What is Scorpio’s Ruling Planet?
The ruling planet is the planet which has the most influence over a sign of the zodiac. The rulership of signs by planets is one of the most ancient and central parts of astrology. The powerful and unique properties of each planet have a direct influence on the characteristics of people born under the sign ruled by that planet.
While the majority of signs have always been associated with the same planet, Scorpio is one of three that actually experienced a change in which planet astrologers believed is most strongly associated with it. For centuries, Mars was the ruler of both Aries and Scorpio, bestowing on both signs a passionate drive and certain aggression that both signs seemed to display.
However, in 1930, with the official recognition of Pluto as a planet (later, of course, that status would be revoked and it would be classified as a dwarf planet), it became the official ruler of Scorpio.
This does not mean that Scorpios born before 1930 are somehow inherently different from Scorpios born after 1930. It simply means that there are now two different ways to interpret Scorpio’s planetary rulership. As is the case with all dually-ruled signs (the other two are Aquarius and Pisces), some people born under this sign are more attuned to the power of the old planet, and some are more attuned to the power of the new.
Astrologers generally agree that interpreting Pluto as Scorpio’s ruler is more precise and insightful for the majority of Scorpios. Therefore, only one section of this article will be dedicated to Scorpio’s rulership by Mars, and the rest will focus on its rulership by Pluto.
However, it is important to do your own research and consult the rest of your chart, to gain a better sense of the impact of both planets on your life.
Mars: Scorpio’s Former Ruling Planet
Mars is sometimes called “the planet of small misfortune” in ancient astrology texts. For this reason, many people are wary of it, including those who are ruled by it. They think that, because of this name, Mars will bring unhappiness into their lives.
As an extremely general rule, Scorpios are frequently not as concerned about this as people born under Aries, the other sign ruled by Mars. This is because of Scorpio’s general affinity for darkness, and your overall more cynical feelings about the world. However, many people are still concerned about this, and shy away from learning about Mars because of it.
Well, for one thing, it’s not exactly something you can escape – if Mars hasn’t brought you misfortune yet, he’s not about to start now, just because you know about him. But furthermore, the name “the planet of small misfortune” doesn’t really mean that you will experience a lot of small misfortunes in your life. “Small misfortune” refers to fights, arguments, and shows of temper that you may be prone to. This is something you need to be conscious of, although not afraid of. Just be aware of this part of your personality, and use it to your advantage, rather than to your disadvantage.
You may have been told that you were a sullen or argumentative child. You constantly questioned authority and may have even had longer-standing behavioural problems, although many Scorpios were well-behaved and only internally stewed in anger. As an adult, you probably have a dark and sarcastic sense of humour, and a lack of reverence that can get you in trouble.
This isn’t a bad thing – it’s something to harness to make you stronger. You can use the power of your anger to do good in the world. You are only susceptible to the “small misfortune” described in ancient astrological texts if you allow yourself to become ruled by these feelings rather than ruling them and directing them towards your goals.
Mars’ energy has traditionally been called masculine, but that doesn’t mean that women possess it in any smaller quantities, or that women who possess it are any less powerful! In fact, today, it is more important than ever that women have the strength to stand up for what they believe in, which is something that Mars can help you with. You can harness Mars’ masculine power in a male-dominated world.
Don’t feel that your natural strength is unbecoming to your gender. For centuries, brave and outspoken women have been silenced, but today, you have a stronger voice than ever. Women are being rewarded more and more for speaking their opinions, and behaving in a more aggressive fashion. Take advantage of living in this modern time, and make your voice heard.
Mars, the Ancient Greek god of war, rules a very aggressive and outward-focussed type of energy. This is one of the reasons that Scorpio was chosen for reassignment when the three “new” planets(Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) were added to the zodiac. This outward-focussed energy didn’t seem perfectly consistent with Scorpio’s introverted and philosophical nature.
It’s true that many Scorpios are aggressive and put energy into fighting for what they believe in in a very outwardly-focussed manner. However, many more are more interested in the complex process of introspection and existential philosophy, asking probing questions rather than grabbing on to a solution to a problem and then running with it.
