day a hare came running at his feet (later the constellation of the Hare). It was pursued by dogs. And the hunter didn’t kill it, but, on the contrary, protected it.
But one day Orion foolishly defied Artemis. The insulted goddess sent a scorpion to him, from the poison of which the hero died. Aesculapius (Ophiuchus constellation), known for his ability to resurrect the dead, learned about the premature death of the hunter. Hades wasn’t pleased with that, because there were fewer and fewer souls due to Aesculapius, and the balance in the world was disturbed. He turned to Zeus for help, and the Thunderer killed the healer. Later, he turned Aesculapius, Orion, and the scorpion that killed him into the constellations in the sky, so that they would give people light and please their eyes with their radiance. But Zeus thought over the arrangement of the stars so that Orion never met Aesculapius, thus depriving the physician of the opportunity to ever resurrect the hunter. The constellation of Scorpio, can’t be seen at the same time as Orion as well. It is believed that Orion “runs away” as soon as his killer appears on the horizon.
The symbolism of scorpion image is contradictory. In some cultures, it was believed that this creature is the embodiment of death and pure evil, in others, on the contrary, its image was used as a mascot, and, for example, some African people believed that the antidote for scorpion poison was also contained in his body. It was a symbol of death and at the same time healing. Considering such a multifaceted image, there is a great variety of options for combining it with other symbols and styles.
The people of Tibet believed that the scorpion image can protect from demons and evil spirits. The sketch created complying with the best traditions of Chinese painting will not only look extraordinary, but also have some additional meaning. For example, watercolor work with a mountain landscape, black or green stems of bamboo, quaintly curved branches of trees and bright colors will look very extraordinary among thousands of identical tattoos with scorpions.
Another interesting option is the work in oriental style. Traditional dark waves, peonies and lotuses will perfectly match the scorpion image.
In ancient Egypt, the scorpion was especially revered. Its image had a dual symbolism: life and fertility, death and the other world. One of the most revered goddesses in Base Egypt, Selket, was portrayed as a woman with a scorpion tail or a headdress, on which a scorpion sat. The cult of the goddess is closely related to the stories concerning the great warrior Menes, for whom she became the patroness. He won hundreds of battles with a scorpion on the shield and the name of Selket. Menes began to call himself the scorpion king (eponymous fantasy film, the creators of which were inspired by this story, you have probably seen it or at least heard of it).
Images of the goddess Selket, Menes, Egyptian hieroglyphs, ritual attributes will perfectly complement the image of the scorpion, reinforcing its symbolic meaning.
In the Mayan pantheon, there was the god Ek Chuah (black god), patron of traders and cocoa beans, who was portrayed with a scorpion tail. The image of Ek Chuah can be successfully inked using elements that are traditional for Mesoamerica. It can be a bright work in new-school style, best suited for depicting Maya deities, or a small monochrome tattoo, repeating the traditional image of a black god.
Realistic tattoos with scorpions, perhaps, won’t surprise anyone, but if you can find a master capable of depicting a hyperrealistic picture that gives the impression that you have a real scorpion on your shoulder, such work will hardly be considered banal. A symbol of the constellation that seems to be carved in a cracked stone or painted on the sand will look interesting too.
Sometimes the simplest works can surprise with their originality much more than large-scale complex compositions. For example, a scorpion can be schematically depicted in linework style with elements of dotwork. The lines will repeat the segmented shell, and the dots will create shadows for a larger image volume.
The scorpion image simultaneously means danger, protection, and greatness. A symbol is suitable for powerful, strong-willed and domineering natures. And these qualities, as you know, can be presented in a person, regardless of the position of the stars in the sky at the time of birth. Tattoos with scorpions are made not only by those who were born under this constellation, because the scorpion itself is quite strong. But the representatives of this zodiac sign may well kill two birds with one stone: create a sketch that reflects the symbolism of this creature and the qualities that are given to a person by stars.
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