Zodiac - Sagittarius

Astronomy Mythology Astrology

The Astronomy of Sagittarius Sagittarius star chart

Sagittarius is one of 12 constellations that lie on the ecliptic, known jointly as the Zodiac. It is located between Scorpio and Capricorn on the ecliptic, and is also bounded to the north and south by Aquila, Serpens, Miscroscopium and Telescopium.

It has a Right Ascension (RA) of 19 hours, and a Declination (Dec) of -30 degrees. (RA is the sky's equivalent of Longtitude, and Dec is equivalent to Latitude).

It is most visible in summer, particularly during July which is when it is at it's highest in the sky.

It can be found just above the southern horizon with the milky way behind it. This part of the milky way holds the direction of the centre of our galaxy, and although there are some areas obscured by dust clouds, the milky way is at it's widest and most impressive here.

In the late 18th century, the astronomer Charles Messier catalogued just over 100 objects that are known to be galaxies, clusters and nebulae. 15 of those objects fall within Sagittarius, the highest density within a single constellation.

Binoculars will show several of these galaxies and clusters, such as the Omega Nebula (M17), and a cluster known as M23 which has over 100 stars in an area about the size of the full moon. The Great Sagittarius cluster (M22) is barely visible to the naked eye, but is easy to see in binoculares. It is one of the largest globular clusters around, and is also one of the closest at only 10,000 light years. The Laggon Nebula (M8) is also just visible to the naked eye, but is better viewed with binoculars.

The sun is in Sagittarius at the time of the winter solstice.

The Mythology of Sagittarius Old star chart

Many people identify Sagittarius with the centaur Chiron, however this is not universally agreed upon.

The Chiron legend has it that Chiron was accidentally shot by Hercules with a poison tipped arrow, which proved to be fatal. However, as an immortal he couldn't die, but was doomed to spend eternity suffering the pain of death. As a result, he offered himself as a substitute for Prometheus, who had been punished for giving fire to mankind. To do this, Chiron had to lose his immortality and therefore died, and Zeus subsequently placed him in the sky.

However, Chiron was a wise character, and renowned for his gentleness, and in many stories centaurs were described as never using bows. One explanation is that Sagittarius is actually a two footed creature with the tail of a satyr where others thought it was the hind legs of the centaur. This was said to be Crotus, who some said was the son of Pan - and this would confirm the character being a satyr rather than a centaur.

Crotus was the inventer of archery (making him even more likely to be immortalised in the sky with a bow) and often hunted on horseback (possibly adding to the confusion). While living on Mount Helicon, he lived with the Muses, who enjoyed his company so much that they asked Zeus to immortalise him in the sky.

The Astrology of Sagittarius Sagittarius characteristics

Ruling planet is Jupiter
Metal: Tin
Fortunate stones: Sapphire, Amethyst
Colour of choice for Sagittarians is Purple
Lucky numbers: 4 for Sagittarius 3 for Jupiter
Lucky day: Thursday
Trees: Mulberry, Vine
Element: Fire

Traditional Aquarian Qualities: Free spirited, moral, intelligent, optimistic and freedom-loving, good-humoured, honest and sincere, straightforward, philosophical, energetic and generous.
Shadow side Careless, irresponsible, tactless and superficial, restless, impatient and temperamental.

The Sun enters the Zodiacal Sign of Sagittarius around November 21st, but it does not come into full power until about November 27th. People born between November 21st - 27th are also influenced to some extent by Scorpio, from the 27th onwards Sagittarius is in full strength until December 20th. Over the following seven days Sagittarius gradually loses its strength on account of becoming overlapped by the incoming sign Capricorn. This should be taken into account when character and fortune are being estimated. Sagittarius is a Fire sign and is symbolized by the centaur, the lower half is horse, the upper half is a man. In mythology Sagittarius is often associated with Chiron. The Centaur Chiron was known for his wisdom and healing abilities. The man is drawing back his bow with an arrow aimed upwards toward the sky, a symbol of the Sagittarius' drive to overcome basic animal instincts. With his thoughts aimed towards the divine realms of the heavens he is on a quest for ideas and experiences that will reveal a greater awareness. Sagittarians tend to love adventure, travel and philosophy and any means of extending beyond their immediate surroundings. They seek knowledge and wisdom and never tire of the quest for what is yet to come. With their arrows of thought aimed upward, they are the incurable optimists of the zodiac with a positive outlook on life. Fire signs are naturally warm. A fire gives light and heat, but it doesn't get depleted as others feed on its warmth. One candle can bring light to a room and it won't burn any faster if ten people read from its light than if there was only one. Fire doesn't plan its next move; it isn't logical. It simply is in the moment and will burn what fuel is available without judgment or forethought. For this reason fire signs can successfully rely on their intuition and survival instincts. The fire of Sagittarius is warming, not hot -- but that's because it's far away. It's like a light in the distance that reminds us why we are heading in that direction or the stars that have been used for navigation.