• With Mars, the god of war, as Scorpio’s Ruling Planet, Scorpio gained an almost crippling reputation for being a dangerous and violent sign. This was, of course, radically unfair – there has never been any statistical evidence to suggest that Scorpios are more prone to violence than any other sign, except a handful of well-known criminals who happened to be born under Scorpio, and a healthy dose of conformation bias.
However, if you are a Scorpio ruled by Mars, you may be prone to the potentially dangerous combination of a strong temper, combined with a tendency to disregard the feelings of others. Scorpio’s highly introspective nature can, at times, lead to a degree of narcissistic tendencies. When combined with a tendency towards anger, there is a possibility of violence.
This is not something to fear, or to rage against, merely a possible combination of factors, of which you may want to be conscious.
Pluto, who is named after the Ancient Roman god of the Underworld (called Hades in Greek mythology), reflects the deepest parts of the human soul.
It is a questioning, philosophical, and independent planet. Because the god Pluto ruled the Underworld, people who are ruled by Pluto are blessed with great fearlessness in the face of ideas that send other people running. This fearlessness was viewed by earlier astrologers as caused by the same drive and focus that makes Aries run headfirst into trouble, which is why it was decided that they were ruled by the same sign.
However, unlike Aries, Scorpio does not lack any understanding of danger, or the reasons to be afraid. She simply takes a pragmatic view of potential danger (viewing death as a natural part of human life), and an at times cynical view of humanity (assuming the worst of her fellow man, and therefore being unsurprised when they prove corrupt).
It is for these reasons that the broader astrological community has decided that, in general, Pluto is a better fit for Scorpio’s ruling planet than Mars was. However, the influence of both planets cannot be entirely neglected, and both should be kept in mind.
Romance and Compatibility with Scorpio’s Ruling Planet
Scorpios are highly selective partner-seekers. Pluto’s generally cynical outlook on humanity makes you highly conscious of flaws in potential mates, and skeptical of anyone who seems “too good to be true.”
Besides that, if Mars has a greater influence, then you are stuck in a compatibility bind – Scorpio is a watery sign (and therefore is compatible and incompatible with similar people to the other water signs, Cancer and Pisces), but it’s ruled by a fiery planet (and therefore is compatible and incompatible with similar people to the other signs ruled by fiery planets, Aries and Leo).
This leads to a serious struggle in finding someone who you are satisfied with. It’s not impossible, but there are barriers.
As a general rule, unless extremely strongly influenced by Mars, Scorpio has the best chances of compatibility with Cancer and Pisces. Pluto’s philosophical influence is well-matched by their sensitive and thoughtful personalities.
They are also more willing than other signs to guide you through the process of finding a healthy balance between your naturally skeptical and dark-looking Pluto influence, and the need to have a degree of optimism to function in the world.
While Cancer and Pisces are far from grinning optimists like Gemini or Leo, they generally have overall positive views of life, which can help you develop a less cynical approach, and pull you away from the potential existential depression that many Scorpio’s face.
Pluto may also lead you to a state of high compatibility with earth signs, whose practical and unromantic views you find highly attractive, and who may not be as sentimental as water signs, if that is something you wish to avoid in a potential partner.
Scorpios are especially well-matched to Capricorns, who share your cynicism to an extent, but who have found excellently-formed tactics for using that to their advantage. Their outlook is highly pragmatic, and they may hold a certain degree of optimism about the value of hard work towards success, which is inspiring.
Whether entering a relationship with a water sign or an earth sign, be wary of self-sabotage. You may find yourself quickly slipping into patterns of sarcasm and bitterness that your partner may at first be able to overlook, but will eventually lead them to frustration, and may harm your relationship without you even noticing it until it’s too late.
Pluto, the coldest planet and the furthest from the Sun, has a significant struggle forming compatibilities with fire signs. Those born under Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, frequently just have a worldview and attitude that you find no comfort or joy in.
Beyond your differences in worldview, you frequently get into confrontations with these signs, because you are both so opinionated and set in your ways. You frequently butt heads, especially when it comes to your core philosophical differences.
