NOVEMBER/DECEMBER - Sagittarius season is the beginning of the end of fall. This is the Hibernal season, when the sun starts to drift further and further away, and the days grew shorter, darker, and colder. Snow begins to fall and blanket the carpet of rotting leaves on the forest floor, the dead grass in the fields, the mountainside, and the rooftops of our homes. Safe travel abroad becomes impossible, and it looks like you may not see distant friends and relatives for another year. So both people and animals retreat into their homes for warmth, isolating themselves from the outside world. Some people feel confined to their homes and become restlessness with boredom. Others take time to relax after a hard summer’s work and indulge in some well deserved laziness, preparing for the holiday season, leaving on tropical vacations, or playing in the snow outside.
In older times, at this time of year, all farm work came to a final close. All the harvesting, brewing, and slaughtering was done for the year. Travel abroad became difficult, so trips to town became more sparse. The last work that had to be done was digging drainage ditches in the fields so they would not flood when spring came and melted the oncoming snow. Once that was finished, indoor hobbies like handicrafts, sewing, and weaving were common ways to pass the time. There was no urgency, no panic about food or supplies. They were fully stocked with everything they needed - and were the richest they would be all year!
Many Germanic cultures associated this time of year with winter and the upcoming Yule celebrations, and the West Frisian Calendar of the Netherlands called this “Winter Month”. Many cultures celebrated gift-giving holidays at the end of this month because of the wealth accumulated during the harvest and butchering seasons. Pagans celebrate Yuletide with various customs and celebrations: the burning of a Yule Log, the feasting of goose and ham, the many kinds of decorations and songs. Our modern day Christmas (the biggest holiday in most of the Western world) (which, these days, lasts well over a month) is descended from these holidays.
In both Babylonian and Egyptian astrology this sign was referred to as The Archer. For most of its history this sign was presented as a man drawing a bow back, as if ready to let his arrow fly. The Latin word “sagittarius” even directly translates to “archer”. That is, until astrology reached Greece and it became a centaur archer. Writers typically cast the mythological Sagittarius figure as the teacher and healer Chiron, a centaur that trained many famous Greek heroes. However, Chiron is placed in the heavens as the constellation Centaurus (a centaur), not Sagittarius (a centaur archer). The two constellations and their respectively mythologies get confused with one another a lot.
The centaur is commonly believed to stem from Macedonia's first look at those who rode horses on the steppes of Central Asia. Before they knew about domesticated horses, it seemed like the man and horse shared a single body. The centaur as a symbol is a blend of human and beastial qualities, mixed together in a single form. The bestial component gave them rampant sexuality and untamed aggression, causing them to go raping and pillaging across the mountains of Greece. They drank too much and feasted often, fighting with men and gods alike. However, they also had their human half, which gave them reason and intelligence. Chiron was an example of a centaur with two perfectly balanced halves. He was a teacher, philosopher, doctor, and astrologer, but also skilled in battle and eager to pass those skills onto others.
The glyph for Sagittarius is an arrow pointing skyward, crossed at the bottom. The arrow is, of course, the arrow of the archer aimed high into the sky. And the cross symbolizes the duality of the centaur’s upper and lower halves. But the arrow is also a phallic symbol and represents the sexual (some would even say "promiscuous") nature of Sagittarius as well. Pointing upwards, the arrow aims for higher ideals away from the basic material problems of earth. In medieval medical astrology it was also a glyph of the thighs from hip to knee, which is the part of the body ruled by this Sign.
Sagittarius is made when you combine the Mutable Quality with the Fire Element. Being both Fire and Mutable, they seek to help people by making them happier, having fun, being refreshingly honest, and adding some much needed positivity to their lives. Both men and women of this Sign are like this. They are extraverts, travellers, and party-animals who jump from one fun and exciting thing to the next with reckless abandon, often without shame or guilt or a thought to the consequences. Both sexes are masculine in their nature: sexual and aggressive, bluntly spoken, sometimes rude and insensitive, but never back-stabbing or mean-spirited. Female Archers are often burdened with demands to be more sensitive, empathetic, and patient, especially by men who find themselves challenged or threatened by them. But while Sagittarians of both sexes could stand to develop more compassion and tenderness, don't hold your breathe. Those stereotypically "womanly" roles aren't likely to be filled by either of them any time soon.
