While not nearly as bad a reputation as the preceding Sign, Sagittarius is not exactly known for its pleasantries either. While Sagittarius has a very philosophical and thinking side, there is some mistake in thinking the centaurs were a kind and friendly sort of creature whose favorite way to settle something was talking. There’s a reason why Sagittarius is shown as a centaur and it’s good to remember that. The Sign is also said to be very optimistic and hopeful, while choosing to adopt a global view as opposed to a more detail-oriented view. Focusing on the religions and philosophies, Sagittarius is a soul-searching individual, even if he has to search for this soul half-way around the world, which isn’t something he’s going to complain about. Aside from this gallivanting free-spirit side, Sagittarius is known for its warlike ferocity, mostly using words as their weapon of choice. Sagittarius is not known for being overly polite, and is often called brash and blunt, just saying things as they are instead of taking effort to re-think and re-word their statements so as to not be so harsh. Though Sagittarius has a tint of unpleasantness to it, the modern portrait has been painted in colors of philosophy and religion, travel and freedom, and honesty and energy. This leaves much to be desired.
The constellation of Sagittarius is a very notable one, encompassing a special part of the sky that holds the center of the Milky Way. Obviously, this means that there are several, several deep sky objects within this constellation. Among these deep sky objects are numbered several nebulae like the Lagoon, Omega, and Trifid nebulae, the latter which still produces stars. Since the center of the Milky Way is seen through the constellation of Sagittarius, which means it also holds the closest known black hole to earth: the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. Interestingly enough, there is a radio source which is thought to emanate from this black hole; Sagittarius A and its components.
The constellation is best visible around 9p.m. in August.
The mythology of Sagittarius begins in Mesopotamia where the original image is that of a scorpion-tailed man drawing a bow. After this odd mixture of the neighboring Scorpio and Sagittarius constellations, this constellation eventually evolved to be connected to the god Pabilsag, the original centaur. What’s interesting about Pabilsag is that he’s shown as half man/half horse, with a human head facing forward and an animal head facing backwards, this imagery will be evoked later on in the form of a particular designation attributed to the Sign. Regardless, Sagittarius is referred to as “the Giant King of War” and is likened to Nergal (Mars), which paints a very destructive picture of Sagittarius.
There are two centaurs in the sky; Sagittarius and Centaurus. Of the two, Centaurus is significantly younger and much more refined than Sagittarius. Whereas Sagittarius is armed with a drawn bow, Centaurus is unarmed, reflecting its docile spirit and passive arts. Sometime during the classical Greek era, the mythologies surrounding the two different centaurs overlapped, even though their beginnings are much different. Greek mythology holds that the constellation Sagittarius was placed in the sky by Chiron to show the Argonauts the way. Chiron was a centaur who – unlike the rest of his kind – overcame the base instincts of drunken debauchery and became a great healer and diviner, later becoming the mentor of famous heroes. One day he was accidentally shot by an arrow poisoned with the blood of the Hydra, being unable to heal himself and unable to die due to his immortality, he could only suffer. Eventually he gave up his immortality to Prometheus and freed him from his imprisonment. For his selfless deed, Zeus put him in the sky as the constellation Centaurus. As you can see, the original basis for the two centaurs is almost contradictory. The war-like Pabilsag and the peace-loving teacher Chiron somehow seem to have merged together to create the Sagittarius we know today.
Concerning Sagittarius, Lilly writes “Is of the fiery triplicity, East, in nature fiery, hot, dry, masculine, choleric, diurnal, common, bicorporeal, or double-bodied”. Earlier in the chapter, Lilly puts Sagittarius under other classifications, such as bestial and feral, which further color the Sagittarian portrait.
Sagittarius as a masculine/diurnal Sign exemplifies itself in a positive, outgoing, and optimistic personality. Never one to keep to themselves, Sagittarius is full of energy and pizzazz, the best part about it is, it’s contagious to everyone around them. The Sagittarius energy is very visible, the unfortunate part is that this energy is often abrasive and disarming in nature in the form of blunt honesty and action, which just further exemplifies how outwardly oriented and expressive this Sign is. It’s so expressive, Sagittarius just don’t know what to do with it all and it often runs amok unchecked.
