The Book of Talismans, Amulets and Zodiacal Gems, by William Thomas and Kate Pavitt, , at sacred-texts.com
Period—Ruling Planet—Mythology—Symbology—Characteristics of the Type—Effect of the Malefic Aspects—Health Defects—Professions—Religion—Marriage—The Gems of the House—The Beryl and Aquamarine differing only in Colour—Qualities of the Beryl—Clairvoyant Properties—The Carbuncle as Transmitter of Light—Noah's Lamp—Talisman against Infection—The Lodestone—Magnetic Qualities as an Amulet against Shipwreck and Gout.
Scorpio forms the eighth sign of the Zodiac and is situated very low down on the Southern horizon, being seen at its best late at night during the months of July and August, and it is occupied by the Sun from the 24th October until November 23rd.
The House of the Scorpion is ruled by the planet Mars, and its largest star is Antares, so named by the Greeks to signify that it was equal in brilliancy to Mars, which, however, does not coincide with modern observation, as Mars when at his nearest to the Earth far exceeds in splendour and ruddiness the star Antares.
In very ancient records this sign has been called "The Oldest"; but no reason can be found for
this, although it has been suggested that the title refers to "that old serpent" originally responsible for the Fall of Mankind, which, according to ancient writers, is visible in the heavens and may be followed by taking diagrammatic representation of the constellations, where Hercules is shown trampling on the head of the Serpent, or Scorpion. As the Serpent, it typifies the temptation of Eve, who won wisdom and knowledge at the price of bitter sorrow and suffering. According to Greek Mythology the Scorpion was placed in the heavens by Juno the Queen of Gods (and wife of Jupiter), because it carried out her wishes by stinging Orion, who had offended the goddess by boasting that he could outrun and subdue the wildest and fiercest of beasts. Orion died from the effects of the sting and, with the Scorpion, was translated to the heavens, forming different constellations so placed that as one sets the other rises; and amongst mariners, when Orion is obscured it is considered to indicate storm and tempest, or when he is visible, fair weather.
The symbol and stone of the House are shown in No. 8 of the Frontispiece.
Scorpio has been described as the sign accursed, because during this period unfavourable weather is usually experienced, bringing gales and storms, the wind being stinging and bitterly cold, whilst
diseases such as cholera and digestive disorders incidental to the fruit season are rife, aptly expressed by the symbol of this House.
The leading characteristics of those born under the influence of Scorpio are intensity of purpose, indomitable will, and unflinching determination, as shown by the thoroughness and persistency with which they carry out their plans and desires, whether for good or evil. Although this type includes many extremes of temperament, from the highest and best natures down to the lowest and most degraded, whatever their stage of development may be, weak natures are seldom if ever found amongst them, all possessing the same positive methodical mentality with unflagging and powerful energy, in whichever sphere they are found. Having naturally a strong magnetic personality and dominant will-power, they exercise a strange psychological influence over others, and, although most convincing and powerful speakers, can frequently make themselves felt and understood without a word being spoken. They are invaluable when in positions of authority, which enables them to exercise this force, being persistent in seeing that those working under their direction shall carry out duties with precision, and although affable to those of an inferior social status they are always ready to resent familiarity
and stand upon their dignity when necessary, which enables them to insist on the observance of rules and laws even by the most refractory. These Scorpio subjects are also endowed with a strong perception of right and wrong, their sense of justice making them endeavour as far as possible to give due reward or otherwise for value received, even, to the extent of observing the ancient doctrine of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Although apparently matter-of-fact they are more or less psychic according to the stage of their development, but often fail to realise this power, attributing their experiences in this direction to keen perception and quick and accurate deduction, for they always discredit all they cannot personally feel or understand, looking upon the limits of their understanding as the limit of nature. One of their strongest traits of character is their wonderful power of resistance, for even when the chances of success are nil they are never discouraged, rising again and again after reverses seemingly unaware of defeat, also rarely showing emotion or feeling by any change of expression. This faculty of resistance makes them very popular as champions of the weak or oppressed, for they will face any personal danger or unpleasantness to help others, although they are often annoyed at the mental
deficiencies and lack of self-reliance and moral courage of the weaker types.
When badly aspected the subjects of Scorpio are, however, most destructive, domineering, malicious, and restless, developing into scolds and unreasonable characters, with a taste for a wandering and unsettled life. When unafflicted by malefic planets the nature -is expansive, and their surroundings should be such that they may work off superfluous energy in some way beneficial both to mind acid body. Outdoor life is most necessary and beneficial, and those of this type forced by circumstances to sedentary occupations should take walking, riding, or gymnastic exercises whenever possible.
Their energetic, discerning, and powerful personalities are felt in every walk of life, whether in State, professional, or business capacities; as humanitarians or leaders of democratic circles their phenomenal and retrospective memories and inexhaustible argument and suggestion act as an energy of destruction or as a motive power to uplift humanity. Other professions for which they are suited are Magistrates, Detectives, Analysts, Principals of Schools and Institutions, Disciplinarians, Organisers, Engineers generally, and Marine Engineers in particular; they also make splendid surgeons and medical practitioners, usually in
favour of drastic treatment for refractory patients. As authors they analyse and bring to the surface all the darkest corners in human life; they are also interested in handicrafts and intellectual progress, whilst their business capacity in driving a bargain or in buying and selling is remarkable.