As a Centaur, half man and half beast, they are one with the wildlife and their bestial, sexual, impulsive nature, and also in tune with high-minded intellectualism and lofty philosophies. As an Archer, they shoot barbed arrows of truth which hit their target without sympathy or sensitivity. Sometimes what they say is tactless and rude. Honest and direct, they never mince words or speak softly to save someone's feelings from being hurt. And also as an Archer, they have goals, targets - hundreds of them - that they shoot and chase after their whole life long. They take on much more than they can realistically accomplish, but this is a Sign who is idealistic in their pursuit of things, and optimistic about the outcome they want, not one who fusses over the details of how it will all work out.
The opposite Sign, Gemini, is a Sign concerned with filling up their minds with facts and information, then communicating it back out. Sagittarius cares less about science and facts and the way things are, and more about the way things could be. They look for the deeper meaning bubbling below the surface. They usually go to school for a long time studying art, media, film, history, language, music, culture, politics, economics, or psychology - things that strike the imagination, where each person's ideas, opinions, insight, and point of view is relevant. They are often cited as a Sign that is philosophical, spiritual, even religious, as they seek wisdom and enlightenment their whole life long.
When they aren't expanding their mind with study, they are expanding it through travel. Their soul is restless and wandering, and their feet start to itch if they stay in one place for too long. The thrill and excitement that comes from exploring other countries, meeting people from other cultures, learning new history and languages, and trekking across famous landmarks, is everything Sagittarius lives for. They want to see everything, from the mountaintop villages in Chile to the dark canals of Italy's oldest cities; the neon signs above Hong Kong's narrow alleyways, the misty rainforests of Canada's west coast, the turquoise beaches of Australia, and the colourful bazaars of Morocco. Sagittarians have a mind that is wide open and starving for knowledge, and only the biggest, most-life changing experiences can feed it.
In their pursuit of knowledge, they become wise, insightful, yet light-hearted teachers to those around them. They know how to connect with students in just the right way, to open up their heads and pour in what they are hungry for. Whether they are delivering their wisdom from a podium, the head of a classroom, or in an intimate conversation with a friend, they always seem to know exactly what that person needs to hear. Like their predecessor, Scorpio, they are catalysts for other people's growth. But rather than igniting extreme emotions and forcing people to change, they inspire and enlighten from somewhere high up and afar.
Like other Fire Signs, a young Sagittarius is a handful. Their high energy level combined with their insatiable curiosity and fearlessness makes them quite the daredevil! But as close as they come to danger, luck seems to sweep them out of harm's way at the very last second. Few other children can freak their parents out as much as a Sag kid, whether they are climbing trees outside, scaling the kitchen counters, chasing dogs around the yard, playing with fire, getting lost in the forest, drinking with their friends, or playing contact sports. They can drive mom and dad crazy. Don't worry - Archer children are always much more careful (and much more trustworthy) than you might think.
Archers tend to identify more with their father, their guy friends, and their male role-models, who empathize with the male drive to run fast, get dirty, feel lust, speak to one another directly and aggressively, and live recklessly. Their dad is more likely to let them run off with their friends or drive away in the family car without panicking about when they are going to be home. Yet, at the same time, Sagittarians grow closer to their mother because she serves as their moral compass, and knows why they do the things they do.
Here's the thing. Sagittarius needs to be able to do what they want, even if that means making their own mistakes and getting hurt in the process. So you need to trust them enough to give them freedom and independence. If you try to use guilt to keep them in line, it will work - but eventually they will slip away, and there goes your chance at having a close relationship with them. Give them a code of ethics, teach them the honourable behaviour you expect, believe in them to make the right decision, and they will listen to you. Even if they look like they are about to make the wrong choice, let them do it. You may be surprised at how well everything works out in the end!
