Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — At the gates of our galaxy stands a centaur (the constellation Centaurus), whose name is Chiron. This is an ancient symbol, half-horse, half-man (or woman), whose time has come. It’s a comment about the state of humanity — not sure if it’s a person or an ‘animal’ and not sure how we feel about the animal aspect. Chiron’s features include being a maverick and helpful though in a way that’s sometimes inconvenient but works. Some astrologers associate a planet by this name (discovered orbiting our Sun in 1977) with your sign.
Yours is the sign of the quest, the far away and far-out, and success based on an odd chance. You are the master of “leap before you look,” never quite thinking about what you do before you do it. But you don’t change this policy because you get lucky often enough, and your impetuous attitude gets you far better results than the people who sit around hesitating all day. As one Sagittarius recently said to me, she tries to jump across the river without stepping on the individual stones. She added, “I’m in the river, but I caught a fish.”
The ancients were brilliant, for aligning your sign with the Galactic Center — that is, the core of the Milky Way, our home galaxy — because you have an affinity for everything that’s exotic, remote, interesting and lavish. You will go places just to go there, meet people just to meet them, and you find children to be your peers far more than adults. You possess within your soul the library of the zodiac, which is to say you love knowledge and philosophy and probably have a Twitter feed that’s actually interesting to follow. Yet your reputation for being a freewheeling devil-be-damned type is entirely true until we get to your rock-solid values, which can be traditional, cautious and even conservative. You’re as private as you like to be well known. When you help others, you might want to move on quickly so that you don’t get involved; having your space is crucial to you. You live with these various tensions a little like Chiron is made of his human and animal parts.
As unusual, energetic and optimistic as you are, it’s good for you to understand that you have limits. If you try to be a perfectionist, you won’t get anything done, but you also need to remember what you’ve learned about technique (there is a trick to everything), and how important those petty details can be. Remember that someone isn’t necessarily crowding your space by trying to be close to you, but it’s helpful if you’re honest that you live on your own terms. You’re compelling enough that those who care about you will go along. Yours is a fire sign and is described as mutable because it’s right before a season changes. It’s ruled in traditional astrology by the fat, happy planet Jupiter — the one with 66 confirmed moons. Study both Jupiter and Chiron to learn more about yourself and for additional guidance about the spiritual quest that is your life.
You have an advantage: you were born with a seemingly mature set of values.
In reality they are getting old — but the good news there is that they are all up for renovation. So, too, is your concept of self-respect. And this ties directly into your quest not just for money but your obsession with being financially independent.
Most vital to a Sagittarius, you have noticed that you really do have good ideas. Your path to financial self-sufficiency and your good ideas are one concept. That you have the capacity to be a free thinker and to be economically free are the same thing.
MENTAL PROCESS AND INFLUENCE ON OTHERS
Though you would be the last person most astrologers would remind of this, remember the necessity for excess in human existence. Bacchus, the god of grapes and wine, was one of the most revered deities of Roman antiquity (successor to Dionysus, who was even more revered). Bacchus pushed the lines of gender, sanity and reason, and it’s necessary to make sure you do these things at regular intervals. I remind you now because your tendency of late is to play your cards close to the vest, to honor your limitations and to be oddly cautious; you may wonder what has come over you. It’s always good to be aware of the existence of boundaries and limits; and it’s necessary to push them as well.
Allow that sense of being on the edge to be your constant companion. Remember how many positive developments have happened to you at other times when you lived a bit dangerously.
You of all people do not exist in a vacuum: that is to say, it seems like everything you do and think is part of a community process. This works in overt ways and covert ways. Overtly, you are considered by others to be a leader. Covertly, the thoughts you think subtly influence a great many other people around you; what you know about yourself changes the world. (This helps explain the taboo on self-knowledge.)
Pholus, another centaur from mythology and a long-term planetary visitor to Sagittarius, has the key phrase: “Small cause, big effect.” That would be you. You have no doubt witnessed that you can have an impact on the world; you have yet to see how the subtle influence that you offer can have a profound effect, indeed, one that you could have barely imagined possible.
Pluto’s recent journey through your sign has given you the strength to be who you are on the inside, and has taught you something about your impact on the external circumstances around you. Pholus adds an edge, if you can believe it. In Sagittarius it feels something like this: I am going to speak my truth no matter what, and if people don’t like it that’s their problem. I know, this sounds Sagittarian even on a cloudy day.
What I will call the ‘influence effect’ is subtle, though I suggest you be observant at two kinds of moments: when you feel you don’t have any influence at all, and when you feel curious. These moments — if you can step out of them and see them clearly — are the ones where you will discover where your true power resides.
