So You're A Scorpio Rising — Here's What That Means For Life & Love (+ How To Thrive)
You may know your sun sign in astrology, but your rising sign can clue you in to how you show up in the world—and how other people perceive you. In the case of Scorpio risings, these mysterious folks maybe be secretive, but they're also deep and loyal companions. If you or someone you know is a Scorpio rising, here's what to keep in mind.
What is a rising sign anyway?
Your rising sign, also known as your "ascendant," is the zodiac sign that was rising over the eastern horizon the moment you were born. Where your sun sign relates to the position of the sun relative to the astrological year (i.e., you were born during Leo season or Taurus season), your rising sign relates to the position of the sun relative to the time of day. (The sun spends about two hours traveling through each sign every day.)
Your rising sign reveals how you interact with the world, from your appearance to your attitude to the first impressions you make on others. For example, a Libra sun with a Scorpio rising will likely exhibit Scorpio-like traits you wouldn't expect from typical Libra energy, or will even physically look more like a Scorpio.
Your rising sign also determines where your first house of identity falls in your chart (your ascendant is always your first house), which sets the stage for the rest of the houses in your chart.
As the AstroTwins previously wrote for mindbodygreen, "The zodiac wheel begins with the first house, which represents where the sun was rising over the eastern horizon at your moment of birth and governs the self, the identity, and your first impression. The houses then move counterclockwise around the zodiacal wheel and ripple out to broader themes of family/home life, society, and beyond."
Understanding Scorpio risings
- Ruling planet: Pluto in modern astrology and Mars in ancient astrology
- Element: Water
- Modality: Fixed
- Glyph: ♏︎ (M with a scorpion tail)
- Symbolized by: The scorpion
- Scorpio rising celebs: Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Frank Ocean, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Ozzy Osbourne, Kate Bush, Grimes, Jackie Kennedy, Lana Del Rey, Björk, Keith Richards
Scorpio rising key traits:
Few people will appear more intense than the Scorpio risings of the world. As intuitive astrologer Lumi Pelinku tells mindbodygreen, this is an astrological placement that's known for being mysterious, otherworldly, spiritual, and even attracted to taboo or occult topics.
They're also fearless, she notes, and where some people may shy away or feel afraid of certain things, Scorpio risings want to face things head-on. That's because with their ruling planet, Pluto (the planet of transformation and rebirth), Scorpio risings want to get to the bottom of their deepest inquires, leaning into metaphorical "deaths" and up-endings in order to experience new beginnings.
Another telltale quality of the Scorpio rising is their selectivity and discernment when it comes to who they trust and let into their lives. As Pelinku explains, they're most comfortable keeping parts of themselves hidden, only granting a special few the honor of seeing their inner world. Their trust can be difficult to attain, but once you have it, they're incredibly loyal. Betray that trust, however, and you likely will not get it back.
In general, Scorpio risings are intuitive and creative, thanks to their water element. As noted above, a number of edgy or otherwise moody musicians are Scorpio risings, from Ozzy Osbourne to Grimes—two prime examples of big Scorpio energy. This sign's intuition also makes them deeply connected to things around them, which Pelinku adds can make them susceptible to negative environments and people.
"The nature of Pluto and its lessons for Scorpio risings is for them to constantly evolve themselves. They have to regenerate. They even go through like a series of 'mini deaths,' like they're a different person today than yesterday," Pelinku tells mindbodygreen, adding, "They go through such ups and downs with the ebbs of life. It paints their perception of what their reality is."
Scorpio rising in love
As you might imagine, winning a Scorpio rising's love is no easy feat—but once you do, they can be the deepest and most loyal lover you've ever known. And in terms of what they're looking for, Pelinku says, you can look to their fifth and seventh houses.
So, Pelinku explains, when it comes to initial attraction, Scorpio risings need to watch out for obsessive or illusory crushes, because they can be susceptible to unrealistic fantasies. But in terms of sealing the deal of commitment, they will likely end up with someone who can provide the stability and emotional safety they require for trust and intimacy.
"With love and relationships, you need to be 'all-in' for Scorpio risings," Pelinku says, adding, "They love commitment and they'll tell you straight away whether they like you or not—but they can also get so enraptured in the love that they could lose themselves."
After all, this is a very intense astrological placement, and that intensity applies to their relationships. "Love triggers that raw and primal feeling inside them and they get a little addicted to it," Pelinku notes. And going back to that Taurus-ruled seventh house, Scorpio risings value autonomy in their relationships, but can also be prone to possessiveness and jealousy.
