The Scorpio Personality Traits That Make This Sign the Zodiac’s Intense and Intuitive Powerhouse

Photo: Getty Images/ Tim Robberts
To all the Scorpios I’ve loved before (and also just regular platonic friends who were born between the dates of October 21 and November 23), plain and simple, I would follow you to hell and back. Something about being born amid the crisp air of peak fall, when the world’s still excited about sweater weather and more JOMO nights in, lends itself to Scorpio personality traits that have a darkly magnetic lure. And if you’re one of them, surely you know it. I know it. So, consider this my love letter to Scorpios of the world and their captivating personality traits.

Experts In This Article

Okay, okay, to make this a little less creepy, let me provide some context: I’m a Taurus, and Scorpio is my total opposite on the zodiac wheel—I’ve always been drawn to them. Since so many of my friends are Scorpios, my bank account cringes every year come late October since it’s when I’m annually stockpiling birthday gifts for my most smoldering friends. My first love, in fact, was a total Scorpio. But he was also a grade-A A-hole who ditched me on prom night…but I won’t derail this love letter about Scorpio personality traits to wax poetic about a romance I had when the hashtag symbol still meant “pound.” That said, his less-than-stellar handling of prom (and our relationship) does reflect a certain Scorpio tendency to avail oneself of traditions, astrologer Emma Toynbee tells me. And, hey, I have to learn to take the good with the bad (regarding Scorpio traits, not my long-dumped high school boyfriend).

“Scorpios are prone to sudden stings, unexpected forceful change, and transformation, movement, and eruption,” Toynbee says. As such, their identity is strong. Scorpios, mired in their dark power, leave a lasting impression (which goes for Scorpio moon signs and Scorpio-adjacent signs, like those born on the Libra-Scorpio cusp or the Scorpio-Sagittarius cusp, too).

So whether you’re a Scorpio, your friend is a Scorpio, or you love a Scorpio (lord help you), astrologers explain all the powerful Scorpio personality traits you should know about—both those worth celebrating, and those you’d be wise to watch out for.

10 most potent scorpio personality traits

Passionate, smart, and independent, the myriad of Scorpio traits make for one of the most multifaceted signs of the zodiac. Below are the Scorpio characteristics that make them truly fascinating.

1. Scorpios are determined, sometimes problematically so

When a sharp-eyed Scorpio puts their mind to getting to the top or seeing out any goal at hand, they achieve it and excel. Career-wise, you may not be the official HBIC, but there’s a good chance you have power within a creative division or hold a highly specialized title. You either dominate within your space, or you’re looking to seize the whole office.

You can blame it on Mars, the planet that rules Scorpio in traditional astrology. Associated with mental and physical drive, Scorpio’s ruling planet lends the sign their relentlessly driven spirit—and they’ll go to great lengths to reach their desired destinations.

Just play fair, champ. According to Toynbee, Scorpios have a drive that might lead them to “crush any opposition and obstacles.”

2. Scorpios are imaginative, intelligent, and have an independent mind

Scorpios are thought leaders who don’t really give a damn if you follow them or not. Pablo Picasso was a Scorpio. You know Pablo Picasso, right? The guy who saw art of his era and was like, “Yeah, no… I’ll do a different thing and then people will follow my lead.” That’s real big Scorpio energy at work.

Basically Scorpios aren’t married to the modes of the past, and that allows them to come up with fresh ideas and innovations. It doesn’t mean being at the helm of an artistic revolution for every person, but there’s certainly a good chance it’ll allow for some kind of personal autonomy over the understanding of what you earnestly like and prefer. Either way, though, I tend to believe whatever musings are going on in a Scorpio’s brain.

3. Scorpios are assertive—or forceful, depending on how you take it

For better or worse, Scorpios don’t really register words like “no,” and “you can’t.” They can somehow get themselves and their friends into any event, no invitation required. And this makes being one of those friends great. Bouncer at the door? Not so much.

4. Scorpios are more than just a little bit controlling

Scorpios know what they want and “will go to the depths of the underworld to see their vision come alive,” intuitive astrologer and transformation life coach Lumi Pelinku says, and as one of the fixed signs, they won’t stop until they’ve achieved their goals. Often though, life doesn’t go quite as planned, which brings Scorpio’s control issues to the forefront as they will be resistant to changing course. Their emotions may get erratic, Pelinku adds, affecting those around them, too.

Her advice: Gaining more control in your life, Scorpio, requires more letting go and surrendering.

5. Scorpios are emotional and have sharp intuitive powers

Because a Scorpio never lacks depth, they’re seriously in touch with their own emotions and those of others. (Water is the element of Scorpio, after all.) This intuitive feature can be unsettling for those who can’t handle it (sometimes, in practice, it can feel like straight-up mind reading). For those who can hang with the psychic-level of empathy, what’s likely to result is a strong, forever bond of friendship.