Although those ruled by Pluto tend to have aversions to all fire signs, this aversion is most pronounced with Leos. You have an instinctive suspicion of many Leos because of what seems to you like an unnatural brightness and optimism in their personalities. You may feel like they’re hiding something, or putting on a front.
This isn’t always fair, but sometimes it’s just the way things are. It’s a natural result of being ruled by a planet so far away from the Sun that its light has never done anything good for you. Just try not to treat your personal suspicion of Leos as objective fact, and resist the urge to proselytize about it. Many other people find them compelling, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
As always, these guidelines for compatibility are far from watertight. There are a myriad of factors affecting astrological compatibility, which cannot be distilled to one factor, and certainly not communicated in the form of a general rule being applied to all readers – and that’s before even taking into account the very real “human factor.” Always evaluate the people you meet in terms of your situation, not just what the stars have to say.
Using the Power of Scorpio’s Ruling Planet in your Life
Because Pluto is a highly skeptical and probing planet, it is the ideal planet to guide you in matters of research and detective work. You ask difficult questions, which is a very good thing.
Many professional researchers, including scientists, academics, and archeologists, have a strong influence from Pluto in their chart, whether it is their Ruling Planet or not. But do not underestimate this power in your day-to-day life if you are not a professional researcher.
You have a knack for asking just the right questions to pull information into the open. In many ways, this is an excellent quality to have. However, you should be conscious that this makes you susceptible to asking some questions that people would rather not answer.
Be careful that you don’t pull skeletons out of closets too quickly, or you’re apt to make enemies that you’d rather not make. This isn’t to say that you should hide things, but you should be conscious that not everyone will be happy about your investigative streak.
Use your highly skeptical nature for good, not just to be contrary. There is enormous value in asking questions, especially difficult ones – this is something that philosophers have known since the earliest days (just ask Socrates!)
However, there is a time and a place to ask questions that you know people don’t have the answers to. Don’t pretend like you’ve never done this – asking a question to get someone thinking is great, but asking one just to try to humiliate or confuse someone is not a good idea.
Save your probing and difficult questions for when the time is right – when you can ask them, and the person you’re asking has the time to think and formulate an answer to, which you can then respond to, and then you can have an actual, constructive dialogue.
It’s fair to say that people ruled by Pluto are not especially inclined towards religion. Your questions are not always appreciated by orthodox religious leaders, or even by more liberal religious communities, who may find them offensive, or just annoying. And when they tell you as much, you’re quickly put off investing any more psychic energy in that group.
Not all Scorpios need to find a religious path, but those who struggle with existential dread, doubt, and depression, will seriously benefit from it.
Take the time to either choose or construct a path that feels right to you (and this doesn’t mean you have to stop questioning – find one that encourages questions!) and dedicate both time and thought to it. Use it as a tool to drive you to do good in the world, and give yourself permission to have confidence in the existence of a higher power.
Use your pragmatism here: Dreading the void it will not change it, so why make yourself miserable for no good reason? Finding a way to avoid dreading the void will at least give you the tools to construct a good experience on earth.
Finally, while Pluto is a natural loner (it is further from its nearest planet than any other in our solar system), take the time to choose a few close friends, and mindfully cultivate healthy relationships with them.
Choose people who support you, who you can support in turn, and who you genuinely consider equals. Remember that Pluto is not entirely alone and that its moons are closer in mass to it than the moons of any other planet in the solar system. That is the type of relationship that you need: people who are your equals, and who will stick by you in your isolation.
Scorpio’s ruling planet proves a difficult topic for many novice astrologers, and if you believe that you may be more influenced by Mars than by Pluto, reading articles originally written for people born in Aries may help you gain additional insight into your situation.
For those who do feel a connection with Pluto, this is not something to be afraid of, but rather something to embrace as a part of yourself and to use to your advantage. Simply be conscious of the potential risks that many Pluto-ruled people are exposed to, and make sure you don’t fall victim to them.
Can you feel the power of Pluto in your life? Do you stare into the abyss until it stares back? How will you harness Pluto’s questioning power in order to reach (and help your friends reach) a higher understanding of the world?
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