Neith has pointed out recently that Scorpio’s healing properties often are ignored, which prompted me to write this little explanation for Saturday Extra.
The zodiac is comprised of twelve constellations on the ecliptic, the path the Sun takes as it appears to move through the sky from our perspective here on Earth. There is, however, a thirteenth constellation on the ecliptic, Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer. When the ancient Greeks came up with the tropical zodiac system, they excluded Ophiuchus and incorporated him into the adjacent sign of Scorpio. But a good portion of the second half of Scorpio is actually Ophiuchus.
I believe that this is the source of the healing and regenerative powers that many Scorpios and Rising Scorpios have. Astrology is strongly informed by mythology, and the mythology of Ophiuchus is fascinating. He is said to be Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. To this day, the medical community uses entwined snakes as its symbol. Incidentally, snakes and scorpions were both regarded by our ancient ancestors as symbols of death and regeneration, and they are used interchangeably as symbols for Scorpio.
Interestingly, Ophiuchus is near the location of the Galactic Center, which adds to its healing properties. Just as our own healing comes from our core (the Latin root for heart), collective healing comes from our greater center.
Wikipedia has a brief entry on Ophiuchus, which is a good start for finding out more. Or just Google it.
IMPORTANT UPDATE May 24, 2015: DON’T GOOGLE IT! Because of the flap in 2011 caused by an astronomer who is ignorant about astrology, the Web is now loaded with incorrect information about Ophiuchus. I have just added four articles to Pat’s Parlor, including a comprehensive article I wrote for The Mountain Astrologer. This is the correct information.
Best wishes for a blessed weekend,
Image: Ophiuchus, from the Star Atlas of Johannes Kepler, early 17th century.