Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) is the 9th sign of the zodiac and is ruled by the planet Jupiter – the largest planet of our solar system … the one with the greatest gravitational pull. True to the principles of AstroMythology, the planet is like its mythological namesake – the god Jupiter, who, of all the gods (planets) had the greatest influence and power (size and gravitational pull).
Jupiter (called Zeus by the Greeks) was also known as Jove, and had dominion over the earth and the heavens as the king of the Olympian gods. The word jovial is derived from Jove’s behavior, which was optimistic, enthusiastic, generous and expansive, just like the planet Jupiter’s astrological influence.
Jupiter was the original Playboy of the Western World. He pursued entertainment and pleasure through his many liaisons with goddesses, Titans, and mortal women. Appropriately, Sagittarius is known as the sign of the bachelor and Sagittarius people frequently have many romances, and if they marry, often wait longer than their peers to “tie the knot”. Like Jupiter, Sagittarius people treasure their freedom and do not wish to be limited by oppressive obligations or others’ expectations.
Mythological tales of Jupiter’s exploits illustrate the Sagittarian view of the pros and cons of relationship. In these stories Jupiter consents to marry Juno (the ancient Greeks called her Hera) only because Juno refuses him intimacy without marriage. In a parallel way, Sagittarius people tend to accept restriction only when it brings them something they want. But prudent limitation of their capacious appetite for adventure is imperative for their well-being and inner development. Societal rules are often the only thing that keeps Sagittarians from destructive self-indulgence.
Establishing an appropriate ethical hierarchy and limiting the tendency toward excess is reiterated by the use of the centaur (with its human upper body and equine lower body) to symbolize the sign Sagittarius. The Centaur constellation reinforces the Sagittarian developmental direction toward the elevation of the intellect over emotional desire and the body’s animal urges.
In myth Jupiter was the law giver and ultimate judge for the gods and mortals alike. Appropriately, the sign Sagittarius is characterized by high ideals, and rules philosophy, knowledge, wisdom, and legal judgment. Jupiter is also associated with foresight and prophecy and this aspect of Jupiter’s influence is brought to light in tales about his daughter – the goddess Athena.
Athena (called Minerva by the Romans) was born as a result of a relationship between Jupiter and the Titan, Metis (the pre-Olympian goddess of wisdom). After Athena’s conception an oracle predicted that if Metis had a son he would overthrow Jupiter’s rule. To avoid this undesirable consequence, and to end the cycle of son over-throwing father for all eternity, Jupiter swallowed Metis whole, while she was pregnant with their child. Their daughter, Athena, who burst forth, fully grown and armed from her father’s head, was twice born – that is, she was born first of her mother Metis (the child of wisdom) and then of her father, Jupiter (the child of divine will).
Jupiter and the sign Sagittarius rule prophecy. This is affirmed by the image of Athena as a personification of the mind of Jupiter (bursting from his head). In mythological tales Athena is referred to as ‘clear-eyed Athena’ and is always depicted wearing a cloak fringed with snakes. This is significant in that snakes are associated with prophecy (the priestess-seer at Delphi was known as the pythoness). These details hint that Sagittarius people, like Jupiter, often have the gift of a far-seeing view of life and psychic ability.
Sagittarius people are generally upbeat and gregarious but at times their exchanges heat up into spirited arguments. When angered, Sagittarius people are known to hurl condemning accusations at their opponents. They are also known to punish those who behave unethically by openly denouncing them. In this behavior we can see the mythological echo of Jupiter’s use of the lightning bolt, Athena’s spear, and the centaur’s arrows to punish transgressors.
Interestingly, Sagittarians displays both sides of the coin in respect to the rule of law. Though the domain of Sagittarius includes the laws of God (religion) and man (jurisprudence) … when they are young Sagittarians are often indifferent to the law in regard to themselves. They insist on their own, self-made and sometimes self-serving rules. In their attempts to justify their “I want to do what I want to do” point of view they can be challenging, rebellious, and highly vocal malcontents. However, it is fitting that Sagittarius people feel the need to overthrow what they see as antiquated and unfair rules; after all, Jupiter himself overthrew the abusive rule of his father, Saturn, who refused to allow his children to be born lest they depose him.
When emotionally and intellectually mature, Sagittarius people can show great wisdom. They make excellent educators and lawyers (particularly prosecutors) and are intelligent reformers, restructuring the outmoded in both personal and public arenas. They value truth and are usually straight-forward and honest. Rarely prejudiced, Sagittarius’ conviviality and inclusiveness is extended to everyone. The educated, cultured, and disciplined Sagittarian is a model for all.