InStyle Editors On: Scorpio Season
Join InStyle's Senior Editor, Kylie Gilbert and Astrology Contributor, Maressa Brown in an in-depth conversation about Scorpio season.
Maybe it’s the festive holiday season or the way the leaves shift to a variety of eye-popping colors, but there’s something about mid-autumn that feels downright magical. It’s a time to let go, dream, celebrate, and spend time reflecting on the past. It’s also a transformational time when getting caught up in your feelings is par for the course. It’s Scorpio season.
Annually, approximately between October 23 and November 21, the sun moves through the eighth sign of the zodiac, Scorpio, symbolized by the Scorpion.
Encompassing Halloween and leading up to Thanksgiving, one of the busiest, most heartfelt, and occasionally family drama-packed times of the year is brought to you by Scorpio. The water sign is associated with a need to seek power and emanate intensity, reverence for elders and family in general, a willingness to swim in the depth of emotion, and a sticktoitiveness that’s hard for just about any other sign to mirror. These traits are owed to Scorpio’s co-ruling planets — yes, there are two — Mars, the planet of action, sex, strength, and courage, and Pluto, the planet of transformation, the underworld, life, death, and rebirth.
A few dedicated, magnetic, power-commanding Scorpios: Amandla Stenberg, Katy Perry, Ciara, Gabrielle Union, Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway, and Shailene Woodley. Astrologically speaking, these celebs are wired to use their deeply felt emotions, artistic impulses, and innate charisma to make their mark on the world.
Here, everything you need to know about the dynamic, private powerhouse water sign.
Scorpio Personality Traits
Those born between October 23 and November 21 can generally assume that their sun sign is Scorpio. (It’s not definitive, because the sun moves between signs on different days annually.) Also note that while we tend to refer to ourselves as our sun sign, it’s just one detail of a natal chart, which is basically a unique snapshot of the sky when you were born. But it’s a detail that helps color your core sense of self, identity, personal style, self-esteem, and confidence.
The magnetic go-getter of the zodiac
Typical sun in Scorpio traits include being extremely private, even secretive, about subjects they consider near and dear to their hearts and being intensely sexual (whether or not they’re willing to open up about that side of them). Scorpios are driven, but locked into their belief systems. They have an eye toward world domination in a quiet, cunning way, and are fiercely magnetic, managing to command the spotlight in a powerful way. Scorpios also tend to be comfortable with the darker side of life and death (they’re the first to binge a show like Making a Murderer, You, or Ozark), and capable of wading in big emotions and deep-rooted psychology.
These characteristics reflect themes covered by the Eighth House of Emotional Bonds and Sex, which Scorpio rules. The Eighth House covers your deepest emotional connections — including the mental, physical, and emotional sides of that — as well as death (taken literally, as well as natural endings and losses in life), rebirth and transformation (think surgeries or psychotherapy), and joint resources (aka money involving others, like inheritances or investments).
The fixed water sign
Every sign is assigned a quality (cardinal, mutable, or fixed), which explains the sign’s basic energy. There’s a cardinal, mutable, and fixed sign within every element (fire, earth, air, water). Scorpio is the fixed one of the water group, meaning they’re just as stubborn as Taurus (earth), as well as Aquarius (air) and Leo (fire) — but also rock-steady and achievement-oriented. They naturally get locked into a set pattern of behavior or perspective, which means it can be challenging for them to redirect.
Scorpios’ best personality traits:
Spiritual, wise, and enchanting, you can guarantee that the Scorpios in your life will inspire and empower you to pinpoint and live your truth. They are the politicians of the zodiac (more U.S. presidents have been Scorps — or Aquarians — than any other sign), eager to command the podium and run the show. They appear fearless and even a bit prickly at times, which can be perceived as intimidating, but it’s a veneer, as they simply need to warm up and trust you to open their hearts. And once they do, they’ll be connected with you for life, as far as they’re concerned. (Remember that fixed nature.) They’re deeply heartfelt and romantic, expressing how they feel in a poetic way. If you’re dating a Scorpio, they might seem initially aloof but if they are interested, they’ll make it abundantly clear that is the case, stopping at nothing to fuse with the object of their affection mentally, emotionally, and physically. Yeah, they’re a little obsessive, but it’s part of their dynamic appeal.