Watch any movie or television show where the main character is serious, emotional, and painfully introverted. Look at how they are given a best friend character that is outgoing, funny, loud, and extroverted - someone who is insightful, supportive, and the perfect person to balence them out. I call them the "token Sagittarius friend" and you see it everywhere, on screen and in real life. Every boyfriend I have ever had has had a Sagittarius friend. I have one too. Either you are that friend, or you have that friend. And thank god for us anti-social introverts! If we didn't have them, who would be there to support our dreams, boost our self-esteem, tell us when we are being stupid, and make us laugh when we really needed it? Who would stay up all night drinking with us, listening to our theories, our beliefs, our ideas for a screenplay we want to write? If you have a light-hearted Sagittarius friend who you can talk about life with, keep them around. As long as you can tolerate their brutal honesty and their last-minute flakiness, you two will have a lot of fun together.
Friendship is really all Sagittarius wants from people. Undemanding companionship and really good sex. To a Sag that is romantic. Unlike Aries and Leo, who fall fast and hard into an early marriage, most Sagittarians play the field for a long time before they settle into a relationship. They flirt directly and honestly, are completely upfront about their feelings, and do not beat around the bush or play games with your heart. If they want sex and nothing else, it will be obvious. And if they have fallen in love, want you to meet their parents, and plan on moving in together, they will be upfront about it. They expect their partner to be just as firm about saying "yes" and "no" to what they want - so don't be afraid to tell them how you feel. Don't worry - you won't hurt their feelings!
If they grew up in a family of particular values, Sagittarius will seek to continue those values. But in their own ways, they don't fall neatly within the lines of conventional love and marriage. This is a Sign that cannot have their actions dictated, cannot be bossed around, dominated, or controlled. They require extra amounts of freedom and independence from all their partners, romantic, business, or otherwise. You push them around with jealousy paranoia or arrogant demands. The Archer will sooner slip out of your grip and disappear forever, breaking your heart in the process. That isn't to say that some Sagittarians don't eventually fall into a traditional marriage at some point in their life. But it isn't who they naturally are. I've seen a few settle into a commitment when they were not authentically monogamous people, which led them to cheat on their partners later on down the line. Had they been in a more open-relationship with an undemanding partner, it would not have been an issue. But because they agreed to be loyally theirs, it broke the bond of trust that kept them together, and ruined the relationship.
If you are sensitive, emotional, closed-minded, and unlikely to try new things, or if you want somebody who will take care of you, this isn't the Sign for you. Sagittarius will not be there to comfort you when you are down or dry your tears when you are upset. There will also be no imbalance of dominance and submission, no games of power and control. If you want to be in a relationship with this Sign, expect to be on equal terms. A Sagittarius will give you plenty of freedom to be yourself and do as you please, and will be happy that you have your own life outside of the relationship, but will expect that you give them the same in return. They will be loyal in their heart, honest about their feelings, and generous with their money, time, energy, and affection. So if you want a spontaneous lover and a positive person by your side, supporting you as you chase your dreams, Sagittarius will be your best friend your whole life long. You just have to give them enough space to be themselves.
Sagittarius goes a bit nuts if they are confined to one spot all day long. This is not a Sign that can quietly sit at a desk and file paperwork behind closed doors. They need a job that keeps them engaged. whether that is through creative personal projects or interesting people. They want to get up and run around, visit other departments, go for long lunches at the pub down the street, and chat up their cute coworkers. They want to try new things, do something fun and exciting. Sure, none of that involved actually working at their job. But who says you can't work and have fun at the same time?
In order to enjoy their job, Sagittarius needs a career that gives them the freedom to do whatever they want. Many end up either working as a private contractor under someone else, or making a commission and working on their own time. The best jobs for Sagittarians involve creativity, travel, and networking, even better if it is also uses up some of their excess energy, constantly challenges them, and lets them pursue their intellectual interests. Sagittarians often make excellent teachers, writers, artists, religious leaders, salesmen, and entertainers because of their ability to convey deeper meaning and messages in a way that people enjoy!
If you have a Sagittarius coworker or employee, the days you work with them will be the most fun. They are always popular for their upbeat personality, good sense of humour, and interesting conversations. I work with a Sag at the deli right now, and he always has coworkers coming into our department on their breaks to see him. He also gets away with a lot because everybody likes him so much. If you work with someone of this Sign, you probably notice that they aren't necessarily the hardest workers, the fastest, or even the best at what they do. But it doesn't matter. They are successful because of their likeability, creativity, charisma, networking skills, confidence, and the thick skin around their ego.
