A Quest in All the World
In Sagittarius, we are released from the deep, dark inner world of Scorpio. With any luck, we have gotten a taste of transformation, and have begun to feel its benefits. We have experienced the depths of our being, and now crave freedom. Wander lust sets in, and our destination might become Australia, a master's degree or enlightenment.
Sagittarius is an astrological sign that people born in this season are born under, but it's also a social or cultural process that we all go through. What we call a sign is a state of mind that we all share at different times, or together. Every sign is in every chart; every sign has expressions in the outer culture. An example of a Sagittarian cultural process is a library. We think of a library as a building, but really, people and books are coming and going and interacting, and it's always changing. A library is alive; it's a place where ideas are exchanged -- ideas from far away. The Sagittarian attribute of a cultured person might love to get lost a huge library.
Sagittarius opens us up to the many possibilities of life, and to the incredible diversity of life on our planet. But in Sagittarius at its highest, the arrow being shot by the Centaur points in the one direction of our true aspiration. Can you relate? Most people can't. Most of us spend our lives in a trance: watching rather than participating, thinking rather than doing, wishing rather than desiring, and exercising crude ambition rather than aspiring to some form of excellence.
We have nary a clue that American culture isn't the only way of life. We have barely a clue that American culture ain't hardly a culture. It's a marketplace, and a cheesy one. Who remembers hand-made?
We are, for the most part, trapped in petty Scorpio: buying, selling, power games, control dramas and sexual hangups. None of these really matter, and they rob us of the experience of true Scorpio: surrender, passion, the power of creation and a clear relationship with death. What counts more than petty power is the experience of sharing freely. 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.
Two Kinds of Opposites
Moving from Scorpio to Sagittarius we experience an opposite. Most astrologers view astrological signs that are in polarity (180 degrees apart) as being opposites -- Taurus as the opposite of Scorpio, for example. While it's true that Taurus is the polar opposite of Scorpio, Sagittarius seems to be its actual opposite. Try this theory of opposites with all the signs and see what you get, moving in sequence around the wheel. Taurus and Scorpio, in a strange way, have a lot in common: desire, density, reserve, a sense of mystery and contradiction, and many layers that natives of these signs like to remind everyone are off-limits. They are polarities along the same axis with lots of the same themes -- like sex and money, for example.
Scorpio and Sagittarius have just about nothing in common. 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. The polar opposite sign to Sagittarius is Gemini, which is about the mastery of communication and thinking.
For those familiar with astrology, let's check out these two kinds of opposites for a moment. Astrology is like a cosmic game of rock-paper-scissors. Scorpio is a fixed watery sign; Taurus is a fixed earthy sign. Watery and earthy signs are considered feminine, or yin energies. So these two signs match up as being fixed yin energies and are in energetic harmony.
But Sagittarius could not be more different than either. 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. Fire burns earth (Taurus); fire is extinguished by water (Scorpio). Rock-paper-scissors.
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. The planets that are said to rule, or are strongly associated with, Scorpio are Mars and Pluto. Those involved with Sagittarius are Jupiter and Chiron. Most planets are associated with two signs and most signs have at least two planets closely associated with them. Different books will make different slightly statements about these associations; what I offer is what I have found to be true from experience, research and what fits my personal philosophy of life.
Inner to Outer Worlds
I think that people will always be more comfortable in the outer reaches of life once we have made contact with our inner realms. Nobody can master Scorpio, but we can begin to have a relationship with its many dimensions. To do this means not being in denial of sex, death, surrender, the unknown and money. These are the basic survival elements on Earth, both for the species and for people. To have a sane relationship with Scorpio, we would need to not be in denial about our power, and the power that others have over us.
If we have passed these initiations, then we are ready for the world, and the world is ready for us. In Scorpio we have to do a lot of letting go. What we take with us on the next phase of the journey must only serve us. 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).
It doesn't always work this way; often we find ourselves wandering the world long before we have really noticed the great inevitabilities, much less come to terms with them. So, you could say that we have two experiences of Sagittarius possible, one in people or stages of life in which we are not initiated to Scorpio, and another in which we are. Hopefully Scorpio has taught us respect for the powers and the powers that be, whether these powers come in the form of hormones or bankers.
Hopefully, we live with the respect, learned in Scorpio, that life is transient, and that we are all visitors to this planet. If we can do this, we are ready to experience our time here as a quest in all the world.
In this daily edition, I will be exploring some different astrological ideas about Sagittarius and related subjects. One day we might end up on the asteroid Pallas, and on another day we might end up in the library at the State University of New York, or at a Tantric sex workshop in California. But we'll always be looking from the viewpoint as life as a quest for experience, adventure and truth. Can you believe it?