Scorpios’ worst personality traits:
The fixed water sign’s tendency to zero in on their desires and needs might very well be unparalleled when compared with others in the zodiac, but it can also get out of bounds at times, leading to unhealthy infatuations, obsessions, even paranoia. Because they’re wired to understand the underbelly of life, thanks to their co-ruler Pluto, they might also have a tendency to see the dark side of any situation, leading to pessimism. The key is for them to balance their intensely felt emotions and drive with a healthy dose of pragmatism. And for signs who are a bit more outspoken, tending to wear their hearts on their sleeves (looking at you, fire signs), Scorpio’s cool, detached, mysterious shtick might prove frustrating. Always plotting their next move, they’ll refuse to disclose details about anything they file under “sensitive” material.
What Scorpios Are Like In Love & Bed
Scorpios’ romance style
If your date is a creative mastermind who has commanded a significant social media following but is extremely strategic in terms of what they share, has an eye toward climbing the ranks on the job and becoming (or already is) the CEO, and has a noticeable reverence for tradition and family life, you’re likely seeing someone born under the influence of powerful, dynamic, emotional Scorpio energy. The water sign is a mover and shaker who has no shame getting lost in their feelings (it’s no surprise Drake is a Scorp), which is perfect for anyone who’s ready to sign up for a romance that’s downright transformative.
Anyone who wants to connect with a Scorpio in a lasting way will be equally open to getting in the weeds of their feels and discussing the spiritual and darker sides of life. A Scorpio partner might love to binge mystery series, read Stephen King, make a big deal about dressing up for Halloween, or even take classes to explore magic, spells, energy healing, etc. Loving a Scorpio means loving their lifelong exploration of the depths of emotions and life — and whatever comes after it. They also tend to be innately, intensely sexual, so even if you’re at the innocent start of a relationship, their physical magnetism can lead to spark-inducing tension.
Scorpios’ sexual style
Speaking of sexual, given their associations with the Eighth House and Mars, both of which rule sex, Scorpios can’t help but be passionate — and crave experiences that allow them to express that passion in a physical way. They live for the moments in which physicality and spirituality intersect, which can often lead to personal and/or relationship growth. Think Tantric sex — but it doesn’t have to be so on-the-nose. Scorps are naturally intrigued by sexual expression and exploration, so they might experiment with a bevy of fetishes or desires. And they tend to be fairly shameless in expressing their desires.
In fact, given the influence of Mars, they tend to be go-getters in the bedroom, which could mean they’re into respectfully dominating a partner. But thanks to their other co-ruler Pluto, which oversees power dynamics, they might be drawn to a variety of shifting roles. During one encounter, they might want to call the shots, and during another, they’re eager to be told what to do. Either way, they’re not interested in musing about their most intense fantasies — they will make them a reality.
They also see the merit of sex for sex’s sake, but will be one of the first signs to admit that a deeply felt, loving bond and attachment takes any physical encounter to the next level.
Wondering how Scorpio matches up with your sign as a friend, a lover, a colleague, or in terms of any other one-on-one relationship? Here, their most simpatico partners as well as clash-prone pairings:
Most compatible with:
Signs that share the same element tend to be the most in sync (e.g. two earth signs, like Taurus and Capricorn). This is especially the case for two water signs, both of whom lead with their emotions.
Water is also traditionally compatible with earth, because the two elements complement one another. The two elements share certain attributes, like being loyal, service-oriented, and invested in nurturing their home life. That said, a Scorpio often sparks with a fellow family-oriented, emotional Cancer, empathetic Pisces, or similarly driven Capricorn.
Least compatible with:
As with most of the zodiac signs, opposites can attract — and Scorpio and Taurus often connect on their shared desire to dig their heels in and build something purposeful and lasting. But two hard-headed, fixed signs might also clash if a compromise is out of the question.