Like all fire Signs, Sagittarius runs the risk of throwing caution into the wind and doing things while disregarding the advice of others. This can be a good thing, as it encourages a form of independence of thought, but often results in unfortunate incidents as Sagittarius is known to be accident prone due to overexposure to poor foresight and bad judgment in the form of recklessness and unnecessary risks. The ability to get up in arms is a quality of Sagittarius that is definitely choleric in nature. It seems that this is something that is also borrowed from the constellation motif of the centaur as the war-like creature they are, but the Mars-like Babylonian link is still very alive as well. While the positive side of this is that they are often unrelenting in their endeavors to get what they want, they are also equally unrelenting when it comes to opponents and challenges and are the first ones to get into confrontations with other people. The bad news being that Sagittarius is likely to hold on to his resentment and constantly bring it up as time goes on.
Sagittarius is a mutable Sign due to the Sun”s transit in this Sign being during the time where autumn is moistening into winter. Since this time of year can easily be described as autumnal or winterish, it shows that Sagittarius is easily adaptable and Sagittarius loves to change things. To Sagittarius, change is seen as an opportunity to renew and expand situations and viewpoints, and he’ll definitely take advantage of any such opportunity.
Bestial and feral are two other groups of Signs that Sagittarius belongs to. A bestial Sign is one that is said to lack social graces. The positive side of this is that Sagittarius is one who often disregards superficial gestures since they lack true merit and compassion and reek of image boosting on the part of the one making the gesture. This lack of honesty is something that Sagittarius can’t stand. Unfortunately, this same lack of manners is what causes Sagittarius to say things that others wouldn’t. His brash and blunt nature shines through and you can’t really trust him with your secrets. His open and honest nature will be a double-edged sword of sorts, as he won’t understand “keep it to yourself” and will offer it up in related conversations, while being obvious to the fact that he wasn’t supposed to say anything. Feral Signs are those that are said to have a cruel streak when they disassociate action from emotion. The last half of Sagittarius is said to be feral. This is interesting because it brings back up the image of Pabilsag who had two heads, a human head facing forwards, and an animal head facing backwards. While this makes an interesting nod back to antiquity, the more appropriate reasoning behind marking the last half as feral would mostly be because it is the back half of a centaur that is the animal.
There is, though, some redemption for Sagittarius’s unpleasant and fiery temper, thanks to his ruler Jupiter. Due to this association, Sagittarius has absorbed some of the Jovial spirit which gives it the free-thinking and free-wheeling capabilities. The love of travel, philosophy, and religion are all interests that can be traced back to Jupiter. Sagittarius has a liberal (hating close-mindedness and intolerance) and global view of life, being much more interested in the big picture, Sagittarius has the job of thinking up the goal and then delegating the detail work of getting to that goal to other Signs who enjoy detail work. The problem with a freedom-loving attitude is that he doesn’t respond to limitations and restrictions. This can cause problems in situations where restriction and commitment is implied, such as relationships. Sagittarius feels the need to be free, and so doesn’t crave the commitment of a relationship and will likely see it more as a restriction as they can no longer do what they want, but must now answer to an authority figure that is their relationship partner. Space is a necessity, and any attempt to shrink this space may well result in rebellion. Regardless of this setback, Sagittarius lives by a moral code of his own and always tries to act with integrity.
Medically, Sagittarius is said to rule the buttocks, hips, and thighs of the human anatomy, and thus is associated with all forms of diseases and injuries that result in this part of the body. Aside from this, Lilly writes that it is generally descriptive of fevers and heated blood, falls from horses and other injuries sustained from animals as well as accidents from reckless behavior and sports and game related injuries. Places under the rulership of Sagittarius are those that are exposed to heat or fire like all fire Signs, and Sagittarius has a special affinity for horses and stables where horses and other such animals are kept, as well as the general outdoors area especially open fields. Inside it signifies places around hearths or fireplaces, and next to walls.
