August 15, 2018
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Emporer Scorpion (Pandinus imperator).Another sacred animal attribution for this 24th path is once again the scorpion, but this time it is not cast in the role of a redeemer like it was the case in the previous path, but he figures here simply because of his role of swift killer which resonates particularly well with the Tarot Trump attribution for this path: XIII – Death. Scorpions are predatory arthropod animals of the order Scorpiones within the class Arachnida. They have eight legs and are easily recognized by the pair of grasping claws and the narrow, segmented tail, often carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a venomous stinger.The reputation of swift killer has been sticked on the scorpion a long time ago. The scorpion assumes the role of a contract killer in the Greek myth of Orion.The story tells the story of the god Orion who boasted to goddess Artemis and her mother, Leto, that he would kill every animal on the earth. Although Artemis was known to be a hunter herself she offered protection to all creatures. Artemis and her mother Leto sent a scorpion to deal with Orion. The pair battled and the scorpion killed Orion. However, the contest was apparently a lively one that caught the attention of the king of the gods Zeus, who later raised the scorpion to heaven and afterwards, at the request of Artemis, did the same for Orion to serve as a reminder for mortals to curb their excessive pride. There is also a version that Orion was better than the goddess Artemis but said that Artemis was better than he and so Artemis took a liking to Orion. The god Apollo, Artemis’s twin brother, grew angry and sent a scorpion to attack Orion. After Orion was killed, Artemis asked Zeus to put Orion up in the sky. So every winter Orion hunts in the sky, but every summer he flees as the constellation of the scorpion comes. This is through this myth that this little tiny creature has acquired its terrifying reputation as a swift and rutheless killer in the litterary world. In the wild, all known scorpion species possess venom and use it primarily to kill or paralyze their prey so that it can be eaten; in general, it is fast-acting, allowing for effective prey capture. It is also used as a defense against predators. The venom is a mixture of compounds (neurotoxins, enzyme inhibitors, etc.) each not only causing a different effect, but possibly also targeting a specific animal. Each compound is made and stored in a pair of glandular sacs and is released in a quantity regulated by the scorpion itself.Though the scorpion has a fearsome reputation as venomous, only about 25 species are known to have venom capable of killing a human being,[94] most of those belong to the family Buthidae.Scorpions occur naturally in South, West and North Africa; North, Central and South America; India; and the Caribbean. Among the scorpions in North America, the ‘unpleasant’ ones are typically to be found in Arizona, New Mexico and on the Californian side of the Colorado River, whereas the other North American species are fairly harmless. Among the most dangerous scorpion breeds are Leiurus Quinquestriatus Scorpions, also known as Death Stalker Scorpions. This type of scorpion carries the most potent venom in the family. Other scorpions in the same family, such as the ParabuthusTityusCentruroides, and Androctonus are also known to possess strong venoms.In Mexico each year, 1000 to 2000 deaths occur from scorpion bites. Because of their size scorpions can easily travel anywhere in the world as stowaways with cargo, and they have been found in many large ports. Of all the deaths caused be scorpions each year in the world, which is estimated to 50 thouzands, the Deathstalker scorpion[95] is responsible for over 75% of them. The Androctonus Australis, or the fat-tailed scorpion that can be found in North America, is the cause of many human fatalities; this scorpion tends to inject a lot of venom into its prey. Scorpions can control the amount of venom that they inject into their prey. The usual amount that they release is between 0.1 and 0.6 milligrams. The two types of venoms are the translucent venom, also called prevenom, designed to stun, while opaque venoms are designed to kill. Evidence suggests that they only use their venom for defense or to hunt for food. These deadly scorpions are equipped with neurotoxins, just like the cobras, and can easily kill a young child or elderly person, but are less likely to kill a healthy adult. The reason so many people die from scorpions is because they like to dwell near people’s homes and are often times found in shoes or clothes, which leads to people stepping on them and in turn the scorpion retaliates.

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[94] See Gary A. Polis (1990). The Biology of Scorpions. Stanford University Press.
[95]The deathstalker (Leiurus quinquestriatus), is a species of scorpion, a member of the Buthidae family. The deathstalker is regarded as a highly dangerous species because its venom is a powerful cocktail of neurotoxins, with a low LD50. While a sting from this scorpion is extremely painful, it normally would not kill an otherwise healthy adult human. However, young children, the elderly, or infirm (such as those with a heart condition or those who are allergic) would be at much greater risk. Any envenomation runs the risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to the venom. If a sting from Leiurus quinquestriatus does prove fatal, the cause of death is usually pulmonary edema.

billwallace

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