Scorpio is also square (the most challenging angle that can exist between two signs) charismatic fire sign Leo and futurist air sign Aquarius. Unless they have other positive aspects in their natal charts, Scorpio can respect these two other fixed signs for their ability to pinpoint an objective and see it through, but emotionally, they’re too set in their own habits and perspectives to enjoy a truly compatible connection.
What If You Have Scorpio Elsewhere in Your Chart?
As mentioned previously, the sun sign is one of many aspects of a natal chart. When you were born, the moon and all the planets in our solar system were in one of the 12 signs and a particular position — all of which help to inform your personality and areas of your life. Here’s what it means if Scorpio shows up in any of the main areas of your chart:
The moon, which spends about two to three days in each sign, influences your emotions and intuition. If it was in Scorpio at the time of your birth, your feelings around just about anything tend to be a wholely intense experience. And when you find someone or something you care about, you set your sights on forging a lasting bond.
Mercury, which spends about two to three weeks in a sign, shapes your communication style. If it was in Scorpio when you were born, you’re intellectually fired up to dive into deep, sometimes even taboo topics that others shy away from. You care about getting to the core of any subject at hand and exploring it in a thoroughly investigative, perhaps even suspicious way. They tend to be natural professors and politicians. (No surprise Hillary Clinton was born with her Mercury — and sun, Venus, and rising sign — in Scorpio.)
Venus, which remains in a sign for about three to five weeks, influences how you behave in relationships and how you attract others. If you were born with the planet of love and beauty in Scorpio, you don’t shy away from intense feelings, commitment, or intimacy. You’re open to romance and love being an all-encompassing, extremely emotional experience.
Mars, which remains in a sign for six or seven weeks, affects your energy, strength, sexual style, and how you experience courage. If you were born while the fiery, dynamic, fighter planet was in fixed, watery Scorpio, it’s right at home, as Mars is one of the co-rulers of Scorpio. You’re dynamic, action-oriented, and challenge-seeking, interested in setting a bar for yourself, hitting it, and even pushing past it whenever possible.
Scorpio Ascendant (or Rising)
Your ascendant or rising sign influences how you present yourself to the world. As a Scorpio ascendant, you come off as charismatic, intense, charming, and mysterious.
Upcoming Astrological Highlights for Scorpio
September 27-October 27 and November 10-December 1: Mercury moves through your sign twice this year. It’ll be retrograde there from October 13-27, urging you to go back to the drawing board to perfect personal projects. But during the periods it’s direct (September 27-October 13 and November 10-December 1), you’ll have the green light to express your ideas in a bold way that’s sure to make a lasting impression.
October 22-November 21: While the sun moves through your sign, you’ll get to revel in the annual celebration that is your season. You’ll feel even more focused than usual on your main personal objectives and fired up to make an impression on everyone around you.
November 15: The new moon in Scorpio is a special chance for you to key into a long-term goal and set yourself up for success by mapping out the game plan you’ll need to enact to cross the finish. But because your new moon opposes game-changer Uranus, you might have to contend with out-of-the-blue, emotional situations, which might be best addressed in a measured way. And as it also forms a harmonizing angle to dreamy Neptune, you’ll get a lot out of leaning into your imagination.
November 21-December 15: Venus, which oversees romance, beauty, and money, moves through your sign during this period, urging you to express yourself through your personal style even more than usual, while indulging in your go-to pleasures (that decadent dessert or pricey beauty product) and spending time with your VIPs.
December 19-May 13, 2021: Jupiter, the planet of fortune and expansion, will move through your fourth house of home life. (For a recent point of reference, consider what happened from January 5, 2009 to January 17, 2010, as that was the last time the benefic planet spent time in this zone.) The huge planet brings an amplifying effect to anything it touches, so your focus on family, domestic matters, and whatever brings you a sense of security will be magnified, making it easier to build a home life and foster close bonds that fuel and support you.