Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of November 28th - December 4th,  2003

Shooting From the Hip

Columns Archive

Female Sag

The Feminine Centaur

  This week we take a look at Sagittarius, the ninth sign of the zodiac. Generally depicted as the centaur, this mutable fire combination is spirited and frisky, striving to achieve the high and mighty. Jupiter is its ruler, and as the sky lord, he oversees all that takes place here on Terra Firma. Together these two hold sway on the overview of life, an expanded world vision, foreign travel, higher education, and spiritual journeys or quests. Pilgrimages falls under the realm of this, the largest planet of our solar system, as do colleges and universities.

  The equine theme of this symbolic code supplies many clues as to what Sagittarius can be like. Taking off at a full gallop, riding high in the saddle, shooting from the hip (Sagittarius rules the hips and thighs), and being cavalier in your attitude are some of the metaphors which immediately spring to mind. Think of young college freshman, nearly arrived from home, and their extensive beer drinking bashes and you will grasp part of the exuberance of this youthful combination. The spirited fighting nature of their species depicted in Harry Potter's latest novel, The Order of the Phoenix, accurately portrays the mythological descriptions which time has handed down to us. Sagittarius differs from the other two fire signs, Aries and Leo, in that it is generally not as individualistically oriented, but is more into collective accomplishments and team sports. They work best when pulling together.

  Sagittarius is a bicorporal entity, part human and part horse. What we have so far depicted represents the more youthful side of their nature, considered by some to be their more bestial, primitive side. Sagittarians can often squander their enthusiasm on high times and the good life, becoming 'Hail fellows well met' and 'Jolly Old Souls'. Jupiter's alias Jove depicts the upbeat, outgoing, social spontaneity of the season and people born under its influence. It is the sign and time of abundance, when the crops have been harvested and the winter coat of fat is put on to more successfully carry us warmly through the winter.

The centaur teaches Achilles

The centaur explains to Achilles

  In fact, the expansive quality of Sagittarius can lead to excess weight, and it was the marbled fat which the Greeks offered up to Zeus, the Roman Jupiter. Indeed, both Zeus and Jupiter demonstrated these expansive qualities in their philandering, womanizing ways. Naturally, and in tune with the season, Thanksgiving is our holiday wherein the opulence, goodwill, and abundance can all be found in ample quantities. It isn't only the turkey that gets stuffed.

  For those who overcome these qualities of excess and exuberance, the quieter, more spiritual side of the centaur shines through, 'evolving' into its more compassionate and wiser human component. Mythologically, this was illustrated by Chiron, the King of the Centaurs, teacher of many of antiquities' heroes. He was the mentor in the use of herbs, dream healings, astrology and the martial arts.

  While the centaur aims his arrow high in the sky in order to cover great distances, it is the soft, flickering light of the candle in spiritual centers everywhere which gently beckons to a greater wisdom. By turning within, we can all reach out to the essence of truth, embodied in the philosophies of every distant land on the planet, in order that we may find the quiet peace of the guiding light.