You are not as transparent as you think. Yet parallel to that fact is another: you can afford to be more transparent, and doing so would ease a kind of psychic tension that you tend to carry around with you.
I suggest you take comfort in the fact that eventually, everything about you will be known; that ultimately, there are no secrets, and therefore, you have no reason to invest energy in the attempt to hide anything from the world. It’s not just that the attempt to hide takes energy; rather, it’s that it creates an interference pattern around you. It’s like a distraction or veil that hides who you are in those moments when what you want is to be sending the signal that you are an authentic person. Understanding something about the Sagittarian nature, you may be deliberately attempting to cloak yourself as a way to give yourself space: you do need space. But this really isn’t space; it’s like the illusion thereof.
Your curiosity about yourself, your purpose in life and the ideas by which you live is burning in you right now, but it may be lurking right below awareness. Or some doubt has come to the surface, and you’re trying to chase it down.
You are not in pursuit of ‘an idea about yourself’; you are seeking an actual experience of yourself. You don’t need plans; you need a vision for who you want to be in the world. The issue actually involves your mental horizon: that is, what you’re able to see in your inner landscape, and how this defines your conception of existence.
Most of how the human race deals with this is through religion and its modern clone, spirituality. This is like the lagoon where most humans are trained to dump their erotic feelings, or try to. This does not work for you. The reason is simple: it does not leave enough room for an individual to make decisions and live the life they choose. This, if I am not mistaken, is your one and only goal. Most people view religion as a ‘part of their life’ rather than the actual foundation of their life. Your view is that your whole experience of life is your journey, spiritual or otherwise, and that it must make room for the totality of who you are. There’s no room to pretend that you’re not working under the same basic concepts all the time.
The extremely high measure of your intelligence, from an astrological viewpoint, comes from the fact that you have Aquarius in your solar 3rd house: the house of your mental functions and your immediate community. It would be a toss-up between Sagittarius and Aquarius to choose the sign that is (symbolically, anyway) the most progressive, in terms of ideas, and its placement in the historical process.
Aquarius is not always progressive; and your mental patterns have a way of becoming fixed, despite your sign being a mutable one. About half the time it represents a crystallized thought pattern that ranges from useless to destructive.
The nature of Sagittarius is to quest, expand, explore and express.
This, to me, is your real quest to be yourself. That is to say, such is more than a mental phenomenon; more than walking around with your most precious beliefs held like a ring in a box in your pocket. Your true quest is in the expression of your human nature, and to do this you must overcome all the internal and external obstacles that get in the way, nearly all the time.
You are a handful but you don’t have to be. Please, never confuse the feeling of being from somewhere else, or the idea of being something other than an Earthling, with the actual facts. You are not from somewhere else; you were born here and you live here. You are not some other species, mentally or physically, even though many human ideas are extremely strange. You are one among us. In the Esoteric Astrology tradition, Sagittarius is ruled by planet Earth. In traditional astrology, it is the sign of the world itself, the world you inhabit, and the world where you may (if you wish) seek to love and be loved.
What people run into is that you are indeed difficult to understand, and you may not see your own complexity. That would be well enough, if it did not come with the often-convenient experience of alienating people from you. This is a constantly present escape hatch from your relationships. You can always declare that you feel so different, it’s not even worth trying to connect.
You do make good use of this relative independence. There is something about you that embodies the inherently human spirit of adventure and wandering for its own sake. Yet there is also part of you that clings to tradition as if it were the last thing that exists. Indeed, for how out-there you are perceived as being, and for as strange as you convey to others that you are, the foundation of your psyche is a values system that does not, in reality, appreciate fast change, and tends to be shy of innovation. It would not be fair to call you stuck, but you have an odd way of running out your tether when you least expect it.
Consider the contradictions this presents for people who want to be close to you. On the one hand, you are the harbinger of the future, or perhaps more aptly, a kind of barbarian in the midst of time, blazing through the unexplored wilderlands of consciousness. Then, in another moment, you could be relying on Emily Post’s etiquette manuals for advice about how to set the table, decorate your house or organize a proper wedding. Beneath your abundant futurism are doubts about the future, and beneath your radical independence is a need to work within established, traditional forms of existence that appear to be the dominant values system.
On one level, you were born to create and explore, but on another, you were born to serve. This is more a question of figure-ground contrast than being one of either/or. The mutable cross of the zodiac is your home — as a Sagittarius, you have close relationships to Gemini, Virgo and Pisces. All four of these signs are involved with serving humanity, each in its own way.