The influence of the stars that make up a constellation are the building blocks of that constellation’s earliest significations and characteristics. Of the stars in Sagittarius, Ptolemy likens the stars in the point of the arrow to Mars and Luna, in the bow and grip of his hand like Jupiter and Mars, the cluster of stars on the forehead of the figure are of the nature of Sol and Mars, in his cloak and back are of Jupiter and Mercury, those in the feet of Jupiter and Saturn, and the tail is of Venus and Saturn. Some of the noted stars of antiquity have become dimmer over time, and so we’ll not discuss those stars with a magnitude greater than 4.
The first stars to discuss are a triple star grouping of Kaus Australis (southern bow), Kaus Media (middle bow), and Kaus Borealis (northern bow), which make up the bow formation in the constellation. These stars are said to be indicative of success through martial endeavors and a strong sense of justice. The prominent star Pelagus (Nunki on the picture above), is fortunate associated with truth, optimism, and religious piety, also its association with the waters is what gave it an association as fortunate to mariners. Another fortunate star is Ascella – the armpit – which is related to success in literary affairs. The star Polis is located in the upper part of the bow and its name comes from the word for foal, not surprisingly it is said to give its native natural skill in horsemanship and physical combat. The cluster in the tip of the bow is exemplified in the star of Al Nasr – the dart/point – which has the unfortunate reputation of blindness, inability to act, and ocular injury associated with all nebulous clusters. Finally, the star Manubrium has possibly the most negative influence of any star in Sagittarius, relating to heat, fire, burns, explosion, but grants its natives heroism, courage, with some defiance thrown in there.
Current star positions are: Kaus Australis 5° Capricorn 05′, Kaus Media 4° Capricorn 35′, Kaus Borealis 6° Capricorn 19′, Pelagus 12° Capricorn 23′, Ascella 13° Capricorn 23′, Polis 3° Capricorn 55′, Al Nasr 1° Capricorn 16′, Manubrium 15° Capricorn 0′.
Dignities and Degree Influences
Jupiter rules Sagittarius due to the harmonious trine aspect that extends from the Cancer/Leo cusp (the houses of the luminaries) and the cusp of Sagittarius. Since Jupiter is the greater benefic, he was assigned here due to the pleasant relationship symbolized by the Trine aspect. Mercury is heavily debilitated in Sagittarius, due to it opposing its Sign of domicile, Gemini. No planet is exalted or depressed in this Sign. Sagittarius belongs to the fire triplicity, and as such is ruled by the Sun by day and Jupiter by night, with Saturn as participary ruler.
0° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Lame, Masculine
1° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Masculine
2° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Feminine
3° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Feminine
4° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Feminine
5° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Masculine
6° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Masculine, Deep, Lame
7° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Masculine, Lame
8° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter, Masculine, Light
9° Sagittarius: Face of Mercury, Term of Jupiter Masculine
10° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Jupiter, Masculine
11° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Jupiter, Masculine, Dark, Deep
12° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Venus, FeminineIncreasing Fortune
13° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Venus, Feminine
14° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Venus, Feminine, Deep
15° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Venus, Feminine
16° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Venus, Feminine
17° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Mercury, Feminine, Lame
18° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Mercury, Feminine, Light, Lame
19° Sagittarius: Face of Luna, Term of Mercury, Feminine, Increasing Fortune
20° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Mercury, Feminine
21° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn, Feminine
22° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn, Feminine, Smokey
23° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn, Feminine, Deep
24° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn, Masculine
25° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Saturn, Masculine
26° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Mars, Masculine, Deep
27° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Mars, Masculine
28° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Mars, Masculine
29° Sagittarius: Face of Saturn, Term of Mars, Masculine, Light, Deep
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