Sagittarian Characteristics: Subjects of Sagittarius are full of ambition, enterprise, energy and versatility, with a positive magnetism they are distinguished by frankness, optimism and sincerity. They are adventurous and eager to extend experience beyond the physically familiar. They particularly enjoy travelling and exploration since their minds are constantly open to new dimensions of thought. They are honest, trustworthy, truthful, generous and sincere, and with their passion for justice usually opt for the side of the underdog in society. They fight for any cause they believe to be just, and are prepared to be rebellious. With their developed sense of justice they are tolerant, philanthropic and humane, sympathetic towards human nature and to a certain extent generous and charitable. They seldom refuse a request for a loan and may not bother to ask for its repayment, the lonely, destitute and helpless always get their help. Their generosity can be balanced by their extreme care at handling their resources. They are very receptive at listening to the troubles of others and are fond of giving advice, although their strongly idealistic natures can also seem patronizing. The less developed like to make a parade of any generous actions and can be full of smug self - satisfaction. They are very sociable and popular although their extreme outspoken nature may offend some. They are very hard workers and keep their goal very much at the centre, however as a result they do tend to miss many things along the way that a broader outlook may have taken in. They are incapable of deceit; being both honest and loyal they dislike deception and trickery in any form. Leading very respectable lives they usually bow to convention and are always ready to shoulder responsibility. Sagittarians are ruled by the planet Jupiter; acting like a magnifying lens Jupiter can make a little opportunity look larger than life. The fire of inspiration can motivate the mind to reach out into the wilderness and Jupiter symbolizes an expansive action. However, too much of a good thing isn't necessarily good, and Jupiter can encourage Sagittarians to overspend or overindulge, they should be wary of gambling. Jupiter encourages us to take opportunities, to live life as an adventure and to believe in something greater than ourselves. With a great sense of will and independence Sagittarians insist on conducting their own affairs. Those with a religious outlook posses a strong sense of morality, though some tend to follow by rote and worship beliefs about God, whereby the intolerant adherence to ritual and conventional codes becomes more important than the truths they embody. They are also fond of philosophizing and often display a great depth of thought. Yet they may not hesitate to switch allegiance in politics or change their system of belief if they see personal advantage to themselves in doing so. They will usually come across as a very cheerful and pleasant, however they also have a violent temper if people become too controlling, get too close or cast an unfair accusation or an insult to their honesty, however once they have calmed down they may attempt to make amends. Sulking and moods are completely alien them, nevertheless they do have some of the most unpleasant personality traits including sarcasm, weirdness and the inability to keep a secret. However, with a little determination almost all of these traits can be overcome. Sagittarians have excellent memories and can remember even the smallest incidents of their lives, with the tiniest of details. At the same time, they can easily forget things like where they left their car keys, wallet or glasses. With their ability to make others laugh they are fun to be with and can brighten up anyone's day particularly when they are in an outgoing and joyful mood, but they can become more sullen if they feel that their wings have been clipped. They have a knack of making even impossible dreams come true, and in the face of defeat they never give up hope and it is this inspirational perspective that leads to their greatest success.

Professions and Occupations: Subjects of Sagittarius are often guided by their own impulses and may completely alter their occupation without any obvious motive at all. They have deep, reflective and extensive minds, equipped with foresight and good judgment, and they can be witty conversationalists. They love to initiate new projects; they make excellent researchers and have a desire to understand new concepts. They are fast, intuitive and often original thinkers, but are better at adapting than inventing. Sagittarians are at their best when working with colleagues of other types of character that compliment their own. With a strong will and good at organizational skills they have the ability to bring any project they undertake to a successful conclusion. On the negative: they rush into every new project immediately and demand too much of colleagues who cannot work at the pace they require. They are quick to scorn the inadequacies of others while expecting fulsome recognition of their own efforts which in one sense they deserve, however in completing a major project they will sacrifice their health and family relationships. They love to perform before an audience and usually seek a career in the show business. They have a gift for a number of widely differing professions; generally they flourish in positions of authority particularly where their advice and judgment can be sought by others. They excel in medicine, the church and law, politicians, inspectors, vet nary surgeons, officials of charitable organisations, military officers, technical experts and horse dealers. They are natural teachers and philosophers, others may make fine musicians, and they are said to make good sports coaches.