Mars represents your 5th solar house (Aries, which for you is about creative love, sexual experimentation and taking risks) and your 12th solar house (Scorpio), which is a picture of how your sex drive defines who you are — whether you like it or not; whether you resist that fact or not.
Which brings us back to the influence of religion in your life. Or is it sex? Or is it creativity? To put it simply, you would be a lot more liberated if you weren’t getting hung up in someone else’s concept of morality. Indeed, you have some prudish tendencies that don’t really fit who you are; and which have been coming under scrutiny in recent years. Outwardly you’re an extremely liberal person, but inwardly you tend to get caught up in the same moralism and control that lead to huge scandals that distract our attention from the real issues.
There is a guilt issue inherent in Sagittarius, but we find it in Capricorn in the 2nd house. Guilt is the shadow side of Capricorn, and you can be sure that a good few of the Sagittarians that you’ve heard from who have made their way in the world have done so specifically by overcoming this issue.
If anything, the ancient masters who gave Sagittarius the Centaur as its image were making the point that you not only need to have two feet on the ground, but rather four of them. Not only are you human, you are distinctly connected to your animal nature — or you must make a conscious effort to do so. The part of you that needs, the part of you that craves contact, the part of you that just wants to fuck, is as much the animal as it is the human.
One thing you don’t have to worry about is not taking life seriously. Nor do you take things too seriously. I would say you’ve struck exactly the right balance and that is why, from one viewpoint, you are somewhat impervious to harm. The energy you carry is the very essence of protection and abundance; on the good days, you can feel that vividly. On the not so good days, the people around you have to remind you. But your sense that the god of fortune is a close personal friend rarely, if ever, falters.
At the recent Masters of Creation conference, half the room turned out to be Sagittarian. It’s obvious why: notice your ability to observe life in the earthly realm with near-total detachment, which means freedom, which means the ability to choose — and that is called power.
We need Sagittarius. In a bad way. While the Scorpio process at our time in history tends to be obsessed with the idea of give and take, with metering exchanges and with remembering who is boss, Sagittarius, when we feel it, is the experience of abundance. Think of it like a web page. No matter how many people read and benefit from it, it’s still there.
The themes, energy and experiences of Sagittarius take us out of the purely emotional, hormonal and psychological essence of Scorpio and into the wide-open world, into realms of culture, knowledge, travel, teaching, publishing and exploration of life in an active way.
It is a mutable sign, representing an energy that is highly subject to change; and it is a fire sign, an element opposite water and opposite by energetic polarity — yang instead of yin.
Remember that every person has every sign in his or her chart, and to know your chart, you need to know your personal relationship to each of those signs and their respective planets. Those involved with Sagittarius are Jupiter and Chiron.
So in Sagittarius, we see themes of respect for freedom (as opposed to jealousy and power struggles). We feel the open space of the intellectual realm (rather than the introverted, at times terrifying realms of the emotional world).
The easiest way to relate the concept of Sagittarius is to say ‘the world beyond what you know’. It is the world of potential experience. So if you want to take a trip to a new place, we have the Sagittarian theme of the long-distance journey, but also the potential of experiencing something, and someplace (and its people) new.
Now, thinking out loud here for a sec, that concept looked good in my notebook, but I remember now that Sagittarius is also the world of accumulated knowledge — the university library, for instance. So maybe we could say that to experience Sagittarius we are existing on the border between the known and the unknown. That’s a good image for the line across the arrow in the symbol for Sagittarius, which points beyond the border to the larger world.
It’s clear that there are at least two levels to this sign: you might say the Professor Shmedley level, and the Princess Leah level; the graduate school library and the Golden Quest. The misty and the zesty. The student and the warrior.
We tend to think of Sagittarius as the sign of anything spiritual, the world of ideas beyond what we normally think — including spirituality, as opposed to organized religion (which most people would associate with Capricorn, because of the structure involved).
What has Sagittarius got to do with spirit? We usually think of Gemini as being about breath. Sagittarius, usually given to the themes and issues of spirit, is not an air sign. But it is a fire sign, so when we talk about Sagittarius, we are talking about the breath of fire.
Your gift for accessing mystical powers is itself more elementary than it seems; you know this, but those around you might see it as more exotic than it is. In essence, you tend to have more faith in humanity than in spiritual agency, but that faith is so strong, it works out being spiritual. It’s a cool trick, it’s all the world really needs, and your persistence is all the more admirable for the false religion that dominates our thinking these days.