Zodiacal Quality: Mutable
Planetary Ruler: Jupiter
Jungian Type: Extroverted Intuitive
Opposite Sign: Gemini
Sagittarius is the ninth sign of the Zodiac, culminating in the Winter Solstice. It is the third sign of the Fire Triplicity, after Aries and Leo. The most striking feature of this sign is its ebullient optimism.
Sagittarians are often the life of the party. Their natural Joviality, however, is often a double-edged sword; it promotes a feeling of infinite expansion which is not always well founded and its natives often find themselves victims of their own unreasonable expectations.
This sense in Sagittarius that anything is possible has lead Jerry J. Williams to state that the Sagittarian “has a penchant for forever seeking new fields to conquer. This sign tends to excess and is not particularly conscious of its limitations.
The Sagittarian optimism is unquenchable. This fire sign seeks to impose upon the world the ideals which are the product of its conscious will” (Contemporary Astrology. 1977. p. 100). It is as if the Sagittarian were living by Blake’s Proverb of Hell: “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” (Blake: Complete Writings. ed. Geoffrey Keynes. 1984.). William Blake had a Sagittarian Sun.
The Archer points his arrow to the highest peak, but the arrow has to land somewhere. This sense of confidence that the metaphorical arrow will find its intended target, without the native gravity of the Sagittarian personality, is both the strength and the weakness of this sign.
For as Blake also said “Energy is Eternal Light,” and the Sagittarian certainly delights in the sheer exuberance of being alive. This sign produces animated, gregarious and humorous people.
This is also the sign of transmutation of lower to higher energies. Its colour purple is a blend of blue and red. The red represents the animal passions, while the blue denotes the spiritual aspirations. If the native is spiritually evolved, these impulses to over-optimism can become the catalyst for transmutation.
As Arthur Dione put it, having “encountered the partner on a deep one-to-one emotional level in Scorpio, there is so much more to be achieved and that must take him in an opposite direction; whereas Scorpio strived for intensity, Sagittarius looks for breadth and tries to experience just as much, and as often as possible” (Jungian Birth Charts 1988. p.41). T
he sign has produced personalities as different as Sir Winston Churchill and Keith Richards.
The sign itself usually provides the native with great physical stamina and a philosophical view of life which has lead some astrologers to dub it the “Philosopher Jock.” Its zodiacal symbol of the half-man half house (centaur) describes how these two elements are joined.
Sagittarius is very much the sign of the adventurer, and those with strong Sagittarian elements in their charts (not necessarily by Sun sign) often become restless without the freedom to roam. This is as true for the world of mind, particularly with regard to speculative, abstract thought, as it is for the sphere of physical freedom.
Sagittarius has a very low tolerance for limitations on their actions and thought. This is as much the case in relationships as it is with the simple need to travel, both physically and mentally. Natives of this sign do not like to feel restrained in any way. Such is the influence of the planet of infinite expansion.
The Constellation of Orion: Note the Arrow of the Archer
Generally, a person with strong Sagittarian elements in their chart will tell you, in one way or another that, like the horse, it will only want to buck the paddock if a fence is put around him.
The sign is breezy, extroverted and often extremely outspoken or blunt. They call it as they see it. The lesson here is to understand that others are entitled to see things their own way. Once again, an evolved Sagittarian will take this principle to philosophical heights and learn objectivity in the process.
This is the beginning of a particular kind of wisdom that will reach fruition as Saturn begins to provide the stability and gravity needed in order for Sagittarius to achieve its goals. The Zodiac is a wheel of human experience. At the solstice, when the light begins to return, Capricorn will rule the halcyon days, taking the energy of the Archer and rooting it firmly in the Earth.