A Sagittarius boss is more or less the same as having a Sagittarius employee: you like them, but you end up doing most of the work. The best working situation has you, the hard-working introvert who handles the logistical side of the company, and them, the charming people-person, out swooning clients. Sagittarius doesn't like to fuss with the details of how things will go, or what the most efficient daily routine is, or even what has to get done everyday. They just have a dream, a lot of energy, and a vision of what they want the company to be. When they take on six meetings in a day or overbook clients, they need you around to keep them organized, diligent, grounded, and practical. If a Sagittarius is lucky enough (and they are the luckiest Sign!) everything will work out at the end of the day, thanks to you and some grace of God.
Sagittarius can start anything - a relationship, a job, a project - with contagious energy and enthusiasm. But follow-through is what they lack. With their restless impatience, their want to see and explore everything at once, and their abandoning of anything that binds them to a singular goal, they end up actually accomplishing very little. They go to school for years, switching majors or dropping out altogether, and never do anything with their degree. Their career is punctured by them running away to travel to New York for six weeks, or by them quitting to start a business that never takes off because of a lack of commitment. Sagittarius needs to acquire more tough-it-out grittiness, the kind that takes years of dedication and single-minded determination, in order to succeed in life. It sucks, but you can't rely on your assitant forever!
My paternal grandmother has her Sun and Venus in Sagittarius. Although she is better known in the family for her Pisces Moon and strong Saturn influence - making her a strong, bull-headed, yet sensitive and emotional woman - she has her Sagittarius side too. In many ways my grandmother is an example of how giving and gracious Sagittarius can be. She loves throwing dinner parties for every occasion, complete with party favors on every plate, games after supper, and three different kinds of dessert. When I was in the hospital as a teenager, she packed me seven different gifts to open on each of the seven days I stayed there. And just a little while ago, she planned a whole trip to Mexico (where she travels to every winter) for the family, arranged where we were going to stay, and then toured us around the city to where ever we wanted to go. She is definitely one of the most outgoing and fun-loving relatives I have!
I also have a maternal grandfather who has his Sun and Mars in Sagittarius, who came from a Mennonite family of strict religious teachings and deeply patriarchal values. He married my (Scorpio) grandmother when they were both very young and outgoing, a part of every club that involved drinking and playing games. Together they raised a family, but that didn't stop him from staying out all night getting drunk with his buddies, or from dancing and partying with other women. He was never home with his kids because he was too busy living his own life. Eventually one of his affairs led to pregnancy, which led to divorce from my grandmother and marriage to a new (Gemini) wife. But even after having two young kids with her, they also divorced and he remarried a third woman (this time to a Capricorn). I often think that his problem was the pressures around him telling him that he had to marry, that relationships had to be monogamous, and that if he could have been in a relationship that better suited his Sagittarian needs, maybe he wouldn't have daughters with 12th House Suns and a son who lost respect for him a long time ago.
On the other hand, I have a long-time friend of mine has her Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius in the 3rd House. In many ways she is already an example of the evolved Sagittarius woman - one who has sex for the hell of it, who only dates men who treat her with respect, one who followers her intellectual and creative pursuits to university and (hopefully) into a career. She has seen plenty of friends and family members end up in terrible relationships fashioned out of jealousy, paranoia, infidelity, and abuse. But she isn't the type to fall into those traps. If all she wants to go out dancing and bring home a boy-toy for the night, she makes it clear that is all she wants. Sure, many of them fall in love with her after just one night - but she won't play games with their heart just for attention. She already has a healthy ego and lots of confidence, and she doesn't need men to make her feel good about herself.
THE sagittarius TRANSFORMATION
The bright and cheerful Sagittarius holiday season eventually comes to an end with the Winter Solstice, where the reality of winter's hardship really sets in. Just as the seasons change, the Sagittarius personality adopts more Capricorn qualities as it grows and matures. Their optimism fades to pessimism, their light-heartedness goes, but their sense of humour stays. Instead of taking on too much and then flaking out halfway through a project, they learn to narrow their focus to only one or two big goals at a time. They learn how to settle, commit, and stick with one thing at a time, which makes them more reliable and trustworthy. Once Sagittarius become calmer, more grounded, more practical, and more serious, you can say that have officially transformed into Capricorn.