Psychology: Sagittarians are completely extroverted, very talkative and totally straightforward. An inspired mind lights the path of the Sagittarians as life lived in close association with their ideals and beliefs give the Sagittarian a naturally spiritual mentality. Where the animal becomes human is in their flexibility to ponder and challenge their beliefs and in learning to develop them authentically rather than simply enduring life's challenges through blind faith. Their motivation will compel them to do good, not merely pursue their passions or seek to avoid trouble. Faith, hope and optimism are significant aspects of their psychology, and once they embrace a true and authentic course, their devotion is unshakeable. They may be overly attached to the concept of holding beliefs, as opposed to actually testing them to see if they really work, or even if their devotion is authentic. The Sagittarian may need to question if their belief is authentic and grounded in truth rather than supercilious, untested concepts or dogma, otherwise fanaticism and hypocrisy may develop that will render all of their efforts to transform authentically to ruins.

Relationships: Sagittarians are adventurous and not averse to the thrill of risk-taking; their positive, life-affirming optimism makes them a lot of fun and great to be around. Their animal passions are usually straightforward in their expression and they seldom seek convoluted or theoretical discussions on the nature of love and would rather get on with what is natural because it is natural and they dislike thwarting nature in the pursuit of self-expression. Their frank and open motives are often misunderstood, Sagittarius are best involved with a steadier, stronger personality, who can understand their need for independence, desire for variety and still be there for them even after having smashed a dinner service in frustration. Sagittarians fall in love easily, but commitment and marriage is not something that they are at all comfortable with and a lot of time is spent considering it thoroughly, even so they may still end up making a mistake. They love any new form of challenging and exciting sexual expression and as long as their partners are able to keep up with their wide-ranging interests and is prepared to come up with new experiments in lovemaking their relationship will be exciting and reasonably long-lasting. Mutual honesty is the key to success for the Sagittarian; they are tolerant and eager to please however their honesty can sometimes prove too much for those who prefer a more mysterious, or veiled approach to love. Sagittarians are ardent, sincere, straightforward and normally conventional in love, and in control of their sexual natures. However they may revenge themselves upon the opposite sex by becoming cynically promiscuous if they have been thwarted, they need to be wary of making an uncongenial alliance. When successful in marriage they become faithful spouses and good parents, nevertheless they need to fell free and are often faced with the choice of allowing their careers to take over their lives at the expense of the love of their spouse and family. Their most harmonious and well suited marriages are formed with those born between March 21st - April 21st and July 21st - August 21st.

Possible Health Concerns. Sagittarius governs the hips, thighs, nerves, arteries and sacral area and its subjects may suffer with ailments of the hips and thighs and are liable to sciatica and rheumatism as well as nervous disorders and gout. The lungs and throat may suffer with bronchitis or lung troubles. An alleged deficiency of silicon in their physiques can give them poor skin, nails and hair. Their love of sports and dangerous pursuits means that they are prone to accidents which arise from these, usually affecting the lower limbs. Sprains, dislocation and hip fracture are likely and they are also liable to accidents with fire and heat.

Potential problems and suggested solutions: Subjects of Sagittarius who find themselves on the receiving end of negatives will find greater peace when they express the positive. Sagittarians have unique traits to their personalities, when these traits are suppressed, or unrealized, problems will arise. By examining the problem we can assess the proper solution according to the sun signs unique characteristics. Sagittarians who find themselves on the receiving end of negatives will find greater peace when they express the positive. If you feel that you are getting nowhere, try to focus upon one thing that will satisfy you and work toward that point. Try to think positive thoughts and set some short term goals that you can reach, when you have achieved them try setting some more. Then you will move ahead in your endeavours.

The Sagittarian Star stone is the Topaz. Topaz comes in many different colours and is a member of the quartz family. It assists in developing leadership qualities and promotes a feeling of self-control or situations and helps deal with them in a competent fashion. Topaz reputedly helped foretell the future, enhance sexual energy, and promote harmony.

Famous Sagittarians include John Milton, Arthur C Clarke, Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Edith Piaf and Steven Spielberg.

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