They make also attract people who need healing, according to Pelinku, because Scorpio's are so intuitive and constantly transforming themselves. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's not always a good thing, and these folks need to be mindful not to take on other people's healing as their responsibility.
Overall, she notes, dating a Scorpio rising is not for the faint of heart, but if you're up for a transformative, healing, and deeply spiritual relationship, it might be a great fit for you.
Be sure to check out our complete guide to relationship astrology (aka "synastry") for more information on astrological compatibility.
Scorpio rising in friendships
Similar to their romantic relationships, Scorpio risings value honesty and trust in their friendships as well. As Pelinku explains, "You've got to be so honest with them—if you're not honest or you don't hold true to your word, they're not really gonna want you in their lives." In that sense, she says, they love people who can share their honest opinion, because a Scorpio rising can always handle the truth.
They want friends who are authentic and deep, and if you want to be friends with one, Pelinku notes it will help to expose your vulnerabilities in some way, in order to show that you are a safe person for them to be around.
"The way friendships work with a Scorpio rising is that they'll let their hair down and their goofy side will come out at times when they feel comfortable in the space of another," she tells mindbodygreen, adding, "There's very few people that they actually expose their true selves to."
Whether a Scorpio rising has a small group of friends or a large one, you can safely assume there are really only a handful of people that they trust.
Scorpio risings in the workplace
When it comes to their career, Scorpios are dedicated and diligent workers, thanks to their fixed quality, and they can thrive in a number of different career paths. They may prefer working alone, but if they are working with others, teamwork, camaraderie, and trust will be important factors for keeping operations running smoothly.
Given their creative streak, many Scorpio risings (such as the celebs named above) may be attracted to jobs in the arts, and specifically music. They can also be great healers, and may be interested in therapy, spiritual coaching, or even medicine and healthcare.
And thanks to their ancient ruling planet, Mars, don't be surprised if a Scorpio rising finds themselves in a riskier career that involves bravery, authority, or leadership (i.e. criminal justice, the military, politics, etc.).
Overall, there are a number of jobs that are well-suited for Scorpio's strengths, and with the sign of show-stopping Leo ruling over their 10th house of career, you can safely bet that they'll shine in whatever it is they do.
How to thrive as a Scorpio rising
If you're a Scorpio rising, you likely understand the intensity of life all too well. And according to Pelinku, while your depth is certainly a strength in some ways, it's also important to let the light in once in a while. "If they don't, they could get a little too intense, because they can absorb so much of the density of life around them that they don't see the light in life," she explains.
To that end, she notes, Scorpio risings would serve themselves well to establish some sort of sacred or spiritual practice, even if that just means making their home more of a safe haven for respite and reflection. They may find that energy healing practices like spiritual baths and sound bathing also help them reconnect to themselves.
By cultivating that inner connection, the intensity of life won't be so much to bear, Pelinku explains, adding that if these people don't protect themselves and their energy, they can become cynical and jaded. "That's the darker side or the 'shadow aspects' of Scorpio risings—so it's best for them to have some kind of ritual for themselves in order to feel calm and zen in their life," she adds.
Last but not least, given this sign's inclination toward jealousy, possessiveness, and illusion in partnership, it's important for these folks to check themselves when those qualities rear their heads, and get clear on reasonable expectations versus fantasy or possessiveness.
What does it mean to have a Scorpio rising?
To be a Scorpio rising means the sun was rising over the eastern horizon in the sign of Scorpio when you were born. This will give you apparent Scorpio-like qualities, such as being mysterious, deep, and intense.
What is a Scorpio rising attracted to?
When it comes to relationships, Scorpio risings are attracted to Taurean qualities like stability, loyalty, and being generally down-to-earth, because Taurus rules their seventh house of partnership.
What does a Scorpio rising look like?
If you've never heard of the "Scorpio stare," Scorpio risings have a way of looking right into your soul (often with a downturned head, so they're almost looking at you through their brows). That's one quick way to spot them, along with dark-colored hair and eyes, a serious expression, and a muscular frame.
What issues do Scorpio risings have?
Scorpio risings can have issues with trust, possessiveness, jealousy, and illusion. They can also be strongly affected by other people or certain places because of their strong intuition and emotional depth.
As you may have realized at this point, astrology is much more than your sun sign, with your rising sign actually being the placement that determines the rest of your birth chart. And for Scorpio risings, these edgy and mysterious people have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them irresistibly enticing.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.