The health defects of this House are generally of an uncommon nature, such as suppressed gout and rheumatism, painful and inflammatory ailments of the lower organs (which are governed by Scorpio); hæmorrhoids, malaria, typhoid, angina pectoris, insomnia, and severe sick headaches. In temper they are electric and impulsive and inclined to take offence; but although an angry type have often great self-control, but when badly aspected their strong passions predominate, and like the Scorpion they sting with the tongue, and their expressions are sarcastic, lurid, and cruel.
In religion they believe in Divine justice being meted out to wrongdoers, and find no difficulty in administering punishment to transgressors according to their deserts.
In love and friendship they are very exclusive, having strong and intense affections for those to whom they are attracted, but are subject to sudden revulsions of feeling and are for this reason frequently unfortunate in marriage relations, being inclined to be exacting, mistrustful,
and difficult to please, yet they always command respect, even from those who are unable to understand them. They will harmonise best with those of the Pisces, Cancer, Capricorn, and Virgo types, while those least in sympathy will be the Aquarian and Leo types.
The gems of this House are the Beryl, Aquamarine, Carbuncle, and Lodestone.
The Beryl.—The Beryl and Aquamarine are practically the same stone, differing only in colour, the Beryl varying from a bright blue to white, and the Aquamarine, as its name implies, coinciding with Pliny's description of "the gem green as the sea"; like the sea its colour varies from a pale cool green to a deep green. In quite recent years it has become common amongst jewellers and dealers in precious stones to describe all kinds generally as Aquamarines, and therefore it is not unusual to find one merchant describing the green stone as the Beryl, whilst his neighbour gives this name to the blue.
In their compositions these stones are almost exactly the same as the Emerald, and are found in India, Siberia, and Brazil. It has always been revered in the East as the stone of purity, and was considered to be particularly sensitive to personal influence, so that it is frequently given to brides at weddings that the auras of the newly-wedded
may blend in the Beryl, preserving and increasing their mutual love. This belief was held by the Romans, and confirmed by Camillus Leonardus who says, "it renders the bearer cheerful and increases and preserves married love"; also, "it cures distempers of the throat and jaws, and is good for indispositions of the liver and disorders of the stomach."
It is appropriately regarded as the Stone of the Seer and Mystic, nearly all of whom will be found to have Scorpio strong in their horoscopes. It is mentioned by Aubrey as particularly favourable for clairvoyants because "it hath a weak tincture of red wherein magicians see visions." This effect, sometimes seen under the influence of changing light, is also noted by Rossetti in his ballad "Rose Mary," where, writing on the powers of the spirits of the Beryl, he describes the stone as—
All varieties of this stone were considered beneficial to married people in keeping the affections true and constant and protecting from slander; and it was also regarded as a sovereign remedy against idleness, a sharpener of the intellect, and as being specially good for mariners and adventurers, preserving them from danger and sickness
on sea and land, and efficacious in the discovery of all hidden things.
The Carbuncle.—The Carbuncle belongs to the same species of stone as the Garnet, the latter being cut with facets, while the former is cut en cabochon, or with a rounded surface. It is found in India, Ceylon, Brazil, and the Cape, and has been described by mediæval writers (including Chaucer and Mandeville) as giving forth light in darkness, whilst in old legends a large Carbuncle is said to have served Noah as a lamp.
Shakespeare also refers to the light that comes from this stone, and these descriptions may have arisen from the fact that many very sensitive or psychic people are able to see a certain luminous effect surrounding the gem. It was a very popular stone with the Ancient Hebrews, who knew it as Baraketh, or flashing stone, which is derived from Barak, meaning lightning. Camillus Leonardus recommends it as a safeguard from poison, and in infectious illnesses, for repressing extravagance, and for mightily increasing the popularity and prosperity of its wearer.
During the Middle Ages it was believed to protect its owners from the plague, also to banish sadness, dispel evil thoughts, repress sensuality, reconcile differences between friends, and attract success to all undertakings, as well as to cure
indigestion and sore throat if suspended round the neck.
According to Pliny there are male and female stones, the deep red being masculine and the lighter-coloured feminine, a belief also held with regard to other gems.
Amongst the tribes of Northern India and Africa it was believed to protect from wounds in battle, an idea also common amongst the Arabs.
The Lodestone.—The Lodestone is composed of proto-oxide and peroxide of iron, and from its magnetic qualities is known as Magnetite. This quality induced Dinocrates, a celebrated architect in the employ of Ptolemy Philadelphus, to plan a temple the roof of which was to be of Lodestone, so that the statue of Arsinoe, to whom the temple was dedicated, might remain in suspension, a plan which never materialised owing to the death of the architect and his patron. Claudius, a Roman poet who lived some 600 years later, mentions a statue of Venus made of Lodestone and one of Mars in Iron, placed in the same temple that they might be attracted together at the marriage ceremonies, the Romans believing that this stone kept husband and wife faithful and their love secure.
Orpheus attributes to the Lodestone the power of attracting the love of gods and men, and it was
frequently set in wedding-rings for this purpose. In India it is believed to give vitality and health to those who wear it, and it is very popular amongst Mohammedans as a Talisman against evil spirits. In Elizabethan days mariners had great faith in this stone as a preservative from shipwreck, and also as an Amulet against gout if worn next the skin.
The Beryl, Aquamarine, Carbuncle, and Lodestone should not, however, be worn by those born in the Aquarius or Leo periods.