The Scorpio symbol (also called Scorpio glyph) is a shorthand representation of the Scorpio zodiac animal (see below). However, as with the animal itself, much is based both in interpretation and the preference of the writer, and can range from simple to extravagant.
Above are some examples of commonly used styles for the Scorpio symbol. Each of these is equally valid - there is no 'correct' version as long as the general shape is maintained.
The word 'Zodiac' means circle of animals (though note a couple of signs aren't animals in the normal sense). These 'animals' were based originally on the pattern of the stars in their corresponding star constellation. Basically what the earliest astronomers and astrologers saw when they squinted at the night sky.
Due to this although Scorpio will always be represented by a scorpion, there isn't any one 'correct' shape or design for that scorpion. It's a cosmic game of join the dots, and some constellations even have alternative ways to form the animal from the dots (stars).
Any picture of the shape, tail or profile of a scorpion can therefore be comfortably used here. Designs range from the space-age to the ancient, and are limited only by the imagination of the artist, as long as it gets the point across. In the case of Scorpio, you could equally use a phoenix, though that would be less widely recognized.
Below is a representation of Scorpio the scorpion (and the Scorpio symbol, inset) from a medieval wood carving from the 16th century. While it's not suggested this is a great picture (hey, you try carving something into the side of a tree which will look sexy in 400 years time!) it does show how the basic concept of Scorpio the scorpion hasn't changed much over the centuries.
I have a separate article on Scorpio tattoos.
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