6. Scorpios are loyal for life (sometimes too much)

While Scorpios can be controlling and domineering due to their fixed modality, this also makes them the most loyal beings. “They will go to the edge of the world for those they value,” Pelinku says. In other words, you definitely want a Scoprio in your corner. That said, Pelinku notes that their extreme sense of loyalty often pushes their own feelings aside to keep others happy and the reciprocation of that loyalty may fall short, too, creating heartache and bitterness.

7. Scorpios make decisions and don’t turn back

Scorpios intensity also spills into the way they make decisions in their lives, as if their decisions are always finite, there’s no turning back, Pelinku says. She adds that once they’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided what’s right in their hearts, there’s little room for negotiation.

8. Scorpios are vindictive

Much like the Scorpio symbol, the stinging scorpio, the zodiac sign keeps their stinger front and center—and they won’t think twice about using it if they feel wronged. People of this sign are known to have a dramatic flair for vengeance, so you’d be wise to try and not irritate them.

9. Scorpios can be really intense

Sure, this is a broad generalization, but the descriptor sums up Scorpio energy accurately and concisely nonetheless. Even if a Scorpio exits your life, you can rest assured you’ll have the parting gift of a lasting, unforgettable impression. And if the Scorpios you know and love do stick around, they can be an amazing addition to your astrological social circle—if you treat them nicely, that is. As Toynbee puts it, “home life with a Scorpio can be happy—if every other family member submits to their will.” Duly noted.

10. Scorpios love exploring the dark side of things

If you need a buddy to watch true-crime documentaries, Scorpio is definitely your person. In modern astrology, planet Pluto rules Scorpio, and the planet is associated with death, rebirth, and the shadowy corners of the subconscious, reflecting the sign’s interest in exploring the depths of any situation. “Scorpios long to investigate the undercurrents of humanity, mainly those who are often misunderstood such as criminals and outcasts,” Pelinku says. “They even mold into the darker shades of personality hence their well-known dark humor.” While this may come off as cold and cruel, in reality, Pelinki says, “Scorpios see and accept the multifaceted hues of humanity.”

How to get along with a Scorpio

Scorpios typically have a hard time being vulnerable, and they will often test out a relationship before giving their trust. Respecting their boundaries allows them the space to warm up to you at their own time and in their own way, says Emily Newman, psychic reader, spiritual healer, counselor, and astrologer at Best of Psychic Reader. Since trust is paramount to the sign, keep your interactions with them as authentic and real as possible—and, in any case, avoid mind games and manipulation. “They have a strong intuition and can detect insincerity,” says Newman.

The zodiac sign might have a hard outer shell, but deep down they are emotional and sensitive. Once they let you in, it’s important to attend to their emotional needs, which can be subject to highs and lows. “Understanding their high emotions and being there for them helps deepen your relationship,” says Newman, adding that Scorpios are sensitive not only emotionally but also energetically, so it’s essential to“establish a secure and supportive environment where they may freely express themselves.”

Keep in mind that Scorpios can be stubborn—and if you hit a standstill with the sign, avoid participating in power battles, lest you want them to bring out their lethal stinger. Newman recommends pursuing a collaborative strategy in which both sides may win. “When necessary, compromise and discover mutually beneficial solutions that meet both of your needs,” she says.

What Scorpio needs to be happy

Scorpio might be one of the most, if not the most guarded of all zodiac signs, but they thrive on deep emotional connections—and more often than not, “they value quality over quantity when it comes to relationships, says Newman. Just as important to Scorpio are honesty and transparency. “Open and honest communication is critical to their satisfaction,” she says.

As one of the water signs, Scorpios are known for their keen intuition and profound sensitivity to the energy of others, Newman says, and embracing their spiritual proclivities by way of energy healing or shadow work can bring them in tune with their borderline psychic nature.

Scorpio in love and friendships

Being in a romantic relationship with a Scorpio is, in a word, intense. Other words to describe it, according to Pelinku include all-encompassing, cathartic, and overprotective. “As Scorpios start to fall in love, they feel intensely and will fixate all of their attention on their lover,” Pelinku says. With that in mind, Pelinki says Scorpio’s perfect match must have a strong sense of self and personal boundaries “when treading the waters of Scorpio’s ecosystem.”

During sex is when you’ll often see a Scorpios’s true colors, which checks out since Scorpio is ruled by the eighth house of astrology, which is typically associated with sex. “Their emotions run wild in the bedroom and this is where Scorpios truly feels most expressive,” Pelinku says. “They can go from sensual to passionate and primal. They like to dominate, but wish nothing more than to please their lovers.”

Controlling and vindictive nature aside, everyone deserves a Scorpio BFF. A Scorpio friend can be a friend for life as they are deeply devoted to those they care about. “They likely have a close-knit circle of friends in which they entrust their deepest secrets,” Pelinku says. “If a friend is ever in trouble, Scorpio will drop everything to ensure their near and dear are taken care of, and expect nothing in return. Only loyalty.”

These traits can help determine Scorpio compatibility—or rather which of the fellow zodiac signs Scorpios are most and least compatible with.

The zodiac signs Scorpio is most compatible with

Scorpio has a great capacity for emotional depth, and fellow water signs Cancer and Pisces can understand and relate to the scorpion on this level. Cancer can offer Scorpio the care they yearn for in a relationship (and vice-versa), and they both value loyalty. Pisces and Scorpio are both in tune with their emotions, so they will understand each other’s ups and downs, and both seek deep emotional connections with others.

Scorpio can also get along well with earth signs Virgo and Capricorn. Virgo is detail-oriented and focused like Scorpio, and if they work together, they can make a productive pair. It might take a practical Capricorn to commit to a relationship, but once they take the leap, they’re usually in it for the long haul. Capricorn values loyalty, which resonates with Scorpio, who require security to feel safe and secure in a relationship. Although Taurus and Scorpio are opposite zodiac signs, they can find common ground in their shared sensuality, so long as they learn how to set aside their inherent stubbornness and learn how to compromise.

The zodiac signs Scorpio is least compatible with

Typically, Scorpio will have trouble getting along with fire signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Water and fire and naturally opposing elements, and while there is potential for steam, the combined intensity can lead to power struggles in the long run. Scorpio might also struggle to understand and relate to the air signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Although Scorpio doesn’t like to show it, they are sensitive with a proclivity of emotional ups and downs, which might be off putting to the air signs, who would rather set aside emotion for reason.

Scorpio at work

Scorpio’s drive and determination will get them far in their careers. “They hold a strong enigma about them that may be intimidating at first, but in retrospect it is their desire to put all of their energy into perfecting their work,” Pelinku says. With money, Pelinku adds, Scorpios have a tendency to splurge as they love living that luxe life, and everything they buy must be top quality.

Scorpio’s likes and dislikes

If you want to bond with a Scorpio, lean into their likes, one of them being their fascination with mystery and depths. “Whether it be in life’s mysteries and/or relationships there has to be room for them to probe,” Pelinku says. “Their life’s mission is to dig deeper in life and figure out a way to peel away the superfluous layers, and get to the core of purity.”

On the flip side, if you’re trying to get on a Scorpio’s bad side, there’s a few things they definitely won’t be into and that includes oversharing. Remember, they love mystery. So if you spill everything, Pelinku says they’ll likely lose interest—fast. Similarly, they prefer to maintain their own sense of mystery, too. So if a Scorpio is pursued or feels cornered, they will bolt. “The scorpion likes to lead with almost everything in life,” Pelinku says.

Scorpio’s challenges and growth opportunities

Scorpio’s biggest fear: losing control. Pelinku says their obsessive need to maintain control over every aspect of their lives only sets them up for mental conflict and constant disappointment, which is why overcoming it is actually part of their life’s journey.

“As Pluto is their sign ruler, Scorpio’s life purpose is to understand the path of surrender in order to experience peace in their existence,” Pelinku says. “This planet teaches many to accept and embrace the concept of death, transformation, and rebirth. The ability to look deep within and experience liberation once they disconnect from the intensity, will bestow this level of grace and breakthroughs.”

Frequently asked questions

What is a Scorpio personality like?

Scorpios are one of the most multifaceted zodiac signs. They are ambitious, and at times, ruthless in their pursuits and they have a sixth sense for truth. They are difficult to get to know, but it’s only because they want to avoid getting hurt. Deep down, they are emotional and incredibly sensitive, and they make loyal and devoted partners or friends. If you wrong them, however, they won’t think twice about using their stinger.

Who is a Scorpio attracted to?

A Scorpio is typically attracted to their fellow water signs Cancer and Pisces and earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. The water signs can understand and relate to Scorpio’s emotional depths, while the earth signs can be a grounding force for when emotions run high and simultaneously provide Scorpio with the stability and security they seek in all their relationships.

What are Scorpio weaknesses?

Scorpio can be paranoid when it comes to protecting themselves, as it’s often difficult for them to trust others. They can also be overly assertive when it comes to their pursuits, as well as controlling because they usually want things to go their way—and on their own terms. They can be vindictive if they feel wronged or slighted too, so you’ll want to avoid getting on their bad side.

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